The fourth Red Guardian, Josef Petkus, was a special operative for the intelligence agencies of the Soviet Union, and appeared as a member of the militant Supreme Soviets. Alongside the Supreme Soviets, he attacked the Soviet Super-Soldiers for defecting from the Soviet Union. Alongside Captain America, he later battled a bear-like creature composed of the Darkforce.[1]

The Supreme Soviets later became known as the People's Protectorate after the fall of the Soviet Union.[2]

Alongside the People's Protectorate, he teamed with the Avengers and Alpha Flight to battle the Peace Corpse, the Atlantean Army, and the Combine.[3] They also battled the Hulk over a former Russian spy partly responsible for Banner's transformation.[4]

The People's Protectorate eventually merged with the mutant vigilante unit called Siberforce, becoming the Winter Guard. Petkus was the overall leader of this unit, now calling himself the Steel Guardian.[5]

After the death of Darkstar, her brother Vanguard convinced Steel Guardian and most of their teammates to leave Russian service. Thye entered something known as the anomaly, which was really a portal to Limbo and where forced to serve under Immortus. While fighting off Dire Wraiths in Limbo, they discovered that Fantasia was actually a Dire Wraith all along. Steel Guardian was impaled in a battle against her forces.[6]


Guardian is an extremely skilled fighter, acrobat and is in extremely good physical condition.

Strength level

Peak Human: able to lift double one's own body weight up to the 800lb level


As Red Guardian, Petkus used the Red Guardian's Shield, a circular shield. He had a winch line in his belt buckle.

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