|“||They called me a soldier, but that just wasn't true. I was never a soldier. A soldier always follows orders. A soldier knows and hates his enemy. A soldier only fights and dies for his own people... I just fought for what was right.||„|
|“||In many ways, Superman really did die on the outer reaches of the solar system all those centuries ago. Luthor might have dropped a decimal point when he calculated my density, but he successfully made me realize that the human race could thrive without me.||„|
Superman (real name Kal-L) is the first of a line of villains in the alternate-universe DC storyline known as "Superman: Red Son". In this reality, Superman was not raised in Smallville, Kansas, but on a collective farm in Soviet Ukraine and thus becomes a powerful tool for the communist regime and a danger to the democracies of Earth - although he ultimately redeems himself after being betrayed by Brainiac, who would take over as the true villain of the storyline.
In the movie adaption, he was voiced by Jason Isaacs, who also portrayed Lucius Malfoy and the Basilisk in the Harry Potter series, William Tavington in The Patriot, Captain Hook in the 2003 Peter Pan film, Dr. Heinreich Volmer in A Cure for Wellness, Mirror Universe Gariel Lorca in Star Trek: Discovery, and voiced Admiral Zhao in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ra's al Ghul in Batman: Under the Red Hood, Sinestro in Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Satan in the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series, The Grand Inquisitor in Star Wars: Rebels, Lex Luthor in Justice League: Gods and Monsters, SkekSo in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and Dick Dastardly in the Scoob! film.
In the Red Son timeline, Superman was raised by workers on a collective farm in Soviet Ukraine and became an enforcer for the communist regime. Despite his villainous role as part of Stalin's regime, he was shown to progress as a character and, while a danger to the world for much of the story, often found himself conflicted with his loyalty to the USSR and his own inner-sense of justice, which would see him shift from a "Big Brother"-esque villain to the more heroic "Man of Steel" found in most other Superman media.
In Other Media
Justice League Action
The Red Son version of Superman is partially adapted in the Justice League Action episode "Keeping Up With the Kryptonians". In this version, Mister Mxyzptlk rewrites history so that Superman landed in the warring nation of Kasnia (as opposed to Russia) and Supergirl landed in Hollywood. As a result, Superman became the greatest strength of the Kasnian army while Supergirl became the bratty star of her own reality TV show. When Superman attempted to single-handedly conquer Metropolis for Kasnia, destroying Supergirl's limo in the process, the two battle.
However, Booster Gold returns from the timestream and interrupts the battle, asking Superman why he and his cousin are fighting, reminding him of who he is and what Mxyzptlk (who had disguised himself as Supergirl's manager) had done to him. As Mxyzptlk destroys Booster Gold and prepares to rewrite history again, Superman tricks him into saying his name backwards, undoing his magic and returning everything to normal.
Powers and Abilities
This version of Superman has the same godlike powers attributed to almost all portrayals of the "Man of Steel" - these powers are due to his status as an alien known as a Kryptonian, who while appearing identical to homo sapiens (modern humans) obtain phenomenal powers when exposed to the radiation of a yellow sun (such as Sol, the star that powers Earth's solar system): the most common of these abilities are flight, incalculable strength, superhuman-speed, enhanced-senses, heat and x-ray vision as well as virtual immunity from any physical harm (save from Kryptonite or magic).
- There are many other Superman myths in which the hero is adopted by hostile regimes and becomes a villain, such as Overman (when he was raised in Nazi Germany) and "Son of Darkseid".
- Though his incarnation of Superman first appeared in The Kingdom # 2, details of his life would be revealed in Superman: Red Son.