And really how do you control a world full of meta humans and how do you keep faith.
If you re a fan of super hero comics this one is almost essential.
Three words Alex Ross artwork Wow The detail in this is beautiful, and the way he aged these iconic heroes without making them appear creepy was amazing Which begs the question, Why do so many artists equate aging with disfigurementAhem steps down from soap box Mark Waid really does a good job at telling this what if tale It s not perfect, but it definitely has it s moments view spoiler An aging Batman is talking to the now grey Superman, and in mid sentence Bruce turns around only to notice that Clark is gone He almost smiles and says, So that s how that feels I don t know why exactly, but that was my favorite part of the entire book hide spoiler Writer Mark Waid, Coming From His Popular Work On Flash And Impulse, And Artist Alex Ross, Who Broke New Ground With The Beautifully Painted Marvels, Join Together For This Explosive Book That Takes Place In A Dark Alternate Future Of The DC Superhero Universe Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, And Almost Every Other Character From DC Comics Must Choose Sides In What Could Be The Final Battle Of Them All This is such a layered story that it almost makes no sense to write a review after only one reading On the other hand, despite being very good and make no mistake, it s very good , this is probably one I won t be re reading soon It s a demanding story, and occasionally unsettling, much like Watchmen There s even a novelization Kingdom Come , which I may even seek out at some stage, to fill in the gaps.
The story deals with the premise of a world filled with superhumans who have no regard for human life Even though they re self appointed protectors of the people, they often do harm than good, and get involved in squabbles that tend to lead to lots of collateral damage and loss of life But what would happen if the original champions should return from retirement to restore order It s not as simple as it may sound The story is told from the perspective of pastor Norman McCay and The Spectre, and is driven by apocalyptic inevitability as events hurtle toward judgment day There are a number of religious parallels drawn here, often to great effect It s a moody but quite brilliant story that, in essence, asks the question where do you draw the line As far as continuity is concerned, there are some interesting contradictions Waid has confirmed that the Flash featuring here is, in fact, Wally West However, he is dressed in the costume worn by the original golden age Flash, Jay Garrick By the same token, the Green Lantern featuring here is Alan Scott, even though there are numerous references to New Oa and one panel depicts a Guardian This is interesting because Alan Scott s ring was powered by magic and he doesn t have anything to do with Oa or the Guardians as far as I know Well, it is an Elseworlds tale, so it technically shouldn t affect or be affected by DC continuity I m certain if you look at the story closely enough you re going to find all sorts of interesting oddities.
The driving force behind Kingdom Come is Alex Ross, who also did the interior artwork The idea, as far as I can discern, was to create a work that focuses on a realistic extrapolation of the Golden Silver age of DC comics, and how ordinary people would be affected by a world full of meta beings similar to Marvels but taken to a whole new level I ve been reading comics since I was a kid and we do tend to take this kind of thing for granted, but what would it really be like to live in a world where some people can fly and others can t Kingdom Come is enormously popular, and it s easy to see why it s truly good and the art is, well, it s Alex Ross The series also won a number of awards If you re a fan of graphic novels, don t delay the inevitable, read this.
Kingdom Come is one of the most boring, overrated, and simply bad event books from DC I ve read It lacks a coherent narrative, competent writing, strong characterisation, and, maybe most basic of all, an interesting story Mark Waid s writing on this book is truly abysmal The saving grace of this book is Alex Ross artwork which may be the reason so many people think it s a classic of the superhero genre But even Ross photo realistic art can t save it from the literary quagmire it drives itself into and fails to leave for the entirety of this book.
The story setup is most baffling of all Superman has retired for 10 years because he lost his parents and Lois He just felt he couldn t be Superman any Uh ok But then everyone else in the Justice League, except Batman, decide to call it a day too Green Lantern builds himself a giant green space station and sits on his throne, Hawkman flies about the Pacific North West, Wonder Woman disappears back to her island, Flash runs endlessly in circles Why Just because Superman hung up his blue and red costume It doesn t make sense and it s never explained So in the vacuum the JLA left, a new, younger generation of superhero arrives These guys aren t really superheroes, they don t care about honour or protecting the innocent, they just fly about the place, smashing things up, firing off lasers, doing all kindsa nutty things for no reason It s never explained just why these new superheroes have no conscience except that that s what Mark Waid wrote in his script, so that s it Great Arbitrary nonsense.
