(Managing Editor’s note: This was published last year.  But since Russian propaganda and super hero flicks never get old, here you are.)

Russia, like many countries all over the world, tends to import a fair amount of culture from the United States.  Whether you hate American “imperialism” or benefit from an alliance with our government, it may actually be harder to escape the grip of our pop-culture than our foreign policy.

In the past few decades, superhero movies have become an established and successful genre, bringing in billions of dollars for American studios and exporting our unique brand of masked or caped escapades to the world at large – and there sitting high atop the heap of profitable spandex-based franchises is the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its flagship platform, “The Avengers.”

If you think folks like Vladimir Putin missed that four of the top fifteen highest grossing movies of all time feature a team of heroes led by a guy named, “Captain America,” you’re giving the man’s social life far too much credit.