DC Comics’ “Doomsday Clock” is an ongoing series that brings the dark themes of “Watchmen” into the world of Batman and Superman.
But a character with a remarkable resemblance to the Russian president also makes an appearance as the tensions between the US and Russia escalate into a full-blown war.
An American superhero called Firestorm accidentally turns a crowd of Russian civilians into glass.
Putin is furious and outside the Kremlin, flanked by tanks and soldiers, barks at Superman: “We will NO LONGER tolerate America’s lies!”
He promises vengeance and says Firestorm is working for the US as a spy.
Superman explains that it was a big misunderstanding, Firestorm didn’t mean it and he can use his powers to unfreeze the Russians.
But when Firestorm arrives with a Russian child he brought back to life, Russian soldiers open fire and tanks advance on their own citizens.
Superman saves the child and Putin then legs it.
The same series also features a child refugee whose family was gassed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Superman visits a fictional Middle-Eastern nation ruled by supervillain Black Adam.
Black Adam introduces the caped crusader to a child from Douma in Syria, saying: “His younger sister was gassed by Assad, the Russians’ puppet.”
By the end of the issue, the US and Russia are in a full-fledged war.
Superman has touched on other serious topics before, such as a series in which he takes on the Ku Klux Klan.
In another series in 1988, Batman goes on a vendetta against the Joker, only to be stopped by Superman.
Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini had appointed the Joker as his UN envoy and the US couldn’t allow a diplomatic incident putting them in a bad light.