Marvel Comics To Get A New Fictional Eastern European Country (Punisher SPOILERS)

Marvel Comics loves a fictional country. While it prides itself on using real American cities, New York, Seattle, Chicago and Los Angeles rather than DC’s Gotham., Metropolis, Central City and Star City, it’s attitude to foreign countries has been less direct. So we get Latveria, Wakanda, Madripoor, Genosha, Symkaria, K’un L’un and recently in the films, Sokovia, which has made its way into the comics as well now.

The aim may often be to try and avoid offense, or a potential political outcry, especially when you have a group of villains from a certain country being painted in a certain way and you have a film out soon which needs to get through a certain country’s licensing board.

Which is why The Punisher will be introducing Marvel Comics readers to a new Eastern European country, Chernaya. With a bunch of Chernayan gangstera, part of some Eastern European organised crime syndicate that definitely does not include Latveria. Indeed Chernayans seem quite adamant not to be confused with Latverians. It’s a sensitive issue.

The name derivation, however, seems to suggest a similarity to Chechnya, or the Chechen Republic, located in the North Caucasus, in the southernmost part of Eastern Europe. It used to be part of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, but was split in two after the fall of the Soviet Union,  the Republic of Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic. Following the First Chechen War with Russia from 1994 to 1996, in which the first democratically elected president of Chechnya, Dzhokhar Dudayev, was killed by Russian forces using a booby trap bomb and a missile fired from a warplane, Chechnya gained de facto independence as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Russian federal control was restored during the Second Chechen War from 1999 to 2009. Since then there has been a systematic reconstruction and rebuilding process, though sporadic fighting continues in the mountains and southern regions of the republic.

So you, know, stuff went down. And I guess Marvel Comics don’t want a bunch of Chechnyans annoyed with them. So Chernaya it is.

And political instability in Chernaya, a failing state with a military coup and a penchant for killing kids, might just need a War Machine to deal with…

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Guiu Vilanova (CA) Tim Bradstreet
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Parental AdvisoryIn Shops: Nov 15, 2017

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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