Graphic Novel Review: Kingdom Come by Mark Waid
I should have read this a long time ago, but I’ve always had issue with DC comics. Their heroes have always been untouchable gods. Sure they have their flaws, but even Batman seemed to be above humanity thanks to his money and abilities. In comparison, X-Men, my biased favourites, were far more human, even with their more elaborate powers. They were character you could imagine yourself being, if something happened to mutate your genes.
Kingdom Come acknowledges the god-status of DC’s heroes, and then brings them down several notches because of it. X-Men choose to defend mutant kind and humanity, but anyone who wishes not to be a part of the men in tights brigade is free to try to live a normal life. Kingdom Come infers that it is the absolute obligation of superhuman beings to use their powers to this purpose. Furthermore, it is their responsibility to inspire us regular folk to do better.
And so, it begins with none of this happening because Superman has selfishly abandoned humanity after another superbeing, Magog, took justice into his own hands, killing the Joker, and being acquitted of it.
I’ve never liked Superman. Just too boyscout for my liking. But this series acknowledges that and calls him out on it. In fact, his own peers, particularly Wonder Woman, forces him to see the reality of his actions – and more importantly, the reality of his inaction.
Meanwhile, humans, some led by Lex Luthor and some our own world leaders, seek to take matters into their own hands, with plans to take back the world from superbeings. I have some issue with the fact that even the world leaders were willing to go to such major steps to stop the superbeings, but this was the only flaw in the story and it was not even enough to drop my opinion of the story.
Towards the end, there was a moment that surprised me. Surprised me because I actually cared about, or at least felt sorry for Superman in that moment – something I never thought I’d be able to say.