"Stand aside, sister... Make room! But do not flee. It's fitting, I think, that you witness your assailant's imminent humiliation. He was more than willing to threaten your life to get the money he desired" -- Starlight.
Dr. Tania Belinsky was initially simply one of the Red Guardians, the Soviet counterparts of Captain America. But she was fired by camarades policemen ordered by the Party Council.
She would join the ranks of the Defenders and became a voice of astute topics on the capitalist ways of America to her teammates. She later became the consort to the entity the Presence and developed tremendous radioactive powers as the Starlight.
Starlight was created by Steve Gerber and Sal Buscema and first appeared (as the Red Guardian) in The Defenders Vol.1 issue 35 (1976). She then was recast as the mutated radioactive entity called Starlight.
Brilliant neurosurgeon Dr.Tania Belinsky is the only daughter of Dr. Andrei Belinsky and was a proud citizen of the former Communist Russia. She constantly challenged herself in her field as a neurosurgeon and garnered great respect from her peers. Tania also kept a keen interest in the current changing political relations her homeland and the United States had been having.
Haunted that the trustiest forms of communism would were beaten down by the political corruption of her beloved homeland. She was inspired by the great national hero Alexi Alanovich Shostakov formerly known as the Red Guardian before his death. Tania now realizing it as the perfect national symbol she adopted his identity as the new Red Guardian, and fought for the Soviet Union.
"It... pains me to be though of as a criminal. None could love Russia more than I. But I also owe allegiance to who and what I am. And if it incurs official frowns..." -- Starlight.
Unfortunately for her debut as a hero on her first mission to stop the insane Professor Phobos, who had been draining the powers of Soviet mutants for decades, the Red Guardian failed the mission to stop Phobos.
Later Dr.Stephen Strange came to her requesting her medical aid for his fellow teammate on the Defenders Nighthawk, Kyle Richmond. She arrived in the United States to perform brain surgery on Nighthawk of the Defenders and ended up joining the team herself. She became a close friend of Clea, Hellcat and Valkyrie during her stay. She was often bemused and somewhat critical of capitalist culture. She left the team in "Defenders" #46 (April, 1977) during a line-up change for the team.
Major Story Arcs
With the Winter Guard
The Presence (Sergei Krylov) later captured and mutated her into Starlight, a being powered by high levels of radioactive energy. She has never appeared without her protective body armor since and it is uncertain if there is a human body under her armor. Although she fell in love with The Presence, they fell out and she left him, joining the Winter Guard.
After a row following the death of Laynia Petrovna, the original Darkstar, several members left the team, including Starlight. The defectors renamed themselves The Protectorate and entered Immortus' realm in the hopes of persuading him to revive the fallen Darkstar. Immortus told them that if they defended his lands from Dire Wraiths for a year, he would indeed revive her. During this year, Starlight and Vanguard began a relationship. However, this was not to last, as one of the Protectorate's members, Fantasma, revealed herself to be a Dire Wraith before fleeing to Earth.
Starlight followed her, alongside Vanguard and Powersurge. Although the team were successful in defeating Fantasma and banishing her to Limbo, the wraith grabbed hold of Starlight just before the portal to limbo closed, trapping her inside. Her current status is unknown.
Real Name: Tanya Belinsky
Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 125 lbs
Eyes: White (formerly Blue)
Place of Birth: St. Petersburg, Russia
Education: Holds a Doctoral Degree in medicine and specializes in neurological surgery.
Affiliations: Formerly the Defenders, Formerly associate of the Presence, formerly the People's Protectorate
Known Relatives: Dr.Andrei Belinsky (father)
Powers and Abilities
As Red Guardian, she was extremely agile, a skilled hand-in-hand combatant and used her belt buckle as a projectile weapon. However, in her civilian life she was an accomplished neurosurgeon and would become an expert in the field.
As Starlight, she can form force fields and project powerful energy blasts at her opponents. She can travel at "warp speed" through space. Tania is immune to radiation and can actually absorb it to increase her power levels. She does not need food, water, air or sleep to survive.
She and the Presence were at one time "consorts" to each other and they remained telepathically linked during this time. The Presence has at times placed her under direct mind control but she retains enough free will to regain partial independence. Due to this link they were largely co-dependent and feared the loss of one another.