Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

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Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby Red_Robin » Dec 19th, 2011, 8:54 am

Please note:
This week's TCC is missing some images.
This is because Kingdom Come is a hugely popular book with gorgeous art on every page. I am turning it over to you, the readers, to post your favourite Kingdom Come images in your replies.

My favourites will be copied into the main article.

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KINGDOM COME
by BoyWonder1234

When I was a kid (wich was only about 4-5 years ago) all I ever thought about was cartoons. I watched Spiderman : TAS, X-Men : TAS and many other MARVEL cartoon series. I tried reading the ‘kiddy’ comics released by MARVEL and as I grew older I began to read more and more superhero comics, watch more cartoons and movies and eventually I ended up reading TDKR, which brought me into the wonderful world of Batman and Robin. Since then my collection has grown and grown, and my obsession even took me into the centre of my city at midnight to see Grant Morrison.

Kingdom Come is an alternate future to the Golden Age of DC Comics, so Jay Garrick is the Flash and Alan Scott is Green Lantern. This also means that Jason Todd or any other Robin apart from Dick Grayson never aided Batman. The Justice Society have disbanded and retired, giving way to a new untrained generation of heroes and villains, and Wonder Woman has been banished from Thymascaira.

WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD

The book opens with an epic battle, a symbol of what is yet to come. These are visions of a man named Wesley, who is dying and is being visited by Priest Norman Macay. As Macay leaves Wesley’s funeral and walks down the street there is a fight raging between a group of ‘Superheroes’ and Villains as the reader sees the destruction that battles between the new generation of metahumans.
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After one of his sermons, Macay is visited by the Spectre. The Spectre has the task of punishing those responsible for the coming war, and has chosen Macay to aid him in passing judgement. Macay agrees and the two begin their task.
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They go to the Fortress of Solitude, and see Wonder Woman telling Superman the destruction being caused by the new generation, and tries to convince him to go and lead the new generation and teach them to use their powers. Wonder Woman fails until she shows superman a television broadcast of a group of heroes led by a vigilante named Magog who are battling Parasite in Kansas (where the Kent farm is).
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Captain Atom flies towards Parasite and lands a hit. Parasite strikes back and cuts Captain Atom open, resulting in a nuclear explosion destroying Kansas and the thousands of people who lived there. Superman says again that he won’t help, and Wonder Woman gives up and flies away. Macay recognises the man as Superman, and asks the Spectre about the other members of the Justice Leauge, and wether they are still alive. The Spectre tells him, as the reader sees images of the other members of the Justice League.

*image*

Macay is also told of places like Atlantis and people like The Legion Of Superheroes. Macay then asks about Batman, and The Spectre solemly replies : “... Batman has his city under control.”

The Spectre then takes Macay to a bridge that is collapsing due to another battle between heroes and villains. The bridge is filled with people. Macay shouts at the Spectre for not using his powers to help, as suddenly a red-blue blur whizzes through all the heroes and villains, knocking them to the floor. The crowd on the bridge then shouts : “Look, up in the sky!” As we see Superman in costume for the first time.

*image*

The crowd cheers, but Macay knows this is only the beginning of Armageddon.

We then see another battle at the Statue Of Liberty, as the entire Justice League come down from the sky and again save the day, afterwards making a public statement that they are going to right the new generations wrongs. Later Superman visits a destroyed Wayne Manor and tries to convince Batman to rejoin the League, saying that Dick Grayson has joined the League. Batman says no, and Superman leaves, leaving Batman controlling his Bat-Robot army who now keep the streets safe. Bruce is then visited by Oliver Queen, Ted Kord and Dinah Lance who talk about the team they have created in secret, should Superman’s fails. The bat-computer then shows familiar faces like Black Canary, Wildcat, Doctor Fate and Ion (Alan Scott’s Daughter).
Macay asks the Spectre why Batman and Superman now argue when he remembers them as great allies, and the Spectre tells him of their history.

We then see more epic images of the Justice League battling renegade heroes and villains, as the Leagues roster grows as more of the new generation reform and join.

