Superman: Red Son
by J.D. Cook
What if Superman landed in the Soviet Union instead of the United States? That is the question that is at the heart of Mark Miller’s Superman: Red Son. The story is contained in three issues all of which are extremely entertaining and recommended reading. At first Superman is fairly similar to his normal counterpart just wanting to help people of all kinds but when he is drawn into the political intrigue of the U.S.S.R. and realizes that the average citizen of his country is poor and starving he decides to strive to turn the U.S.S.R. into a utopia. Unfortunately he grows into a Big Brother figure that cannot tolerate disobedience and eventually lobotomizes those humans who disobey him. (This story could almost be called the comic book version of 1984.) Superman can’t understand why people resist; especially followers of the Batman, of who Superman says, “I offered them Utopia but they fought for the right to live in Hell”. This phrase says so much about freedom in my opinion as I’d rather live hard on my own terms then live well on someone else’s. It’s also extremely interesting to realize Superman just does not understand the idea that people would rather choose freedom over being controlled and told what to do and think. This story is very philosophical and political showing in it’s own way the horrible nature of Stalinist Russia and the failings of Totalitarianism in general. Many of DC Comics most famous heroes make cameos or appearances in Red Son as different versions of themselves. Batman is the orphan of a Russian family that was executed by the KGB, Wonder Woman helps Superman because she falls in love with him as her only equal on the planet and the ideal man, Hal Jordan is a soldier who survived a torturous POW camp, the list goes on. Lex Luthor is interestingly the hero of the story in many ways as he fights for human’s freedom from Superman’s oppression. The story also blends real life political events and politician’s into its narrative in a manner similar to Alan Moore’s Watchmen. That said I won’t ruin any more of the story! Go invest in this awesome ‘What if’ story about Superman.