2013 Top 100 Comic Book Storylines #9-7
7. “Kingdom Come” by Mark Waid and Alex Ross (Kingdom Come #1-4) – 941 points (21 first place votes)
Kingdom Come is an interesting reflection on the superhero trends of the 1990s.
It is set in the future, a world where “grim and gritty” superheroes have basically taken control of the DC Universe, leading to vast amounts of chaos (and the Spectre is asking an old minister to help pass judgment on the Earth. This minister, Norman McCay, is our eye’s on view of the problems of this world).
Superman is pulled out of retirement by a tragedy which left it quite clear that something “had” to be done about the superhero problem. However, unbenown to Superman, other forces were coming together to deal with heroes THEIR way.
Superman’s return is breathtakingly delivered by Waid and Ross…
Superman’s return led to a resurgence of “traditional” superheroics, and Superman gathers his old friends in a revamped Justice League. Superman gains a number of converts to his way of thinking, but just as many “heroes” turn away from Superman’s view of the world, leading to a number of conflicts and Superman effectively imposing his will on these people, something that turns Batman from Superman’s crusade.
As the powder keg Superman has been building explodes, it’s hero versus hero versus villain while a worried government wonders if they should just try to rid themselves of superheroes once and for all.
It’s a tense script by Mark waid, and Alex Ross’ realistic painted artwork brings across the humanity of the story being told. In addition, Ross clearly has a blast revamping the looks for the older heroes and designing costumes for the new characters.
And boy Ross knew how to deliver on dramatic moments. Like the moment above and later in the story when the prison Superman and friends built to hold the rogue heroes and villains is breached. Superman tries to get involved but Luthor has sent an ace in the hole to stop Superman…
What a way to lead into the finale! The finale was one hell of a brawl between heroes, villains, other heroes and, oh yea, the governments of the world. It was quite an ending!