Saturday, August 9, 2008

Superman: Red Son (2003)

This book has a great premise - one that beckons an immediate reading: what if Superman had been raised in the Soviet Union?

In Red Son, Superman's rocket ship lands on a Ukrainian collective farm rather than in Kansas, an implied reason being a small time difference (a handful of hours) from the original timeline, meaning Earth's rotation placed the Ukraine in the ship's path instead of Kansas. Instead of fighting for "... truth, justice, and the American Way," Superman is described in Soviet radio broadcasts "... as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact."

Mark Millar works on an extraordinary level of retelling the Superman story by imagining the whole series as an alternate reality, complete with DC characters redone to fit this new world. Communist Soviet Union is the world's strongest power (obviously) and Superman uses peaceful, defensive methods to slowly expand Communism to the entire world - except USA where the genius Lex Luthor pits his mind against the Russian Superman. Lana Lang, Louis Lane. Pete Ross, Jimmy Olsen, Wonder Woman, Batman, Hal Jordan and even Jor-L are re-imagined with such beauty that it makes Red Son a MUST for all Superman and comic book fans. I've not read many Superman books, but of the few  have, this is definitely the best yet.

My rating --> 4 of 5

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