The Tattler | Will Meinen
NEW YORK CITY — Recently elected President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, paced impatiently outside the office of the Chief Creative Officer of DC Entertainment— owner of the brands DC Comics, Vertigo, and MAD.
“Mr. Johns will see you now,” said the CCO’s assistant Diane Carter to the shirtless Russian leader.
President Putin strode confidently into the office, carrying a large portfolio case containing a color storyboard of the first edition of “President Putin: Tiger Hunter.”
Mr. Johns, the creative head of DC Comics, and the art house responsible for such characters as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, greeted the foreign leader with a firm handshake and offered Putin a beverage.
“Ms. Carter,” said Mr. Johns into a chrome intercom box resting on his glass desk, “please bring the Prime Minister a cup of black coffee and a bear claw.”
“So, Mr. Putin, what can I do for you?”
“I have conquered the ways of international espionage, politics, and finance. It is time that I become immortalized as a comic book hero. I have developed an origin story, a fatal flaw, and some super-cool villains with whom to do battle.”
“Well, Prime Minister that sounds very interesting, but our project development teams are all busy at this time. Furthermore, I don’t know if DC Entertainment would be interested in becoming involved in a project that might be viewed as overtly political. I think we are going to have to pass.”
“You haven’t even let me do my pitch yet!” shouted Putin, his muscled torso flexing in frustration.
“Okay. You have come a long way to share your ideas. That was rude of me. Please, show me your storyboard.”
“Thank you. Give me just a moment to set up.”
Putin’s assistant, a bald man four feet thick wearing a pinstripe navy suit began to assemble an easel. The former KGB agent placed the storyboard on the easel, performed 100 one-armed pushups, and cleared his throat.
“To begin, this first slide shows a mockup cover of the first edition. As you can clearly see here, it’s a 30-year-old Putin crouching in the jungle, naked, lean-muscled torso, tiger stripes across his belly, waiting to pounce like a pensive puma.”
“Next slide, please,” Putin said calmly to his goon.
“A twenty-five-year-old Putin is bench pressing in Stasi headquarters, East Berlin. A Stasi commander then approaches, marveling at the amount of weight being put up by the handsome rugged KGB agent, ‘I heard you know where to hunt for tigers,’ he says. ‘I know a place,’ Putin responds, while toweling off his sweaty chest. Cut to— next slide please.”
“Putin leads a hunting party through the thick brush of Ussuri, Siberia. Suddenly a massive tiger seeking human flesh bounds towards the group of soldiers. The Germans panic and turn to run. Putin stands his ground, defending himself with nothing but a bowie knife. The tiger swipes at the brave fighter with his monster paw, giving Putin the opening to plunge the knife into the cat’s chest. The warrior proceeds to cut out the animal’s heart and eat it, transferring into him the soul and power of the animal. The Tiger Hunter is born!”
The super hero’s powers would be cat-like speed and reflexes, articulating claws, and the ability to call tigers to his aid.
The Russian President went on to explain that the super hero’s fatal flaw was fornicating with woman so well that they could never love another man. His enemies would be an ungrateful electorate, the American President, wealthy oligarchs, and a radioactive Hitler.
Mr. Johns thanked the President for his time and made some suggestions on how to improve his pitch. In the end, the character simply wasn’t “consistent with the DC aesthetic.” Upon hearing this news, Putin proceeded to break the easel over his knee, threaten the creative director in Russian, and storm out of the office, only to return to grab his goon who had not taken the cue to leave in a huff.