Hello, fellow fans and readers, today I will be reviewing the latest DC Animated Film Superman: Red Son adapted from the three-issue mini-series written by acclaimed writer Mark Millar and Artist Dave Johnson. The premise of the story is a world where Superman’s rocket didn’t land in Kansas but landed in The Soviet Union due to the Earth’s rotation. Superman was considered a “Champion of the Common Worker who fights the never-ending battle for Stalin, Socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.“
There have been several Elseworld books that beckon the question “What would happen if Superman’s ship landed didn’t land in Kansas?” And director Sam Wiu takes on the challenge of bringing the Red Son on the big screen while being faithful to the source material and characterization of Wonder Woman. The one thing you can breathe a sigh of relief is that this story does not fall under the familiar pop culture trope of East vs. West, but has quite a bit to say of the dangers of Xenophobia. While offering a tight-paced story, it offered a fair amount of depth for major characters between the biggest parts of Action Sequences.
While the concept is a fascinating idea but it gets brought down by poor pacing, a similar problem that previous adaptations, The Killing Joke and Gotham By Gaslight have faced due to stretching material that is limited (in reference to it being a Three-Issue series) to a breaking point. While it follows in the DC Animated Film formula of darker tones, it skews this film into even darker direction; Batman and Superman are killers, fans are used to seeing this due to the introduction of the Injustice Video Game Mythos of Superman becoming a murder happy dictator, but Red Son uses that to Injustice’s disadvantage, where it never succeeds in justifying his murderous means; Superman’s arc in the movie is built around the question of whether the ends justify the means.
It does seem odd to see Lex Luthor being married to Lois Lane, it does highlight the relationship Superman and Lois have and that fans are familiar with. CBR mentioned that this film fixes several flaws that the DCEU made in regards to Superman and Batman, honestly, I am not really sure how you can compare the two being two separate universes but to each their own. As mentioned previously in this review, Wonder Woman’s characterization is on par in this film; she embraced Superman’s ideals, unfortunately, becomes disillusioned by Man’s barbaric ways. She is the only heroic figure of this film, we see Lex Luthor as a heroic figure but he shown to have several cruel moments when it comes to fighting Superman.
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