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Superman: Red Son (Superman Red Son Complete)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  37,525 Ratings  ·  1,521 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
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 5th 2004 by DC Comics (first published 2003)
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David W. A lot of Russian and Eastern European people are Christians as well, only their most popular church is Orthodox Eastern instead of Roman Catholic or…moreA lot of Russian and Eastern European people are Christians as well, only their most popular church is Orthodox Eastern instead of Roman Catholic or Protestant. The Soviet regime might have frowned upon religion as being "bogus", but afaik it wasn't outright outlawed. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix
Nature or Nurture?

Is Superman’s moral code hot-wired in his DNA or did being raised by the do-right Kents help establish his role as the world’s ultimate Boy Scout?

What better way to examine this question than for Mark Millar to have Superman’s rocket ship land in a collective farm in Soviet Russia rather than in the American heartland.

When Superman’s powers are realized by the Soviet government, Stalin elevates him to become champion of the common worker and a handy tool in the Cold War agains
Jan Philipzig
Coulda Been a Contender...

What if Superman had crash-landed and grown up in the Soviet Union rather than in the United States? What if he was… oh my God, dare I spell it out… a “commie”?! What would he be like? Would we still cheer him on? How would the Cold War have turned out? The premise behind Superman: Red Son is as obvious as it is intriguing: in the tradition of Watchmen, it allows – theoretically, at least – for an investigation of the genre’s underlying ideological and political assumpt
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comix, fiction, 2013, dc
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
Feb 28, 2013 rated it liked it
It's a'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.
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
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites


Mark Millar’s got the alternate reality/universe/elseworlds thing down. Between Superman: Red Son, Ultimate X-Men, and Old Man Logan, he has penned some bomb-ass shit. He’s got some haters out there. He certainly isn’t the most sensitive dude. But boy can he write some fun stuff. Anybody that can get me to sit through a Superman book has some talent. Sorry, not a lot of love for the boy in blue.


Well in Red Son he’s actually the boy in grey. In this twist of fate story, Kal El crashes in Russia i
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mad Tom

"Superman: Pride of the Soviet state, symbol of our military might."

Otherworld stories are the best, aren't they? My second read was better than the first because I picked up so many more details.

I won't do any summary because it's far too interesting to reveal. This takes place (unofficially) on Earth 30 in the DCU. And let's just say this books contains probably the most fascinating versions of well-known characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Hal Jordan, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor, Brain
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.G. Keely
Nov 29, 2007 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 12, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Nov 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: superhumans, comics
One of the best entries in the now defunct Elseworlds line. I miss seeing creators take imaginative risks with characters, but very few have paid off as completely as Millar's Red Son. It's a pretty simple, almost natural concept: what if, instead of landing in Kansas and becoming the prototype All American hero, Kal-El's little ship had landed in the USSR and he had become the prototype All Soviet hero?

Millar clearly put an incredible amount of thought into his new reality. I can't recall a si
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is part of my 'i gotta read more superman shit' plan and all it did was make me love batman more how does that happen, like leave Bruce i'm working on this highly scientific plan. I put off reading this for ages because i study history and the last thing i wanna do is read more history, especially altered fictional accounts of history but i needn't of worried. Russian history is my jam so i think i was expecting something different, maybe more political but it doesn't, it's mainly just supe ...more
Nicolo Yu
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: collected-comics
Mark Millar reinvents Superman into a Soviet superhero in this Elseworlds story appropriately named, "Red Son".

What if the craft carrying Kal-El landed in Soviet heartland instead of Kansas? Millar writes a compelling and ultimately re-readable story of Superman ended up behind the Iron Curtain. It definitely changed how superheroes emerged for once and a Russian Batman emerges with a different reason for existing. This went one for two-thirds of the story, until Millar revealed his trump card.
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
OK, so I recalled reading this, but I think I got it confused with Last Son of Krypton...because there's no WAY I wouldn't have gushed about how awesome this book is.

Superman: Red So(u)n (You'll get it.) is, quite possibly, Mark Millar's finest work.

This book is so full of little teasers and links to the original DCU that it's like a Where's Waldo game to find them all...I only read once, and I saw a few that were AWESOME.

I could literally gush about this non-stop. It was one of those few books
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jesse A
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Superman book so far. Brilliant!!!
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Holy mother of god. This was amazing. I want to say this is the second best comic I have ever read, second only to Watchmen.

Ideally prospective readers of this would have at least moderate knowledge of the DC Universe to catch all of the references to other heroes and events. But having moderate knowledge of twentieth century history is also really beneficial. Luckily, I'm a history major and a comic nerd, so I have both.

I don't want to get into the plot too much as to avoid spoilers, but basica
Aug 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic, superheroic
What if the ship carrying infant Kal-l had crashed in Russia instead of America, and Superman had grown up to become a Soviet superhero, subduing the world for communism?

Great idea, although I would have liked a slightly longer book with more time to get in depth characterization and explore more history.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
What-If Superman story that imagines the man of steel crashing into a Ukrainian commune instead of a small Kansas farm, then going full alt-history from there.

There were all sorts of reasons I shouldn't have liked this: the dialogue isn't great, the plotting and pacing is all over the map, the female character are all terribly crafted. But... I still kind of enjoyed it? There's an energy and verve to this comic that wound up kind of winning me over despite its flaws. It's helped along by some v
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great take on the Superman story. This book tells the story of what would/could have happend if Superman's ship had landed in the Soviet Union.

I didn't like Superman as a person in this. As to be expected, growing up in the Soviet Union made him into another man entirely. He becomes a dictator, but for all the right reasons. At least that's what he thinks.

I like how they came up with the alternate  stories of Batman and Green Lantern. Everything fell into place. In the end the Brainiac revelati
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cumple la función de todo elseworld, sin caer en el panfleto lo cual es muy destacable así que es difícil encontrar algo que decir que ya no se haya hecho, me agrado lo "ruso" que era todo, en el sentido estereotipico de la palabra, pero aun así, una visión fresca del mito de superman, quizás un poco decepcionado con el final, porque se había dado la oportunidad perfecta para unirlo con el mundo original, pero el resto, perfecto.
John Marshall
Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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Mark Millar is the New York Times best-selling writer of Wanted, the Kick-Ass series, The Secret Service, Jupiter’s Legacy, Jupiter’s Circle, Nemesis, Superior, Super Crooks, American Jesus, MPH, Starlight, and Chrononauts. Wanted, Kick-Ass, Kick-Ass 2, and The Secret Service (as Kingsman: The Secret Service) have been adapted into feature films, and Nemesis, Superior, Starlight, War Heroes, Jupit ...more
More about Mark Millar...

Other Books in the Series

Superman Red Son (3 books)
  • Superman: Red Son #1
  • Superman: Red Son #2
  • Superman: Red Son #3

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“I offered them Utopia, but they fought for the right to live in Hell.” 77 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.”
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