Alexei Shostakov took dangerous test pilot missions for the Russian government. These missions were twisted to how the Russian government wanted to portray them, and Alexei became known as a great hero following the, very likely, assassination of the first Red Guardian by the Russian government.
The Red Guardian is a Marvel character created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, first appearing in The Avengers #43.
Around the time Alexei was hailed as a great national hero, he married fellow Russian operative, Natasha Romanoff. The KGB decided that the both of them would make excellent spies for them. and while Alexei was informed of this told not to make contact with anyone he knew, including his wife, Natasha was told that her husband died during an experiment. It was during his time spent with the KGB that Alexei changed, becoming ruthless and cruel as opposed to who he was when with his wife, Natasha. He then became known as the Red Guardian.
Major Story Arcs
The People's Republic of China had developed a machine called the psychotron, which would cause mass hallucinations. This could be used against the United States and Russia. Russia however, decided to help China in conquering. Interested, Russia sent General Yuri Brushov and Red Guardian in to the military base where they kept the weapon. Brushov was there to see a demonstration of the machine, while the Red Guardian was meant to protect him if anything happened.
Versus the Avengers
The Black Widow along with Hawkeye and Hercules came to destroy the machine. Colonel Ling, the head of the Chinese military base captured Hawkeye and Hercules was lured into the psychotron. Red Guardian then revealed his identity and the Black Widow was horrified. The Avengers then came to the rescue and Red Guardian saw this as an opportunity to prove himself better than Captain America.
They both fought, but Captain America was standing on an electrical grid and Ling turned it on, letting Captain America fall. Meanwhile, the Black Widow climbed to the core of the psychotron and used her stun gun to destroy it causing fires in the compound. While Hercules was carrying Captain America out of there, Ling saw an opportunity to kill Captain America. The Red Guardian saw this as being cowardly, and shoved Ling aside. The laser ended up shooting gas pipes, which started chains of explosions in which the Avengers escaped, but not Ling and supposedly the Red Guardian.
A New Red Guardian
After Alexei, the next Red Guardian was a woman who now calls herself Starlight.
The Red Guardian was trained by the KGB in many forms of unarmed combat, becoming expert at each and was considered the best pilot within the organisation. Having a natural affinity for agility and strength, The Red Guardian also incorporated the use of disc worn on his belt which he would use as a weapon.
Weight: 220 lbs (100 kg)
Earth-1610 (Ultimate Universe)
In the Ultimate Universe Red Guardian is a Russian Super Soldier. Russian scientists have implanted alien technology into Red Guardian's physiology, giving him superhuman strength and durability. He lived in a bunker for decades waiting for his confrontation with Captain America. Red Guardian was the chief among the mutating monsters in the bunker and the only one who retained the ability to communicate and to think (although it has affected his psyche). A strange signal is tracked back to the bunker, thus SHIELD sent Nick Fury , Black Widow , Sam Wilson (Falcon), and Captain America. When they met the Red Guardian, he told them that Russian scientists were unable to copy the shield of Captain America, so he made his own. His shield was made of stretched human skin on an iron base. Captain America decided to fight the Red Guardian, and asked Sam Wilson, the Black Widow and the Fury to go on and find the source of the signal. In the battle, Captain America struck at Red Guardian's shield with his own, and shattered the Russian's weapon and hand. However, from his new wound, the Red Guardian was able to begin to grow tendrils out of it. Captain America responded by stabbing a wooden stake into his heart, apparently killing him.