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. While fighting off Dire Wraiths in Limbo, Steel Guardian was killed in the line of duty.[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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