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Kingdom Come

(Kingdom Come #1-4)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  53,833 ratings  ·  1,503 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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Nicholas Fenner I think your average 12-14 year old reader could understand this book, but the caveat is that the subtext of "Kingdom Come" may not be grasped by youn…moreI think your average 12-14 year old reader could understand this book, but the caveat is that the subtext of "Kingdom Come" may not be grasped by younger readers. It's the point about a changing culture embracing violence, narcissism, and apathy. And it's about an older idealist generation of heroes walking away from society when times got tough.(less)

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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One of the DC’s crown jewels!

This TPB edition collects “Kingdom Come” #1-4, plus an epilogue (exclusive of the collected TPB edition), an introduction by Elliot S. Maggin (who did the prose novelization), and a Sketch gallery (including a guide of the characters portraited on each individual cover of the original comic book issues).

Creative Team:

Writers: Mark Waid & Alex Ross

Illustrator: Alex Ross

Letterer: Todd Klein


This epic tale showing the last days of the DC Super
Oct 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix, favorites
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, star
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is a classic.
If you haven't read it? You should.

However, that doesn't mean it's perfect or even that it's one of my personal favorites.


Something happened that made Superman give up. And in this Elseworlds story, that caused a chain reaction in other superheroes that eventually meant the old guard (mostly) retired into oblivion. Now the world is left with the next generation of heroes who don't have the same respect for human life that their parents and grandparents had, and there's no
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
Sam Quixote
Jan 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2011 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)
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
"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

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
Aug 15, 2015 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.
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
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
(1) Why is Green Lantern's custom design looks so much like Parallax's!? Did the artists run out of custom design or something!? LOL

(2) Well! It's mentioned that the daughter of Red Arrow and the mercenary Cheshire, has become Red Hood.

(3) I can't stress this enough but Alex Ross' artwork and the characters' design is so, so exquisite! Glorious! Amazing! You are welcome to take a look at the example of said artwork here.

(4) Plus the middle-age to old-age Justice League members are so damn badass
Jan 19, 2015 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
Mar 21, 2012 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
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix, 2019, fiction
Following the departure of Superman and the old guard of heroes, a new generation is content to play judge, jury and execution by killing its enemies.  10 years have passed and a battle in the heartland of America results in a nuclear explosion that wipes out millions of people and effectively obliterates stockpiles of America’s food supply. At the urging of Wonder Woman, Superman returns to try and sort out the mess, but the world is a very different place from when he left.  Can Superman relax ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jun 12, 2012 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
Mar 03, 2010 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
Dec 05, 2007 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
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
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, dc-comics, favorites

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
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Every once in a while you run across a truly spectacular comic book. This is certainly the case with Kingdom Come. Wonderful story, great artwork, and a thought-provoking premise.

This may strike many as the same basic idea behind Injustice. I'd say Injustice borrowed the concept from this far better work.

It takes place in the rather nebulous "Elseworlds" universe of DC. But do not hold that against it. In this dystopian branch of the timeline, society has become progressively morally decayed. T
Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)

You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

If there is one thing that heroes are for, it is to inspire the people and the upcoming generations by being the voice of reason, truth, and justice. Not only do they tend to speak the maxims of life that humans should abide by, they also display concrete actions that present unquestionable proof of their moral and ethical values as beings who are the living embodiment of Good. Their exemplary behaviour becomes a norm that is difficult to ignore
James DeSantis
Jun 01, 2016 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
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
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
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
"Once, Earth boasted saviors who might have stemmed the tide of destruction. But as you will see, they are no longer the solution.They are in many ways.... the problem

First of all, the art work is mesmerizing. But apart from that, I found the story flawed at many parts and especially towards the end. The aftermath of the whole event didn't made much sense to me.
Apr 06, 2007 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.
Jedi JC Daquis
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kimgdom Come, sets up an alternate fiction where Superman retires his mantle and kept himself secluded in the fortress. But time has called him once again because the world needs him. But is this second coming of Superman really makes him a savior?

KC is an exploration of what defines a superhero and how it is separates supervillains. It turns out, the concept is fairly relative - every person can think that he is a superhero even if he is a villain to somebody else. This Mark Waid obra is more t
Timothy Boyd
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read these when they were first published as single issue comics and was blown away by the story. It was among, if not, the first comic story that showed the heroes as less than we were used to seeing them. Seems like every 10 years or so I get a yearning to reread this powerful and amazing story again and it still each time has the same impact on me. The Alex Ross art is without equal in the comic world and the story is one of the best every written in my opinion. This gets my highest recomme ...more
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!!
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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.

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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