Simply put, this is by far and away the best graphic novel you will ever read!
And it earns the full five stars for the following reasons;
1/The plot is superb and is genuinely original.It is fast paced and has really good ideas that constantly challenge you.There is a real sense of the authors 'loving' the characters and knowing their inner-most thoughts, strengths and weaknesses and this really shines through.
2/ The artwork is the best you will ever see!When you see Alex Ross on form like this you are just blown away.It is fair to say that nearly all of the artwork could be on posters and t-shirts ; it is THAT good.
3/ It has all the best DC universe characters in it.Your favourites and some that you will maybe not have met before.The standouts are Superman,Batman and Wonderwoman.
This graphic novel stands head and shoulders above every other.It is superior in every way imaginable.My copy is bent and battered by the number of times i have read this !!I ended up buying the Absolute Edition (also available from Amazon) as a 'best' copy.
THIS IS MY DESERT ISLAND GRAPHIC NOVEL
on 3 January 2009
Ok where to I begin?
I began reading comics when I was 14 and can safely say I have a reasonable colection of greats (Watchmen, The Killing Joke, The long halloween) however Kingdom Come to me is one which I find suprisingly underrated as it is to me the best.
What is good about it? Well it shows a very relatable side to all the characters involved, for example Superman is more powerfull than ever, but Kingdom shows him desperatly trying to hold together a world which is suffering from the presence of metahumans. As the comic points out, he is afraid of what the real 'Man of tomorrow represents' Wonderwoman as well, is shown unusually to be angry and bitter at how events have turned out for the heroes. yet strangely they are all still the same at the core, which gives credit to the writing.
A lot of people criticise it for having a preachy religious plot, but this is not an issue for me, it simply adds depth to the enevitable outcome of the story. Also the fight at the end is no mere brawl found in most DC comics because it isnt trying to wow you, and it seems more a confused scramble for survival than the usual 'bad guys and good guys'.
Overall it is a suprisingly believable, emotional and charactord driven story with artwork that only really belongs with this kind of story, and one I can read several times and not get bored.
on 31 May 2015
So, the title says it all, if any one doubts that comics can't tell a good, classic story, I tell them about Kingdom Come, about how it is the best story that DC has ever written, and is the best story that has come out of the comic book industry in general. It is well paced, leaving the reader guessing what on earth is going on, and giving the reader just enough information about what is happening for them to feel smart and figure it out, then telling the reader that there is a lot more to this that meets the eye. Although that might sound boring, it never is, there is always something that twists the readers head about what is going on, like when Flash pulls Norman out through the dimensions, it is amazing, and gives us backstory without being generic and boring.
Mark Waid feels like he is a preacher, not just reading out something like the bible, but reading out his own creation, reading out loud his genius. At times the wording does seem pretentious, but you then read on in the scene, and you realize that it has the right to be pretentious, everything hat happens, the way it's done, the way that its drawn, you can't help but marvel at it.
Maybe compare Marvel's Civil War to this book, saying that it is Marvel's Kingdom Come, and matches up to this book. They are wrong, in no way can they be right, Kingdom Come works, in every way, every little part of the story works. In Civil War, there is talk of the great battle on the Horizon, it lasts for a couple of pages, and ends with an anti-climatic moment. Kingdom Come's end battle is talked about, and even foreshadowed in such beauty, shrouded in mystery until it finally unfolds, then everything leading up to that point makes sense. Superman and Captain Marvel and Shaz'am battle whilst great, biblical worthy dialogue is spoken from everyone, then ending in the deaths of 99.5% of the DC universe.
on 24 May 1999
Cast aside all your pre-conceptions of comic art , and comic scripting , come to think of it -- if you've never seen Alex Ross' work , you've missed the biggest treat ever ; luxurious and almost photo-quality , this volume represents the DC pantheon as never before , and updates each character for the present day , without detracting from their established backgrounds ; a truly political storyline , exploring the proper effect of the existence of superheroes , especially the presence of Superman ; this book cannot be RECOMMENDED highly enough -- an essential to any graphic art bookshelf ....
on 16 April 2014
This is one of the best comic books I have ever read. I could just leave the review at that but I won't.
If you know someone that doesn't like superman as a character then this is a great book to show them. Simply put Kingdom Come explores why we need what some may call the traditional super hero in our lives. It was written in 1996 when IMAGE was the "cool" thing to read and comic book characters were no longer fighting crime but just killing tons of people and trying to make it look cool.
Kingdom Come explains why a super hero needs to be a symbol for good and justice as well as why us, as readers and as a culture need them.
The book takes place in the far future where the justice league has been disbanded as the public support a new hero called Magog who kills criminals in cold blood. After this Superman left into hiding and a new generation of super-powered people called metahumans have taken to fighting each other on the street.
The story is told from the perspective of Norman McCay as the Spectre shows him what is happening and tells him that soon he must help pass judgement on the superheros.
Wonder Woman finds Superman and convinces him that he must reform the Justice League and stop the metahumans after a battle between some of them ends in a explosion killing millions.
The first thing you notice as you open the book is just how stunning the art is. Alex Ross has a distinct style which makes the characters appear real, the paintings looks more like photos than painted artwork. Ross actual takes pictures of himself, friends and family members dressed up and in poses which he uses later as references while painting.
This process is shown in the back of the book along with a number of different extras including concept art and a double-page spread showing and naming every character that appears in the story.
