A Russian state company that distributes printed publications has asked the federal media watchdog to investigate Marvel comic books for denigrating Soviet symbols and amounting to "propaganda of a cult of violence."
The comics in particular, which show American superheroes The Avengers battling Soviet-symbol-laden self-described "servants of the Russian Federation," promote "violence and cruelty," distributor Rospechat says, the Izvestia newspaper reported Wednesday.
Although the story ends in peace, media watchdog Roskomnadzor has agreed to investigate the books and is considering giving the publisher an official warning, two of which within a year is grounds for revocation of its license, the Ekho Moskvy news outlet reported.
The publisher Egmont, operating under an agreement with Marvel's parent company Walt Disney, still intends to release the comics next month, but most likely with the Soviet symbols removed, Izvestia reported.
The Avengers comic book series, first published in the United States in 1963, has spawned several Hollywood blockbusters, including an eponymous 2012 hit that grossed $1.5 billion at the box office.