With a female Thor and Sam Wilson becoming Captain America, Marvel is certainly making headlines. However, one story hit the metaphorical newsstands that didn’t really get as much attention. It seems as if the future of Marvel publications in Russia may been in jeopardy. The Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media is asking a media watchdog group to investigate the latest publication of ‘The Avengers’ for being “propaganda of a cult of violence.”
The Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media apparently became concerned over a character that appears in ‘The Avengers’ issue #1 (due to be released in Russia this month.) The issue features a character Vanguard (known as Krasnogvardeets in the Russian version.) As you probably know, Vanguard has a hammer and sickle, an obvious symbol of the Soviet Union, on his breastplate. Vanguard is part of the Winter Guard, a group of Russian superheroes. In the issue when the Avengers ask about Vanguard’s identity, he responds, “We are servicemen for the Russian Federation.”
The Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media expressed concern over this portrayal and asked the media watchdog group, Roskomnadzor, to investigate Egmont, the distributor of Marvel comics in Russia.
The Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media writes in a letter that they have “made a request for a review of the children’s magazine The Avengers, issue #1 for August 2014, designed for middle school age children, regarding the use of Soviet symbols, the presentation of the characters as Russian service personnel, and the incitement of violence and cruelty.”
Roskomnadzor is also considering issuing Egmont a warning. A Russian news outlet reported that if a company receives two of these warnings within a year, it could be grounds for revoking their publishing license.
As of now, Egmont still plans on releasing ‘The Avengers’ minus the Soviet symbols.