|Xenocide - 2012-02-25 |
God, motion comics are so damn awkward.
The original book is worth reading, though. It's probably the best thing they'll ever do with Superman.
All my stars for 2:22-2:58.
I say they still haven't written the definitive "Superman" story. If they have, I haven't seen it.
As good as "All-Star Superman" is, it's largely a homage to old Superman tropes. There's value in that, but an entire chapter devoted to 60's-style Superdickery between Superman and Jimmy tells us more about a type of story than Superman himself.
And as good as "Red Son" is, it's not a story about Superman -- it says things about what Superman is and isn't, but all the same it can't be the definitive Superman story if it's about a not-Superman.
I've read All-Star, and it's fantastic. But I have to give Red Son the edge for being the only Superman book to fully explore what the existence of such a being would mean for the world.
Motion comics always seemed more like an exercise of what you can do with After Effects and limited material than an actual worthy end product.
It is a darn fine exploration, to be sure; I just balk at saying that it's "the only" exploration, because there are still other ways a Superman could improve / wreck the world, depending. At least Red Son Superman is trying to do the right thing and not cut too many moral corners (Brainiac's influence notwithstanding); the typical alternate Superman is a superpowered thug with little in the way of a moral code.
Even All-Star Superman makes me wonder at times. Why does he think Professor Quintum is such a keen fellow? The guy genetically engineers intelligent slaves and deprives them of those facets of their psyche (such as fear) that make them resent being disposable life forms. That kind of makes him a supervillain, doesn't it? I could have sworn Superman used to beat up mad scientists who pulled crap like that.
My favorite alternate Superman remains Hyperion from the old 1980s "Squadron Supreme" series, because he's the one who came closest to the original while having to deal with problems the original didn't. "Red Son" is a better read, though.
I think Stalin's portrayal is intentionally skewed. The whole story is being told in flashback by a much older Superman. He's meant to be kind of an unreliable narrator. Since Supes grew up in a culture that revered Uncle Joe, he has an unrealistic impression of the man. The Stalin of Red Son is actually quite close to the propaganda image of Stalin in postwar Russia.
I don't know how much research went into the book, but I think the idea was that Superman grew up under such tight government control that he never really saw the world as it is.
Rodents of Unusual Size
The book, if you'll notice, pays careful attention to the misery of the people under Stalin but since Superman is in the inner circle, he chooses to overlook Stalin's crimes and forgives him without much thought as to the actual governance of the man. It's an awesome metaphor for the disconnect of the inner circle at that time period because right afterwards Kruschev had to clean up Stalin's mess and was quick to crush any personality cult lingering around by pointing out Stalin's crimes.
|Chalkdust - 2012-02-25 |
everybody's wrong, this is the best Superman story:
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