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Kingdom Come (Kingdom Come #1-4)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  44,781 Ratings  ·  973 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, 231 pages
Published October 1st 1997 by DC Comics (first published August 1996)
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Oct 01, 2013 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, comix
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
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Superman has since withdrawn from things after a yo
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
"They move freely through the streets… through the world, but unopposed. They are, after all… our protector."

I 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 pref
Jun 01, 2011 Anne rated it really liked it
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)
Sam Quixote
Jan 01, 2013 Sam Quixote rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2015 Stephen rated it really liked it

If you're a fan of the DC universe, you've surely heard of this title. It is possibly the most famous DC title to date.

The story takes place several years into the future where Superman has exiled himself to his fortress of solitude. Wonder Woman shows and tries to convince him that the world still needs him. Because the so called "heroes" that have run rampant and are a danger to themselves and humanity. Will the older generation of heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman abandon their morals t

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 lo
Mar 21, 2012 Sesana rated it really liked it
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
Mar 03, 2010 Stephen rated it really liked it
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
Aug 15, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Beautiful art, deep and interesting story full of twists and truths hidden behind truths.

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.
Jan 19, 2015 Gavin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics

This is just about as bad a book as DK2.

There is a Power Girl Boob joke at the end, almost as if Waid read this and realized it had not a single moment of levity.

This is dark and right wing reactionary garbage. It's scary because it doesn't seem far off. Everything new or different or changed is bad. Also everyone in the justice league except batman and flash just abandon everyone.

Throw in the weird religious blunt hammering over the head...just NOT my cup of tea.

I've now read 2 horrid books in
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
Dec 05, 2007 Nick rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 12, 2012 Algernon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012, comics
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
May 15, 2015 Julia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, dc-comics, 2016

I just had to throw this picture in here because wow. This was awesome and I could stare at this image for hours.

It took a little while to get started and it was difficult to get used to how many characters there are in this. There's a key in the back to identify almost all the characters, but it's almost no use because of just how many there are and how small many of their roles are. But still, I'm glad they threw that in.

The plot was also a little tricky at first but turned out to be very comp
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
Apr 06, 2007 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
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.
Alex Ross' artwork was on point, and wow! Mark Waid can write the shit out of a comic book. The pacing, the characterisation all. Came through to deliver one helluva knockout story. Bravo!!
Brandon St Mark
One of the best trades I've ever read. I didn't look at every piece of bonus material (since I have the 20th anniversary version), but there's enough in it from what I've seen to be worthy of an upgrade (if you have a different edition). I will say, one complaint I have is that, because of the binding of this book, it made the genealogy chart hard to read because of the gutter loss, however the contents aren't large enough to really warrant any different kind of binding, so I'm not too upset. Ju ...more
David Schaafsma
I write this with some trepidation since on the Goodreads List of Best Graphic Novels of all Time, Kingdom Come is one of the very top books. It was maybe the only one in the top fifty I had never read, so when a student who loves it brought it to me to read, well. .. anticipation, but yes, I began with trepidation. High expectations. But consider this context: I am teaching a graphic novels/comics class, and had just read books at the very top of the Best GN list, Dark Knight Returns, Fun Home, ...more
Aug 25, 2008 Patrick rated it liked it  ·  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 supe
Jul 02, 2014 JB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say about Kingdom Come other than that it's a work of art.
A work of art when it comes to the writing and the artwork.

I'm going to start collecting work from Mark Waid and Alex Ross.
I already have some of their work on my wishlist: JLA Tower of Babel, Justice, Marvels etc.

I love the concept of famous superheroes in a distant future, when they're much older than they are in the stories you usually read.

The heroes of old are retired or some of them are still at work, like the Flash who
James DeSantis
Jun 01, 2016 James DeSantis rated it liked it
This wasn't easy to judge. I know it's Legendary status, I know people swear by it, and I know it's super respected.

Saying that I didn't love it, just enjoyed it.

The idea of having all the old heroes "retire" or "retreat" and having the world overrun by new heroes who are violent. I believe when written in the 90's it was talking about the state of all heroes becoming gritty in the 90's, which is nice to talk about it, but not all that important in this day and age. Anyway, I was let down by t
Jul 05, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it
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 se
Jun 11, 2013 Anthony rated it it was amazing
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
As a deep and rather philosophical tale of the dangers inherent in living in a world where Supers (heroes and villains) make the world both easier and harder to live in, Kingdom Come is classic graphic novel that is pretty much mandatory reading for any DC fan.
What is both a pro and a con for the story is that it’s set so into the “future” that the characters we all know and love are changed and slightly unrecognizable. If you like your heroes to be beyond human limitations, this might not be th
Jun 05, 2016 Sorcered rated it it was ok
Cea mai lipsită de sens poveste din universul JLA. Noroc cu ilustrațiile lui Alex Ross, că altfel aruncam cartea dupa 30 de pagini...

Pe scurt, Superman e deprimat și se lasă de meserie, iar tot restul găștii cunoscute (Wonder Woman, Flash, etc) se lasă și ei, de parcă n-ar putea să funcționeze independent de șefu', abandonând Pământul unei noi generații de supereroi (copiii ăstora vechi) care sunt de fapt niște golani descreierați și puși pe rele, nu pe rezolvat problemele planetei. Noul șef al
Jun 05, 2014 Logan rated it it was amazing
Wow! A really good story! So this is set in the future the DC heroes we know now are old, and the newer generation of heroes have begun to get out of control! It is up to Superman(who has been retired) to stop them! This i feel is The Dark Knight Returns but for Superman, a retired hero is needed again and he comes back and kicks ass! Artwork and story were top notch! This book also illustrates very well the disagreements among trinity(Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman), it really shows where th ...more
Edward Erdelac
Mar 03, 2012 Edward Erdelac rated it it was ok
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.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Kingdom Come (4 books)
  • Kingdom Come #1 "Strange Visitor"
  • Kingdom Come #2 "Truth and Justice"
  • Kingdom Come #3 "Up in the Sky"
  • Kingdom Come #4 "Never Ending Battle"

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