How different would the world have been if, instead of landing in Kansas, Kal-El landed in Soviet Ukraine? What happens when the ultimate power on Earth works for the growth of Communism under Josef Stalin? What would it be like if all of the great American Heroes we know and love: Superman; Batman; Wonder Woman and more were actually Russian?
Superman: Red Son addresses these questions, following Superman through his rise to 'President' of the Communist World, and then through his fall from power. These altered versions of the characters we know and love, though, are not all that different from their American counterparts. Superman- still desperate to help people, Batman- still fighting for Justice, even Lex Luthor- still determined to destroy the Man of Steel. But in the end, is a Superman who doesn't fight for 'Truth, Justice, and the American Way' still the same character?
In a very different origin story for the Man of Steel, there is something very familiar, and yet also seemingly quite distinct about his characteristics. Although the premise of seeing the greatest American comic-book hero transformed into a Soviet soldier is a fascinating one, I felt that there was a lack of change to the actual character of Kal-El, which I personally found rather disappointing. However, the art throughout this series is stunning, the evolution of Superman's Soviet-style suit is brilliantly done, and the final twist in the story is mind-bending.