Thursday, March 3, 2011

Superman: Red Son Discussion Questions

Superman: Red Son is an Elseworlds what if tale about Superman. The what if is: what if Superman had been born in Russia instead of Smallville, Kansas? This alternate universe has Lois Lane as Lois Luthor and Jimmy Olsen as Lex Luthor's advisor. The book club for it will take place on March 10th at Koelbel Library starting at 6:30 p.m. Here are the discussion questions:

1. What parallels does Superman: Red Son draw to other graphic novels based in historical events? Titles that come to mind: Maus, Berlin, Persepolis, Sacco's works.

2. What about Superman's moral code stays the same when he's Russian? What's different? How is he the same and different in general?

3. The ending of Superman: Red Son reminded me of the ending of Watchmen. Why?

4. Many, many superhero graphic novels ask the reader if the world is better off without them. Using this graphic novel's take, should the world even have superheroes?

5. What other alternate universe one-shots have you read and enjoyed?

6. Batman's silly hat. Your thoughts?

7. How did Superman negatively and positively effect the Russian Empire? Can this be said for regular superman and the United States?

8. Superman: Red Son brings up the age old nature versus nurture argument. Is it in Superman's nature to be good, or did the environment he grew up in change him?

9. Superman stories like Kingdom Come, All-Star Superman, and The Dark Knight Returns all seem to keep using similar ideas of Batman vs. Superman and Superman's strong moral code. Is the Man of Steel becoming stale? Can you think of any other commonly used plot threads in Superman stories?

10. Much of the criticism of Superman: Red Son is that its far too short for what it's trying to do. Your thoughts?

11. How did you feel about the very ending of the book, the last few pages?

12. How do Lex Luthor's actions mirror those of current world politicians? Luthor uses a means to an end-type approach.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Discussion questions! I plan to use this story in my J term course on Comic Book Superheroes. J term is a 2 1/2 week interlude in January at Lynn University where nontraditional courses or study tours are taught for credit. This year's theme is Superheroes as good citizens, and I found Red Son to be a perfect selection.