Superman: Red Son
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Superman: Red Son (Superman Red Son Complete)

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  23,676 ratings  ·  815 reviews
Strange visitor from another world who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in his bare hands ... and who, as the champion of the common worker, fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, Socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.

In this Elseworlds tale, a familiar rocketship crash-lands on Earth carrying an infant who will one day become th...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 5th 2004 by DC Comics (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brandon
Could you imagine if Superman landed in Canada instead of the United States? What if Joe Shuster tried to persuade Jerry Siegel that Clark Kent should grow up on a farm in Alberta or the snowy terrain of northern Manitoba? Or God help us, Newfoundland? What kind of a hero would he be then? Far too polite to get physical.

“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nah, that’s just Superman, eh.”

Fortunately for us, the readers, Mark Millar gives us a more interesting scenario. What if Superman landed in Ukraine a...more
Brad
What a fantastic idea. A counter-fantastical take on Superman, where the once Clark Kent comes to Earth in a communal farm in the Ukraine, USSR rather than the Kent farm outside Smallville, USA. Twelve hours difference in Superman's arrival is twelve hours that make all the difference.

Soviet Superman works for Stalin instead of Eisenhower, and the Cold War takes a very different turn. The Warsaw Pact comes to dominate the Earth. Nixon is assassinated, Kennedy becomes a debauched old fool, Lex Lu...more
Chris
Every culture has its icons. Characters or figures that are recognizable by anybody who lives there, figures that are almost impossible not to know. And America is very good at producing those icons and spreading them worldwide. I remember reading somewhere - I don't remember where at the moment - that the United States' chief export is dreams, and I think there's definitely something to that.

Of all the dreams to emerge from the American subconscious over the last century, Superman is one of the...more
Wendy Browne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick
Honestly? The best Superhero comic I've read in years. I might say "The best Superhero comic I've ever read" if not for The Dark Knight and Watchmen.

Very clever. Tightly written. Different enough to be interesting, but still true to the original source mythology of Superman.

Highly recommended. Even if you don't really give a damn about superheroes.
Eric
Jun 26, 2014 Eric rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of "what if" comics
Recommended to Eric by: Zach Connelly
Shelves: graphic-novels
This is a good example of the difference between graphic novels and comic books. While, yes, this does feature Superman and Lex Luthor, this is as stark a departure you can get from Superman's Action Comics roots. It basically inverts everything you know about Superman by asking one simple question -- What if Superman's ship crashed in Soviet Russia instead of Kansas?

Well exactly what happens I won't spoil, but it starts with Superman as Stalin's champion of Socialism, Louis Lane married to Lex...more
Sam Quixote
What if Superman had landed in Soviet Russia instead of Smallville, Kansas? DC's "Elseworlds" series imagines an alternate take on the Superman story with "Comrade Superman" becoming ruler of Soviet Russia, slowly taking over the world while an independent America led by Lex Luthor fights against an increasingly unhinged and totalitarian-minded Man of Steel.

Mark Millar has written no less than a masterpiece with "Superman: Red Son". We see the character of Superman evolve from an idealistic youn...more
Megan
Red Son is an elseworlds story positing what might have happened if the pod carrying the infant Superman would have crash landed on a farm in the Soviet Union under Stalin's rule. It's a pretty awesome idea for an elseworlds story, but I thought it could have been much better than it was. I suppose I can cut some slack for the fact that it was only three issues long.

The idea behind the overarching plot, though it comes at it from an entirely different setup, is that superheroes have the ability...more
Anne
It's a bird...it's a plane...It's Commie Superman!

It was alright, but I'm not as in love with Red Son as everyone else seems to be. Intellectually, this is a good Superman What If story.
*sigh*
But it bored me.
Sorry, but I had a hard time not putting this down.
I can't give it less than 3 stars, because it really is an ingenious take on Superman. I can't give it more, because I had to put it on the back of my toilet to ensure I would finish it.

Recommended for Superman fans looking for a What If co...more
Keely
The fact that I only became an aficionado of comic books in college while receiving a degree in literary analysis gives me a slightly different take on the medium. For example: my understanding of Superman and Batman come mostly from reading the odder, subversive versions of them (Frank Miller's 'Dark Knight Returns', Loeb's 'Hush', Moore's 'Killing Joke') as well as allusive explorations of what the characters could have been (Astro City, Watchmen, Powers, Invincible, Enigma).

