They called him the Man of Tomorrow, but for Superman tomorrow has come and gone. For all his physical superpowers, the most inspiring thing about the Man of Steel has always been his unflinching sense of right and wrong. No matter what, Superman will not kill or sanction the use of deadly force. Unfortunately, the world has moved on from these “quaint” and “outdated” ideals. Faced with a world that condoned the actions of “heroes” he considers to be murderers, Superman retired. Most of his compatriots followed suit, leaving the world to the protection of the next generation. The next generation has, however, grown out of control. Battles between so-called “heroes” rage through the streets, and collateral damage is of little concern. The humans once regarded the superhumans as gods, looked to them as saviors, but that trust has evaporated long ago. Now superhumans are mistrusted, even hated. And when a misguided battle gets out of hand with catastrophic consequences, pulling Superman and his old comrades out of retirement, events are set in motion that just may end the world as we know it….
With Kingdom Come (*****), Mark Waid writes an epic what-if tale here that asks a number of the most nagging questions that linger about a world of superheroes. Where is the line between hero and villain? Would the world be a better place if there were no superhumans? And most troubling to a man who has done nothing with his powers but try and make the Earth safe, is it possible that in saving them so often Superman has prevented mankind from reaching their full potential? Woven throughout the tale is a running commentary from the book of Revelation as The Spectre and a disenchanted preacher bear witness to the coming apocalypse. Paired with Mark Waid’s stellar writing is a visual feast painted by the inimitable Alex Ross. Ross’s style lends itself especially well to painting the DC Universe, as unlike his work on Marvels he doesn’t have as much Spandex to deal with and can focus on his strengths. I can honestly say that this is one of the most visually stunning works I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
Content: Appropriate for most readers, I think. Power Girl makes a brief appearance, but on the whole the costumes are pretty PG. Some violence, maybe mild language. Nothing too bad.