I have opened the book numerous times just to look through the artwork and explore the background to see little details I may have missed
This is easily one of the best comics ever produced. You do not need to read anything prior to this and you don't need to be familiar with continuity in the DC universe or Justice League. This story changed how I feel about Superman and super heros in general. It is a must read for any fan of the DC universe or any of the characters.
on 23 April 2003
Don't know where to begin! This is an incredible four part story, and Ross's art is simply beautiful, not whatyou would expect in a graphic novel. a classy piece of work!
Set in the future, Superman has failed to keep up with the times; he isn't brutal or violent enough. After a terrible personal tragedy, he leaves, becoming a hermit. As he began the modern heroic age, so he ends it. With Superman gone, many of the other great heroes fade away from the world stage; Wonder woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Batman.
A new generation of younger super powered beings begins to rampage, fighting for no reason, slowly tearing cities apart, making lesser mortals fear them.But all is not well. A Golden Age hero (Sandman) begins to have visions of an apocalyptic future, visions he passes on to a priest. The priest fears Superman and his allies, who return to help bring about order and peace, will in fact set off events as written in the book of revelation. With Batman conspiring with Lex Luthor to defeat the heores of the past, and the Spectre himself coming to bring justice, how can disaster and destruction be avoided?
This is a cool story, with strong mythic and apocalyptic undertones. You don't have to know much about the DC heroes to enjoy it. The art is brilliant, the story chugs along, the dialogue isn't corny, and the ending isn'y schmaltzy. What more could you want? The graphic novel has an advantage over the original comic release in that it has a delightful little epilogue which i won't spoil for you, a meeting between superman and batman, who have ever seemed at odds with each other despite having the same objectives of defeating evil and protecting the innocent. Batman does come across as a little too smug at times, though Superman is too idealistic and naive, while wonder woman has become cold and martial.
Cannot recommend this enough!
on 11 February 2014
Why I waited so long to buy and read this book is anyone's guess, but now I have all I can is that if you are a comic book fan of any variety, this is a MUST READ.
The story depicts a dystopian future in which Superman has hung up his cape after failing to stop the Joker from killing thousands of people, including Lois Lane. A new breed of superheroes have emerged handing out their own version of justice, which includes death and torture. After a catastrophic event in the heart of America, Superman and other golden aged heroes are forced out of retirement so they can try and prevent any further losses to human and meta-human kind.
Opposed by Batman and his band of 'Outsiders', who have their own agenda as to the best way to save humanity from extinction, tensions rise, friendships are splintered and the end of days seem to drawing ever closer.
Mark Waid has written an amazing story with fantastic pace, dialogue and a depth of mythology whilst Alex Ross's paint work is second to none and the best example of photo realistic artwork within the comic genre.
I've said it before, but I'll say it again - THIS IS A MUST READ
on 9 March 2016
A joy to look at with glorious artwork by Alex Ross bringing the D.C. universe to life in the same way that he did for the Marvel universe in the similarly excellent Marvels.
Like Marvels, Kingdom Come uses a human perspective to comment on the nature of superheroes. This observer of the steps towards his visions of Armageddon, serves as our way to look at where the line is drawn when fighting evil. Are the moral codes of Superman, Batman and the rest of the Justice League, in their resolution not to kill, appropriate when supervillains return again and again to take more innocent lives. When public opinion suggests that it no longer is, what happens when Superman is no longer around to be the moral compass and leading example of the super human community?
My only criticisms would be the portrayal of Wonder Woman, who comes across far less heroic than the character deserves, and Bruce Wayne's support collar/exoskeleton thing, as every time I saw it I could only think of the unmasked Vader at the end of Return Of The Jedi
on 3 September 2013
Kingdom Come is similar in tone to books like Civil War, The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, set in a future where many of the world's greatest heroes have retired, ushering in a new breed undisciplined, more aggressive vigilantes. When a devastating event leads to civilian casualties on a massive scale, Superman reforms the Justice League, however, existing in a different kind of world now, some of the League's new methods are seen as oppressive. A humble pastor wanders like Scrooge as a mysterious spectre shows him the events which are transpiring, that could well lead to Armageddon.
Despite the interesting concept and the novelty of Alex Ross's art, Kingdom come starts poorly, with an opening issue that is both dull and goes too fast. There is not as much characterization as you would like for the series' hero Norman McCay. However, as the story goes on, it becomes a great read with the characters becoming fully developed.
While Kingdom Come didn't change my life, I would still recommend this to any DC fan.
on 16 December 2010
An amazing artist. This is a fine way to bring this marvelous art into a special collectable edition. For all those Alex Ross geeks this is the Deluxe Kingdom Come Limited Edition, Book Set by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. Featuring the complete Kingdom Come saga in 216 pages, including 12 new pages of story and art. There is a signature page with new artwork by Alex Ross and it is signed by both Mark Waid and Alex Ross. The Foil-stamped hardcover book has gold gilt-edges and a bound-in ribbon marker. There are Illustrated Endpapers with new art by Alex Ross and an introduction by the Reverend Clark Ross, the model for Norman McCay and father of the artist. Plus Kingdom Come: Revelations which is an exclusive 98 page volume produced for this set, bound in a unique, Smyth-sewn, flexible Hardcover format. It contains a multitude of new and never-before-seen items by Waid and Ross. Plus Generations: a Kingdom Come Genealogy - an exclusive 10 page gatefold with the lineage of over 200 DC Comics characters.