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  1. #1
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    Default Kingdom Come - 25 Years Later

    Nearly 25 years ago, Kingdom Come was released. Created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, it told of a future where the line between hero and villain had been extremely blurred. With Superman having retired out of frustration, things were getting out of control. The Spectre takes an aging pastor named Norman McCay on a journey through what may be Earth's final judgement.

    What were your thoughts when you first read this - whether it was back in 1996 when it came out or later on when it was collected in a trade?

    I bought each issue when it was coming out and couldn't wait to get the entire story. I was blown away by the art and extremely caught up in the story itself. I have an Absolute collection of this story and it remains one of my all-time favorite stories.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Mighty Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    It's still a good read to this day.

    But oh boy did it have long term damaging effects on the trinity. That's not really the fault of the story itself though, but of the people who took inspiration from the story after and didn't really understand this depiction of the trinity was meant to be subversive.

    One thing I didn't like is how the Amazon's exiled Diana because they thought her methods weren't extreme enough but then they let her back in when her methods caused the genocide of superpowered individuals... that was just like, wut?

  4. #4
    Mighty Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Oh also, that whole plot with Magog and Superman, with Magog willing to kill while Superman refuses. It kind of reminds me of the sudden popularity of the deconstruction of the superhero genre in other mediums.

    Deconstruction of the superhero genre has been around for a long time in comics, but now it's become quite popular on TV (The Boys, Invincible, Umbrella Academy, I think Netflix is popping another one out soon, can't remember the name.) Video games (Injustice), Snyder's movies could be considered a deconstruction as well.

    I just find it interesting. It's like Kingdom Come predicted the future on that front.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    It was one of the first trades I bought and one of the first comic books I ever read. It blew my mind and probably changed my life forever. I didn't know superheroes could be that epic and explore such moral questions, and portray them through such beautiful art. Even at the time I knew it was a "deconstruction", but man did it solidify my love for DC. Still my favorite comic. I think I've avoided re-reading for fear that my initial love for it will dim a little (and because a friend had it on her bookshelf for the last 10 years), but it probably deserves a re-read.

  6. #6

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    I think it still holds up and is worthy of its status as a classic.

    In many ways it solidified the idea of Superman, Batman AND Wonder Woman as the three pillars of DC. They'd interacted plenty of times before then, and Wonder Woman has been one of the biggest icons for decades, but Kingdom Come was one of the first--if not the first--to really present them as the TRINITY.

    It also, in my opinion, presented an interesting take on Diana by exploring what she would be and do if she lost faith in herself and gave up on her belief in peace. That's kind of the critical thing with her in Kingdom Come: this is a Wonder Woman who believes she's failed and is overcompensating by turning into a fatalistic zealot. Diana dressing in full battle armor and waving a sword around in this story is a Diana who's given up on herself, and that's not a good thing.

    The issue with Kingdom Come...as with many seminal works...is a lot of creators take the wrong lessons from it, and that has had a negative impact on Wonder Woman (and maybe the DC universe as a whole). Too many looked read this story and took away: "Wonder Woman with a sword is bad-ass!"
    Not necessarily a bad thing it itself, but give it a few years, and we end up with the worst of the New 52 where Diana brags about chopping heads off and needs to be told to protect civilians during a battle.

    But like I said, Kingdom Come itself still holds up despite some flaws (the conclusion to Wonder Woman's arc isn't conveyed as well as it should). Even if many fans and creators took the wrong lessons from it, and we're still feeling that impact to this day, I try not to let it diminish my appreciation for the original story.


    For anyone interest, I go into greater detail on Kingdom Come and its impact on Wonder Woman here:
    https://talkingtothevoid.blogspot.co...der-woman.html
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  7. #7
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    I loved how it utilized the different generations. Not only introducing the next generation of heroes, but it included the JLA, JSA, Teen Titans, JLI, Infinity Inc, and even a cameo of the Legion of Super Heroes, plus many more characters.

    Just so many positives to this amazing event. Such a great period in DC Comics. I miss the 90s so much.

  8. #8
    Mighty Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy_McNichts View Post
    I think it still holds up and is worthy of its status as a classic.

    In many ways it solidified the idea of Superman, Batman AND Wonder Woman as the three pillars of DC. They'd interacted plenty of times before then, and Wonder Woman has been one of the biggest icons for decades, but Kingdom Come was one of the first--if not the first--to really present them as the TRINITY.

    It also, in my opinion, presented an interesting take on Diana by exploring what she would be and do if she lost faith in herself and gave up on her belief in peace. That's kind of the critical thing with her in Kingdom Come: this is a Wonder Woman who believes she's failed and is overcompensating by turning into a fatalistic zealot. Diana dressing in full battle armor and waving a sword around in this story is a Diana who's given up on herself, and that's not a good thing.

