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SYFY WIRE San Diego Comic Con

Alexei strikes back: David Harbour's Black Widow role has Twitter in a Stranger Things tizzy

By Josh Weiss
Stranger Things 3

Pour some Slurpee out for our fallen comrade, comrades.

Yesterday, Marvel Studios blew our minds at San Diego Comic-Con with a whole slew of incredible announcements about Phase 4 of the MCU. Among the confirmations was the fact that David Harbour (Hellboy) would be playing Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian in Cate Shortland's standalone Black Widow film (out next year). While that news was big enough on its own—after all, Shostakov is the USSR's answer to Captain America in the comics—fans on Twitter couldn't help but notice the hilarious and soul-crushing irony, given the fact that Chief Jim Hopper just teamed up with a Russian scientist named Alexei in Season 3 of Netflix's Stranger Things.

The Soviet character, played by Alec Utgoff, fast became a fan favorite and viral meme thanks to his endearing smile, childlike fascination with American capitalism, and undying love for cherry Slurpees (if you hand him a strawberry-flavored one, may God have mercy on your soul). Bonding with Murray Bauman (played by Brett Gelman, Murray's one of the only individuals near the town of Hawkins who is able to speak fluent Russian), Alexei is tragically gunned down for his betrayal of his Communist homeland. Nevertheless, it's his knowledge that allows Hopper, Bauman, and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) to destroy a new dimension-ripping machine beneath the Starcourt mall.

Stranger Things 3 is currently streaming on Netflix. Black Widow hits theaters everywhere on May 1, 2020.

Scarlett Johansson will obviously be reprising her role as Natasha Romanoff in the prequel, which also co-stars Florence Pugh, O.T. Fagbenle, Rachel Weisz, and Ray Winstone.

Click here for SYFY WIRE’s full coverage of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, including up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, and videos.