Cover of Captain America #353
|First appearance||Captain America #352 (Apr 1989)|
Fictional team history
This team of costumed champions operated under the supervision of the government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The team's membership consisted of Crimson Dynamo V (Dmitri Bukharin), Fantasia, Perun the Russian storm god, Red Guardian (Josef Petkus), and Sputnik.
When the Soviet Super-Soldiers refused as a matter of conscience to take orders from the Soviet government anymore, the government organized the Supreme Soviets, a new militant team which would be loyal to the Soviet Union. Crimson Dynamo joined this team after being expelled from the Soviet Super-Soldiers when his teammates learned of his loyalty to the government that had betrayed them. When the Soviet government tried to force the remaining Soviet Super-Soldiers (Vanguard, Ursa Major, Darkstar) to enlist in the new Supreme Soviets team, the three instead decided to defect to the United States. Captain America allowed them to stay at an Avengers base while they applied for political asylum.
The Supreme Soviets were ordered to punish the three Soviet Super-Soldiers for their attempted defection. Fantasia used her ability to cast illusions to disguise the Supreme Soviets as Avengers members: Red Guardian as Captain America, Perun as Thor, Crimson Dynamo as Iron Man, and Sputnik as the Vision, and made herself invisible. The disguised Supreme Soviets battled the Soviet Super-Soldiers, defeating them and beating them severely, leaving them in critical condition.
Captain America traveled to the Soviet Union to find out who perpetrated the attacks. The three dying heroes projected their spirits into a creature of animated darkforce, using Darkstar's powers, and attacked Captain America and the Supreme Soviets. The animated bear-like monster absorbed the Supreme Soviets, and tried to use their life-forces to restore the Soviet Super-Soldiers. Captain America persuaded the spirits not to kill the others, and the black shape disappeared. Captain America returned home to discover the three Russian heroes making a rapid recovery.
The group would later confront the Hulk and the Pantheon over the kidnapping of the Soviet citizen Igor Drenkov. Igor had been Bruce Banner's assistant during the original gamma bomb test and had forced the bombing to go despite Bruce's orders to shut it down. The Supreme Soviets fight Hulk and his forces at the base where the original explosion happened. The two sides fight to a draw. Nobody is quite sure what to do when Igor goes quite mad.
Demise and return
After the Soviet Union was dissolved, the team becomes known as The People's Protectorate. Eventually, that team broke up and its members merged with the Soviet Super-Soldiers to form the new Russian super-team, the Winter Guard. Due to the Winter Guard's experiment of integrating DNA of the deceased Darkstar into other women to give them the original's powers, part of the Winter Guard resigned and reformed the Protectorate. To bring the original Darkstar back to life, they decide to work for Immortus, protecting his castle against Dire Wraiths. Steel Guardian is killed and Fantasma is revealed to be a Dire Wraith all along. After Fantasma escapes back to earth, the Protectorate follows her. Only Vanguard is left unharmed and decides to become the Winter Guards new Red Guardian.
A new team calling themselves the Supreme Soviets appears on the trail of Black Widow and Hawkeye in the limited series Widowmaker. The team consists of old member Perun and new versions of Crimson Dynamo, Fantasma and Sputnik.