Book review – Kingdom Come

Kingdom come

by Mark Waid (Author), Alex Ross (Artist), Todd Klein (Calligrapher)

“Even super-heroes need to grow”

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This graphic novel was published on 1997. And the same year it won 4 prestigious awards.

What I really loved about it was the introduction written by one of the most prominent graphic novel DC writers Elliot S. Maggin.

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I like the idea this graphic novel presented about what it is to be a hero and what it means to be human. Some of the ideas were inspiring to say the least. This is a story about Superman and an alternate world Elseworld where things take a different turn than most cannon Superman novels.

From the Introduction by Elliot S. Maggin

“The heroes of fable and fact to whose virtue we aspire, are not only colorfull people leading vivd lives; they traditionaly understand the value of human life in all its places and conditions. But real-life heroes, unlike many icons we created, also understand human dignity and human immortality, … Heroes especially need to understand the value of the things of a life: it’s artifacts, it’s ideas, it’s loves. It is markers that you leave along that road that define you.”

The story is seen trough the eyes of an elder human minister Norman McCay who is lead by The Spectre as a witness to a time of disaster possibly so great that it might mean the end of the world. The children of superheroes and villains that once were are creating havoc to the human world. Characters we knew have gotten old…

From the Introduction by Elliot S. Maggin

“We have an obligation to know who we are and where we are and what we can do. We have an obligation to understand the ramifications of the things we do, and to choose to do them – or not – with our eyes open.”

kingdom come

Dialogue between Lex Luthor (bald cigar smoking guy on the left) and The Riddler/Edward Nigma (glasses wearing guy on the right)

At times I found the art to be feast for the eyes but the story as a whole did not rise to my higher expectations inspired by the introduction. There is a strong redemption theme and a question of morality.

“It’s really very simple. In this world, there is right and there is wrong … and that distinction is not difficult to make.”
Superman

Batman-vs.-Superman-in-Kingdom-Come

Superman confronting elderly Batman on questions of morality

This graphic novel raises the question of Free Will against the Divine Intervention. 

“…we learn here that the most ordinary among us are heroes, and the most colorful and vivid among us are quite ordinary and flawed.”

It also has a dedication I found an awesome addition to the issue!

kr

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