While everyone is now extremely familiar with Marvel’s What If…?, it’s not like DC has never tried to tackle similar ideas in films or comics. Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Thrillkiller, and Flashpoint are perfect examples of when the company has used their amazing Elseworlds imprint to share some non-canonical stories that have absolutely entranced fans. Now an animated version of one is currently the tenth most popular movie on HBO Max according to stats from FlixPatrol.
What if Superman landed inside the Soviet Union instead of Kansas during the Cold War? Would he change if he wrote for Truth instead of Daily Planet? How would his views on protecting society change from his upbringing in the USSR? These questions and more are all explored in Superman: Red Son.
Mark Millar, the creator of the original comic, has talked about why the concept was particularly fascinating to him.
“As a kid growing up in the shadow of the Cold War, the notion of what might have happened if the Soviets had reached him first just seemed fascinating to me… America had Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, The Fantastic Four, etc. But who did Russia have to patrol the rooftops? KGB spy satellites? What I created in the pages of an old school jotter was the Soviet answer to Superman, his costume based on the flag of the USSR. Just as Superman stood for Truth, Justice and the American Way, this guy stood for Stalin, International Socialism and the glorious Five-Year Plan.”
Those who want to see this entirely different look at The Man of Steel can see Superman: Red Son streaming now on HBO Max.