Red Guardian AKA Cosmonaut Alexi Shostakov is essentially the USSR’s answer to Captain America and will play a large role in Black Widow.
But, what we didn’t realise, was the fact that in the comics he and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) were MARRIED! We also recently learned Natasha and Bucky Barnes AKA the Winter Soldier had a relationship at one point in the comics after he trained her at the Red Room.
ScreenRant reports in Black Widow: Deadly Origin, Red Guardian is revealed to be Natasha’s ex-husband. Shostakov met Natasha while she was deep undercover and she thought marrying a real Soviet hero could be her chance to escape the Red Room.
However, the Red Room then forced Alexi to fake his own death to take part in their own super-soldier program to transform him into Red Guardian. They also told him the truth about Natasha including the fact she couldn’t have children and Alexi let her believe he was dead.
When Natasha was told of Alexi’s death in a rocket explosion, she gave up on any chance of living a normal life.
In the comics, Natasha was chosen by Stalin himself and trained during the Cold War. She was also injected with a formula that prevented ageing.
However, in the MCU’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier it was revealed Black Widow was born in 1984. In the MCU, Natasha betrayed the Red Room at age 14 and joined S.H.I.E.L.D in 1998. So, her backstory would have to be changed quite a bit to make a relationship with Red Guardian possible in the MCU.
There does appear to be one Black Widow scene that may suggest Alexi will be introduced as Natasha’s ex-husband.
Footage from the movie shown at Disney’s D23 Expo showed Alexi looking as though he’d just been broken out of prison then puts on the Red Guardian costume in front of Natasha and Yelena Belova.
“Family, together again,” he says. And while many believe he was simply referring to his old working relationship with the Black Widow program, it could be him referring to his literal family as husband and wife.
Guess we won’t know the truth until May 1, 2020 when the film is released!