    The issue with Kingdom Come...as with many seminal works...is a lot of creators take the wrong lessons from it, and that has had a negative impact on Wonder Woman (and maybe the DC universe as a whole). Too many looked read this story and took away: "Wonder Woman with a sword is bad-ass!"
    Not necessarily a bad thing it itself, but give it a few years, and we end up with the worst of the New 52 where Diana brags about chopping heads off and needs to be told to protect civilians during a battle.

    But like I said, Kingdom Come itself still holds up despite some flaws (the conclusion to Wonder Woman's arc isn't conveyed as well as it should). Even if many fans and creators took the wrong lessons from it, and we're still feeling that impact to this day, I try not to let it diminish my appreciation for the original story.


    For anyone interest, I go into greater detail on Kingdom Come and its impact on Wonder Woman here:
    https://talkingtothevoid.blogspot.co...der-woman.html
    Sometime I wonder if Alex Ross created Justice (2005) as a pushback to Kingdom Come. He has a YouTube channel were he talks a lot about superheroes and his belief in what they represent and should be, and surprise surprise it's the opposite of how they are in Kingdome Come.

    I like both stories, I think they are both equality enjoyable, but I wish people would look at Justice on how to write characters in main continuity.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member HsssH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy_McNichts View Post
    The issue with Kingdom Come...as with many seminal works...is a lot of creators take the wrong lessons from it, and that has had a negative impact on Wonder Woman (and maybe the DC universe as a whole). Too many looked read this story and took away: "Wonder Woman with a sword is bad-ass!"
    I often wonder about these wrong lessons and whose fault it is? If "rival" takes of the character are bland then is it surprising that cooler one, even if not as true to the character, takes over? Maybe authors shouldn't make cool depictions of edgy and/or villainous heroes if they don't want them to act like that?

  10. #10
    Mighty Member I'm a Fish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HsssH View Post
    I often wonder about these wrong lessons and whose fault it is? If "rival" takes of the character are bland then is it surprising that cooler one, even if not as true to the character, takes over? Maybe authors shouldn't make cool depictions of edgy and/or villainous heroes if they don't want them to act like that?
    Didn't DC try to do that in the 90's by replacing it's heroes with "cool edgy" versions of their characters and it backfired? Kingdom Come was made in response to fans wanting heroes to act like that in the 90's, except with better writing/art and a biblical overtone.

    And then DC tried to do it again with New 52 by replacing their heroes with their Kingdom Come counterparts, and it backfired again.


    The heroes in the story are interesting, but they wouldn't work in the long run. The story even ends with the trinity going back to their regular selves.

    Edit: I'm not saying stories like this shouldn't be written, because people clearly like exploring these sides of heroes. It just seems like the edgy version doesn't have as much long term potential as their regular counterparts.
    Last edited by I'm a Fish; 03-24-2021 at 09:30 AM.

  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'm a Fish View Post
    Sometime I wonder if Alex Ross created Justice (2005) as a pushback to Kingdom Come. He has a YouTube channel were he talks a lot about superheroes and his belief in what they represent and should be, and surprise surprise it's the opposite of how they are in Kingdome Come.

    I like both stories, I think they are both equality enjoyable, but I wish people would look at Justice on how to write characters in main continuity.
    That's interesting. I love both and Justice influences how I think about the characters a lot.

    I think what Kingdom Come did was really lean into what the characters could become if they're not careful, or if their power is stretched even further. So writers take those elements, those flaws and imperfect tendencies that lie within, and sometimes handle them poorly.

  12. #12
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    I felt a bit let down by its ending, for Superman and Wonder Woman in particular. Overall tho, and loved it at the time and still do.

    Among the other things it gave us are these forums. Jonah Weiland was running an internet message board for KC, and the regulars on it - the Pantheon we called ourselves back then - hung around after the series ended. In time, Jonah decided to make a business of his hobby and launched CBR.

  13. #13
    Mighty Member Mike's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed Kingdom Come when it came out.
    But, for me, it hasn't held up very well.
    Over the years I have come to NOT like these versions of the DC pantheon.
    The self-righteousness of ALL the characters has really worn thin over the years.

  14. #14
    Judgement Awaits LordAllMIghty's Avatar
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    Still one of my favorite DC storylines
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  15. #15
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    Who else misses Elseworlds?

    I think it would be great if a huge percentage of what has happened in DC Comics over the last 10 years was actually Elseworlds.

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