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Superman: Red Son Paperback – February 1, 2004
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About the Author
Mark Millar is one of comics' most commercially successful writers, whose work includes Wanted, Judge Dredd, Superman Adventures, JLA, Ultimate X-Men, Superman: Red Son, The Authority and the bestselling Civil War and The Ultimates. Dave Johnson has drawn WildC.A.T.S., SuperPatriot a award-winning covers on 100 Bullets. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The twist is simple. In this alternate reality, Superman was raised in the Soviet Union rather than in Smallviille, Kansas. This Superman is just as steeped in Soviet-style Communism as our Superman is thoroughly indoctrinated in "Truth, Justice, and The American Way." But to what degree are the qualities that make Superman such a special hero unique to his cultural upbringing?
To say more is to spoil the plot. What I will say is that the artwork is first rate, and looks like a cross between propaganda posters and the now-discontinued "Superman Adventures" animated series. As always with Mark Millar's writing, characterization is to-the-point and dialogue is crisp. There's virtually no bloat or padding in a very clean, crisp story.
It's well worth your time, and "Red Son" holds up to repeated readings. Even if you are put off by DC's needless recent reboots of their series, you will find much to enjoy within the pages of this book.
I was told about the plot and premise of this graphic novel by a friend, and I was planning a vacation to Russia at the time that I bought it, and I was plenty excited to buy it. I was in my mid-20s at the time, and hadn't bought a comic for probably 10-15 years.
The artwork in this book is amazing. The front cover, the book title page, and each of the title pages for the three major sections (Red Son Rising, Red Son Ascendant, and Red Son Setting) all have title pages with stunning and dramatic soviet flavored artwork.The rest of the graphics frequently have stereotypical soviet iconography (hammers and sickles, sign boards of the historic soviet leaders, red everywhere, etc.), and this is all for really dramatic effect.
Many superheros and super villains from the original superman (and also batman himself) are present, but as reinterpreted characters Lex Luthor is a genius loyal to the United States, and opposes Superman Red Son. The depiction of batman is especially fun, as he wears an ushanka and is a Russian rebel fighting against Superman. The plot of the book is meant to be ironic and like a twisted remix of actual superman. This is a really unique concept, and it apparent that the writers have exploited it to its fullest.
One more cool thing with this comic is that there are about 8 pages in the back of this book that show sketchbook copies and notes made by the artist when they were developing the look that they wanted for Superman Red Son. These sketches are interesting to look at, and show what some of the thoughts underlying the design of the characters were.
In summary, if you like the idea of reading a comic about ironic communist superman, you definitely should check this out!!!!
There is so much more to this story than this brief synopsis, but here's something to whet your appetite: What if Superman's ship had originally landed in Russian instead of America? What if he had grown up under a Communist regime? Would he still grow up to be a hero, or would he become something else?
After years of having this book hyped up to me, you would think that it wouldn't be able to live up the hype, but it more than did.
At first I was thinking that it wasn't as good as everyone was saying it was, but once I got into the book a little more, I fell in love with it too.
Like many alternate reality stories, it puts familiar people in unusual roles, but this book has some deeper things to say about philosophy and politics. The world isn't black and white, and Mark Millar does a good job of writing a gray world with realistic stakes and unlikely heroes.