We then see the Secret Society of Supervillains having a meeting at Lexcorp, featuring characters such as Selina Kyle, Edward Nygma, King from the Royal Flush Gang and of course Lex Luthor, who plot of using propaganda to turn the public against the Justice League and to start a war, of wich the humans would be victorious. Edward Nygma exclaims that the only thing stopping them is Superman, as Lex Luthor unvails his weapon against the Man of Steel : Captain Marvel.

The Justice League then have a meeting, the agenda being building a prison to put the renegade heroes in for rehabilitation. They first ask Aquaman in Atlantis but he refuses, saying that Atlantis wants nothing to do with the surface world ever again.
Superman then goes to Kansas and speaks with the leader of the new generation’s heroes, Magog. They begin to argue and the reader is given a flashback to how Superman retired. The flashback shows mass destruction in Metropolis including the Joker blowing up the daily planet, killing Lois Lane.

*image*

We find out that Magog killed the Joker, and proclaims that in this age, villains should be killed. Magog gains the support of the public. Superman protests but ultimately loses the people of Metropolis, who are still in favour of Magog. Superman then leaves Metropolis and was never seen or heard of for many years.

After the flashback Magog surrenders himself to Superman, knowing that what happened in Kansas was his fault. Superman then decides the prison to hold the renegades should be bult in kansas. The renegades are then put inside the prison, now called the “Gulag”

*image*

A council of great powers including Solomon and the Guardians of Oa debate wether they should use their powers to help humankind, as Macay and The Spectre watch, only to be visited by Deadman, who tells Macay to visit him when he reaches “the other side”.

We then see Billy Batson strapped to a machine as worms created by Dr.Savana crawl inside his brain and Lex Luthor issues him with orders, as we see a tracking and listening devide placed by Batman to eavesdrop on what Luthor is doing, as Batman and his secret team ‘join’ the Secret Society, as his Robobats are mass produced to be used as soldiers, and then the policeforce of the new world without metahumans, as Batman shows Luthor his team, wich now includes other iconic characters such as Kid Flash and Blackfire (Robin and Starfire’s daughter).

The Justice League are in Green Lanterns hard light Watchtower, as they look upon a now near perfect and crime free world as the dimension hopping Flash sees Macay and drags him into reality. When asked why he is there, Macay tries to warn Superman about Armageddon, but is cut short as a distress beacon is recieved from the Gulag, and the League mobilises to deal with the prison break. The Secret Society learn of this, as Batman reveals that he doublecrossed Luthor, and only joined the Society to learn how Luthor was controlling Captain Marvel. The reader is told that Billy’s dual personalities have been in mental conflict and that Billy may not be able to control Captain Marvel. Batman’s team battle and capture the Society, as Bruce tries to calm Billy Batson but he runs. Bruce tries to follow Billy, but after a thundering shout of : “SHAZAM!” All Bruce finds is a hole in the wall in the direction Billy was heading.

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The Justice League battle the rioters, but are being defeated as Superman again goes to the Batcave to talk to Bruce. After another arguement, Bruce tells Superman about the unstable Captain Marvel, who is now heading towards the Gulag. Superman flies after the Captain to try to intercept him before he reaches the prison. On the way, Superman is knocked out of the sky by a bolt of Lightning, and looks up to see Captain Marvel towering before him.

*image*

The UN then decide to send bombers to try to stop the battle themselves to try to stop the metahumans before the battles spread to elsewhere and the world is engulfed by war. The planes are equipped with a nuclear warhead that is to be dropped when they arrive.
At that moment, Batman and his tteam arrive, as they and the remaining members of the Justice League join together into a large group, as the battle continues to intensify.

*image*

The planes then arrive, as Superman manages to defeat Captain Marvel. The Spectre tells Macay that the hour of Judgement has come. Batman and Wonder-Woman see the warhead on the planes and both fly into the air to try to stop the bombers before the bomb is dropped, but they fail and the nuke is send hurtling towards the Gulag. Superman grabs Captain Marvel by the neck and lifts him into the air. Either Superman flies up and stops the warhead, sacrificing himself but saving the metahumans, or Billy can stop Superman and leave it to fall and kill the metahumans. He asks Billy to make the decision, as Billy is both Human and Metahuman, so he feels that Billy can make the right choice. Superman then flies up into the sky to stop the warhead, but Billy shouts “Shazam!” and flies up to Superman, throwing him back down to the ground.

