As most fans of Superman know, Clark’s total driving inner voice is one of doing good. However, what if the inner driving voice was turned in the other direction. So lays the premise of a somewhat new take on the Superman storyline.
Not, this is not a Superman movie per se, but the parallels to our favorite superhero are undeniable. Brightburn is basically a sturdy in nature versus nurture. The main character, Brandon Breyer, has the type of life that every kid would dream of: parents who adore him, a beautiful home, and tranquil land as far as the eye can see. Everything is perfect—or so it would seem.
There is the fact that there is an alien spaceship (seeing the Superman parallels yet?) in the barn. A spacecraft that talks to Brandon and tells him he needs to murder everyone in sight. Okay, so that part isn’t so much like Superman, but in a broader view—yeah kinda.
By the end of Brightburn, the audience is left thinking what if Superman had gone the other way? His life story is so enmeshed into our current day pop culture that to take the story in another direction, dare we say deranged, and you can see how unsettling this can quickly become.
Much like the Kent’s took in Clark, a kind couple discovers an alien baby, takes it in as their own, and raises it as an Earthling. When said child begins exhibiting world-changing powers, this is where the story changes. Whereas Superman strived to do good, Brandon not so much.
Brandon is an example of what Superman could have become, had he been stripped of his morality and empathy. He would have become pretty much an unstoppable force. Brightburn tells the other side of the spectrum and does it with such ability that we will most assuredly never look at Superman in the same way again.