Title: Kingdom Come
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Alex Ross
What's Up, MOCK?
I have to admit that my interest in the DC Universe was on the ropes before I picked up this collection, first published as a four-issue mini-series in 1996. The New 52 relaunch back in 2010 only held my interest for a few months. I enjoyed Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, but wasn't impressed enough to explore the Caped Crusader's story beyond. But the Justice League has always been my strongest hook into this particular world so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that they've drawn me in once again.
The first thing one notices about Kingdom Come is the artwork. The characters are painted in gouache with a vivid, ancient Greek idealism by Ross. At the end of the book, Ross credits the human models who donated their time for the project. Sharp lines and vivid colors dominate throughout. If anything, images are too busy - a complaint I often find myself making with DC - but there's no denying the stunning quality of the work.
The story is wonderful. Superman and Wonder Woman, both older now and having confronted the cruelties of life (even for immortals), come out of self-seclusion to restore order to the world. Batman has his own ideas for the best course of action, as do Lex Luthor and the UN Secretary General. As in the real world, the line between benevolence and tyranny is very thin.
As frequently happens with my comic explorations, I am now eager to go back to the beginning with these characters. DC is releasing Justice League Chronicles, Vol. 1 in May. Meanwhile, I can explore the stories of the individual characters, too.