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Kingdom Come (Kingdom Come #1-4)

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4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  32,340 ratings  ·  707 reviews
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 b...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by DC Comics (first published August 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeff
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...more
StoryTellerShannon
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Superman has since withdrawn from things after a yo...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
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...more
Son of Sam Quixote
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Excellent graphic novel with incredible art by Alex Ross and a compelling storyline set in the near future of the DC universe in which the "old guard" super heroes (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern) retired from service and were replaced by a much more brash, violent and careless group of meta-humans who are not so easily distinguished from the bad guys they fight. The story involves Superman being lured out of retirement in order to help get the world back on the...more
StoryTellerShannon
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 yo...more
Sesana
I love Alex Ross's superhero art, especially on a book like Kingdom Come. There's the right mix of epic pages with awe-inspiring visuals and panels that use realism to show these still larger-than-life characters as flawed and human, in their own ways. The character design, both aging up existed DC characters and creating new ones, is almost flawless.

And yes, there's a story, too. And the story is perfectly suited for the art, or vice versa. It's a story with larger-than-life, almost godlike her...more
Algernon
easily the best artwork I've seen so far in a comic book. Alex Ross may use models and photographs and Photoshop intensively in order to obtain this photorealistic effect, but I don't really care as long as the final product is something like this. He's abusing a little the trick of illuminating a face from bellow to increase dramatism, but I love the color palette and the dynamism of his scenes.
Alex Ross artwork

The decision to depict the superheroes as mature / older versions of their established images is anot...more
Nick
Possibly the best comic ever written. The artwork alone makes this a joy to look at but the story goes into just what really makes a hero.

Kingdom Come takes place in an alternate future. Superman, and most of the Golden Age heroes, have retired or gone underground. Other heroes, new heroes, who were willing to seek street justice were chosen by the masses. Why keep locking up criminals who later escape when a metahuman (person with super powers) could kill the bad guy and solve the problem perma...more
Anne
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 disfigurement?". Ahem. *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)...more
Chris
A previous review summed up my feelings on this - Alex Ross does kick-ass covers, but once you get over the fact that his panels look "really life like!" you realize that life-like isn't what you want out of a comic. Do you want Norman Rockwell drawing Bat-Man? Not really. The story is okay, a decent bit of alternative-future, everyonne-dies-but-it-doesn't-matter-as-its-not-cannon fluff.
Bonnie
I know that this was one of those epic comic storylines of the 90s. And on its face, it's a good story - war is about to break out between the generations of superhumans and everyone, super and regular, will suffer for it. Will the older generation of heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman abandon their morals to stop their children and grandchildren, who have little regard for human life? And on the other side, we have mortals like Batman (who is not aging well - but who ever expects Batman to a...more
Patrick
Sep 02, 2008 Patrick rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore Comic Book Aficionados
Recommended to Patrick by: Jacob Schultz
This was an engaging graphic novel that was interesting and well-drawn, but not quite on par with the other graphic novels I've read ( Watchmen and The Killing Joke), in part because, despite a novel concept, this story wasn't quite able to handle the broad scope of that idea.

This edition came with an introduction that explained the genesis for the story--what would happen if Superman was no longer relevant? The impetus behind this being, what if a desperate world called for a new breed of super...more
Anthony
I should point out that a lot of the love I have for this is the nostalgia, because it's the first graphic novel I remember buying from a comic shop with my own money. I also read it at a time when I knew a lot less about the DC universe than I know now, and still enjoyed it. Each time I go back to re-read, I get something new from.

I think this is Waid and Ross commenting on superheroes becoming more 'gritty' and 'real' by becoming more violent towards each other. It happened in the 80's after W...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page

I'm not well-versed with graphic novels. Truth be told, in my mind, it's graphic novel = comics. Isn't it? I'm not sure, actually, but as far as I'm concerned, they're one and the same. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course.

Anyway, in the spirit of buddy reads and exploring other genres and book format, I picked up Kingdom Come by Mark Waid, illustrated by Alex Ross, through the push of my friend, fellow book blogger and graphic novel fan, Ariel. Kingdom Come is set...more
Edward Erdelac
Perhaps an intimate familiarity with the minutae of the DC universe is required for the enjoyment of this book, but I found it kinda tedious. The art of course, is gorgeous, and the Superman/Captain Marvel fight stands out (I liked the notion that Billy Batson had grown and thus was now indistinguishable from his alter ego physically), but I just didn't enjoy the rest of it. Nothing really innovative in the characterizations or the plot.
29alabs
Kingdom Come no es para cualquiera porque necesitas calcetines fuertes para no salir volando de ellos.

