COVER TO COVER: I CAN SEE RUSSIA FROM MY HOUSE!
Recently off-the-page the Infinite Wars was exploring a little bit of comics history, which got us nostalgic. Nostalgic for an age where a little bit of racism never hurt anybody! An age where foreign policy experience amounted to how much you could dislike those damned dirty nazis/commies/frenchies!
While Hitler and his genocidal boys club has remained firmly in the 'evil' pile; relations between the Soviets and Americans have meant we've done our darndest in comics to accept a difference of philosophy and moved on. What a industry!
Or so I thought...
Perhaps it was simmering unrest between the Cold War rivals that opened the door again to the archetypal villainous Russian, or maybe the US foolishly thought enough time had elapsed to revive these forgotten tropes of the last generation. Either way, it turned out 2006 was a pretty good year for out-of-work Russians who would crush, kill, and destroy for hire, or for free!
The following is a brief catalogue of previous entries in the Infinite Wars that showcases the sinister Commie Russian revival from 2006! Okay, sure, Bucky isn't really Russian, but he was working for them as the assassin, Winter Soldier. So you can stick your semantics, pinko!
Catwoman #49 (January 2006)
"The One You Love" Pfeifer/Woods
While the Justice League crumbles beneath the weight of mistrust and paranoia, the villains seize the opportunity, uniting as an organized unit under the leadership of a manipulative Lex Luthor from another universe. Within this new fraternity of The Society are the many factions from the DCU, with only the stupid, or brave, refusing entry.
With a shread of allegiance to Catwoman -- Captain Cold numbers among those few who refuse to remain with the sinister collective of the Society. Turning his back on the Gotham East End connection, led by Professor Hugo Strange, he is met by resistence by the Russian powerhouse super-soldier - Hammer!
As a seasoned veteran, Cold proves it takes more than might, and strength in numbers, to overcome adversity in the DCU!
Ultimates 2 #10 (March 2006)
"The Axis of Evil" Millar/Hitch
The United States faces the harsh realisation that they are not the only nation with advanced developments in superpowers when rogue European elements band together to form an Axis of Evil, all in an effort to demonstrate the fullest extent of their powers!
The Black Widow reveals her true colours when she turns on her Ultimates comrades to join the Soviet feuelled incursion. Laying waste to the superpowers of the United States, this army of gods and monsters, led by Captain Abdul al-Rahman, are the Liberators!
With each member possessing comparable powers to their Ultimates counterparts, they lay waste to Manhattan, launching what is described as a preemptive assault against preemptive assaults. Their powers, great as they are, may have left them vulnerable to an attack from the least measured member of their enemies -- Hawkeye!
Wolverine #39 (April 2006)
"Origins and Endings" Way/Saltares/Texeira
During the Second World War, Bucky Barnes was sidekick to Captain America and tommy-gun wielding posterboy for the war against the Nazis! His will was almost as indominitable as his mentor's, and like the hero he was, he died fighting the fight... Or so it was thought.
In the time between then and now, Bucky Barnes' frozen body was recovered by the Russians. Lost limbs were replaced with cybernetics, and the boy called Bucky was reprogrammed to become the heartless assassin called Winter Soldier.
As the Winter Soldier he performed many assassinations and murders throughout the years, even as the Cold War came to an end. He would inevitably cross the path of old associates and friends of friends. One such mission brought him into contact with the Wolverine, where he would killed his wife and unborn child. Revenge is a dish best served cold...
Detective Comics #817 (May 2006)
"Face the Face" Robinson/Kirk/Clarke
It's been one year since Blüdhaven was destroyed by Chemo, and Batman battled a living Jason Todd.
In an effort to rebuild a better Batman, Bruce Wayne and wards, Tim Drake and Dick Grayson, go on a year long journey following the original path of the Batman, retracing the steps of his origin.
In his absence, Batman leaves Harvey Dent, whom he has trained sufficiently to ensure crime does not capitalize on the Batman's absence from Gotham.
Having undergone facial reconstruction surgery, Harvey Dent appears to be purged of the Two-Face persona, but appearances can be deceiving...
Street Fighter Legends #2 (September 2006)
Martial arts fanatic and school girl, Sakura Kusanago, begins her journey to become a great martial artist after meeting Ryu, the nomadic street fighting legend who dethroned the king of Muay Thai -- Sagat.
Staying in touch, Sakura receives the advice from Ryu that to become the ultimate martial artist, she should be open to learning from various styles. Thus, Sakura begins a new quest to learn from various fighting champions.
Her quest takes her to the professional wrestling show in town, where she hopes to observe her favourite wrestler in action -- Rainbow Mika!
R. Mika defeats Zangief in the ring, but while signing autographs Sakura finds herself between Rainbow Mika and a challenge from the kayfabeless Zangief!