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The Supervillain Reader$
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Robert Moses Peaslee and Robert G. Weiner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826466

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826466.001.0001

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From Perfect Hero to Murderous Villain

From Perfect Hero to Murderous Villain

A Comparative Analysis between the Fallen God Heroes of Irredeemable and Injustice: Gods Among Us

(p.349) Chapter 33 From Perfect Hero to Murderous Villain
The Supervillain Reader

Matthew Mceniry

University Press of Mississippi

In Superman: Red Son (2003), Mark Millar reimagines America’s fictional “Man of Steel” as the surrogate son and ideological heir of Joseph Stalin, Soviet Russia’s historical “man of steel.” In doing so, Millar and his collaborators reimagine the power dynamics of the Cold War and grapple with questions of villainy and heroism in such a redefined political landscape. This essay considers how, in separating Superman’s idealized morality from his ideological association with America, Red Son challenges the reader’s conceptions of “good” and “evil” and raises questions about leadership, hero worship, terrorism, and the influence of political ideologies on our ideas of ends versus means. This was particularly poignant in the three-issue series’ consideration of national security and mass surveillance, a theme that continues to be relevant even as it was especially effectual for the post-9/11 moment in which the series was released.

Keywords:   Superman, Russia, Cold War, Surveillance, 9/11

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