Top positive review
Not what I expected. BETTER. You won't be able to put it down!
Reviewed in the United States on October 21, 2017
This book checks all the boxes of not just a great Elseworlds story, but just a great graphic novel. Period. You get a very interesting idea with Superman's vessel landing in the middle of the Soviet Union and him growing up to become Stalin's right hand man at the heart of the Cold War, but said idea is executed and laid out for the reader in such an engaging and nuanced way (in both the writing and the art) that I wasn't able to put this book down! There's never a dull moment here, the story never drags and the art is excellent and so fitting for the concept and theme of the book (it's quite dark and grim, and yet every page is full of life and so captivating).
The story unfolds throughout decades and decades, yet the pacing never ever feels slow, and you can feel the stakes getting higher and higher with every turning page. The book is very "cinematic", both in the storytelling and the art itself, with the way everything is arranged in each panel and page. I can totally see Warner Brothers making this into an animated film and I cannot understand why they haven't yet.
You get very interesting character development here (especially from the main characters), you get a few subtle nods and throwbacks to other iconic moments in DC's history in some of the book's pages that literally made me go "Oh that's great!" or "That's clever!", you get great cameos and supporting appearances from other DC characters, but they don't feel forced or tacked on, they actually add something interesting to the plot. You just get so much good stuff all around here, I just can't recommend this book enough.
I took my time before reading this book, not only because I'm a little wary of Elseworlds stories after reading a few that really didn't hit the mark for me (e.g. Superman: Speeding Bullets), but also because, at face value, I expected the writing to be preachy or overly political (looking at you, post-1990 Frank Miller!). Well, I'm happy to say that I was completely wrong and this is one of the best graphic novels I've ever read and one of my new favorites!