*image*

It seems that Captain Marvel is going to let the warhead fall, until Superman looks up and sees the Captain hurtling himself towards the warhead. We see he is going to sacrifice himself. However the bomb was very low in the sky, and by the time Captain Marvel reaches it the nuke was only about a mile above the ground. Billy shouts “Shazam!” again and the warhead explodes. The nuclear radiation shots across the battlefield, as the bodies of those fighting are turned to skeltons. Captain Marvel failed to stop the warhead, and it seems Superman is the only survivor.

*image*

Enraged, Superman flies towards the UN building. When he arrives he rips the place apart. The Spectre leaves Macay to talk to Superman. Macay explains to Superman that he forgot his morals, and focused on the “Super” rather than the “Man”. The few remaining survivors of the explosion then arrive at the UN building. They include Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and many of the younger generation. Superman then tells the UN that he is going to again right the wrongs of the metahumans, not by ruling above them, but by living among them. He then goes to the flags of the nations of the world, and ties Captain Marvels cape to one of the poles. He says that during the fight when he told Captain Marvel to pick the humans or the metahumans he chose what only ever mattered : Life.

The Spectre and Macay fade away, and we see Wayne Manor turned into a hospital to treat the wounded and Superman digs graves for all those who died. Wonder Woman then visits Superman, and gives him a gift : The glasses he wore as Clark Kent.

*image*

The book then cuts to one year later, as Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman talk in a cafe. Wonder Woman announces that she is pregnant with a girl, Superman is the father and that they want Batman to be the godfather. Across the room Norman Macay and Jim Corrigan (The Spectre’s human form) Look at the cafe’s menu. The book ends as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman leave the cafe.
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Kingdom Come is my favourite graphic novel. Its hard to describe why in words, but I can find two main reasons: the characters and moments of epicness.

Kingdom Come has a primary protagonist, Norman Macay, but the focus is definately on Batman, Superman and Wonder-Woman. But, the book also comes with some great side characters, including The Spectre and Captain Marvel, with some great cameos with Deadman and other characters, as well as a few background cameos like Duela Dent.

Superman is the character you root and cheer for all the way through. In the beginning he acts like Bruce Wayne from Batman Beyond, thinking that his time is over and to let what happens happen, but after seeing the world is not how he left it to Magog, he undergoes a transformation back into the Man Of Steel, becoming a beacon of hope to the other heroes, who soon after realise that the war against injustice isn’t over. He is the character that people can realte to. Even though he is the Man Of Steel, he still has emotions, and the reader genuinly feels sympathy when Superman tells of the day The Joker visited the Daily Planet, resulting in the death of Lois Lane.

Bruce Wayne is like the child who never grew up. He is the opposite of Superman, and after the Justice League disbanded he continued his mission, and not even the death of Alrfred and the destruction of both Wayne Manor and the Batcave at the hands of Two-Face and Bane and the destruction of Arkham Asylum killing many of the inmates, as well as being in a full body brace limiting his movement, he spends his time upgrading his arsenal. The characters of Superman and Batman play off eachother very well, and the two have some great moments together, especially the scnes in the Batcave and the Cafe, and the book shows that even with their differences, they are very much the same. Batman isn’t focused on as much as Superman, but every scene Batman is in he steals the show with great dialouge and general badassery. The point of Batman and Superman being similiar is proven at the end, where Bruce puts on the Batsuit again, realising that even with his old age and dissabilites the fight isn’t over, in a very similiar fashion to Superman’s realisation, with Batman’s new team flying down from the sky, similair to the Justice League at the start of the book :

*image*

Its as if Batman and Superman are two halves of the same coin. This point is proven further as some characters like Hawkman and Wildcat are in the same pose, as well as Lightning and The Ray.

