Comics – Kingdom Come

6 10 2006

Kingdom Come
Originally uploaded by swftoys.
Highly recommended by many comic readers, Kingdom Come looked the quality it was touted for with its beautiful cover art. I chanced upon it at a local bookstore and I picked it up immediately.

Getting home I flipped through the pages to get a feel of the content. The art was great but it did not leave an impression on me… until I got to reading it. I guess I was still stuck on the usual way comics was drawn – more pencils than painting-like!

As I read Kingdom Come, the story and the art slowly enthralled me. Superman had gone into self-exile because of the loss of his friends at the Daily Planet and the change in expectations of people of the superhuman. I guess many wanted judgement on the criminal. Their crimes tore at the heart of decency and humanity that people demanded vigilante justice should the courts of law were impotent.

Well, Superman is not one who stands for revenge or the justification of killing the vilest of criminals. It’s this line that both Batman and him would never encroach that made them good friends. Well, in this story there was much pressure on good character to cross this line because… it was seemed needed for such a time as that in Kingdom Come. Will you sucumb to mass pressure or will you withstand rebukes from closest of friends because of a conviction?

Well, Superman was tested to the limits in this story. This was the meaningful part for myself in Kingdom Come. Conviction often is built on character. When one crumbles, the other follows inevitably. Once compromised, can it be reinstated to the original level again? Sure, some had moved on in the story but their character did not withstand the test of time. It cracked. And this crack will be exploited again someday.

I will try not to reveal too much spoilers for the sakes of those who have yet to read it. But the premise of Kingdom Come is interesting, humans planning to regain the reigns of the world from the superhumans. Even if it was to be, would the world be a better place? How many of us had wanted a Superman to fight terrorism at the start of the millenium?

The art by Alex Ross is really beautiful. After I closed the last page of Kingdom Come, it was the first time I felt a comic was close to museum art. You could feel the characters’ emotions from their expressions. There was a sense of reality in the UN conference room. Certain pages made you feel like a bystander watching the magnificent parade of superhumans flying past.

What a journey it had been! Will be keeping an eye out for Alex Ross’ work from now on!




2 responses

8 10 2006
Shaun Wong

I’m glad you enjoyed this book as well. Its my all time favourite. Pity Mark Waid and Alex Ross aren’t on talking terms anymore, but for that moment in time, they really made magic.

9 10 2006

Hi Shaun,
Yes. It’s a really great book to pick up. I guess the best teams will still part over time. What we can do is to treasure the magic they leave in their work with us! 😎

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