In 2003, an alternate vision of Superman was released. The author of this mini series, Mark Miller uses the following prompt for the series: “What if Superman’s ship had crashed somewhere else in the world than in the USA?” What if Superman had ended up in Communist Russia instead of America? This series subverts everything that Superman stands for by taking him out of America. Superman stands up for stereotypical communist values “…as the Champion of the common worker who fights a never-ending battle for Stalin, socialism, and the international expansion of the Warsaw Pact.”
Lex Luthor is still the antagonist, but he fights for America in this version. An interesting comparison between the canon Superman and this alternate universe is that he is loyal to the government still. The series, by taking out the American aspect of Superman, highlights its importance to Superman as a character by showing it when it’s gone. Superman is also hesitant of open conflict with the United States in this version. He is provoked into attacking after Luthor’s schemes push him to the edge.
An ironic twist is that the depiction of the Cold War here changes from America as the good guys and Soviets as the antagonists to the opposites. The Americans are the antagonists, trying to violently expand and spread their ideology (called here Luthorism, a spoof of Stalinism). The Soviets are the one peacefully expanding.
Ultimately though, Superman is still shown as having a strong sense of justice, albeit tempered in a different culture. He sacrifices himself towards the end of the story for the greater good, saving the Earth and all of it’s inhabitants, American and Soviet alike. Superman still decides to live peacefully among humans rather than acting as a lord over them in the end.