EXCLUSIVE: Vladimir Putin debuts as villain in comics series

EXCLUSIVE: Vladimir Putin debuts as villain in comics series

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The Russian president is making his comic book debut as a despot bent on world domination in a new series from Valiant Comics.Valiant Comics

The Russian president is making his comic book debut as a despot bent on world domination in a new series from Valiant Comics.

This will have Vladimir Putin seeing red.

The Russian president is making his comic book debut as a despot bent on world domination in a new series from Valiant Comics.

But what makes “Divinity II” a work of fiction is that the storyline sees Putin manipulating a ’60s-era cosmonaut who has returned to Earth from deep space with super powers and a desire to build a new Soviet empire.

MONDAY, AUG. 3, 2009 FILE POOL PHOTOAlexei Druzhinin/AP

“You can’t have Russia taking over the world without their leader being involved,” writer Matt Kindt said.

“I don’t think you could have an all-powerful Russian cosmonaut roaming the Earth without Putin having something to say about it,” said writer Matt Kindt.

The first issue hits comic stores April 20.

“You can’t have Russia taking over the world without their leader being involved,” he added. “I did a massive amount of research on Putin, but I kept his dialogue to a minimum. I think it’s a tricky thing to put words into an acting leader’s mouth.”

In "Divinity II" Vladimir Putin manipulates a ’60s-era cosmonaut who has returned to Earth from deep space with super powers and a desire to build a new Soviet empire.Valiant Comics

In “Divinity II” Vladimir Putin manipulates a ’60s-era cosmonaut who has returned to Earth from deep space with super powers and a desire to build a new Soviet empire.

Still, there’s enough here to run the risk of poking the bear. Is it really wise to antagonize a former KGB officer who was found guilty by a British inquiry of ordering the radioactive-poisoning murder of a Russian ex-spy in London?

“Well, it never really occurred to me until you asked that question, and since it’s already written it wasn’t informed by any worries I had,” says Kindt.

There is a cautionary tale in the 2014 film, “The Interview,” in which Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg penned a plot about the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The communist regime made terror threats and is believed to have retaliated with a massive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures that forced co-chairperson Amy Pascal to step down.

Kindt and “Divinity II” artist Trevor Hairsine have a storytelling vision beyond the capitalist agenda of selling some books.

AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE. THIS IMAGE MAY ONLY BE USED FOR 14 DAYS FROM TIME OF TRANSMISSION; NO ARCHIVING; NO LICENSING.Ed Araquel/AP

North Korea’s communist regime made terror threats and is believed to have retaliated with a massive cyber-attack on Sony Pictures after Kim Jong-Un’s assassination was plotted in “The Interview.”

“I was a kid in the ’80s hiding under my desk during drills in case there was a nuclear war; I remember when the “Day After” TV special came out – and my parents wouldn’t let me watch it, but all the other kids were buzzing about it,” says Kindt. “So I think culturally there’s something that’s been kind of ingrained in me and my generation that is always kind of in the back of your mind.”

While the tale is wild fantasy, there is an admitted metaphor over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. But this is still a comic book story, first and foremost, and not exactly nonfiction.

“So while Putin plays a critical role in motivating the characters and driving the story, I think he’s more cooking with spices,” says Kindt. “If you use him too much, he’ll overpower (the taste). And we can’t let him do that.”

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