Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Red Son


Here’s an interesting concept: Suppose the little rocket ship from Krypton carrying the infant Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman had not landed somewhere in the American Midwest, but on the Smallski Collective Farm in the USSR? Would he still stand for Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

… Wait a minute, this is sounding a little familiar … now where’s that book? … ah ha! Here it is: Superheroes, edited by John Varley and Ricia Mainhardt (who did most of the work), an Ace Book, January 1995. And all the way in the back is a story, “Truth, Justice, and the Politically Correct Socialist Path,” by … well, isn’t this interesting. By John Varley. Maybe I ought to read this thing.

Wow. There is a certain resemblance. Now, I played it for laughs, and I hope the readers got at least a few chuckles from it. This Red Son story is by Mark Millar and appeared in a three-issue series from DC Comics in 2003, eight years after my story, and is quite serious in its intent. I have not read the comics, but I have seen half of the movie (it was all I could stand), and it is the sheerest dreck you could imagine. The animation is as cheap as it gets. The story was getting stupider by the minutes, until I shut it off … and started wondering if I ought to be contacting an attorney versed in copyright law.

How about it, you folks who might have read my story? Would you please watch the movie (as much as you can stand) and let me know what you think? I’m conflicted. But I know Harlan Ellison won some substantial judgements with less evidence than this.

But all in all, I think I’ll pass.