The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
of the Soviet Super Soldiers, Winter Guard, and Exiles
Vanguard has nearly always been portrayed as a devout Communist. He remained a staunch Communist even after the fall of the Soviet Union and its Communist government. He appears to be a true believer in Marxist-Leninist Communism.
From: "Vanguard (comics)" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanguard_%28comics%29; viewed 25 May 2007):
Vanguard (Nicolai Krylenko) is a fictional mutant character in the Marvel Comics Universe. His first appearance was in Iron Man vol. 1 #109.
Born in Minsk, the son of Russian nuclear physicist Sergei Krylov (later, the Presence), Nikolai Krylenko and his twin sister Laynia Petrovna (Darkstar) were taken from birth by the then-Soviet government to be trained as soldiers after their mutant natures manifested. Joining the KGB-sponsored Soviet Super-Soldiers, Vanguard and the team came into conflict with many American heroes, especially Iron Man.
Later, the government wanted the threat of the Presence eliminated and sent his own children, unaware of their true relationship, to murder him. They learned that he was their father and turned against the Soviet regime. Vanguard, Darkstar, and Ursa Major became agents on their own, fighting for the good of the people.
At one point, finally fed up with the Communist system, the three heroes defected to the United States, only to be captured and returned to the Soviet states by the government-sponsored People's Protectorate. There, they were rescued by Blind Faith and his band of mutant exiles in order to form an underground team that would fight for the people under a government that hates and fears them, and, ultimately, became members of the Winter Guard.
Later, Vanguard and Darkstar were asked by Quasar for help in defeating the threat of the alien Starblasters, who coveted the power of the mysterious Star Brand, hosted in the body of Quasar's girlfriend. Vanguard was killed in battle. A grieving Darkstar blamed Quasar and fled back to Russia. Later encountering her father again, Darkstar shared her feelings with him, and the Presence forced Quasar to flee Earth or risk his vengeance. The Presence visited the memorial to his son and sought to revive him. He shifted his atoms to microscopically enter the body of his son and discovered a trace of his mutant energy remained, keeping him faintly alive. The Presence nearly exhausted his own power, but managed to resurrect his son.
A staunch Communist despite the fall of the Soviet Union, Vanguard once aided Communist sympathizer General Tskarov in his efforts to undermine the American economy and replace it with communism, starting with its businesses on the East Coast. He also agreed to aid Tskarov in order that Tskarov would 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 defeat Tskarov. Under circumstances yet to be revealed, Vanguard agreed to membership in the Russian Federation's newest super team, the Winter Guard. One of the first adventures of the Winter Guard was stopping (with Iron man's help) the Mandarin's giant war machine in the shape of a Chinese dragon.
From: "Top Ten Most Stereotypical Mutant Characters Ever!!" forum discussion started 29 August 2006 on "Comic Book Resources" website (http://forums.comicbookresources.com/archive/index.php/t-141418.html; viewed 25 May 2007):
Vanguard is our first look at the international house of stereotypes. DA, MOTHERLAND! Armed with his deadly hammer and sickle -- like Captain America has 50 throwing stars and a pet eagle or something -- he is too ruff n' tuff.
Vanguard and Ursa Major together comprise why Darkstar was such a cool character by comparison. Whereas sister Darkstar was just a generic Russian mutant with the obviously stereotypical background (ala Colossus), Vanguard was pure velveeta cheese. Or in this case, pure borsch and blini.
Always patriotic, even after the fall of the USSR, Vanguard still continues to use his magical Hammer and Sickle in battle, proving that Gorbachev and perestroika will still save the USSR. Poor guy. So passe and so cliche.
Webpage created 7 December 2005. Last modified 25 May 2007.
We are always striving to increase the accuracy and usefulness of our website. We are happy to hear from you. Please submit questions, suggestions, comments, corrections, etc. to: email@example.com.