Superman: Red Son

21Aug09

It isn’t that hard to re-imagine Superman as a communist — it only really requires that on arrival, he crash land on a farm in the Ukraine instead of an American farm. I don’t frequently read graphic novels, but the idea of taking the most famous American hero and turning him on his head was intriguing.  SupermanRed

Impressively enough, it manages to be a story about the kind of waste and sacrifice involved with political mismanagement and power struggles, as well as a story that’s painfully aware of how long progress can take, and how awful decisions are made with the best intentions. Old Supes works hard to create a perfect world, wiping out disease and crime, but he finally becomes oppressive, so that people instinctively want to rebel and make their  own choices, even if they’re the wrong ones. Or as he complains, you can impose heaven from above, some people will fight for the right to live in hell. The story ultimately works too hard to fit in alternate versions of other DC comics heroes, but it’s nevertheless worth a read.

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