Kingdom Come was written by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. The series is part of DC comics Elsewords imprint. Featuring the photorealistics art style of Alex Ross, the series focused on a complex story of a future DC universe. Ross created new costumes for most of the characters, he also added several new characters. Set in the year 2020, the Justice League we come to know have mostly retired. They are succeeded by a new more radical generation, that lacks the concern of civilians. They often clash with each other. After a nuclear explosion in Kansas, resulting from Parasite tearing apart Captain Atom, Superman finally comes out of retirement.
Other heroes continued to fight crime, The Flash still patrols around Keystone City, Hawkman protects the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Green Lantern watches Earth from an emerald city in space, Batman (now elderly) uses robots to patrol Gotham. However, other heroes like Aquaman, the Amazons and the Legion of Super-Heroes abandon the world. The four issues results in Superman creating a “reformation center” for superheros called the “Gulag.” It becomes a re-education camp, trying to teach the prisoners how to use their powers.
Lex Luthor and Batman join forces (it doesn’t last long) to create the Mankind Liberation Front. Superman and Captain Marvel fight, a bomb is dropped on the combatants. Captain Marvel sacrifices himself, but the bomb still manages to kill many of the super-humans. Superman and Wonder Woman become pregnant and Batman becomes the godfather. The series Kingdom Come is an epic story with amazing art. It’s one of the few series that gives Superman complexity. I highly recommend this series.
I always loved magic. I don’t know why. I always thought it was cool. Maybe it’s the sense that with magic has no real limits or it doesn’t always have limits. In the world of superheroes, magicians aren’t prominent. They’re powers often seem just like the other heroes, but the source is different. Also, while many heroes have to learn their powers, there’s an intellectual aspect to learn magic that I respect. Dr. Fate is considered to be the DC counterpoint to Marvel’s Dr. Strange. Like Strange, Dr. Fate is a “magician.” His powers are considered “occultism” that is described as the ability to use magic. Much like Dr. Strange, Dr. Fate (Dr. Kent Nelson) was a physician.
Dr. Fate was a child of archaeologist Sven Nelson. While on an expedition with his father, Kent opens the tomb of Nabu the Wise. He revives Nabu from his suspended animation but accidentally kills his father by unintentionally releasing poisonous gas. Nabu, teaches him sorcery over the next twenty years. Nabu gives him a mystical helmet, amulet and cloak. The Helmet of Fate transforms it wearer into a “master of magic.” He is granted several powers like “spellcasting, flight, superhuman strength, invulnerability, telekinesis, telepathy, pyrokinesis, and the ability to manipulate lightning. His powers have been described as ” the true conversion of energy into matter, and matter into energy.” Regardless, he’s one of the most powerful DC heroes.
Growing up I loved watching the Superfriends, a more kid friendly Justice League. One duo that were members was the Wonder Twins. The twins were mutants born on planet Exxor. They were each gifted with a specific form of shape-shifting. Their powers were activated when they touch rings. This is part of why their powers are the worst, however, Zan gets the worst of it. Jayna can turn into any animal, whereas, Zan can turn into any form of water (solid, liquid and gas). This ability is limiting in that he can’t really do much. He often turns into a puddle of water and needs to be carried in a bucket.
They were often played for laughs at least during commercial breaks or after credits on the Cartoon Network. The need to for them to announce the form they intended to transformed into stating, “Shape of . . .”, “Form of . . .” seemed impractical, but also was part of the humor. In one episode Jayna turns into a seagull, while Zan turns into a “Ice Gondola (Chair of Ice).” I’m sure that they have gotta retconned in some way or have been given power upgrades, but I choose to remember them as they were on one of my favorite childhood television shows the Superfriends, useless.
Superhero costumes are obviously difficult to come up with. You could be as simple as possible, but that feel like laziness. Some costumes are impractical. Many heroes (mostly women) have costumes that seem to work against them more than for them. Hawkman’s chest harness does little to protect said chest. Sometimes the costume has a feature that does nothing for the hero. Power Girl’s infamous “chest window” is on of the most popular example of this. Most of the worst costumes seem to have been created in the 1970’s. I don’t think that is an accident. The general fashion sense of those times weren’t too subtle. There are so many bad costumes, but this one is the worst.
Batman’s Zebras Suit
Batman has one of the best superhero costume’s in comics. However, he once wore on of the worst ones. In Detective Comics #275, Batman wears a Zebra Batman costume. In the issue, Batman and Robin battle Zebra Man. A small time criminal and a scientists, Zebra Man discovered that “all energy has lines of force.” After charging his body with this energy these “lines of force,” go through his costume. Batman becomes exposed to this energy, he becomes a Zebra-Batman. In this form Batman begins to repel everything with great force. Batman couldn’t get near anyone or eat without repelling it. While the Zebra suit wasn’t an intentionally made costume, it still wasn’t a good look.
I gotta be honest I don’t really care about sidekicks. They’re generally just younger carbon copies of the main heroes and I feel that they’re often quite useless. Personally, I only know the many Robins and Speedy. He appears in one of my favorite episodes of Justice League Unlimited, Patriot Act. In that episode, Speedy along with Green Arrow, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E., Shining Knight, Crimson Avenger, Vigilante, fight against General Wade Eiling who uses the “super soldier” and attacks the Justice League. He’s one of DC’s oldest characters, having been created in the 1940’s. The sidekick of Green Arrow, he’s an archer, with exceptional marksmanship. Like most of the most well known sidekicks he joins the Teen Titans.
Roy is also well known for his drug addiction. The storyline was considered to be an important moment in comic book history as it represented more mature themes in comics. Like Green Arrow he has no powers, he can use a variety of objects in combat, and is a great detective. Roy has had many romantic relationships in DC, he’s been involved with Donna Troy, Cheshire, Grace Choi, the Huntress, Hawkgirl and Starfire. Speedy is one of the few sidekicks that manage to get from under the shadow of their adopted superhero fathers, showing that he’s a more complex individual.