Like Superman, Marvel never wanted to put on his costume again, but for different reasons. Billy Batson is afraid of Captain Marvel, as Lex Luthor has used propaganda to make the Superhumans seem like monsters to the public. This makes Billy hate his old teamates, and also hate himself for having one of these “monsters” inside him. Billy’s realisation comes late in the book like Batman’s, and there are some truly epic moments made with Alex Ross’ art together with Mark Waids dialouge, such as the moment Billy shouts “Shazam!” and transforms into a somewhat mad and derranged Captain Marvel, and the art also makes the fight between Superman and the Captain a real highlight of the book.

I though I should give Dick Grayson a shout out. In the book, Dick Grayson becomes Red Robin instead of Nightwing and acts as the Justice Leagues replacement for Batman. Im not sure why this stands out in my mind but it does, maybe its because people are saying : “Robin will never be as good as Batman” when he serves as a good replacement for Batman. He is kind of undershadowed though, but has some sympathy moments, like Red Robin having to fight Blackfire, his daughter. And Dick and Bruce share a nice moment together at the end of the book. No words are exchanged, but it’s just one of those moments that make a Bat-fan smile.

*image*

You may have noticed I have said “Epic moment” a few times now. Thats because the book is full of them, but after looking back I have already highlighted the main ones with the pictures I have posted underneath all the characters and others in words, so I see no point to just tell you them again.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby Maultest » Mar 4th, 2012, 11:27 pm

interesting....I'll give the book a try
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby johnsyggel » Mar 4th, 2012, 11:34 pm

Excellent gn.The story is satisfying at least and Alex Ross' art is astounding.I definitely recommend it!!!Great article.
When the mugger or the thief stops to think twice,that is fear.That is what I am.Tonight will not be my end,but it will be theirs!
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby TFDutchman » Mar 5th, 2012, 7:21 am

Great read and sounds like an interesting story. I hadn't heard of this before, but I'll definitely have to try and find it because the artwork does look amazing
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby BobGun » Mar 5th, 2012, 5:38 pm

Great stuff, BoyWonder, and a great choice for TCC.

This is a must read, and definitely worth picking up.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby Guest » Mar 6th, 2012, 12:12 pm

Wait so if only Dick graysonn aided batman then why is red robin on the cover.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby batman404 » Mar 6th, 2012, 12:41 pm

Very well put BoyWonder1234 & I absolutely agree with you, Kingdom Come is epic! One of the best stories i've ever read.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby johnsyggel » Mar 6th, 2012, 3:41 pm

Guest wrote:Wait so if only Dick graysonn aided batman then why is red robin on the cover.

Grayson is Red Robin in this gn.
When the mugger or the thief stops to think twice,that is fear.That is what I am.Tonight will not be my end,but it will be theirs!
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby KingOfEngima411 » Mar 6th, 2012, 9:53 pm

Good Imagery and Great Story.
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but many riddles"
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby Maultest » Mar 12th, 2012, 4:07 am

When's the next one coming out ?
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby cutchin43 » Mar 15th, 2012, 6:44 pm

I've never been a fan of this kind of art, honestly.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby DarkFlux » Mar 15th, 2012, 8:58 pm

I love KC. It needs an animated movie like yesterday.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby batman404 » Mar 16th, 2012, 6:27 am

DarkFlux wrote:I love KC. It needs an animated movie like yesterday.


That'd be great! Especially if it was animated by Blur (the same company that made the CG Hugo Strange trailer for AC). I reckon something like that would be the best way to make a film out of an Alex Ross book.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby DarkFlux » Mar 16th, 2012, 11:41 am

The budget would probably be way to high for a full length 3D feature. Plus it would probably suffer from Uncanny Valley syndrome. Personally id be fine with styalised traditional 2D animation.
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Re: Treasure Chest Comics #14: Kingdom Come

Postby batman404 » Mar 16th, 2012, 1:08 pm

^ I'd have no problem if it was done with 2D animation & a full CG film would be expensive but I don't think it would suffer too much from uncanny valley syndrome, that kind of animation is still obviously animated.
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