Alan Moore's writing in Watchmen was never subtle about its political overtones, and now DC has continued that tradition in the latest issue of its sequel, Doomsday Clock, by introducing a major player on the world stage.
In the eighth issue of the 12-issue miniseries, Vladimir Putin himself shows up after Firestorm accidentally turns a number of Russian citizens into glass.
This allows the Russian president to further exploit the "Superman Theory" conspiracy for political gain. The theory posits that the U.S. has been directly behind the abundance of metahumans (e.g., anyone with superpowers) as a way to destabilize rival nations and dominate global affairs.
"They have been amassing an army covertly for more than a decade,” Putin explains at a press conference after the incident, where he says anyone connected to Firestorm will be held accountable. This includes the U.S. government, where he then openly declares they're now at war.
Superman, and later Firestorm, both show up to intervene, but things actually manage to go downhill from there.
Considering the impact that author Geoff Johns' Watchmen sequel promises to have on the rest of the DC Universe moving forward, introducing a real-life political adversary does bring a sobering sense of relevance to things. Especially considering his very presence is a threat to the status quo, and could turn the world against costumed heroes once again.
The eighth issue of Doomsday Clock is currently available both digitally and in stores. What do you think of Putin's newfound role as a comic book villain? Let us know in the comments.
(h/t The Hollywood Reporter)