Superman: Red Son
October 27, 2011
Posted by Chris in Words
Tags: alternate history, DC, superheroes
The upside to that random Frank Miller book I read today is that it broke up my otherwise back-to-back Mark Millar readings. (Although, of course, if they’re pronounced the same (as I suppose), it’s like a threepeat. Which is really a terrible word, so I hope it’s instead mill-are as I’ve always said under my breath when typing it.) I’m not sure what I would have read if I had planned ahead, but the graphic novel that happened to be sitting in my car, still uncategorized after my last trip to Recycled Books in Denton, was Red Son. And I’ve been wanting to read it for ages anyway, so there was really no question of anything like worrying about it not being one of my ongoing non-superhero series and therefore out of order.
The conceit, if the title does not make it obvious, is that Kal-El’s ship landed on the other side of the planet, where he was found by collective-farmers and raised as a Communist before developing superpowers (as one does) and becoming Stalin’s darling. And then, of course, the story proceeds. There’s not a lot more I want to say, because things go in extremely interesting directions that should not be spoiled, but I will say that it presents one of the most compelling versions of Lex Luthor I’ve ever seen. And despite my avoidance of DC Comics, I follow really a lot of Superman stories on film. So.
One downside: I cannot find it in me to entirely approve of Superman having as strong of a moral center without having been raised by the Kents. I comprehend how that’s wildly unfair to millions of possible parents out there in the early twentieth century world, and especially to somewhat fewer millions of Soviet parents. Nevertheless, it’s a thing.
 Not that you can tell from where you are reading, but I have been paused for a very long time because the incredibly compelling Game Six of the World Series has distracted me from typing for a while. I’m not sorry or anything, just documenting.