Kingdom Come 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition ハードカバー – 2016/5/17
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The stunning 20th anniversary hardcover edition of writer Mark Waid (Archie) and artist Alex Ross’ multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning, seminal masterpiece KINGDOM COME is here with more than one hundred pages of sketches, annotations and other extras!
In the near-future world of KINGDOM COME, superheroes are ubiquitous, but heroism is rare. After decades as Earth’s champions, the members of the Justice League have all retreated out of the public eye, replaced with a new generation of crime-fighters whose brand of harsh justice leaves humanity terrified, rather than inspired. But with the planet’s future in jeopardy, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman must come out of retirement to make one last stand for truth and justice. Collects KINGDOM COME #1-4.
"One of the best comic stories ever told."--WASHINGTON EXAMINER
"With art that looks like a hybrid of Norman Rockwell and Jack Kirby, artist Ross has become the preeminent painter of superheroes of his generation."--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Kingdom Come is a very dark story but it’s kind of the antithesis of the recent Injustice which is also dark. In Injustice, The Joker commits a horrific crime against Superman and the Man of Steel snaps, killing the Joker and starting down a path of ruin. In Kingdom Come The Joker commits a horrific crime against Superman but Superman refuses to sacrifice his ethical code and it’s the new Man of Tomorrow, Magog, who steps forward and kills the Joker. When it becomes clear that society prefers Magog’s brand of justice Superman decides to check out but Magog’s values become the norm and Superman returns when the world seems to be spiraling out of control.
Like most comic fans I love a good superhero/villain battle and there is nothing more boring than excessive, poorly written dialogue. Kingdom Come is a dialogue heavy comic but Mark Waid does such a brilliant job that the story never drags. It is the rare writer who can write a comic with this much dialogue and sparse action and make it work this well. The story here reaches the level of some of Alan Moore’s best and like many of the best written stories there is a level of ambiguity and blurring of lines between heroes and villains. Critics of the Man of Steel movie may enjoy Superman’s refusal to kill at any cost but it’s clear that Waid is intending readers to question his methods of controlling the metahumans. Just like in Injustice, a lot of the more questionable actions by those following Superman are pushed forward by Wonder Woman. In fact after re-reading Kingdom Come there are a shocking amount of similarities between this story and Injustice.
What can you say about the art? Alex Ross’s photorealistic paintings wouldn’t look out of place in a museum. Ross is absolutely unique in the world of comics and any time he is associated with a project it becomes an event. Before Kingdom Come there was Marvels by Ross and Kurt Busiak and it remains one of the great comics by Marvel. Ross also did Justice doing his painting over Doug Braithwaite’s penciling and although the story had some issues Ross’s painting made it special. This is perhaps the most gorgeous comic ever produced by DC if you’re in to painted art.
I own the paperback version of Kingdom Come and the deluxe version is far more than just a hardbound upgrade. First, it’s the standard DC deluxe edition size of 11.2x7.4 as opposed to the paperback which is 10.2x6.6. I can’t say that the colors are that much different but the paper stock is better. The real big difference is the extras. The paperback has less than 20 pages of extra material while the deluxe edition has almost 140 pages and it’s not just useless filler. This is really good stuff that’s worth reading through.
Reading this review presumably means you’re debating whether to get this book. If you’ve never read Kingdom Come, get this book. If you’ve read Kingdom Come and want to see if it stands the test of time, it does. If you own the paperback version and want to know if it’s worth the upgrade, it is. This is a more attractive, more durable version with tons of extras including fascinating bios of many of the peripheral characters that make appearances. DC already gave Kingdom Come the Absolute Edition but those are really unwieldy. This one hits the sweet spot. Thank you DC.
The pages are glossy and bigger in size as one would expect from a DC Deluxe release as compared with the floppies or trade paperbacks. Also included are an introduction by Elliot S. Maggin, essays on the work by both Waid and Ross and even an annotated guide which is very useful for fans. Also included are bios of all the heroes and villains who appear which I found really useful. Strangely though the extras after the main story come in a section described as "Apocrypha" which means in Greek "of dubious value" which I can only conclude was meant as an ironic joke on the part of the publisher/editor. The many extras make this deluxe release a useful get for fans and is a worthwhile upgrade from the floppies without any feeling of double-dipping. Unusually so for a DC release the binding is actually sewn and so is very good with hardly any gutter loss to be seen. Mine stays open on a flat surface from the contents page onwards!
If you haven't already read this or if you are looking at which version to get don't hesitate to pick this one up and if you already have the floppies I believe this to be a worthy upgrade that would look great on your bookshelf too.
Overall this comes highly recommended!
First of all, this edition is great. It was in very well state, really a new one. The books feels pretty good in touch, and it is easy to read. The feelling you got by touching the pages it is spectacular. They quality of these pages is really a one that deserves the deluxe edition name. The story itself is very touching and well written. I like it specially of how the Captain Marvel is portrayed, its role in the story is one that I didn't like in the first place, but after reading it I can accept it and accept that end. I have to recommend this comic to everyone looking for a good story. Also it looks very cool in my bookshelf.