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Superman: Red Son by Mark Millar: Review/summary
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 are powerful and 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.


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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