Though I do have c...more
Hayden
Twelve hours was all it took. Twelve hours, and the ship containing Kal-El (aka young Superman) didn't crash in Smallville Kansas, wasn't raised by Jonathan and Martha Kent, never went on to become the mighty symbol of American superiority. Twelve hours and Superman lands in the USSR, Communist-controlled Russia, and becomes the apprentice of Joseph Stalin; a young, indestructible Demigod hellbent on spreading Communism worldwide.

I don't know why I bought this. I hate Superman as a character (I...more
Jonathan
This was a unique re-imagining of Superman that was entertaining and thought provoking at the same time. Can you imagine what would happen if the all-American Superman were to end up crashing in the Ukraine instead of Kansas? Well neither could I. Fortunately Mark Millar's imagination was up to the task.

Millar spins a tale that re-envisions all the classic elements of Superman lore. For instance Lex Luthor becomes married to Louis, Diana (aka Wonder Woman) still lives on Themiscyra (she becomes...more
Dale
Very, very, very good

Published by D.C. Comics in 2004
160 pages

First things first.

I am not a gigantic comics fan. I've never been to a comic book shop. I know the big names. Basically, if they had a live action TV show, I know them.

So, my opinion is not as well-informed as that of some.

But, I know what I like and I thought this was some grade-A, high test sci-fi with a good deal of political science thrown in.

Superman has always been of limited interest to me. He can't be hurt (technically, I kno...more
Joe
I just watched "Man of Steel" and it made me worry. Had Superman always been this lame? Did I remember the comic being cooler just because I was younger and didn't know any better? Well, thankfully the answer is no and no.

One of my favorite comic book series as a kid was "What if?" There were usually one off issues that would make one major change to a character and see how it played out. What if Wolverine became a vampire? What if Spiderman joined the Fantastic Four? What if Captain America had...more
Crystal Carroll
The premise is simple. What if Superman’s ship had landed in the 1930ish Ukraine rather than 1930s Kansas? What if this American symbol wasn’t? Exchange the S for a hammer and sickle. Further, make him really, truly, passionately believe in communism. Have him go from his collective farm to serve some Stalinist Russian five year plan. And the more he tries, the more the super acts to save, transform, create, the more he undermines everything that he wants to give the world.

This book works its wa...more
Aaron
The idea of reimagining Superman as a Soviet hero instead of an American one could've led to so many great political, moral, and societal questions, but instead Millar goes out of his way to write Superman as the exact same boring, perfect character we've seen for 70 years. We see all the same villains acting pretty much exactly how they always act. He isn't raised by the Kents in Kansas. He's raised in the Ukraine by some farmers we never meet, and yet still has the exact same moral compass as...more
Wealhtheow
An alternate tale of Superman. What if, instead of landing in the US, his spaceship had landed in the Soviet Union? I loved the questions raised and the changes made to history by this small difference, but upon rereading I found the story less satisfying. There are three female characters, and the roles of each are primarily to hopelessly love either Lex Luthor or Superman. Lois Luthor (nee Lane) and Wonder Woman chafe at their hopeless loves, but they never *do* anything, and Wonder Woman is d...more
Paula
Any review I do of Superman: Red Son will not truly do it justice. There are too many underlying factors and so many concepts hidden in between the lines that it would be too difficult to try to point out every little thing. It is obvious that so much work and thought went into creating this.
I started this one off pretty slow and put it down for about a week, but I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I picked it back up and marathon read the entire book last night.

What would happen if Superman...more
John Marshall
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anton
One of the best graphic novels I've ever read, and I put this one up there with "Watchmen" as one of the best. "Red Son" is a great piece of alternate history, where Superman lands on Earth 12 hours earlier, in Russia, and eventually grows up and becomes Stalin's right hand man.

Eventually, Superman stops following orders and does what he does best...the right thing--even though his actions seem to conflict with his own government. Superman winds up being next in line to succeed Stalin, but polit...more
Phil
A wonderfully executed 'What if...?' take on Superman, that isn't the USA good/USSR bad cliché that it could so easily have defaulted to.

It's not about super-powered battles either; the action takes a back seat and is often glossed over to simply look at what might happen if someone with limitless abilities and political power tries to do what he thinks is best for everyone - even if they disagree. It's all an entirely plausible and logical answer to that 'what if' question.

