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Encyclopedia > Kingdom Come (comics)

A DC Comics Elseworld story written by Mark Waid and painted by Alex Ross, Kingdom Come is a limited series depicting a world after Superman. The story is narrated by a pastor named Norman McCay, with the Spectre acting as his spirit guide.

When the anti-hero Magog kills the Joker and is acquitted, Superman quits the Justice League of America and retreats to his Fortress of Solitude. In the ensuing years, the public loses interest in the "old" superheroes, and turns their attention to the "new" heroes, men and women who are more willing to use lethal force and cause collateral damage to fight their enemies. This group, led by Magog, is called the Justice Battalion. After the cataclysmic destruction of the American Midwest at the hands of the Battalion, Wonder Woman convinces Superman to come out of retirement and reform the Justice League. However, Batman, his body broken from years of abuse, refuses to allow metahumans to run amok, and forms his own faction of metahumans, allies with Lex Luthor's Mankind Liberation Front, and a three-way battle for the world ensues. The United Nations, in an attempt to protect humans from the fighting superheroes, detonates a nuclear weapon, killing many of the heroes. Superman and the surviving heroes finally decide that the only way to stop the fighting is to work with humanity.

The story is full of symbolism and in-jokes from the comic book industry: Magog is a thinly-veiled knockoff of Marvel comics's character Cable, and the rest of the Justice Battalion are supposed to represent the hyper-violent, nihilistic, over-muscled and over-equipped anti-heroes of the "new" comics of the 1990's.

After Kingdom Come

DC published a limited series after Kingdom Come, titled The Kingdom, attempting to recapture the incredible story of the first series. In The Kingdom, a future supervillain named Gog kills Superman, then travels back in time one day and kills him again. He continues to do this until the Justice League stops him. During the events of The Kingdom, DC introduced the concept of Hypertime.

  Results from FactBites:
Comic Book Politics (2436 words)
But the politics in Kingdom Come are so vastly oversimplified (all political institutions are unproblematically reduced to the United Nations, which can apparently authorize unilateral nuclear strikes) that any more sophisticated political readings would have to emerge against the grain, in spite of the comic's overt thematizations.
This teacher wants to teach Kingdom Come in a course about comics and politics, goes looking for interpretations that support the claim that Kingdom Come is "about" politics, finds them (some quite interesting, some forced), and, to his credit, reaches the only reasonable conclusion, namely that the politics in Kingdom Come are underdeveloped and superficial.
Reading Kingdom Come, or any other text, through a "what is the political allegory" lens can lead to some unexpected insights, just as could filtering the text through a gender lens, or a race lens, or whatever.
  More results at FactBites »



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