Kingdom Come

Description: 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. Dead parents. 

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 that.

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.

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