The Soviet Super Soldiers are a small band of superhuman adventurers brought together by the Soviet Union to counterpart such American teams like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Professor Piotr Phobos was the founder and instigator of the government program to train superhuman beings and mutants to serve the Soviet Union. Phobos established the school in Moscow and had a task force of KGB agents to search for appropriate students. The first student was Mikhail Ursus who had the ability to transform into a bear. The next two known students were the siblings Laynia Petrovna and Nicolai Krylenko who were the offspring of nuclear scientist Sergei Krylov who would later be known as the Presence. Unknown to the students and the government, Phobos was using a sophiscated machine to siphon the energies of his pupils to give himself artificial powers. The siphoning process was killing many students and Phobos would explained any deaths of his pupils as training casualties. The second Red Guardian discovered Phobos's plan and Phobos was forced to leave the school and he fled to the Forbidden Zone. Before leaving he gave two totems to his star pupils, Krylenko and Petrovna to one day take control of them. Krylenko and Ursus would join the Soviet army for a brief time but would be reunited with Petrovna to form the Soviet Super Soldiers. Krylenko took the code name Vanguard, Petrovna called herself Darkstar and Ursus was called Ursa Major. The Soviet Super Soldiers where born
The Soviet Super Soldiers was the first Russian Superhero team and were created by Bill Mantlo and Sal Buscema in 1981 and first appeared in The Incredible Hulk # 258.
Major Story Arcs
Versus the Hulk
Their first assignment was to enter the Forbidden Zone and investigate the Presence, who the KGB believed was responsible for expanding radioactive devastation. Dimitri Bukharm as the Crimson Dynamo would join the Soviet Super Soldiers on this assignment. They came into conflict with the Presence, Red Guardian and the Hulk. The Super Soldiers were reunited with their former mentor Phobos who was actually the man who was behind the radioactive contamination. Phobos wanted to contaminate the Soviet Union with heavy radiation to foster the birth of more mutants so he can siphon their energies. The Soviet Super Soldiers and the Hulk thwarted his plans and Phobos was taken to the government to stand trial. The original members vowed not to serve the state after this assignment and the Crimson Dynamo would be expelled for still being loyal to the KGB.
The Soviet Super Soldiers would be asked by the state to investigate the dissident scientist called the Gremlin. The group reluctantly agreed and would come into conflict with the Dire Wraiths. These aliens established a scientific citadel from which to infiltrate Russia. The Super Soldiers would join forces with the Gremlin, the spaceknights Rom and Starshine to battle the Dire Wraiths. The Dire Wraiths mixture of science and magic created a machine called the securasphere and they were using it to reanimate prehistoric creatures from the past. The Gremlin managed to shut down their device and the Super Soldiers alongside Rom and Starshine defeated the Dire Wraiths in Russia. The Super Soldiers asked the Gremlin to join them and would use the Wraith complex as their base.
The Soviet Super Soldiers would be reunited with the Crimson Dynamo and come into conflict with the Avengers and the X-Men over the mutant, Magneto. Magneto was wanted by the Soviet Union for sinking a number of Russian vessels and killing numerous naval men a few years back. Gremlin would wear the Titanium Man armor and fight alonside his Super Soldiers against the American super teams. Magneto would be brought to trial and the Super Soldiers apprehended the Crimson Dynamo for using his powers to sink a Russian vessel during a fight with the X-Men.
Leaving the U.S.S.R.
Some time later the original three members would flee the Soviet Union and meet with Captain America at the Avenger's training facility. The team of the Supreme Soviets impersonate the Avengers: Captain America, Vision, Thor & Iron Man by an illusion cast by Fantasia. They are looking for Ursa Major, Vanguard & Darkstar for defecting to America because they opposed the Soviet government and are considered traitors to the motherland. Under the illusion of Fantasia, the Red Guardian disguised as Captain America tells Darkstar, Ursa Major & Vanguard that their powers had to be tested in order to make certain they are who they say they are. The original Super Soldiers fight the fraudulent Avengers & are nearly killed. The Supreme Soviets reveal their true identity after defeating Ursa Major, Vanguard & Darkstar. Now in a coma, the Soviet Super Soldiers life forces merge with the darkforce and nearly kill all members of the Supreme Soviets if not for the intervention of the real Captain America.
Darkstar, Vangard and Ursa Major are returned to Russia in exchange for certain government favors during the next US/Russian Summit (much to Cap's displeasure). The Russian Exiles (mutant rebels) free them and together they form a new team.
Merging into a new Team
Much later, members of the Supreme Soviets (after the fall of the Soviet Union, renamed The People's Protectorate) and former members of the Soviet Super Soldiers would merge to form a new Russian team, the Winter Guard.