Kingdom Come is a four-issue collaboration brought the life by Mark Waid and the much heralded, Alex Ross.
A new breed
The story of Kingdom Come is set in the year 2020 where the DC Universe originals have been set aside. In their place lies a new generation ready to step up and do what’s right. While this may seem ok, understand that in the world of heroism, grand-standing and egos have no place. Unfortunately, these new heroes didn’t get the message and they each do their best to outdo one another.
While we watch the insanity unfold through the eyes of an elderly pastor, the two generations of heroes begin and all-out assault on each other.
When it couldn’t become any stranger, the Spectre appears and requests that the pastor, Norman McKay, pass judgement on the event.
An all out attack
An attack on the American Midwest nearly obliterated all those who called it home. Wonder Woman, watching from afar sees what’s happening and makes her way to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. It is there that she implores that he come out of “retirement” to help correct the situation. He had been in retirement since the Joker marched on Metropolis, walked into the Daily Planet and opened fire, killing 92 and 1 Lois Lane.
Superman quickly agrees and sets forth a means to put the Justice League back together. This new Justice League becomes comprised of both new and old members with one noteworthy exception, Batman.
Batman gives warning to Superman that his idealistic ways were not going to solve this problem and that he should stay away.
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Fearing that Superman would not listen and persist anyway, Batman bring together his Outsiders. Above that, he brings in Green Lantern and Blue Bettle into the mix.
While this was happening, Lex Luthor brings together his own group. This group, of course, is not composed to heroes and instead some of the most formidable villains the world has known. This group quickly begins to exercise its ability to cease control of the world.
More problems arise when Superman realizes that his newly built incarceration faculty cannot keep up with how quickly he is brining the criminals in.
In a shocking twist, Batman enters into an agreement to partner with Luthor and his merry band of villainy. He then uses Martian Manhunter and learns that a mind-controlled Billy Baston, Captain Marvel, is under the control of Luthor.
Kingdom Come indeed.
Knowing that Captain Marvel is the only human capable of standing toe-to-toe with Superman, Batman becomes very worried. Luthor then reveals to Batman that he intends to use Billy Baston as a means of breaking in and releasing the prisoners held captive by Superman.
With the inmates now rioting, Superman and Batman discuss each other’s motives. Batman explains that all life is sacred to which Superman calmly responds that this includes super humans.
Before the two part ways, Batman informs Superman that Captain Marvel is under the control of Lex Luthor.
Both Superman and Wonder Woman arrive and begin working to quiet the inmates. As they work away, Batman arrives as well. He does this not as a way to choose sides, but rather to enforce his own beliefs of no-killing.
If Kingdom Come could get any more intense, a meta human villain named Von Bach. As you can probably imagine, this act only furthers the ferocity of the riot.
Sending certain doom, the United Nations gives the order to launch 3 missles, 2 of which are stopped by Batman and Wonder Woman.
The ultimate ultimatum
As Superman and Captain Marvel battle high above, Superman gives Marco and ultimatum. Basically, he tells him that he can either allow him to let the nuke explode, killing all the super humans, or allow him to stop it, thereby allowing the super humans to send the planet into war.
Now free from mind control, he grabs Superman and throws him to the ground. He then catches up to the missile, shouts Shazam! in multiple succession. By doing this, lightning strikes down and prematurely sets off the bomb. He, of course, does not survive this
Infuriated by the loss of his friend, Superman flies to the U.N. and threatens to bring the building down on top of the delegates. He does because, in his mind, no matter the outcome, this event was a massacre.
Not a moment too soon
Before he can do so, Norman McKay arrives and talks him out of it. He explains to Superman that if he were to, this would give me Cause for the humans to fear the super humans.
He walks away with Marvel’s cape on hand, and exclaims that he will lead through guidance and wisdom and not force. He then ties the cape to a flagpole, ushering in the end to a beautiful piece of work.
A must read
A brilliant read with stunning artwork, Kingdom Come is regarded as one of the best DC story arcs of all time. It not only features a “leave you on the edge of your seat” story, it also emcompassed the work of fan favourite Alex Ross. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you’re run out right now, find a copy and start digesting right away.