Superman: Red Son (2020)

superman red son poster 2020 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 7/10

Good concept and cast

Feels like it skips over some of the interesting periods

Movie Info

Movie Name: Superman:  Red Son

Studio: Warner Bros. Animation

Genre(s): Animated/Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  February 24, 2020 (premiere)/February 25, 2020 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

superman red son communist russia

Where do you want this tractor, Comrade?

In the heart of the USSR, a hero arises.  A boy finds himself gifted with powers and abilities and believes they are the best means to help the State.  As America and the East fear his powers, Lex Luthor begins working on a project to level the playing field and restore the balance of power.  Superman has the ability to spread the ideas of communism all over the world…and the United States doesn’t intend to let that happen.

Directed by Sam Liu, Superman:  Red Son is a DC Universe Animated Original Movie.  Following Wonder Woman:  Bloodlines in 2019, the film is an adaptation of Mark Millar’s award winning 2003 Elseworlds series.  The film was released on February 25, 2020.

Superman:  Red Son is an Elseworlds story I never got to before the movie was released.  I’ve always heard good things about it, and I’ve had the opportunity to read it, but I’ve always let it slip by.  Superman:  Red Son was kind of how I expected, but it wasn’t a bad thing.

superman red son brainiac

Better watch your back, Superman

The story is odd on the outside.  It plays with the nurture vs. nature aspect of people.  Would Superman still stand for Truth & Justice…but the Soviet way?  I think the start of the film is a much better questioning of this idea and theory, but it begins to blur into less of a nature/nurture story with the murder of Stalin and the switch to the Superman led Russia.  The story goes in fast forward at this point and it seems like we miss a lot of what makes the Soviet Superman into Superman…this inevitably leads to a joining of forces with the U.S. to a threat to the entire world.

The cast is good with Jason Isaacs playing a slightly more sinister Superman than the Superman used in other DC Animated movies (Tara Strong plays him as a child).  The movie also features voice work by Amy Acker, Phil LaMarr, Diedrich Bader, Vanessa Marshall, and Paul Williams.  DC in general has high standards when it comes to their voice actors which does add a bit of class to their animated features.

superman red son vs wonder woman

That’s a no-go, Superman

The animation is also quite slick.  I actually think a lot of the Soviet propaganda art is more interesting than the actual film art and I wish that the whole series might have been stylized (this is a frequent request on my behalf since a lot of the stylized art is just more fascinating).  Still, the quality of the film is up there and it shows what DC can be while it still struggles with live action adaptations.

Superman:  Red Son isn’t my favorite DC animated movie, but even with that, it isn’t bad.  The fact that the film premiered during a heightened alert regarding the United States’ relationship with Russia helps punch home some of the plot points but also feels a bit exploitive (something noted by Russian journalists).  Despite this, the film still raises interesting questions that provide a nice backdrop for the film.  Superman:  Red Son was followed by Justice League Dark:  Apokolips War later in 2020.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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