A preacher has lost his hope, and a hero has lost his way. Set in a future
Marvel-verse, Superman has ďretiredĒ to his fortress of solitude. What
happens when the man of tomorrow canít adjust to today? What happens to
a hero who canít compete with societies craving for violence?
This is one of those graphic
novels that believes in its audience. BTW Iím about to spoil you all to
heck so, skip this if you havenít read it and donít want to know. Trust
me itís great. You probably donít need to know aught else.
Kingdom Come is subtle. It
plays with images and words and ideas.
So, hereís Superman. A hero
with rock solid compassion. An idealist, who deals in trust. He believes
people can do better. Operates within the law. Does not kill. Itís what
he and Batman have in common. That in the end, Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent
are people who donít want anyone to die. Even the villains. Makes life
harder, but in the end they are who they are. Products of a dead world.
We begin with not Clark,
he rejects that name over and over, Kal-el farming.Actually, we begin with
our narrator a preacher, who has lost his faith. Who is scooped up by the
Specter to be his human anchor on the way to the apocalypse. Nevertheless,
things pick up with Superman in the wheat fields of not Kansas. The North
Pole. It seems that Lois is dead.
Hereís where the story respects
me. They never say how Lois died. They imply it. Itís clear if you follow
the clues. The Joker killed a room full of Daily Planet reporters. Twenty-six
men and one woman. Superman and Batman searched for him, but a young violent
hero got to the Joker first. Killed him in cold blood. Got off scott free.
Leaving Superman, who testified against this hero, this Magog (a nice name
choice for you Revelations familiar readers) to decide if this is what
humans wanted, who was he to stop them. To withdraw from the world. To
give up hope.
He and Wonder woman and Batman
spend the rest of the novel trying to figure out how they can fix things.
More violence. Less. Force people to learn peace. Throughout it all, Superman
is this great figure and doesnít even see it. Never recognizes the awesome
destructive potential of his own power, because good people arenít like
Even a man of steel can be
pushed to far. Then we get to the hear to of the story. When the preacher
speaks with Kal-el, with Clark. Reminds him that all his problems started
when he forgot the man in Superman.
Although, my favorite moment
is when Wonder Woman goes to see Clark as his Midwestern labors with a
gift. She gives him a pair of glasses, because he always saw better when
he wore them.
Speaking of Wonder Woman,
there is some incredible sexual tension between Supes and his second in
command. Always lingering on the edges as they argue over the fundamental
philosophical differences in how they see the world.
With an incredibly rich cast
of comic heroes, itís poignant, Biblically literate, and ultimately hopeful.
And damn the artwork is beautiful.
Glad I finally bought a copy
rather than continually reading it in the stores.