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Zap! Pow! Nyet! The Russian Government's Fight With Marvel's Superheroes

The Avengers, from left: Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans
The Avengers, from left: Chris Hemsworth, Chris EvansPhotograph by Zade Rosenthal/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures via Everett Collection

The Avengers, those Marvel Comics superheroes, can smash any object, regenerate their own bodies, even change the weather. But can they withstand an assault from Russian regulators?

Russia’s media watchdog agency is investigating whether a forthcoming Russian-language version of the Avengers comic book series makes improper use of Soviet symbols and promotes “violence and cruelty,” according to a report this week in Izvestia. The newspaper said it obtained an advance copy of the series, set for release in August, that showed the Avengers battling foes wearing hammer-and-sickle insignia and describing themselves as Russian soldiers.