In the aforementioned Batman #669, I found an ad for Justice Society of America #10. My scanner just flat out refuses to work, so you’ll have to use your imaginations. It’s an Alex Ross painting, to start. You got your Kingdom Come Superman with his red and black S, lit dramatically from above, creating dark pools of shadow around his eyes. His head is tilted forward, as if he has been captured in a moment of deep and solemn thought. Behind him are the assembled members of the DCU JSA, looking as if Kal El just filled his diaper.
What’s odd about the ad is the line at the top, where it reads “The Sequel to KINGDOM COME Begins!”
Whuzzuh? I’m sorry, but didn’t we already have a sequel to Kingdom Come? I recognize that Mark Waid’s The Kingdom was four or five pretty good stories bookended by two of the most abysmal pieces of American superhero comics ever published, but is that really reason to ignore it altogether? Well, maybe it is, but that’s really giving the short shrift to Ol’ Marky Mark, dontcha think?
(Spoiler Alert, if you plan to read an eight-year old miniseries in the near future) The Kingdom, to my recollection, started with KCU Wonder Woman popping out KCU Superman’s baby, who is of course immediately kidnapped by the supervillian Gog, who has (rather imaginatively, I think) been travelling slowly backwards through time, killing Superman every day. For some reason, KCU Batman, Superman and WW are offered a chance to travel to the DCU dimension (or maybe back in time, I’m not sure) by the Phantom Stranger. And this, everyone believes, will destroy the KCU, or their timeline. I don’t know. It seemed like bullshit to me when I read it, too.
What it did was setup four stories about minor characters from the Kingdom Come series proper, facing an apocalyptic scenario. You’ve got Offspring, illustrated by the always-entertaining Frank Quietly, featuring the son of Plastic Man bouncing around with his old super hero gang when really he should just be dealing with his daddy issues and his mildly oppressive wife. Then there’s Son of the Bat, which features the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul (Damian? What?) attempts to do his dad one better by manipulating Lex Luthor, Braniac, and the resurrected body of his grandfather in one last ditch attempt to save their timestream, before dealing with his granddaddy issues in rather final manner. Nightstar follows the daughter of Dick Grayson and Starfire as she tries to stop an old friend of hers (who happens to be a crazy mutant cow creature) from blowing up Green Lantern’s space station. Also, Robin shows up and they work out some daddy issues. Finally, in Kid Flash, Wally West’s daughter races around Keystone while fighting with her slacker brother and working out some serious daddy issues.
Are you detecting a theme here?
There was also a story that dealt with a waitress at Booster Gold’s crazy Planet Krypton restaurant, which, shockingly, dealt with no daddy issues whatsoever.
In the end, the Kingdom Come Big Three teamed up with Team Daddy Didn’t Love Me Enough, and the DCU Big Three, to stomp Gog’s ass in a Planet Krypton restaurant where the cheesy retro devices all over the place turn out to be cheesy retro devices that can be used to stomp Gog’s ass. And it turns out it wasn’t the Phantom Stranger that helped them, but Superman and WW’s son from the future, where he has white hair, can travel through time, and dresses just like the Phantom Stranger. Or maybe they were trying to say that the Phantom Stranger is the son of Superman and WW… In any event, it was a terribly lame ending that tried, in a ham-fisted way, to connect the superlative Kingdom Come miniseries to the contemporary DC Universe. But at least you got to read a lot about daddy issues, and anything that brings more of Frank Quietly’s work into the world can’t be a bad thing (trust me, as someone who owns a copy of the otherwise pointless Batman: The Scottish Connection, I can attest to this point). It also introduced Hypertime, which DC pimped hard for a couple of years, and then pissed all over in the Infinite Crisis finale, before resurrecting it as some kind of bizarre, not-quite-as-useful version of itself in the 52 finale.
So what’s all this been in aid of, then? Well, nothing really. I just wondered how The Kingdom came to be forgotten by the good folks at DC’s marketing department. I know Alex Ross and Mark Waid had some sort of nasty falling out (Daddy issues? What?) so maybe that’s had something to do with it. But Mark’s still at DC, churning out 22 kickass pages of Brave and the Bold script every month, and hard at work on the Flash relaunch. So surely they haven’t forgotten him, just to please The God That Paints.
I dunno. I don’t even read JSA. Do you?