Thursday, March 04, 2004

Red Son Review

I'll jump into uber-geekhood and review a comic book. I have nothing left to live for.

It's a fairly simple concept: what if the spaceship carrying the baby Superman hadn't crashed in Kansas but in 1938 Ukraine?. The humanoid baby is raised in a collective farm, worshipping Lenin and Marxist doctrine. In the 1950s, Stalin reveals him to the world, wearing a red cape and a uniform bearing not the big "S" but a hammer and sickle, fighting "a never-ending battle for Stalin, Socialism and the International Expansion of the Warsaw Pact."

I'd never read a comic book that I didn't know fairly early on if the hero would win and at first I thought that this would end with Superman realizing the evils of communism and turn to the glories of God and capitalism or that he'd wind up destroying the world.

Fortunately the Scottish writer Mark Millar wrote as if the Bush administration had been charge. The U.S. forces nuclear weapons on all its allies, alienates the rest of the world, and destroys its own economy. By 2000, Superman is president of the USSR and the de facto ruler of every other nation except for the U.S. (down to 34 states) and Chile. He's still the same nice guy at heart but devoted to a different kind of idealism.

Not to outright give away the ending but it's original enough that I'll try to sneak it in without ruining things. Lex Luthor defeats Superman by either marrying him, writing him a nasty letter, transforming him into a Superape, changing his to heart into metal, or making a really ugly face.

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