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The Trades Thread - Hardcovers, Graphic Novels, and More


Kingdom Come (Mark Waid - Alex Ross)

The impression I got is similar what I got when I read Old Man Logan, which is “meh”. I get that this was something previously unseen in the world of superhero fiction, but its praise escapes me. And as Bobby said, I know, I am in minority. It’s like Waid and Ross tried to tell god-like story and succeed in it.

I read this article and it sums up my thoughts and feelings on few points, on the other, I disagree.

Superman Red Son (Mark Millar - Dave Johnson - Killian Plunkett)

I think I can say here - “The Chief did it!” IMO - the best Elseworlds story, the best Superman story and the best and probably the most mature Millar story. True, the plot is so simple and without much sense, but I didn’t care. There are many interesting points underneath; fun, provocative, harrowing or sad. Batman’s arc especially, despite it’s short lenght is memorable - his unexpected suicide, which took me by total surprise. Speaking of the characters, they are reimagined in radical way (given this is Elseworlds story), but it’s not small achievement when you make them to stay close to their original counterparts. And Batman’s outfit is so cool, especially the Russian version of the cowl xD.
Anyway, while, let’s be honest, the book is told from Anglophile side of view, it still gives enough room for moraly grey perspective to say this isn’t your typical black n white story, where Americans are good, and those “friggin’ commie Russians” are the worst. Through its characters, we initially got social commentary or better to say, dissection, and to an extent, critique of both political systems; then on gender relations, treatment of women (much better in Soviet Union/Russia); and in later stages, grows in the conflict that escalates into personal between Luthor and Superman, which to me stands as a theme, ran in Judge Dredd - freedom of choice or safety and perfection in totalitarianism. Oh, and the twist at end… While I don’t think it was neccessary, neither that it played any significant part in the plot, but the effect is mindblowing and very clever in its execution, a basically Superman origin in a twist worth of any stellar thrillers.


I think Kingdom Come is a bit of a victim of its own success. I really loved it when I read it and still love a lot of the ideas behind it but am not really compelled to reread it.

Superman: Red Son remains one of my all time favorites. Mostly because @Mark_Millar really understands what makes Superman tick. He uses the change in setting and ideology that Kal-El is raised with to highlight the things that are intrinsically him. I really like the way he played with all of those ideas. I think it would make a great standalone live action (or even trilogy of) film(s).


i first read this in the original four-issue Prestige format, and loved it. I recently read it again when I bought the digital version of the TPB, and actually appreciated it even more the second time around.


Waid tries to do too much (which he found great help in Alex Ross). Epic tale about the fight between good & evil Biblical allegory, meta-fiction, love letter to superheroes and what they mean to us, critique of superheroes (especially critique of dark superheroes, particularly those found at Image), tour around DC universe filled many references and easter eggs… But, at its core, this is essentially, a Superman story. Most superheroes are there for cameo appearance, or for unfair treatment of Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel (brain-damaged, childlike pawn for Lex Luthor WTF?). Next, Waid deliberate toying with divine concepts just made Kingdom Come heavy handed story. As for the story, despite all those attributes I gave to KC above, I didn’t care for all that hero vs hero thing. The narrative is incoherrent and boring and makes no sense. The climax is just a massive confusive superhero battle with that anticlimactic ending, where it’s like everyone who survives, goes home. Btw, I don’t think that as CBR suggested, that superheroes became fascists.
I believe this is the right story if superheroes bore you, and you want to end up with something.

Ross’ art is… I admit is unique in comic world. Hyperrealistic, painted style combined with Waid’s story does give an epic feel to it. But, his work better works for covers, posters etc and not for interiors, where its flaws take better of him. His figures look so emotionless, static, like they are posing for photo shoot. This is more evidented in splash pages, especially at the end, with enormous number of characters cramped it, on which I had very tough job to deduce who is who and what’s going. Also, I can’t help the feeling that occassionally facial expressions are not always synched with character’s emotions and thoughts. Alex Ross’ art I admire and detest at the same time.


US comic world anyway. His style is very reminiscent of a few European artists, including Dan Dare creator Frank Hampson’s painted work in the 1950s and 60s.


A lot of that is what lead me to say that Kingdom Come was very much a victim of its own success. It may not have been the first to do some of those things but it was likely the one that opened the floodgates for a while. The may villain was also a pretty snide jab at Cable. I always find it bizarre the dislike for those sort of characters but then turning Captain Marvel and some of the others like they did. There are a lot of great ideas but some of the come from really odd/contradictory notions.


I personally love Kingdom Come. Not to say the criticisms aren’t valid, but it came along at a very formative time for me. I was 12 or 13 and had been away from comics for a couple of years. I randomly stopped into a new LCS one day and saw Kingdom Come #1 and it instantly caught my attention. It was a different beast than any of the monthly comics I’d read before and showed me there was more to the comic book medium.

If not for Kingdom Come, I’m not sure I’d still be reading comics. It lead me to things like Marvels and DKRs and Watchemen and Born Again over the next few years. If I read it for the first time today, I’m not sure it would have the same impact. Probably not. But I’ll always have a special place for it.


I do think Kingdom Come is a great work on par with DKR and Watchmen but think it needs some time to rest between its initial relevance and its continued place in evergreen collections like those other works did to separate it from some of the things it was criticizing. Otherwise, it just feels to mired in that for me.


Well, I can’t deny its influence on Civil War.

Anyway, I am waiting for Chris’ (not Antichris) response :smiley:


Even though I was in bed by 10:30pm on new year’s eve, it seems I was drunk enough that I completely forgot I bought this on ebay. It arrived today and I initially thought I’d been sent it by mistake. Turns out it is a brand new copy I got for £28! Not sure if that’s a good price.


Oooh, check if you’re missing any word bubbles.


As in a misprint?




Yeah, that was the edition that had lots of errors, wasn’t it? Pages in the wrong order, and missing words and so on. I don’t know if they ever issued a corrected version like the Fourth World omni.


On the positive side. Kevin Maguire artwork; over sized. That’s going to be lovely to look at.


Ah, that’s why it would have been cheaper.

Dealer Alert

First deal of the year:

Wildstorm: Michael Cray Volume 2 - Books Etc - £7.15


Marvels actually came out two years before Kingdom Come. In fact, I always had the impression that DC released the latter because they wanted to publish something as influential and stunning as Marvels had been when it was first released – which impression was based on the publishing format (Prestige, 4 issues), the wide cast of characters, and of course the choice of artist.


Oh yeah, for sure. But I wasn’t aware of it until after I read the first issue of Kingdom Come.


Ya. Marvels was what first got Ross noticed and probably paved the way for Kingdom Come to get approved.


Why I am not so lucky; instead, I am stuck with the first two trades, with low quality paper, for toilet…