Round Two. Presented to us courtesy of Mark Millar’s Superman: Red Son, where Superman is realized as the son of the Russian People during Communist Russia. Another glorious Elseworlds idea, as it is incredible to think what Superman would have become if he wasn’t America’s superhero, but the powerhouse for the Communists. With his mere existence, the Cold War is a “whole new monster.” Yet, still there is one man who experiences the worst of society. A young Batman witnesses his parents murdered by the head of the KGB. The man says, “Those weren’t a child’s eyes. They looked too patient. I will never ever forget the way that boy stared at me.” And just like that, the Batman of Communist Russia is also born. Though, Superman is already fully grown at this point, and Bats is just nine years old. It matters not. Because their showdown is when Bats is at his peak, and of course, has trained his whole life at that point. All right, enough background. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Batman: Incredibly motivated to rebel against the Communist dictatorship of Superman and the Communist Russian party, as well as to avenge the death of his parents murdered in front of him, Batman is incredibly motivated in this fight.
Superman: As those of you who’ve read this one discovered, Superman is pretty much motivated to not spend the rest of his life in an underground bunker. I’d say that’s equal motivation.
A point to both for motivation.
Batman: Batman has prepared incredibly for this fight. By setting up a series of sun lamps to replicate Krypton’s red sunlight, Batman eliminates Superman’s powers as long as he keeps him bathing in these red lights. The lights do not harm him in any way, they just render his powers useless. Also, Bats has dug an underground bunker for Superman to live in, rather than Batman executing him. In order to draw Superman directly to him, he defeated Diana (Wonder Woman, the only person whose origins remains the same from normal continuity) and used her lasso to subdue her. Then he let Superman come to him from his concern for her. (This seems like such a Lex thing to do, but hey this is a Communist Superman. As the comic progresses, you see he has lobotomized several people to make them docile and obedient. So all of these things are totally justified.) Also, for the exact reason of not willing to undergo a lobotomy and becoming a mindless drone to help Superman’s Communist cause, Batman has swallowed an explosive devise that he’s hidden inside his small intestine. Should he fail, he’s prepared to die rather than be caught.
Superman: As usual, he’s completely unprepared.
Point to Batman for Preparation.
Batman: Incredibly cautious. He’s taken great caution in setting up the entire scenario just to defeat Superman. I think the incendiary device in his small intestine makes him prepared no matter what the outcome.
Superman: Throws caution to the wind. He’s not ready to experience the red sun lamps. So he’s relying on powers he doesn’t realize will be useless once the lamps’ light hits his body.
Point to Batman.
4) Abilities/Gadgets Used
Batman: Batman is using an explosive device to kill himself should he fail, and also, and most importantly he’s using a series of carefully placed red sun lamps to simulate Krypton’s red sun. He’s also wearing his utility belt.
Superman: Has no abilities in this fight. Has no gadgets to aid him.
Point to Batman.
Batman: It’s all about where you choose to fight, as we all know. Bats has chosen this ground. It’s a former worker concentration camp that people worked and died in. Using it for reasons of poetics and irony, he has placed a series of sun lamps on top of each small cabin to surround Superman.
Superman: The ground and sky is open terrain for the most part. Nothing really would pin him in or anything along those lines.
Both get the point.
6) Allies Involved
Superman: Diana of Themyscira is Superman’s only ally in this fight. If not for her, he never would have been able to destroy the power source that was providing energy for the red sun lamps. Diana’s involvement allows Superman to regain his powers and prevent Batman’s further menace from continuing.
Batman: Has no allies in this fight. It is, for him, a suicide mission.
Point to both. One to Superman for having an ally. One to Bats for taking them both on.
7) Is the story memorable?
Batman: Yes. Absolutely. His story sticks out in this crazy Communist world. But let’s face it kids…. This is a Superman story. And Superman definitely makes it more memorable.
Point to the Kryptonian.
Okay so let’s see who has more points now.
|Is the story memorable?|
|Overall Round Winner
Okay let me tally this…. Uh, wow. Despite Batman’s definite loss of this battle in the comic, by all accounts, he has definitely won this round. Let’s look again. A point for motivation, for preparation, and for caution. A point for gadgets and a point for using no allies in this fight. That’s five of seven criteria. To be honest I kinda gave Superman the memorable point. He also got a point for motivation, environment, and allies involved. He definitely lost this round. Well there you have it kids. Bats is officially 2-0, to Superman. Let’s see if the Man of Steel can win a round soon.
Posted by Chris Gering