The Winter Guard is an organization that features in Marvel Comics.
The Winter Guard (Russian: Зимняя гвардия) was a super-powered team that was associated with the Russian government. (Iron Man v3 #9) They were formed from the People's Protectorate who were folded years ago and made to form a new team that was the Winter Guard. (Hulk: Winter Guard v1 #1)
The Winter Guard responded to an incident in Dimitri, Russia where the Abomination had been killed by an assailant that looked like the Hulk. S.H.I.E.L.D. and some of its consultants intended to take Blonsky's body for examination but the Guard refused to allow American's to take a Russian citizen away. This led to a fight that was only stopped when the lone survivor of the devastated town arrived to reveal that the Abomination's killer was a Red Hulk. (Hulk v2 #1)
Remont 6 was noted to had raided an A.I.M. facility leading to the Winter Guard being dispatched to confront them. (Hulk: Winter Guard v1 #1)
They were dispatched to stop the Intelligencia but the team of supervillain scientists utilised their Zero Cannon to send the Winter Guard into orbit. (Amazing Spider-Man v1 #676)
After the death of Russian sailors in the Black Sea at the hands of Namor, the Russian governments Executive Committee ordered a reformation of the Winter Guard that was to be led by Dimitri Bukharin with oversight by the Red Widow. The new team was deployed to capture Namor who alongside with his Defenders of the Deep were waging a war to remove all surface presence from the oceans. This had brought the Atlantean Defenders into conflict with the Avengers just as the Winter Guard arrived on the scene. At firsts, the Avengers and the Winter Guard worked together but an incident with the Russian team's god members led to a fight between the two sides. This allowed the Sub-Mariner and his aquatic allies to escape whilst the Avengers with the Winter Guard were at a tense stand-off before the Russian team departed the scene. (Avengers v8 #10) Afterwards, a summit was called by the Black Panther at Avengers Mountain for the various superpowered factions representing their respective countries with the Winter Guard dispatching Ursus Major as their representative. T'Challa stated that he intended to allow the Avengers full access to Wakanda's resources and asked for cooperation from the international community. However, Ursus Major rejected this offer and went violent at the meeting leading to him being teleported away through the advanced Celestial technology in the mountain. The Black Panther concluded that the Avengers had no friends in Russia and that Ursus Major's actions were a deliberate act to show that the nation was not friends with the superhero team. (Avengers v8 #11)
In appearance, the Winter Guard were a national team of superheroes that represented the interests of Russia. (Iron Man v3 #9) The national superhero team were also known as Zimniy Storozh. (Avengers v3 #42)
The Russian executive security committee were known to place a strategic liaison on the team. (Hulk: Winter Guard v1 #1)
- Red Guardian :
- Darkstar :
- Vanguard :
- Ursus Major :
- Crimson Dynamo :
- Dimitri Bukharin :
- Vostok :
- Chernabog ;
- Perun :
- Red Widow :
- The Winter Guard were created by Kurt Busiek and Sean Chen where they made their first appearance in Iron Man v3 #9 (October, 1998).
- On Newsrama, David Gallaher commented, "As far as what makes them unique? Well, apart from being from a different nationality with different cultural norms, I think the Winter Guard has a little more pageantry than the other teams in the Marvel Universe. Their mere presence boosts morale. I often refer to them as the 'Yankees of Russia'. They are celebrated heroes. If you are a Russian citizen, this is the team you root for ... the team you want to see triumph over every situation. As a member of the Winter Guard, you'll be in front of cameras, spotlights, and a cheering crowd of citizens. That's the public face of the Winter Guard.
- The private workings of the team are a different matter altogether. Every member of the team — Red Guardian, Darkstar, Crimson Dynamo, and Ursa Major — they are all 'Red Shirts' of the Marvel Universe. When one hero dies, they are replaced by another candidate or understudy who steps into the role. For example, this is the seventh Red Guardian, the third Darkstar, and the 13th Crimson Dynamo. Each member of the team is willing to lose themselves in their role and sacrifice themselves for the good of their nation and the people they serve. It's a different form of heroism, certainly, but it's no less valid."
- In the same interview, Steve Ellis said, "The team is made of "eternal heroes" who represent ideals rather than individuals. And the people who fill the roles of the heroes are doing an honored job rather than fulfilling a personal quest. The idea is there will be a Red Guardian no matter who wears the suit. This sets up interesting dynamics on a team where characters can and will be replaced."
In other media
- In Avengers Assemble, the Winter Guard made an appearance in the episode "Secret Avengers" where they consisted of Red Guardian, Darkstar, Ursa Major and Crimson Dynamo. They were a team of Russian superheroes that operated under Central Command that were their country's version of S.H.I.E.L.D. Crimson Dynamo was sent to recover an energy reactor that Hydra had acquired with a great deal of power where he had to battle Zarda of the Squadron Supreme and S.H.I.E.L.D. Avenger unit led by Captain America. It was revealed that the container actually contained Winter Guard member Radioactive Man who was freed by his comrades that had acted against Central Command's orders in order to free their comrade. During their fight with the Avengers, their base of operation's fell off a cliff threatening a nearby village but the Guard and Avengers managed to stop the damage with the aid of the freed Radioactive Man. Hostilities between the two teams ended amicably as a result after the Avengers learnt their opponents were not villains but rather heroes.
- In Marvel Future Avengers, the Winter Guard appeared in the setting of the animated television series. They were said to be a Russian superhero team that defended their nation from enemies. During the red campaign, the brainwashed Winter Soldier conducted numerous acts of destruction against the country. This resulted in the Winter Guard dispatched to apprehend him where they tracked him to a Hydra installation. At the time, Captain America was on the scene as he thwarted Hydra's brainwashing of Bucky Barnes but the Winter Guard simply captured Steve Rogers to use him as bait to lure out the Winter Soldier. Ultimately, Barnes surrendered him to the Winter Guard who took him into custody to stand trial for his past actions which he did in exchange for Captain America's release.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, the Winter Guard were briefly mentioned in the video game during a briefing sequence after the Wakanda incident where Captain America along with Iron Man reference that the team had been absorbed by the Fold.
- Iron Man v3:
- Hulk v2:
- Hulk: Winter Guard v1:
- Avengers v8: