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Kingdom Come Paperback – September 30, 2008
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Writer Mark Waid, coming from his popular work on Flash and Impulse, and artist Alex Ross, who broke new ground with the beautifully painted Marvels, join together for this explosive book that takes place in a dark alternate future of the DC Superhero Universe. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and almost every other character from DC Comics must choose sides in what could be the final battle of them all. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic plot of the book starts, oh, let's say 10+ after any current DC series. After the Joker is murdered by Superhero and acquitted of the crime, many heroes resign in disgust, and new heroes with a license to kill step up to fill their shoes. Of course, the new breed of heroes doesn't have quite the same regard for collateral damage. The main point of the story is both how these two opposing sides plus the ordinary humans plays out, as well as the character development involved in showing traditional DC heroes in their old age. However, the story also serves as a metaphor for the rise of dark antiheroes in comics, from the Punisher to Watchmen and on.
Oh and the artwork is perfect. Literrally perfect. Let me clear. The artwork can not possibly be better than it is now. This is a fact.
Now, one criticism is that you do need a decent working knowledge of the DC universe to get the full effect of the story. Lacking that this would receive four stars.
All I can say is buy the book. Do it. Now.
The plot careens forward, toward an inevitable, tragic climax the reader wishes to avoid, but cannot wait to see unfold. Epic battles, unlikely alliances, and a dramatic conclusion are framed beautifully by Ross's watercolor-like scenes and expressive portraits. The author manages to balance the might of the heroes' superpowers with the insecurities and weakness of uncertainty. Faced with no-win scenarios, what is the "right" choice? Where does said choice lead? Can morality remain unstained when the greater good is at stake? These are the kind of questions this story forces on the reader and the priest, whose role is not merely of an observer, and will be challenged towards the end.
This graphic novel is not for the fast reader. It begs for a slow savoring of the individual panels, and reflection at the end of each chapter. It's a must - read for the life - long DC fan, but a little difficult for the casual reader. Familiarity with all the characters (especially many that seldom have made a cover) and stories of the Justice League series will greatly help grasp all the references and subplots. Having some wiki handy is also a plus.
Mark Waid has an incredibly solid grip of the personalities of each character, adding changes to classic characters like Superman here and there so that they are the same characters that we know and love, but are still different and "new". The book also has a lot of emotion in it, from happiness, sadness, wonder, and many more. The characters all feel real, which is greatly helped by the art of Alex Ross.
The art in this book is fantastic to say the least. Ross makes each character feel like they're really there. Every panel has so much detail. The book looks great. End of story.
This graphic novel is one of the best out there now, effectively using both art and text to tell a great story. Overall, I give this a 5 out of 5.
Note: Read the introduction after you've read the entire book. It flat out tells you what the story is really about, so if you don't want to find out beforehand, read it afterwards. Thankfully, I avoided it on my own.