So after Magog who is now the superhero the world deserves, I suppose makes a mess by accidentally killing the Atom, thus triggering an atomic explosion that destroys Kansas, Superman finally returns Why Because it s his home state There have been other terrible incidents in the 10 years he s been away but this causes him to return, which consequently brings the rest of the JLA back at the same time They basically do whatever Superman tells them to do, I suppose, they re not individuals, at least not in the hands of Mark Waid.
Now it s Superman and the JLA, the classic superheroes who stand for truth, honour, justice, etc against the arbitrarily stupid, evil, ignorant, and conscience free new superheroes For some reason, their fighting will bring about Armageddon But not really because it s humanity who will do this because they don t much like superheroes any The humans, led by Lex Luthor, have had enough of superheroes or meta humans and have decided to build an army to fight them so that humanity will be left alone to make their own decisions and mistakes An old and battered Bruce Wayne, held together by an exo skeleton, joins Luthor and promises to build an army of Bat robots like the kind he uses to police Gotham But it doesn t matter because the United Nations decide to fire a nuke into the heart of America at the superheroes who are gathered at the site of Superman s gulag to fight, thus bringing about Armageddon So it s the humans fault, not the superheroes.
But before going into how utterly stupid this scenario is, let s talk about the unnerving undercurrent of right wing politics appearing in this book Superman and co are old therefore good while everything new is instantly portrayed as bad Superman reiterates that all life is sacred , he destroys a bar s alcohol because it doesn t help , and he builds a gulag yes, it s called a gulag in the book to house the rebels Their stance on crime is extreme There s a scene where some kids mug a man and run off only to be cornered by not one, not two, but four giant Bat robots Police state good And throughout the book are quotes from the Bible So, in this book at least, we have pro life, prohibitionist, security obsessed Christians as the heroes Sounds pretty conservative and damned repulsive to me I don t know Waid s political views but judging from this book I d say he s an ardent Republican.
If Superman s characterisation is disturbing, it s nothing compared to Wonder Woman who pushes for military action right from the start, urging Superman to build a prison as an answer to any kind of theological opposition Democracy s bad I guess, Stalin had the right idea Two of DC s flagship characters behaving like fascists is very disturbing to read but at least they got to speak Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman They never say a word They silently stand about, helping Superman, like colourful goons and then disappear when he doesn t need them They are simply ciphers And the book is filled with weird character moments that were so out of place they took me out of the story like, why does Superman need an oxygen mask to breathe in space, or why is Red Robin piloting the UN s nuke Batman is maybe the one character I thought Waid did justice to Despite being some kind of Transformers obsessed creator, his personality was right even if his Batman outfit was basically a robot suit and, besides one scene, he s never in costume but he s still called Batman, not Bruce Wayne, which is kinda weird.
There s also the framing device of the Spectre taking an elderly preacher called Norman McCay on a ghostly trip through the book, so they re constantly in the background witnessing events unfold This is because we re told by Spectre that Norman is to decide the fate of everything are the superheroes to be saved or damned It s up to Norman Who Why But in the end this premise proves completely redundant as it s actually Billy Batson who decides Shazam Yup, another narrative dead end.
Alex Ross artwork is great and I always enjoy it He employs real people wearing real superhero costumes to pose as models and then paints them onto the page, giving his work that photo realistic look that s much lauded And it s great, except when you have people pose for each panel, you don t get a good sense of motion in the book Every pose is static because it has to be in order for Ross to paint it He doesn t do movement very well and this book is full of movement Not once does it seem like the characters are actually moving Also, as great as his art is, I feel like there can be too much of a good thing, like eating a ton of lobster and garlic butter and making yourself feel sick I like seeing Ross work on covers and maybe the occasional short, but a 212 page book The wow factor really diminishes by the end.
The story made no sense Superman s story arc from retired superhero to returning hero to fascist leader to saviour again made no sense and was horrible to witness Luthor s plan made no sense The UN s behaviour made no sense nuking Superman does not work, yet they do it anyway And of course afterwards he shows up and trashes the place it was this scene in particular that made me see where Waid got his inspiration for his Irredeemable character, Plutonian, from and could easily have killed them all if he wasn t stopped and reminded of who he is Yeah, there s one of those scenes included here The story of the old and new superheroes fighting one another made no sense and the whole point of Armageddon was really forced Nothing that happens in this book has any relevancy in later, or earlier, story arcs It stands alone as an empty, pointless, uninspired and directionless disaster Everything about this book is flawed beyond belief and beneath it all beats the cold dead heart of conservatism and a fear and hatred of modernity and changing attitudes.
