Character » Vanguard appears in 161 issues.

    Older brother to first Darkstar and son of Presence. He is a powerful mutant with the ability to repel any force directed at him, be it electromagnetic, kinetic, or gravitational.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Vanguard last edited by MarcosZ on 12/14/22 04:32PM View full history


    Vanguard, or Nicolai Krylenko was born in Minsk to Russian nuclear physicist Sergei Krylov who would later become known as the Presence. Nikolai Krylenko and his twin sister Laynia Petrovna also known as Darkstar were taken from birth by the Soviet government to be trained as soldiers after their mutant powers became apparent. They were trained through youth to serve as soldiers in the Soviet army, being rare examples of mutants not immediately culled, for their genetic differences. A part of their training involved working with the KGB (Committee for State Security) eventually joining the KGB affiliated Soviet Super-Soldiers, Vanguard and the team would  often come into conflict with many American superheroes under this capacity. The government later wanted the the Presence eliminated and sent his own children to murder him. This set them up to battle and confront Red Guardian. They later learned that the Presence was actually Sergei Krylov their father and turned against the Soviet regime. Vanguard and Darkstar became agents on their own, fighting against evil.


    Vanguard is a Marvel comic books character, and was created by Bill Mantlo and Carmine Infantino and first appeared in Iron Man #109  released in April 1978. 

    Character Evolution

    Essentially created as a superhero to exist as a part of a Russian superhero team, Nicolai Krylenko has gone on to lead a colorful publication history, typically rooted around his homeland and family. He has been a member of many of the top Russian affiliated superhero teams, Soviet Super-Soldiers, Winter Guard and the Protectorate. Arguably his sister Darkstar has had more success than him in terms of appearances and popularity associating with the popular X-Men franchise, but regardless her brother character Vanguard has a long history that is likely to continue for much longer. More recently he has adopted the Red Guardian code name as well heading up the Winter Guard as its newest leader.     

    Major Story Arcs

    Winter Guard

    Sometime later he finally got fed up with the Communist system, and attempted to move to the United States, only to be caught and returned to the Soviet states. There, they were rescued by Blindfaith and team in to form Siberforce. Vanguard and Darkstar were asked by Quasar in defeating the threat of the alien Starblasters. During a battle, Vanguard was killed. Darkstar blamed Quasar and went back Russia. Encountering her father again, Darkstar shared her feelings with him, and the Presence forced Quasar to flee Earth. His father visited the memorial to his son and tried to bring him back. He shifted his atoms to enter the body of his son and discovered a minute trace of his mutant energy remained, keeping him faintly alive. The Presence nearly died but managed to resurrect his son.

    A loyal communist despite the fall of the Soviet Union, Vanguard aided the communist General Tskarov in his efforts to destroy the American economy and replace it with communism. He agreed to help Tskarov but Tskarov had to help him find his then missing sister. When Ursa Major discovered Tskarov was actually hiding Darkstar from them, Vanguard joined with his friends and Daredevil and the Black Widow to defeating Tskarov. Under circumstances to be revealed, Vanguard agreed to membership in the Russian Federation’s newest super team, the Winter Guard.

    The Protectorate

    After the death of his sister, Vanguard balked at the Government's decision to replace her with a doppleganger and keep the public in the dark about Laynia's death. The act caused a rift among the heroes, as Vanguard joined forces with other former Winter Guard members Steel Guardian, Fantasma, Powersurge, Perun and Starlight to form the Protectorate. Meanwhile Ursa Major and The Crimson Dynamo remained in Russia. The Protectorate group traveled to Limbo in search of Immortus to plead with him for the return of Darkstar. Immortus agreed to help if the Protectorate could rid Limbo of the Dire Wraiths for one year. During this year Vanguard began a relationship with Starlight. Fantasma ultimately revealed herself to be a Dire Wraith herself, and fled to Earth with the remaining members of the Protectorate in pursuit. Vanguard was forced to join forces with the new Winter Guard in order to defeat Fantasma (who joined forces with The Presence), in the process witnessing the 'rebirth' of his sister into the body of a Dire Wraith.

    His reason for anger at the Winter Guard program gone, Nicolai Krylenko later abandoned the Vanguard identity to become the new Red Guardian, rejoining Ursa Major, Darkstar, and The Crimson Dynamo in the Winter Guard.

    Powers and Abilities

    Vanguard possesses the mutant power to repel any force that is directed at him. He can construct an invisible force field around his body. Vanguard is a trained and skilled gymnast. Vanguard is also proficient in hand-to-hand combat being trained by the KGB. Vanguard possesses near normal strength for a human being capable of lifting up to approximately 300 pounds. He can also use his force field powers to imitate flight by repelling along across the Earth. He also has the power of levitation. 

    Physical Characteristics  
    Height: 6' 3"
    Weight: 230 lbs
    Hair: Red
    Eyes: Blue 

    Equipment and Weapons

    As Red Guardian, Vanguard wields a Vibranium shield that serves as a lens for his powers and intensify the repulsion of energy. Inside the shield is a high density computer that uses a laser gyroscope to track it's flight path from it's point of origin. Activating this mechanism can make the shield return to it's take-off point. Circuitry in the suit allows Red Guardian to channel the impact directed at the shield to bolster his powers. As demonstrated in his fight against Hyperion in Age of Heroes #3, the shield and circuitry can be overwhelmed. He can also focus and intensify his powers through the hammer and sickle he carries with him by crossing them over each other.

    Alternate Versions


    Vanguard exists in this reality also known as the House of M In this reality, Vanguard is shown as a member of the Soviet Super-Soldiers as is his sister Darkstar.  


    Vanguard exists in this reality that featured in What If? Vol 2 #110 released in 1998, which supposes if Colossus was not an X-Man.  


    Vanguard appears in this reality, depicted in X-Men: Millennial Visions #2000 released in 2000. 


    Vanguard appears in this reality, that is also the home reality of Exiles member Heather Hudson also known as the Sasquatch. 


    Vanguard appears in this reality, which is a comic book book adaptation inspired by the Avengers Mightiest Hero animated cartoon series.  

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