When people think about the Russian Avengers, they’re likely thinking about Black Widow and that's it. While there’s nothing wrong with exploring the career of Natasha Romanoff, North American audiences might be surprised to learn of a Russian superhero movie known as The Guardians¸ or Zashchitniki, as its known in its actual language. Known to those who saw its semi-hyped trailer as “that Russian movie with a man-bear,” Guardians arrived with as much internet hype as a Russian blockbuster could get, but it managed to under-deliver in a suitably over-the-top fashion. The Guardians was a copycat of The Avengers in many ways, but unfortunately not in the profit department.
Despite the less-than-successful attempt at giving Russia its own iconic superhero team, the story of The Guardians and its production still makes for an entertaining read. The adventures of Landman, Wildman, Windman, and Waterwoman against the evil Professor Kuratov is a tale worth knowing, if only to be amazed at the sheer bizarreness of this attempted knockoff.