Marvel’s Black Widow was ultimately able to tell Natasha Romanoff’s story in the MCU. Based on the time of Civil War and Infinity War, the movie managed to narrate Nat’s past as well. But Scarlett Johannson made it utterly that it isn’t an origin, story, and it wasn’t. She was reunited with her fake yet real family including the Red Guardian. Throughout the flick, he seemed to be stuck in the past and kept comparing himself to Captain America. Plus, the movie has established the Red Guardian to be a recurring character in future MCU projects. So, there may be more of his story that might get covered. In Black Widow, Alexei Shostakov claims that he fought Captain America in the ’80s as Red Guardian. But the Red Guardian never fought Captain America in the MCU. Here’s why.
Red Guardian Never Fought Captain America
Black Widow introduced Alexei as Dreykov’s associate, imprisoned by the same. In Alexei’s introduction, he was seen arm-wrestling his fellow inmates, winning because he’s a super-soldier. He starts selling a story regarding his endeavors with Steve Rogers. He says:
“So, I have the nuclear code, but there he is. Captain America! Finally, the Red Guardian’s time has come. I grab hold of his shield and, face to face, it’s a test of strength. The shield that he carries with him like a precious baby blanket? I use it to my advantage. I take it, I push him out the window, I make my escape.”
However, this story is a little too far from reality. Alexei is immediately called a liar because he stated the time period of 1983 or 1984. The reason why he’s called a liar is because of the fact that Captain America was frozen in ice from 1945-2011. So his claim of going on an adventure with Cap in 83 or 84 is easily an overstatement. Plus, even if they fought in the 40s, imagining an alliance between the US and Soviet Union during the Second World War does not add up. So it is true that Alexei is actually lying about it.
But that is not it. Red Guardian still couldn’t have fought Steve even after he woke up in 2011. The Red Room was destroyed before 2010, so Alexie has clearly been in prison for more than 6 years. So he never even met Cap. Red Guardian is actually craving for his own status, as equal to Captain America’s. When he finally escaped from the prison and reunited with Nat & Yelena, the first thing he asked Natasha was if Steve Rogers ever talked about him. His constant attempts at finding an instance where Steve considers him as his Soviet contemporary was established throughout the film.
David Harbor Comments On This Matter
If we were to not theorize and rely on someone’s comment, then who’s better than David Harbor himself? In an interview with Inverse, the actor was asked to reveal if Alexei was bluffing about encountering Captain America. To that, he simply said that Alexie basically believes it to be true. He said:
“I will say they are absolutely true, 100 percent. Part of the fun thing about Alexei is that I wasn’t interested in reality. He doesn’t even know that he’s lying. Sometimes as an actor, I’ll have to know the reality because I’ll know [if] the character is lying. But Alexei simply believes this stuff is true.”
Black Widow is directed by Cate Shortland and is duly praised for her work. But when asked the same question, she did not come up with a straight answer and said that she’d want to see Red and Cap in a scene together. But in her opinion, Red wouldn’t be so tough as he seems. She said:
“I wanna see Alexei and Captain America together. If we saw them together now, I think we know what would happen. I don’t want to see Alexei poo his pants. I think that’s what would happen. You’d find this little boy in the corner crying his eyes out.”
David Harbor’s comments shouldn’t be considered MCU canon. He simply says that his character believes his encounter with Captain America to be true. Despite his comments, there actually no way that he could have actually fought with or against Captain America, regarding Steve’s timeline. Plus The Falcon and the Winter Soldier established that Isaiah Bradley was the first super-soldier. So there’s a high possibility that other people too took on the mantle of Captain America as the US government literally obliterated any records of such soldiers.