Having a graphic novel guru for a husband is a big plus for a book lover like me. Since this is the genre I’m least familiar with, it helps to be guided by an expert. When I asked hubby for a recommendation on what graphic novel I should read from his collection, he gave me DC’s “Absolute Kingdom Come”.
I don’t really know how to make a “proper” review for graphic novels so I’ll just simply give you my two cents’ worth from a fiction lover’s perspective.
The end of the world with the superheroes at the helm is the main plot of this graphic novel. When Superman sort of “bailed out” on mankind, a new generation of impulsive reckless heroes took over the planet. Initially acting out of noble intentions to fill in the Man of Steel’s shoes, unlimited power made them insolent and abusive. They attacked without being provoked and they crossed that thin fine line between imposing discipline and violence. Wonder Woman sought Superman’s help and convinced him to be involved and restore order again. He and the Justice League eventually joined forces and battled with these delinquent heroes.
Graphic novel or not, it all boils down to STORYLINE at the end of the day. No matter how good the illustration is if the story is awful then it simply nullifies the artwork. I have to say though that Alex Ross’ art was nothing short of superb. He’s a master of hues and an impeccable illustrator. Having said that, here you’ve got an amazing visual anchored firmly to a brilliant storyline. This graphic novel has the elements of what a good story is all about. The plot is not linear; it has multiple turning points that became mini climaxes, building up to the final one. There’s the conflict between Superman and Batman, there’s the tension between Wonder Woman and the Amazons, there’s that inner battle in Captain Marvel’s head, and other sinister schemes in between.
Told from Pastor Norman McCay’s perspective, he was being guided Spectre—the Spirit of Vengeance—who shows him the condemned and the redeemed while urging him to make a judgment on the events at hand. Using the Armageddon text in Revelation, writer Mark Waid seamlessly merged its symbolisms to the story. I like Waid’s fusion of the biblical with the fictional without going overboard. End-of-the-world plots have the potential to overkill but in this graphic novel Waid restrained himself just enough to make the story both plausible and imaginative.
The road toward the ending was not without boldness and heroism. Tragedy was inevitable but the execution was outstanding. Just when you thought the story’s over, this graphic novel ends with a new beginning, opening new possibilities for more compelling stories in the future.