Superman: Red Son Trailer Brings Classic Elseworlds Story to life
That title has so many meanings once you've read the whole comic.
Back in 2003, Mark Millar came up with the premise “what if Superman had been raised in the Soviet Union?” That premise was transformed into the three-issue mini-series Superman: Red Son. Next year, the story will be released as an animated movie as part of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, probably one of the most excellent series of DC adapted content around.
DC’s non-canon Elseworlds imprint allowed authors to play with fun concepts and also make contained stories. Some of the most well-known Elseworld stories include Superman: Red Son; Kingdom Come; I, Joker; and Gotham by Gaslight.
Millar’s Red Son was one of the first Elseworlds comics I read, and what I remember loving about it was how, while the story makes Superman the “villain” by allying him with the Soviet Union, his desire to want to make people better is almost innate to his being. He wants to help people and truly believes in the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. Therefore, he sees a totalitarian, repressive regime as the only way to help humanity.
Lex Luthor is presented as America’s savior and protector when Superman’s existence is revealed to the U.S. We see that, despite the framing, Luthor is still a megalomaniac more interested in feeding his ego than truly being great. Also, he’s Lois Lane’s husband, so that’s interesting, especially when you get to the end. Without giving away spoilers, I hope that the film can give Wonder Woman a better storyline. I hate how in these “evil Superman” stories, she always ends up being his sidekick. Maybe Wonder Woman doesn’t agree with fascism sometimes, guys! How about that?
More importantly, Red Son also helps answer the question of “Why doesn’t Superman just fix everything?” Because the answer would end up being fascism. No one person should be given the ability to control the minds of others. Free will is important to goodness. To have Superman be the symbol of hope we need, he has to believe that people have the ability to become better themselves. He is just there to help show them the way, not to fix them like machines.
The upcoming film will star Daddy Malfoy, Jason Isaacs, as Kal-El, Amy Acker as Lois Lane, Diedrich Bader as Lex Luthor, Phil Morris as James Olsen, Phil LaMarr as John Stewart, Vanessa Marshall as Wonder Woman, Sasha Roiz as Hal Jordan, Roger Craig Smith as Batman, Paul Williams as Brainiac, and William Salyers as Joseph Stalin.
Superman: Red Son comes out in early 2020.
(image: Warner Bros./DC)
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