ByAllanah Faherty, writer at
Senior staff writer | Twitter: @allanahfaherty | Email: [email protected]
Allanah Faherty

It sounds like it could have been written as fan fiction, but did you know that Superman once fought on the side of the Soviets? Yes that's right, back in 2003, Mark Millar wrote a three-issue comic book mini-series which imagined a world where Superman was raised in the Soviet Union instead of the United States.

While it might sound a little bizarre, Superman: Red Son is quite honestly amazing. Take a quick crash course through this mini-series and see what could have been if only Kal-El was born Кал-Эл:

What is it about?

Superman as seen in Superman: Red Son
Superman as seen in Superman: Red Son

Superman: Red Son shows what life might have been like in a world where baby Superman crashed in the USSR instead of America, and by the 1950s is the Soviet Union's best asset. Obviously, this sends the USA into total panic, and the Cold War arms race immediately shifts focus onto superhumans. In an attempt to bring down the Soviets, Lex Luthor is recruited by the CIA to destroy Superman.

What are some of the highlights?

Lana Lazarenko in Superman: Red Son
Lana Lazarenko in Superman: Red Son

Lex Luthor fights to destroy Soviet Superman and his first attempt is to create a clone named Superman 2. However after Superman and Superman 2 fight and accidentally cause a nuclear missile launch in the UK, Superman 2 sacrifices himself to save millions of people. As a result Lex Luthor is sent into a murderous rage, creates LuthorCorp and devotes his life to destroying Superman.

In another plan, Luthor plans to shrink Moscow, but instead his collaborator, but instead, Brainaic accidentally shrinks Stalingrad. Sadly Stalingrad and its residents are never restored to their original size, and this marks Superman's one failure and also biggest source of guilt.

Shrunken Stalingrad in Superman: Red Son
Shrunken Stalingrad in Superman: Red Son

Luthor and Brainiac also manages to involve Batman in his plans, and they kidnap Wonder Woman and use her as bait for Superman. Fortunately Superman thwarts their plan and manages to save Wonder Woman. Meanwhile Batman is so scared of the "Red Son" possibly lobotomizing him and turning him into a robot that he kills himself!

How does it end?

After being baited into invading the US by Brainiac (who is reprogrammed into Superman's aide), Superman eventually realizes he's meddling with affairs he shouldn't, and ends the invasion. However after a series of events, Brainiac and Superman are inside Brainiac's ship, which is rocketed into space where it explodes, apparently killing Superman.

Over 1000 years later, Luthor eventually dies and at his funeral it's revealed that Superman did not die in the explosion, but instead survived and adopted a Clark Kent-esque disguise, and has been living amongst humans, unknown, for the past millennium.

As the comic series ends, billions of years in the future, Luthor's descendant Jor-L sends his baby son Kal-L in a ship back in time. Kal-L eventually lands in a Ukrainian collective in the year 1938, causing a predestination paradox and making Superman a descendant of Luthor.

Crazy right?! And you know what? I would totally watch the crap out of a Superman: Red Son movie, what about you?

Did you know about Superman: Red Son?


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