Seeing how Black Widow finally hit theaters and Disney+, we have finally found a great opportunity for a very interesting Cold War-themed comparison! We’re staying within the boundaries of Marvel’s universe, as we are going to compare two ideological opposites – Alexei Shostakov, also known as the Red Guardian, and Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America. One is a Russian Super Soldier, the other is an American Super Soldier. Both are powerful, but who wins in an all-out Captain America vs Red Guardian?
Although very similar characters, Captain America has superpowers and skills that exceed those of the Red Guardian, meaning that America’s First Avenger is much stronger than the Red Guardian, and would be able to defeat the Red Guardian in direct combat.
In the rest of the article, we are going to compare their powers, including their signature weapons. Finally, we’re going to bring you a detailed analysis of the two characters to determine which one would win in a direct clash.
What are the powers of the Red Guardian and Captain America?
Our second section will contain a comparison of the two characters’ powers. It won’t be a direct comparison as much as a listing of their powers abilities, which is going to serve as a basis for our analysis in section three of our article. Now, let us begin.
None of the various incarnations of the Red Guardian have been revealed to possess superhuman powers or abilities, with the exception of Tania Belinsky after her mutation by the Presence, the Ultimate version, the seventh Red Guardian, and Krylenko. They are all highly trained athletes.
Shostakov was a skilled pilot, a master melee combatant, and was trained in espionage techniques by the KGB. All Guardians except Alexei and Tania have used a circular shield made of steel much like Captain America’s circular Vibranium shield. Alexei and Tania used a “belt buckle” disc, a throwing weapon that magnetically returned to the wearer’s hand when thrown, and was part of the belt buckle on his costume.
On the other hand, Captain America’s battle experience and training make him an expert tactician and an excellent field commander, as his teammates frequently respect his orders in battle. Rogers’ senses and reflexes are remarkably keen. He has mixed Aikido, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Jujutsu, Kickboxing, and gymnastics in his own unique fighting style and is a master of multiple martial arts.
Years of practice with his nearly indestructible shield allow him to aim and throw it with near-unerring precision. His ability with his shield is such that he can attack multiple targets in succession with a single throw or even trigger a boomerang, such as a return of a throw to attack an enemy from behind. Instead, other skilled combatants regard him as one of the best melee combatants in the Marvel Universe, limited only by his human physique.
Although the super soldier’s serum is an important part of his strength, Rogers has shown himself still capable enough against stronger opponents, even when the serum has been deactivated reverting him to his pre-Captain America physique.
Based on these powers only, it seems that Captain America is a much more skilled fighter and that he would be able to defeat the Red Guardian. Now, let us see how the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z (2010) compares the two characters:
|Red Guardian||Captain America|
Red Guardian’s shield vs Captain America’s shield
Before we continue to our conclusion, we’re just going to briefly compare the two shields used by the Red Guardian and Captain America, respectively. Although they do seem similar, these two shields are very, very different, and we’re not just talking about the ideological visuals here.
The Red Guardian’s shield was first used by the Josef Petkus iteration of the Red Guardian. It was a red shield with a large, white star on it. It was actually made out of steel and was, in that aspect, a very traditional shield and couldn’t really match Captain America’s shield. But, recently, the shield used by Anton and Krylenko has gone through an upgrade and has been cast in Wakandan Vibranium, making it more durable and more dangerous. Krylenko also uses a version with an onboard computer attuned to his suit, with which he can control it’s flight path ordering it to return to him.
Captain America’s shield is his primary weapon. The most famous of its shields is a disc-shaped object with a five-pointed star at its center, in blue, red, and white concentric circles. This shield is made up of a unique combination of Vibranium, an alloy of steel, and an unknown third catalyst that has never been duplicated, called Proto-Adamantium. It’s practically indestructible. It is both an offensive and defensive weapon for Captain America. Cap primarily uses it against his enemies by throwing them at them and can use it to perform insanely impossible tricks.
One can see that the Red Guardian’s original shield was much weaker than Captain America’s, but the later iterations of the shield have become stronger and more closer to Captain America’s original design. The issue here is that Cap’s shield also evolved with time, so Red Guardian’s shield never came close to it, meaning that Cap’s shield has always been more powerful.
Verdict: Who is stronger, Red Guardian or Captain America?
And now for the most important and interesting section of our article – the analysis. Here, we are going to use what we have found out about these two characters and analyze how all these facts would (or would not) help them in a fight against each other. Red Guardian and Captain America are similar characters in a lot of ways and it’s certainly going to be fun comparing them, since the layers of their powers are really going to count here.
Seeing their basic powers and abilities, it is quite obvious that Captain America is substantially more powerful than the Red Guardian. He has superpowers, he is an excellent tactician, and has fighting skills that are unique and far above the Red Guardian’s. Surely, the Red Guardian is quite skilled and has undergone rigorous training, but he still is not a match for Captain America, even though the latter is not as powerful as some other superheroes, like Thor or Hulk.
This was proven during several of their encounters, mostly in the early days of Marvel Comics. Captain America was always able to outwit and defeat Red Guardian, and although we can attribute that to the historical context of the works, it was all in accordance with the characters’ set-ups, meaning that Captain America’s powers have not been exaggerated.
The difference in their skills is also evident in their shields, their primary weapons. While Captain America’s shield is stronger, it is also far more dangerous as Captain America is much more skilled with it. Cap’s shield is far more dangerous than the Red Guardian’s shield and this gives Captain America a significant advantage, with which we also conclude this analysis.