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Book cover for Superman: Red Son

Superman: Red Son

By Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, et al.

Length: 168 pages

Rating: 9/10

First Published: 2003

Get it: UK 🇬🇧 | US 🇺🇸

Last read: 2020

DC’s universe, flipped. What if Superman were raised in Ukraine and Batman an enemy of the soviet state? This mini-series deals with themes of personality, tolerance, and nature against nurture. The art is beautiful and clean, the splashes memorable.

Very possibly, darling, but at least Lex Luthor is a demagogue who speaks English.

Why I read it: A full-length animated movie version came out this year. People pointed out that the ending was different than in the original script, so I decided to read the comic.

Review

You already know the writer, Mark Millar, from the big screen. He wrote the original books behind:

  • Kingsman
  • Civil War
  • Old Man Logan

The re-imagination of the universe features many characters beyond Batman and Superman. Bizarro is a good guy who sacrifices himself for the greater good. Lois is Lois Luthor. Batman’s parents were killed, not by a street criminal, but by the Russian police.

It asks good questions:

  • Is your personality and character innate or is it the product of your environment?
  • Are farmers in Kolkhoze (Ukraine) very different to the ones in Smallville?

I don’t know why Lois staying with Lex. She’s clearly unhappy in their relationship. Unless her personality is also flipped ? She’s not an enamoured 16-year-old.

“Even if everything works, am I too authoritarian ?” asks Superman

Batman was well done! Ideologically super good. I don’t see a reason to give Batman a Ushanka. Doesn’t he have professional gear? I guess it makes the soviet context more obvious. It’s interesting to see the turn that Superman takes from book 3 as he becomes more tyrannical.\

Very possibly, darling, but at least Lex Luthor is a demagogue who speaks English.


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