It’s a pretty well-known fact I’m not the biggest Superman man fan. He’s an alien, with God-like powers, who only uses a hair curl and a pair of glasses to hide his secret identity. It’s a waste of a comic strip, yet he’s the #1 Superhero of all time. I don’t get it honestly. So, I had a bit of trepidation when I was starting the Elseworlds novel, Superman: Red Son, by Mark Millar.
The only reason I even picked up the book was because it was written by Millar. I’m a HUGE fan of his, and was intrigued to see what his brand of writing could bring to a comic franchise I so openly loathed. Needless to say, I was blown away. Millar took Supes and landed him in Soviet Russia instead of at Ma and Pa Kent’s farm in Smallville. The story that unfolds is one of tyranical power, billionaire drunks hell-bent on bringing down a dictator, the smartest man in the world’s plan to destroy the very face of Anti-Americanism. I read up the entire saga in one night, and was happy that I had done so.
What makes Red Son appeal to me so much is that, though I hate Superman, I do know the story very well. Heck, I don’t think there’s a kid in America who doesn’t know who Superman is. Millar took this beaten story-line and tweaked it just enough to make it appealing again. Superman struggles with the fact that he’s basically a nuclear weapon for The Ruskies, and given that supreme power, how does he run a country without RULING them.
Thrown in the mix is Lex Luthor’s astonishing intellect that drives him away from his wife Lois Lane, and on a 50 year journey to take down the ‘Red Son.’ I enjoyed Luthor the most out of the story, as the man who will stop at nothing to best Superman, and stand up for the United States that he loves so much. Millar does a good job by adding cameos of other Supe’s lore, such as Jimmy Olsen as Luthor’s right-hand man, and Batman; who agrees with Luthor in thinking that Superman is worse for the world than better.
The epilogue of the story is what makes everything really come together though. It brings the entire Superman history and brings it full circle. Without giving away the plot, you truly find out what connects Luthor to Superman, and why they will eternally be trying to best each other. Needless to say, that I LOVED this comic and recommend it to Superman fans and non-fans alike. Mark Millar and Dave Johnson create a new mythology with their story and artwork. I will read more Elseworlds comics as a result, and maybe I will even hate Superman a little less. Maybe.
Pick up Superman: Red Son at your local comic retailer or at Amazon here.