Oh, comic books. You're so silly. The current President of Russia might be in the news for far shadier reasons today, but this is perhaps the most bizarre thing he'll be linked to. Over the weekend, the New York Daily News revealed that Divinity II, the follow up to Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine's sci-fi Valiant Comics series Divinity, will feature Putin in his comics debut as a "despot bent on world domination".
You might be wondering how that translates to a comic book. Well, Putin will be trying to rule the world through the might of one of the characters from the original series: Miska, a female cosmonaut who was sent into space during the 1960s, and thought lost until she returns in the modern day with bizarre, reality-bending godlike powers. She's basically a superhero, and wants to restore Russia to its Soviet glory... with a little help from Comrade Putin, apparently. Here's writer Matt Kindt on bringing the World Leader to the pages of a superhero book:
I don't think you could have an all-powerful Russian cosmonaut roaming the Earth without Putin having something to say about it.
You can't have Russia taking over the world without their leader being involved. 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.
Presumably even more tricky when those words include something on the lines of "Destroy all humans, muahahahaha."
It's not the first time an incumbent world leader has cropped in a comic book -- Barack Obama, for example, appeared in a Spider-Man story to celebrate his inauguration in 2009 -- but somehow I think Mr Putin will be significantly less pleased at his appearance in Divinity II.
Divinity II #1 is due to hit shelves April 20.