Ask any DC fan what the best stories are in its realm and they should undoubtedly bring up Kingdom Come. If you want to see a classic Justice League tale mixed with some old-school comic nostalgia and you got yourself one of the best DC stories ever written. But it’s much better than that, since this is one of the very few Justice League comics that has that sense of realism. It really doesn’t feel like a typical DC story in the sense that it focuses far less on the fantasy and cosmic elements that they usually like to show us. In my opinion, that’s what always separated DC from Marvel. Kingdom Come gives us a taste of what the Justice League would look like in the reality of a fearful and skeptical world that was suffering without them. But that’s where things got interesting, because that’s when a new crop of younger, but far more reckless heroes came around to fill the void. The problem is, none of them were really interested in actually protecting humanity. These young “heroes” were more like dangerous delinquents with superpowers that they had no idea what to do with. Basically, they were like an army of monkeys with machine guns. This was the basis for the story behind Kingdom Come. The Justice League was disbanded and far past their prime and now they had to contend with these young and dangerous super-powered delinquents. But on top of that, the Justice League were also in hot water with the United States government.
Just in case you haven’t read it, I won’t spoil anything major, but that’s where the realism comes from. The most powerful group of superheroes is in danger because the governments of the world no longer has faith in them. But get this, because this is what truly set the stage for the biggest conflict for Kingdom Come. While the older Justice League members reformed the team, they were still divided. Wonder Woman convinced Superman to come out of his self-imposed exile and they took it upon themselves to lead their own Justice League. As far as Batman, the very human superhero’s age had finally caught up with him. Although he wasn’t nearly as physically able as he used to be, he was even more masterful at being the guy with the plan. With his money, resources, and connections, this disabled Bruce Wayne became even more dangerous. Although he was once a trusted founding member of the Justice League, by the events of Kingdom Come, Batman had a very contentious relationship with Superman and Wonder Woman. With both heroes having enough power to be basically gods, the older and more cynical Bruce Wayne became highly cautious of the potential danger those two could pose for the world. But under the noses of his former colleagues and the United States government, which is in typical Batman fashion, he was forming his own not-so little group of human and meta-human heroes.
Kingdom Come was one of the original Batman vs. Superman stories, although, and this the last little spoiler I’ll reveal, Batman fighting Wonder Woman. And for my fellow DC nuts who grew up watching the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, you probably remember that epic fight scene between Superman and Shazam. Of course, at the time, he was known to all of us as Captain Marvel, but the episode “Clash” gave us that super-powered showdown between the two titans of DC. Where do you think that originated from? We can all thank Kingdom Come for starting the whole Superman and Shazam rivalry. That’s something we could see happen in a future DC movie. Speaking of which, how cool would it be to see a movie based on the story of Kingdom Come in the DC Cinematic Universe? I think that would be awesome and I’m not the only one who thinks so. Zachary Levi has spoken about his desire to see Kingdom Come become a DCEU adaptation. It’s probably because he would get to fight Superman. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to fight Superman at this point? And that reminds me, the most powerful candidate for a fight with Superman is the famous Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson is really pushing for it, and right now, so is Hiram Garcia, the co-producer of Black Adam.
During a recent interview with Collider, Garcia explained why he admires the story behind Kingdom Come and why it would make for a great DC movie. Garcia recognizes Kingdom Come as a compelling story of the old-school and new-school DC heroes living in a world divided by their views on justice and how they all see it. The fact that he recognizes and respects the ideas and incredible artistic style of Mark Waid and Alex Ross speaks to me. That tells me he gets the themes behind Kingdom Come and how it tried to make the superhero genre seem like a real issue. How could a story like this work for the DCEU? I have a feeling that wouldn’t work as one movie and Hiram Garcia feels the same. I can only imagine what kind of different elements a director can add into an adaptation for a Kingdom Come movie. I’d personally be more interested in how a movie about this particular DC story could live up to the classic old-school comic style. And if you ask me, that works best when we’re looking at the style of the legendary comic book artist Alex Ross. Just take a look at a few of his artistic drawings and you’ll practically see real people. It’s truly some of the best comic book art I have ever seen and it’s the exact kind of style that sets the tone for Kingdom Come. Would it probably work better for an animated movie? We all know DC tends to excel at those, but seeing a Kingdom Come adaptation for the DCEU could be interesting. This could set the stage for a batch of second-generation heroes while giving a good send-off for the original heroes. If DC wants to go bigger, then a story like this is one of the best DC comics to take inspiration from.