In the third issue of Kingdom Come, Superman doesn’t want to adjust to a changing world, but Captain Marvel couldn’t adjust. Superman strives to maintain peace, but Wonder Woman is prepared for war, if necessary.
The inclusion of Captain Marvel (Shazam) is an excellent choice. He truly is DC’s most innocent superhero. He’s a child who can transform into a super-powered adult, but he’s still a child at heart. But this miniseries is set in the future, and Billy Batson is all grown up…and the manner in which he’s grown up reflects the world around him. He simply doesn’t fit in this darker age, leading him into Lex Luthor’s thrall. His cheesy smile has never been creepier.
The conflict between Superman’s idealism and Wonder Woman’s pragmatism is especially well-handled, and it’s all the more interesting because it’s a conflict between two people who respect each other a great deal.
Tensions escalate throughout the issue. We get some relief as Batman has his Awesome Batman Moment. But this is all about putting all the chess pieces in place for the climactic battle, and it features many excellent moments along the way, including this fantastic quote from Superman to Batman:
“The deliberate taking of human—even super-human—life goes against every belief I have—and that you have. That’s the one thing we’ve always had in common. It’s what made us what we are.”
I will savor re-reading the final issue.
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Alex Ross
Publisher: DC Comics
How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Kingdom Come (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 12 and up