Mientras que la trama general de Kingdom Come no necesita realmente que tu conozcas todo acerca de los superhéroes habidos y por haber de DC Comics, sí ganas un entendimiento mucho más profundo entre más personajes distingues de la gigantesca lista de 'metahumanos' que la historia propone, y déjenme decirles, gigantesca no es una hipérbole.

El arte de Alex Ross, hiperrealista, siento que le agreg...more
Amanda
This was my second read through of "Kingdom Come." The story is sort of a "what if" scenario. Superman has always been a moral compass to the people in the DC Universe. This story takes place 10 years after Superman retires. Most of the other Heroes from his time have followed his lead and stepped out of the picture. The universe is, however, still full of other Metahumans. Not all of whom share in their forebear’s ideals. These new “heroes” are out of control and there are some tragedies. This...more
Adam Matthews
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin
I’ve spent many days trying to write this review in my head, uncertain of what to say. Kingdom Come (whose title, as most people probably realize, comes from the Pater Noster) appears to have two main thematic concepts. The first is that the children and grandchildren of the first superheroes run amok and belittle rather than inspire human achievement when they no longer have anyone who opposes them because all of the super-villains have been eliminated. The second is that their parents and gran...more
Paul
Kingdom Come, how do I love thee, let me count the ways
1. I bought the original graphic novels as they cane out, such brilliant Alex Ross artwork, such a nice setting for the future of DC's mightiest heroes.
2. I bought the hardcover, what a lovely book to add to my shelves, worthy of a display in my living room... but the nephews and nieces better not touch! ;-)
3. I bought the Absolute version... OK, now I'm just going overboard!

This is not the first book I've ever bought multiple versions of, I...more
Phillip
Who would have thought that the mysteries held in the apocryphal Revelation of John would foretell the ultimate clash between super heroes and super villains.

Well, these authors would, of course.

Characters from the DC litany of graphic adventures, so numerous that the reader would profit from a copy of “Who’s Who in Detective Comics,” take sides under the mystified gaze of Norman McKay, an aging minister who is called upon the revisit John’s vision as the millennial events roll forth.

Although...more
Kamina
~ 4.5 out of 5 stars ~

First of Alex Ross's art is captivating just like the characters and sometimes it works like watching a movie as the plot slowly unfolds.

The backdrop is set in chaotic future where super humans have become menace. (to whom? I won't reveal that part). The characters are not two dimensional, there are conflicts both moral and ethical, there are difficult choices, double crosses and all the contents of a good thriller movie.

I think Ross has paid homage to Christopher Reeve in...more
Matthew
This was such a major disappointment for me in terms of lack of information, plot, and useless storyline. But gets me upset is that the artwork is absolutely stunning and had so much potential and then it just went to the garbage. This story is about how in 10 years, the world has gone mad with superheroes who have forgotten what it is to defend for humans and this planet. Part of this is because Superman quit being so super because he failed a major mission that ruined Kansas and those who he t...more
Sean
I don't know, maybe I'm just not capable of getting into super heros anymore, or maybe Ross's retro superheros-as-good-guys thing is just not for me. Give me a Batman who isn't just crabby, but sociopathic, and I might be interested. But good old fashion good guys? Boring.
Matt Mongiello
I'm pretty much convinced that stories based in the broad DC or marvel universes are doomed. The characters are unable to have a realistic and satisfying dynamic with the "real" world when that world is so thoroughly overshadowed by dozens (in this case thousands) of super beings. The story is supposed to be about Superman struggling as a leader, and this story is boring and unsatisfying. More compelling is the idea (explored in watchmen) that the presence of super being is inherently harmful to...more
Christopher
A really excellent story about the more 'mature' superheros effectively 'retiring', leaving the world to a more brash, violent, and inconsiderate breed of metahumans. This new breed isn't as concerned about the loss of innocent life and their battles tend to be more with each other than about bettering (or even protecting humanity).

It's similar in feel to Batman: The Dark Knight Returns in that everyone (Superman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and yes, Batman) are all a bit older and removed from...more
***Dave Hill
KC is one of the first counter-waves to the comic book deconstructionist movement initiated by Alan Moore with "Watchmen" and Frank Miller with "The Dark Knight Returns". Waid lets his imagination and encyclopediac knowledge of DC comics run wild with this future tale of a world where the next generation of supers are destructive and heedless of human life, and the great Silver Age heroes -- Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Batman, Aquaman -- have retired or gone into semi-seclusion...more
Alfred
Great art. I didn't like the way the story was told but it is a pretty epic tale.
John Yelverton
Hands down and without a doubt, the greatest graphic novel ever written!
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Mark Waid (born March 21, 1962 in Hueytown, Alabama) is an American comic book writer. He is best known for his eight-year run as writer of the DC Comics' title The Flash, as well as his scripting of the limited series Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright, and his work on Marvel Comics' Captain America.
More about Mark Waid...
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