It s another example of the kind of superhero book that tries to be relevant by being as real as possible But the biggest problem for me was the basic requirement I have for any piece of fiction entertainment This book is SO BORING Once you get past the nonsensical plot, there is nothing here that is of any interest The characters are bland and despicable, the tone is joyless and morbid, and the plodding story is utterly bland and uninteresting If nothing else, this book should be avoided due to it being so purely dull.
For comics fans who ve read and enjoyed the wide range of superhero comics DC offer, coming to Kingdom Come is a jarring and unpleasant experience that throws up too many questions, offering no answers, and manages to create a miserable, soggy piece of storytelling with some of the most interesting characters ever created It s bad on every level and serves as one of the nadirs of crap comics Kingdom Come is to be avoided by any and all readers.
This story is about the children and grandchildren of the Old Guard superheroes think Justice League and the like , who are lacking in finesse, compassion and an overriding need to protect the regular people Instead, they bicker, brag about wiping out Old Guard villains and then proceed to become the villains by having gang fights out in public, putting the humans at risk amidst flying cars, crumbling buildings and all types of energy blasts Superman has since withdrawn from things after a younger superhero did something horrible in the eyes of some and was acquitted by the courts Now he resides on a farm in the midwest and has lost touch with humanity as his wife, coworkers and parents are long gone and buried But continued recklessness by those young superheroes compels Superman and other former Justice Leaguers to come out of retirement to end it all Fortunately for him he and Captain Marvel are the apparently the strongest of all the superheroes and Superman also has enough charisma to get many of the younger types to join up All said, though, there are a large number of younger superheroes who refuse to change and are put into a superhero prison Things heat up unsurprisingly in the latter part of the story as the imprisoned superheroes threaten to break out and the humans get involved as well A plethora of known and unknown superheroes are present in this graphic novel There are so many that they have a few picture pages of all their names Other than the Justice Leaguers I knew less than a dozen True fanbois girls of the superhero genre will know The artwork is startling lifelike and the senior citizen Justice Leaguers are grayish but mostly dignified though Robin looked like the gimp but that s another story Throughout the story there s a pastor who travels with Spectre to watch like a ghost from the sidelines He represents a humanity that has put so much of its trust in the Old Guard that later generations have learned to look up to them but now of course they re in fear of the younger breed and they question their lives and the choices they have made I felt the pastor was a hit or miss experience Several spinoffs sprouted from this title The wiki claims that this tale took place on Earth 22 revealed in the 52 series.
ARTWORK B plus STORY PLOTTING B CHARACTERS DIALOGUE B to B plus ADVANCES SUPERHEROES IN SOME WAY B plus to A minus OVERALL GRADE B plus WHEN read early February 2012.
They move freely through the streets through the world, but unopposed They are, after all our protectorI wasn t expecting to like this I really wasn t It was just one of those days when I have no idea what to read, then remembered someone recommending this, so I picked it up Imagine my surprise when I ended up loving it I m pretty iffy with older comics because of how they are written I don t really enjoy the way it s written as some of them are written in a very dated way I prefer the writing a bit modern and contemporary Kingdom Come may be a bit dated, but holy crap, the story was great and so was the art THE STORY WRITING The story focused on the divide between the older heroes, the ones we all know and love Superman, Wonderwoman, Green Lantern you know who they are , and the newer ones, mostly the decendants of the older heroes The divide between them is caused by the difference in their view on saving people It kind of reminds me of Millar s Civil War for Marvel, only this one has a interesting aspect to it being the narrator isn t really a superhero but a bystander who can see what was happening That part, I really, really liked.