The alternate Lutho...more
Amanda
When I think about Superman stories being realistic, I'm often struck by how funny that statement is. An alien baby landing on Earth and saving lives while constantly saving his intrepid reporter girlfriend? Reality is not exactly the right word. But good stories create a reality of their own, don't they? That's how you know it's a good story. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge describes it, a good story induces the "willing suspension of disbelief." Superman: Red Son does this admirably.

It remains loya...more
Punk
Graphic Novel. What if Kal-El's pod landed in Russia instead of Kansas? We'd all be speaking Russian, is what. The story didn't really grab me here, but the details made up for it -- Lex and Lois and Lana and Lucy and Lena, plus other people whose names don't begin with L, like Iris and Ollie and Hal and Jimmy and BATMAN, dude, Russian Batman has this AWESOME furry hat on his Batsuit. He looks like an insane lumberjack or something. The art is great, just the right amount of cartoony without bei...more
Sara
Extremely good else-world about Superman dropping in the Soviet Union instead of the United States. Some things I found a bit far-fetched and written with a fear of communism a bit naif. I don't quite see what of Superman being soviet instead of american justifies the third act, since he's never portrait as a soviet drone, then why would his development as a character be so different. Still, it's an entertaining hyperbole of the destructive power of the best intentions. I believe if anybody shou...more
Sherilynn Macale
What can I say? Alternate universe Superman with all the era-appropriate references one could hope for (that is, supposing Superman landed in Soviet Russia rather than the United States of America as originally depicted). The twist ending was what really made me go, "No way!"

I'm not the biggest comic book nerd on earth, but I can dig a super hero issue once in a while, and this book was pretty good. It's no Kingdom Come, but hey -- when a friend recommends an interesting read, sometimes you wann...more
Derrick
Beautiful art and a fascinating premise. I love the twists at the end, and Batman is a great character here. Plus, I am not sure I have ever seen a more tragic Bizarro, though he only gets a few pages and one line.

Still, the story drags in the middle third. This is the first Superman story I have read in a long time where I understand the criticism that he's boring because he's so invincible.
Hakim
What if Superman's S shield became a hammer and sickle ? asks Mark Millar.
Well, Soviet comrade Superman is pretty damn boring and unpleasant, if you ask me.

Red Son was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be. The very odd (in a bad way) setting and lousy alternate versions of a few DC characters (specifically Superman, Lois Lane, Batman and Hal Jordan/ Green Lantern) totally killed my buzz. I rather enjoy reading "what-if" scenarios; I loved 1602, JLA: The Nail and even Gotham by Gaslight; th...more
Cindy
I really liked Red Son; I thought it was a great "what if" scenario but I didn't feel this way until I read it in it's entirety. At first it just seemed like an exact parallel to the Clark Kent raised in Smallville, Kansas bestowed with Midwestern values by the loving Ma and Pa Kent. In the USSR there's a version of Lana Lang, his childhood redhead neighbor on the farm; he's basically raised in a parallel Russian Smallville that even has it's own Russian Batman. The way these characters where in...more
Kenny
Mark Millar’s “Superman: Red Son” asks perhaps the most introspective “what if” question of all: What if Superman had been raised in Soviet Russia instead of the United States? What if the ideals the Man of Steel fights for is not “truth, justice and the American way,” but rather “Stalin, Socialism and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact?” I think I first became aware of this question while watching "Stand By Me", or some other coming of age movie. This question has stuck with me for...more
Deena
Jun 23, 2012 Deena rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Superman and alternate realities
Superman: Red Son is the type of comic book that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it. There are multiple themes and storylines within this comic book that make it so great, and I think readers will appreciate it even more after a second and third reading. Superman: Red Son is basically an alternate Superman mythology contemplating what might have happened if Superman had crash-landed in the Soviet Union during the Cold War instead of in Smallville, Kansas.

The premise alone is i...more
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Mark Millar is an award-winning Scottish comic book writer born in Coatbridge. Now a resident of Glasgow, Millar has been the highest selling British comic-book writer working in America this decade. His best known works include: The Authority, Ultimates 1 and 2, adaptations of Jack Kirby's and Stan Lee's Avengers, Wanted, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Ultimate Fantastic Four, and Civil War. In Augus...more
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“I offered them Utopia, but they fought for the right to live in Hell.” 45 likes
“Batman: a force of chaos in my world of perfect order. The dark side of the Soviet dream. Rumored to be a thousand murdered dissidents, they said he was a ghost. A walking dead man. A symbol of rebellion that would never fade as long as the system survived.

Anarchy in black.”
17 likes
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