Leonid Kovar and his father were investigating an alien ship that had crashed in the Yenesi River; Leonid's father, Konstantin, was an archeologist. While the two where investigating the ship, Leonid touched the controls in a certain way and the ship exploded. The explosion imbued Leonid with several super powers, including super strength, flight, speed, and pyrokinesis.
Leonid, being a patriotic Russian that believed in socialism, offered himself to Russia as their first super-hero. Leonid faithfully, loyally served the Communist party. He took on the name Starfire at first. However, a member of the Teen Titans had already chosen this name, so Leonid changed his name to Red Star.
Red's father died while working for the Soviet Union, so Russian scientist Pyotr Raskov looked after him until adulthood.
The Soviet Union attempted to keep his access to the western world limited, however Leonid eventually met the Teen Titans and began a friendship with some of its members. Kid Flash was generally distrustful of Leonid.
Red Star was created by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman, and Bill Draut. Red Star first appeared in Teen Titans #18.
Major Story Arcs
Leonid was arranged to marry his fiancee, Maladi, however before he could an insane criminal infected her with a deadly disease, making her a walking spreader of the disease. She was placed in the US, where she was constantly infecting more people with the disease, while the disease slowly battered her down. Red Star tracked her down to try to save her. At this time he came into conflict with the Teen Titans; he finally found Maladi but he was too late, and she finally succumbed to the disease. Coincidentally, she died on the day that their marriage was meant to take place. Soon after this event, Starfire (as he was called at the time) was re-named Red Star.
Later, Leonid met again with the Teen Titans, at S.T.A.R.S labs. At the same time, Hammer and Sickle of the Peoples' Heroes came looking for Leonid's blood. They were sent because of a desire for other countries not to study Red; they also did not want peace between the US and Russia, but rather war. Shocked at this betrayal of his country, Red teamed up with the Teen Titans and defeated the operatives. This left Red very conflicted inside, changing his beliefs and everything he was taught.
Shortly after this Titans from old and new were being captured by the Wildebeest Society, and during this Victor Stone aka Cyborg was launched in a rocket and landed in Russia, without his memories. Russian scientists found Cyborg and managed to fix his body and hardware, however they could not regain his memories; he was brain dead. The Teen Titans tracked down Cyborg and found him in Russia. At first the Russian scientists would not give Cyborg back to the Titans, however, eventually Pyotr Raskov allowed the Titans to have custody of him, and Red accompanied the Titans to America to defeat the Wildebeest once and for all.
Following the events of the Titans Hunt, Red Star was elected to remain with the Titans as a member of the team, still hoping to save Cyborg's mind. Coincidentally, fellow member Pantha developed an attraction to Red Star, much to his chagrin.
Leonid was soon called back to Russia by Dr. Pyotr Raskov, his surrogate father. He decided to bring fellow Titan Cyborg along with him to Russia but when he arrived home, he learned of a devious plot within the walls of Science City: His father, Konstantin Kovar, was actually still alive and had been working in secret for years to overthrow the Russian government. Using the technology from Cyborg Konstantin planned on creating a army superpowered robots; Meta-Men. This army was to assassinate the Russian president, while Konstantin pinned the blame on the American government.
Red found out about this conspiracy from a mysterious women only known as Anna. As the pair attempted to stop the Meta-Men, another explosion triggered a startling new power surge for Red Star; he learned that he could burst into a form of flame-like energy, forming and channeling this energy into blasts of flames. These new abilities help put an end to Konstantin Kovar's attempt at a coup, but at a terrible price. Konstantin killed Dr. Pyotr, Red's surrogate father, and Anna was forced to kill Konstantin as Red watched.
Touched by tragedy, Red Star returned to the States. Unknown to Red Star, a handful of Russian scientists secretly salvaged the organic remains of Konstantin, creating a cybernetic, perhaps brain dead, Meta-Man.
After finding out that the Titans would soon be funded by the US government, Red left the team. He had no wish to work for the US government. When Pantha and Baby Wildebeest found out Red was leaving, they joined him to make a new team, becoming a rag-tag dysfunctional family. They moved back to Russia to help the Russian government. At times they would also help the Teen Titans.
When Superman Prime came to Earth and ran amok, the Superboy of our Earth called on all of the Titans to help. During this event, the evil Superboy violently killed both Pantha and Baby Wildebeest. Red Star was left to mourn for his dead 'family'. He returned to Russia after this only to find another uprising, this one comprised of "The Meta-Men Militia", a terrorist group. The group wanted the Russian government to sanction meta-human activities. Red stopped the terrorist attacks, but his city was destroyed in the process. Later he re-joined the Titans only to leave again, in realization that the group was no longer the organized, efficient team it once was.
A New Path
After Infinite Crisis, Leonid prevented an extraterrestrial invasion of Russia, and began using an alien ship, similar to the one that gave him his powers. The ship became his home and his weapon. From the ship, Leonid can overlook all activities within his country, criminal, domestic or foreign. There are weapons detectors that can locate any guns in use nearby, and the ship contains living quarters, power test facilities, weapons and everything else that Red may need. The president then appointed him as “state protector”, for his help against the aliens. A recent law has made unauthorized metahuman activity in Russia illegal, so Red Star is supposedly Russia's only superhero.
He met his fellows Titans again when the team asked him help to locate Raven. In his ship, Robin invited him to rejoin the group, but Leonid refused, saying 'When you leave the team, you are alone.' Although Red Star decides to remain protector of Russia, the hero keeps contact with his friends.
Interesting in cracking the mysterious supervillain communications grid known as the Ünternet, Red Robin crossed his path with his friend Red Star. Trying to find out if Viktor Mikalek is involved with the Society, a group of metacriminals, Red Robin went to Moscow asking approval from Red Star to study Mikalek. Leonid says, 'Mikalek is a good man for his country.' Red seems to want to protect him, however soon he finds out that Red Robin was right, and that Viktor was a criminal. Leonid promises Tim he will deal with Viktor soon.
Powers and Abilities
Red Star is empowered by unknown alien energies that have altered the molecular structure of his body. Over time, his abilities have 'evolved'. He originally only possessed augmented strength and speed, however now he has a larger array of powers.
Red Star's powers include superhuman strength, speed, and endurance. Leonid can also fly. Red Star can also alter his form into an energy form, composed of unknown, fire-like energy. In this form he can redirect and form his energy. It seems his powers have the same effect on Kryptonians as a red star would, as he uses them against Superboy-Prime during the Sinestro Corps War.
Teen Titans TV series
Red Star appears in Teen Titans in the episode Snowblind. He helps out Starfire in Russia but his back story is different from the comic book origin. He is seen again in Titans Together helping the Titans against the Bro's of Evil.