Could you imagine if Superman landed in Canada instead of the United States? What if Joe Shuster tried to persuade Jerry Siegel that Clark Kent should grow up on a farm in Alberta or the snowy terrain of northern Manitoba? Or God help us, Newfoundland? What kind of a hero would he be then? Far too polite to get physical.
“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nah, that’s just Superman, eh.”
Fortunately for us, the readers, Mark Millar gives us a more interesting scenario. What if Superman landed in Ukraine and became a part of the USSR at the height of the Cold War?
Becoming the right hand man and the eventual successor to Joseph Stalin, Superman puts the power in the palm of Communist Russia. Unfortunately for the United States, the dramatic shift in power creates chaos at home. While they still have the brilliant scientist Lex Luthor to claim as their own, he becomes obsessed with figuring out how to defeat Superman rather than using his intellect to advance his own society.
What develops over the years is very interesting and Mark Millar guides us through an alternate timeline in world history. Just what would happen if “President Superman” ruled over Russia? Would he retain his values or would absolute power corrupt absolutely? The answers may surprise you.
This experiment had a multitude of ways it could fall flat on its face and only a select few that would cause it to succeed. Fortunately for DC, Millar knew the right road to take. While this is the only core Superman series I’ve yet read, I have a hard time believing it can be topped (at least in my opinion). I knew enough about the character and the DC universe to keep my head above water, so you don’t need to be a comics historian to catch the jokes and changes in certain superheroes and supervillains.
The only real problem I have is the ending. I don’t think it really needed to go quite as far as it did. It was interesting to see where everything ended up after the core conflict was settled but it seemed to go on and on and on. In the end, it’s merely a small complaint – I loved the hell out of this book.