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Superman-redson

Superman 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.

History

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.

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).

Trivia

  • 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".
    • However, unlike the Overman, Injustice and Justice Lords timelines, this version of Superman would ultimately regain his superhero status and renounce his former villainy, much as he did in "Son of Darkseid".