Superman: Red Son

January 19, 2004 | Trades


Superman: Red Son
Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, Killian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson, Walden Wong
DC Comics
$27.95/$17.99 US (Paperback)
**** 1/2 (out of five)

Truth, justice and the American way.
Not any more.
Red Son brings us a twist on the Superman mythos where, instead of landing in Smallville, Kansas, the infant Man of Steel crashes to the Earth in the Ukraine in the early half of the 20th century.
Raised to believe in the ideals of the Communist Party and taken in by former leader Josef Stalin, Superman is cast as the ultimate weapon in the Cold War, one that tips the scales in favour of the Soviet Union.
This story, long-rumoured and theorized over the last 65 years since Superman’s creation, but brought brilliantly to reality by acclaimed scribe Mark Millar (The Authority, The Ultimates), Red Son casts the former hero as the enemy of the American people and makes nemesis Lex Luthor into the only hope to stop him.
Filled with Orwellian overtones, a biting look at American foreign policy, past and present, and an incisive look at the power of super heroes as icons, this collection of a three-issue prestige format series captures the everyday tension of the Cold War and marries it to an underlying hope that the American way of life will somehow always persevere.
The art team of Dave Johnson, Killian Plunkett, Andrew Robinson and Walden Wong seem to create an iconic image on every page, with the Superman’s familiar ‘S’ logo changed to the Soviet hammer and sickle and displayed prominently.
Perhaps the most important contribution in this collection is that of colourist Paul Mounts, whose work setting the mood, from the muted tones of 1950s Metropolis to the velvet skies over Wonder Woman’s Paradise Island, is brilliant.
Red Son is a strange, but compelling read and a terrific idea whose story was long overdue.

You must be logged in to post a comment.