Mr. Towelhead reviews a popular thingy for once. All images are belong to Alex Ross (author) DC Comics (publisher), and for that matter Warner Brothers (money). We use for educational purposes, to check out a Superman story that defies the norm. Interested yet?
Mr. Towelhead reviews:
Kingdom Come is a comic mini-series within the DC Comics universe, that is the world/universe where Superman, Batman and the Justice League exist. Its a four-volume special edition of action and drama. The story was written by a certain fellows by the names of Alex Ross and Mark Waid, and the illustrations are done by Alex as well.
The basic idea is actually very decent. It’s set twenty or so years in the future when all the superheroes we’ve come to love are, inevitably, older. But. Unlike other half-assed attempts at such premises Alex Ross really goes the extra mile to developed a fairly believable tale, set within the boundaries of modern politics. Although the overall story per se is super-hero-cliché, there are several interesting elements to it. Conceptually speaking we see the story from the point of view of a dying old man who’s shown all stakeholders of the drama by a supreme being, and the protagonist (or if you like, you as comic-reader) must provide with an outside view.
To see the story from the eyes of regular human, someone full of questions…
… its like reading a book in first-person view. Its involving.
The story follows the protagonist (the old man) and Superman (as main character) through a process of recovery you could say. Background: After twenty or so years of Superman absence the world has moved forward and harsher heroes have taken the lead to eradicate crime. In the mean-time more and more people with powers are born and so the world plunges into a “worldwide” civil war between raging superhuman gangs. The story kind of begins with the return of Superman as a symbol of order.
But just because Superman is back doesn’t mean we’ll change.
What to do with the rebels, who defines what is rebellious? You, me, the politics, Superman?
Kingdom Come does portray in a nice way how complicated it would be a world where superhumans existed. Even with the return of Superman not everyone wants to fall in line and so the problem arises, what to do these people. Also the political powers of the world are getting tired of the chaos brought about by the superhumans. In a way the comic also provides a (superficial if you like) critique to our contemporary prison system and a (light) critique against authoritarian rule.
Finally, like a good story should, Kingdom Come provides with a moral, a premise, and a final epic clash of all times between heroes and villains.
The style of Alex is superb. Every panel looks like a master piece of oil painting. It strives to be realistic and it is beautiful. As to the content of the images, there are some pretty violent moments, but nothing particularly bloody or scary. There is (of course) no nudity, but there are some intense moments. So its not exactly a story for children.
The story is decent and what not, but still, we are dealing with a superhero comic, the dialogues and the overall plot is a bit cliché. Its definitely well done, its believable within its own setting. But yes cliché.
And of course Batman and Superman are still having some sort of dogs and cat game…
Its oddly familiar to see these two characters trying to outsmart each other even in “spin-off” stories.
Even though I hate clichés I really liked Kingdom Come because graphically speaking its stunning and they took the decency to make a GOOD, well-developed cliché story. In other words it makes sense.
And you have a happy ending, so if that’s your thing you won’t be disappointed.
If you are a fan of DC comics, comics in general (or if you are a graphic junky) Kingdom Come is definitely worth checking out. Its targeted at an older audience for sure and for that it rewards us with a heavy, neat and well-put-together story. Along the entire story there is a religious connotation. The events of Kingdom Come are a loose interpretation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (you know, in the Bible).
… But I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Mr. Towelhead is surprised he recommends a cliché-esque thing
10 / 10
Kingdom Come is a super decent story through and through. If only for the illustrations you’ll love it. If you absolutely hate comic strips, you should still check it out to indulge in one the best examples the genre has to offer.
And of course every good comic has to end with a Bang!