Russia investigating Marvel's Avengers comics for 'inciting violence and cruelty'

Character with Soviet symbol featured in issue in question

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The Independent Online

The Russian state media watchdog is reportedly investigating Marvel’s Avengers comics for inciting violence and acts of cruelty.

According to RAPSI, a Russian legal news agency, the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Media (Rospechat) requested the intervention by Roskomnadzor.

Izvestia newspaper reported that the issue in question, due to be released in August, features the Winter Guard, the Avengers’ Russian allies.

One of the superheroes, Vanguard – known as Krasnogvardeets in the Russian version – has the Soviet hammer and sickle on his breastplate.

He is one of three mutants and a bear in the Winter Guard. When the Avengers ask who they are, Vanguard answers: “We are servicemen for the Russian Federation.”

Rospechat wrote in a letter that it had “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”.

The Avengers comic book series started in 1963 and features heroes including Captain America, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man, Thor and Wolverine.

Its success spawned television series, cartoons and a 2012 film starring Robert Downer Jr. and Scarlett Johansson.