Kingdom Come Trade Review
I don't know why but I really didn't feel like writing this review. Perhaps because its more difficult to review lukewarm material than exponentially good or bad stuff. It's odd how I feel about this graphic novel because Mark Waid is such an excellent writer and Alex Ross can draw amazingly. There was just something that didn't excel this book beyond ordinary. This book is by no means bad so I shall explain myself.
The Kingdom Come graphic novel was created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. It was originally a four issue Elseworlds story. The premise is that Superman has been out if the game for a few generations, he's sporting the touch of grey sides, and metahumans are a large part of the population. An incident occurs which leads to the death of millions. Wonder Woman approaches the retired Kal-El to bring the "hero" that incited the incident to justice along with every other metahuman that are a detriment to society. It's mentioned that there was a certain occurrence in which Joker killed Lois Lane along with all of Clark Kent's friends and thousands of others which started Superman's path down seclusion. Had they shown and focused on this point more it would have a strong driving point and motivation for Superman to bring him out of seclusion, retirement, and this new undertaking.
If there was an major thing missing from this story it was a strong motivator for Superman and the other heroes to shake the dust off their old bones and get back into the young mans game. The story felt like it took a long time to pick up momentum and get going. By the time it picked up speed it was almost over. A big part of these issues was because of the art. The images and characters seemed stiff, stoic, and emotionless. Mind you all of those elements improved as the book goes on but still quite noticeable nonetheless. Alex Ross can create some magnificent images for covers and such but never a full story arc. As bad as I feel saying it I just don't think he's a good fit for this. It also felt as if there was some context missing.
The idea of a society wrought with citizens that have powers is fascinating. How do you control them and make them abide by a fair, safe, and similar code? What do you do if they refuse to comply? All these ideas are interesting and compelling. For one I don't think they got the right artist for the job and two I think these are elements that would be much better expanded upon in an actual novel rather that the comic book medium.
Overall Alex Ross did a solid job on the art and improved as the story progressed. The story and writing was interesting and fair but nothing near the caliber of writing I'm use to experiencing when reading one of Mark Waid's works. At the time in which it was released, 1996, I’m sure this was breaking ground but it felt like a story that’s been done before and better like Dark Knight Returns which was released in 1986. It's a solid read but it's definitely not a must have.
Verdict: weak BUY
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