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Kingdom Come

(Kingdom Come #1-4)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  47,648 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews
Winner of five Eisner and Harvey Awards, KINGDOM COME is the best-selling graphic novel from acclaimed writer Mark Waid and superstar painter Alex Ross.

Set just after the dawn of the 21st Century, in a world spinning inexorably out of control, comes this grim tale of youth versus experience, a tradition versus change, while asking the timeless question: what defines a hero
Paperback, 232 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by DC Comics (first published August 1996)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  47,648 ratings  ·  1,201 reviews

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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
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, start
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
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
Jun 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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

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
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, comix, dc, 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
Mar 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it did not like it
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 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dc-comics, 2016, 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
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
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
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
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.
Chris Van Dyke
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.
James DeSantis
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
Jedi JC Daquis
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Barışcan Bozkurt
Hiķâyenin ve karakterlerin işlenişiyle orantılı olarak çizimlerin de daha gerçekçi bir anlatım benimsemesi çok hoşuma gitti. Diğer yandan normalde süperin de süperi olan Superman'in amacını kaybetmiş bir insan gibi görmek, ardından omuzlarına binen yükün anlatılışı çok kaliteli. O yüzden keyifle okudum.
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!!
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Possibly the most beautiful art I ever seen on a comic book and its not a exaggeration. It is also one of the most mature story I ever read on comic. Where not talking about T&A and gore stuff. Its a story of what will the world be like If we actually had superpower Individuals lurking around and doing their own brand of justice in the eyes of a normal person.

The Heroes of Old(Superman and the rest of JL) has left, In their place exits a new breed of heroes(or more like vigilante) with unch
Aug 25, 2008 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
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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  • DC: The New Frontier, Volume 1
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  • Superman: Peace on Earth
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"