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4.7 out of 5 stars
Kingdom Come TP New Edition
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
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
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 January 2013
SPOILERS

"Kingdom Come" is one of the most boring, overrated, and simply bad "event" books from DC I've read. It lacks a coherent narrative, competent writing, strong characterisation, and, maybe most basic of all, an interesting story. Mark Waid's writing on this book is truly abysmal. The saving grace of this book is Alex Ross' artwork which may be the reason so many people think it's a "classic" of the superhero genre. But even Ross' photo-realistic art can't save it from the literary quagmire it drives itself into and fails to leave for the entirety of this book.

The story setup is most baffling of all. Superman has "retired" for 10 years because he lost his parents and Lois. He just felt he couldn't be Superman anymore. Uh... ok. But then everyone else in the Justice League, except Batman, decide to call it a day too! Green Lantern builds himself a giant green space station and sits on his throne, Hawkman flies about the Pacific North-West, Wonder Woman disappears back to her island, Flash runs endlessly in circles. Why?! Just because Superman hung up his blue and red costume? It doesn't make sense and it's never explained. So in the vacuum the JLA left, a new, younger generation of superhero arrives. These guys aren't really superheroes, they don't care about honour or protecting the innocent, they just fly about the place, smashing things up, firing off lasers, doing all kindsa nutty things - for no reason. It's never explained just why these new superheroes have no conscience - except that that's what Mark Waid wrote in his script, so that's it. Great. Arbitrary nonsense.

So after Magog - who is now the superhero the world deserves, I suppose? - makes a mess by accidentally killing the Atom, thus triggering an atomic explosion that destroys Kansas, Superman finally returns. Why? Because it's his "home state"? There have been other terrible incidents in the 10 years he's been away but this causes him to return, which consequently brings the rest of the JLA back at the same time! They basically do whatever Superman tells them to do, I suppose, they're not individuals, at least not in the hands of Mark Waid.

Now it's Superman and the JLA, the "classic" superheroes who stand for truth, honour, justice, etc. against the arbitrarily stupid, evil, ignorant, and conscience-free "new" superheroes. For some reason, their fighting will bring about Armageddon. But not really because it's humanity who will do this because they don't much like superheroes anymore. The humans, led by Lex Luthor, have had enough of superheroes or "meta-humans" and have decided to build an army to fight them so that humanity will be left alone to make their own decisions (and mistakes). An old and battered Bruce Wayne, held together by an exo-skeleton, joins Luthor and promises to build an army of Bat-robots like the kind he uses to police Gotham. But it doesn't matter because the United Nations decide to fire a nuke into the heart of America at the superheroes who are gathered at the site of Superman's gulag to fight, thus bringing about Armageddon. So it's the humans' fault, not the superheroes'.

But before going into how utterly stupid this scenario is, let's talk about the unnerving undercurrent of right wing politics appearing in this book. Superman and co. are "old" therefore "good" while everything "new" is instantly portrayed as "bad". Superman reiterates that "all life is sacred", he destroys a bar's alcohol because "it doesn't help", and he builds a gulag - yes, it's called a gulag in the book! - to house the rebels! Their stance on crime is extreme. There's a scene where some kids mug a man and run off only to be cornered by not one, not two, but four giant Bat-robots! Police state = good. And throughout the book are quotes from the Bible. So, in this book at least, we have pro-life, prohibitionist, security obsessed Christians as the heroes. Sounds pretty conservative and damned repulsive to me. I don't know Waid's political views but judging from this book I'd say he's an ardent Republican.

If Superman's characterisation is disturbing, it's nothing compared to Wonder Woman who pushes for military action right from the start, urging Superman to build a prison as an answer to any kind of theological opposition. Democracy's bad I guess, Stalin had the right idea! Two of DC's flagship characters behaving like fascists is very disturbing to read but at least they got to speak - Green Lantern, Flash, Hawkman? They never say a word. They silently stand about, helping Superman, like colourful goons and then disappear when he doesn't need them. They are simply ciphers. And the book is filled with weird character moments that were so out of place they took me out of the story like, why does Superman need an oxygen mask to breathe in space, or why is Red Robin piloting the UN's nuke?

Batman is maybe the one character I thought Waid did justice to. Despite being some kind of Transformers-obsessed creator, his personality was right even if his Batman outfit was basically a robot suit and, besides one scene, he's never in costume but he's still called Batman, not Bruce Wayne, which is kinda weird.

There's also the framing device of the Spectre taking an elderly preacher called Norman McCay on a ghostly trip through the book, so they're constantly in the background witnessing events unfold. This is because we're told by Spectre that Norman is to decide the fate of everything - are the superheroes to be saved or damned? It's up to Norman. Who? Why? But in the end this premise proves completely redundant as it's actually Billy Batson who decides. Shazam! Yup, another narrative dead end.

Alex Ross' artwork is great and I always enjoy it. He employs real people wearing real superhero costumes to pose as models and then paints them onto the page, giving his work that photo-realistic look that's much lauded. And it's great, except when you have people pose for each panel, you don't get a good sense of motion in the book. Every pose is static because it has to be in order for Ross to paint it. He doesn't do movement very well - and this book is full of movement! Not once does it seem like the characters are actually moving. Also, as great as his art is, I feel like there can be too much of a good thing, like eating a ton of lobster and garlic butter and making yourself feel sick. I like seeing Ross' work on covers and maybe the occasional short, but a 212 page book? The "wow" factor really diminishes by the end.

The story made no sense. Superman's story arc from retired superhero to returning hero to fascist leader to saviour again made no sense and was horrible to witness. Luthor's plan made no sense. The UN's behaviour made no sense - nuking Superman does not work, yet they do it anyway. And of course afterwards he shows up and trashes the place (it was this scene in particular that made me see where Waid got his inspiration for his "Irredeemable" character, Plutonian, from) and could easily have killed them all if he wasn't stopped and reminded of who he is. Yeah, there's one of those scenes included here. The story of the old and new superheroes fighting one another made no sense and the whole point of Armageddon was really forced. Nothing that happens in this book has any relevancy in later, or earlier, story arcs. It stands alone as an empty, pointless, uninspired and directionless disaster. Everything about this book is flawed beyond belief and beneath it all beats the cold dead heart of conservatism and a fear and hatred of modernity and changing attitudes.

It's another example of the kind of superhero book that tries to be relevant by being as "real" as possible. But the biggest problem for me was the basic requirement I have for any piece of fiction: entertainment. This book is SO BORING! Once you get past the nonsensical plot, there is nothing here that is of any interest. The characters are bland and despicable, the tone is joyless and morbid, and the plodding "story" is utterly bland and uninteresting. If nothing else, this book should be avoided due to it being so purely dull.

For comics fans who've read and enjoyed the wide range of superhero comics DC offer, coming to "Kingdom Come" is a jarring and unpleasant experience that throws up too many questions, offering no answers, and manages to create a miserable, soggy piece of storytelling with some of the most interesting characters ever created. It's bad on every level and serves as one of the nadirs of crap comics - "Kingdom Come" is to be avoided by any and all readers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2014
The very first thing you have to say about this book is that the art work is absolutely beautiful. Alex Ross' work as both artist and writer on this project is of as high a quality as you could hope to find. In a time where many of the DC/Marvel runs tend to take on a familiar and polished glean to the art work, Alex Ross' work truly stands out as original and instantly recognisable. The narrative of the piece was really engaging and very imaginative, but it's the art work that really makes this book stand out. I highly recommend any fan of comics to read work by Alex Ross and this is a perfect place to start. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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 ....
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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.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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!
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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
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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.
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