Throwback Thursday: Superman – Red Son

In 2004, Mark Millar took Superman and asked the unthinkable: what if our hero landed in Soviet Russia instead of the United States of America?

Red Son is that terrifying three part re-imagining.

While Superman is still saving people and attempting to be the most noble creature he can be; he takes orders from Joseph Stalin and mostly protects only Russian citizens.

The few times he does set foot on American soil (while saving American citizens) he is still not greeted kindly and is feared thanks to propaganda and Lex Luthor – who is in fact the smartest man in the world, married to Lois Lane and eventually becomes President of the United States.

Once Stalin dies Superman takes control of Mother Russia to create a Utopian society with the aid of Wonder Woman. This creates a dilemma with an anarchist Batman (complete with Soviet origin). Over time Superman becomes obsessed with creating a perfect world, further separating himself from the human race.

On top of that, Luthor constantly devises plans to destroy Superman solely because he challenges Luthor’s God complex by simply existing. Luthor creates Braniac, Bizarro and even the entire Green Lantern Corps attempting kill Superman in this unbelievable take on the D.C. Universe.

Red Son reads like a film, with each page representing a scene. The illustrations by Kilian Plunkett and Dave Johnson create the noir based shots and camera angles while Paul Mounts, Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong’s vibrant, yet gritty colors bring the story to life. Red Son will glue you to its pages and suck you in with its social commentary. Every page has you wondering what will happen next with equally shocking results each time.

Red Son will make you gasp, shiver and wonder why an animated feature hasn’t been made. If there’s anything to be said, the realism of the world Millar has created in this book is shocking, controversial and a highly enjoyable masterpiece.

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