Rhetorical Essay on Graphic Novel, "Superman Red Son"

Published: 2022-07-18
Rhetorical Essay on Graphic Novel, "Superman Red Son"
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Education Human resources Analysis
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1376 words
12 min read

Most of the authors have based their work on their heroes and heroines appealing to the western countries. They are always depicted to be championing the interests of the American nation and its allies. When one of them comes out and does the opposite, people wonder whether the person will attain his or her objective. It is a risky path to take, but if one does it correctly it comes out as a source of entertainment, and that will appeal to the audiences from both sides of the political divide. This paper will carry out a rhetorical analysis on one such novel and see how the author realizes his objectives of entertaining the audience.

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The story is set around the Cold War when there was hostility between the United States and Russia with each one of them trying to outdo the other. Leaders from the side issuing threats characterized this, using propaganda and other measures that were short of the outbreak of a war between them (Millar 3). Each one of the two nations was actively recruiting others to join them through their system of governance with capitalism appearing to endorse the United States and communism supporting the Russian State.

It was during this scene that the Russians revealed that they had gotten an asset that was giving them an advantage over the United States in the name of Spiderman. This caused some panic, and suddenly the war had to shift from an arms race to instead deal with superhumans who were no to engage themselves. It was the responsibility of the US to work against time to come up with their version of an alien or use whatever other means to defeat the Spiderman. The CIA was given this responsibility of looking for a renowned scientist and providing him with resources to facilitate the same.

A series of battles is fought on differ font with one main objective of eliminating the alien in the name of Superman. Many other players and stakeholders join in the struggle complicating it much further. The fight is about scientific prowess and the ability to tap into powers beyond the usual weaponry which cannot attain much. There was the rise of Wonder Woman, Superman 2 and many other players including Batman. There were many causalities and massive losses along the way, but Superman was eventually killed.


Mark Miller is the principal writer who came up with the story and plot on Superman 2 and was assisted by other people in filling up the patches. He has been involved in many other works that have been adopted into award-winning films. He writes comic works and has been doing it for several years. Some of the works that are credited to him are The Authority, Marvel Knights Spider-Man, Civil War and The Ultimates (Blanchard and Miller). Also, there was also Ultimate Fantastic Four, Wanted, The Secret Service and Kingsman. Most of these have been adopted into films that were successful judging from their sales.

There are several awards and achievements by some of his works o attest to his creativity in his works. Times Magazine selected The Ultimates and termed it as the comic of the decade which was also behind the production of the movie The Avengers. Blanchard and Miller observe that due to his skills he has also been used in other fields like being an executive producer and creative consultant with Fox Studios for four years. Together with his wife Lucy, they have been producing Millarworld which was bought by Netflix last year, 2017, and they will continue churning out new comics in the same series which will also undergo adjustments for the media. He has won many awards including the 2005 and 2004 Eagle Awards for Favorite Comic Writer and the Eisner Award for Best Writer for several of his works in various years.

Miller was introduced to comics at the age of four by his brother who was ten n the university. The interest he generated culminated in The Amazing Spider-Man in 1973 while he was still learning how to read. He purchased the Superman comic, and other comics were bought for him by his siblings which cemented his interest. He got much influence from the works of great writers like Grant Morrison and Jason Aaron among others.


Several ideas come out of Superman Red Son which can be applied in many other areas. These have also been the driving force behind many other aspects that may necessarily not be behind the movie (Longaker and Walker 27). There is the battle between the good and the bad where it is seen that the former will outshine the latter given time. They are between machines and human beings where the former will never win against people's minds. It also shows the power behind the leadership that is responsible for many successes in different fronts.

The whole book looks like an episode to depict a war between machines and human beings. Since human beings are the authors of the computers and other types of machinery, they will never at any time outwit them. In part of the novel, there was a conversation between human beings and machines. The human beings told Superman who is a machine, "We ordinary people might lack your great speed or your x-ray vision, Superman but never underestimate the power of human beings" (Millar 104). It came to pass that Superman was defeated by the same human beings with their reasoning through which they created rivals to beat him. Initially, Superman had been programmed to land in Kansas but unfortunately there was an error leading to his Ukrainian landing. This tells us that machines cannot be relied upon and are not loyal and it all depends on who is owning and controlling them.

There is a distorted way that things may appear unless one is keen then the real picture comes out. While the viewers might see Superman as the hero in more in-depth analysis one will discover that Lex Luthor was the real hero (Millar 3). In the same way, the war should not always be seen to be fought at the battlefront it can have been worn in the labs behind the walls by employing some scientific-technological advancement. The conventional weapons developed are not an end by themselves, and there are other advanced ways, some unconventional, that will be discovered to present fighting methods.


There were several instances where emotions were almost going overboard and the predictive nature of human beings base on how they were feeling. The story on Superman showed the weaknesses that are there when emotions are involved. According to Longaker and Walker, human beings sometimes require too much of their feelings in situations which makes them weak physically and at times to works up to reason straight (89). Superman on his part is not affected mentally and is in a position to do anything and cause whatever pain to others as long as they are perceived enemies.

The story works up the audience who would like to identify with some of the characters. The young audience would like to get the same powers as Superman and fight off the supposed bad guys. They believe that with these powers they will protect their loved ones in the way Superman did with the Russian people (Millar 78). Unfortunately for even the few with excessive physical power, some find themselves acting first and then reasoning later. He derives his power from the suits, and many admire this scenario and wish there was something that could have given them similar powers. It is annoying that Superman would stand for order and perfection instead of representing freedom and justice.


The author took the story on a different line compared to the usual one that most people are used to. It is only the ending that could tell that he sided with the other thoughts on the perceived enemies and inadequate systems. Most of the Westernized audience was happy with the end in that the United States emerged victoriously and ruled the world for many years to come.

Works Cited

Blanchard, Kenneth H, and Mark Miller. Great Leaders Grow: Becoming a Leader for Life. , 2012. Internet resource.

Longaker, Mark G, and Jeffrey Walker. Rhetorical Analysis: A Brief Guide for Writers. Boston: Longman, 2011. Print.

Millar, Mark, Superman: Red Son. , 2014. Print.

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