As for the writing, as I mentioned earlier, reading older works causes a bit of a nuisance for me I find that some older stuff are harder to read because of the way they are written Kingdom Come was published back in 1996 but the story is still pretty much relevant The writing and the story definitely is something that still be relevant for future generations to read It definitely is a classic despite it being an Elseworld story THE ILLUSTRATIONS Oh my god The illustrations were divine I can t even begin to tell you how much I loved looking at each frame It was magnificent They look like real people They look so alive I fucking loved it I m going to look for Alex Ross illustrations I need of that shit THINGS I LIKED The illustrations Duh It s beautiful I liked that the narrator being someone from the outside and not someone close to the Justice League It was like we were watching the events unravel with him and not just reading something on paper It raises questions It makes you ask the question what it really mean to be just Is it allowing people to have equal rights Villains and civilians Should one life be worth than others Should we give way to what the majority ones even if you know that it will only end up with a much bigger problem The stories that makes you think and reflect are the best ones This is definitely one of them I liked how it used passages from the bible as a parallel to what was going to come I thought that was a nice touch It was easy to get into If you have no clue about whatever was happening with the canon story line, you d still be able to follow the story since this is a standalone run There s no pre requesite comic book that you need to read in order for you to appreciate this THINGS I DIDN T LIKE There were some slower moments where I wish was happening This is really of a nitpick than anything else While I loved the story, this definitely suffered from some plotholes Why did it take them a really long time for them to realize something was wrong with what the newer generation of heroes were doing And what the hell were the other s doing anyways Did they all rely that much with Superman OVERALL THOUGHTS Overall, this was an amazing read I loved what it represents I loved the story it chose to tell The artwork for me was the greatest part of Kingdom Come Would definitely be looking for Alex Ross work in the future.
Stunned I am stunned This is absolutely stunning Where to even start The closest thing I can compare this to is Crisis On Infinite Earths It s on a much smaller scale setting wise, just the one Earth, but the cast of characters is immense, so complex and otherworldly I won t even get into it And the writing is ripe with social criticism and politics And there are many plots.
The story, much like Kurt Busiek and Alex Ross s Marvels, is told from a bystander s perspective, a pastor who has lost faith and begun to envision the end of days He eventually guides Spectre through the destruction to cast judgment on humanity, and whether humans or super humans are responsible One subplot is humans versus super humans Humans have suffered from the belligerence of the new guard and the resignation of the old guard While the war rages, the humans are forced to become involved and protect themselves And are they guilty for having overstepped and become involved in a war of gods, or have the super humans reaped what they ve sown Another subplot is Superman s path to redemption, which could be applied to all the super humans for failing to protect the humans and uphold a higher moral code While they fight among themselves they commit a gross disservice and injustice, disgracing the name of hero Social criticism Themes, to name a few Fascism Totalitarianism Democracy Capital punishment War and peace Ageism Capitalism Oligarchy America The list goes on and on So Mark Waid killed on the writing And Alex Ross, as usual, had me drooling over the artwork I would very much like to own something framed and signed by him.
Kingdom Come should be in the holy canon of graphic novels It is easily among the top 25 10 greatest stories ever written for super hero comics The story takes place in the future Most of the DC roster of heroes have grown old Superman don t call him Clark has retired It seems that the public can only stand so much of villains, like the Joker, who, because of the thou shalt not kill villains hero code, just escape from jail and repeatedly wreak havoc.
Some heroes break the code, start killing villains and public sentiment forces the old guard to bow out It leaves a situation where you have a group of meta humans with varying degrees of good intentions taking justice into their own hands When most of the bad guys are wiped out, they begin to turn on each other It takes a catastrophic incident involving a group of heroes the villain, Parasite and much loss of life to bring the clash between the old and new ways to a head.
Alex Ross s artwork adds majesty and gravitas to Mark Waid s now classic storyline Waid raises lots of issues about the nature of superheroes and their role in society that became seeds for other storylines see Marvel s Civil War.
The denouement where three heroes are eating at a super hero themed restaurant is both touching and hilarious.
This one is a classic If you haven t read it You should However, that doesn t mean it s perfector even that it s one of my personal favorites.
Something happened that made Superman give up And in this Elseworlds story, that caused a chain reaction in other superheroes that eventually meant the old guard mostly retired into oblivion Now the world is left with the next generation of heroes who don t have the same respect for human life that their parents and grandparents had, and there s no one strong enough to shut them down when their fighting gets messy.
After a particularly awful thing happens an old pastor named Norman McCay is visited by the Spectre and told to stand witness and decide who is going to be the recipient of his particular brand of judgment.
That s just part of the story.
I really enjoyed that Captain Marvel played such a big part in this one, and I loved that Waid gave us a hopeful ending But for some reason, this story just didn t turn my crank quite as hard as I had hoped it would the 2nd time around It s still for me a 4 star read, and it didn t quite make it into the Wow territory I thought it might after I revisited it.