Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Bible in Popular Culture, Comics, Jesus & Pop Culture, Religion and Media

Religion and Comics – A Top 10 (Part 1)

Kingdom Come

  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Writers: Mark Waid & Alex Ross
  • Artist: Alex Ross
  • Letterer: Todd Klein

Kingdom Come pretty much has everything you could want in a comic: Interesting characters; familiar characters recast by circumstance; conflict; sacrifice; an apocalyptic edge; great art; redemption; and excellent storytelling. It’s one of my go-to comics for showing people what a graphic novel or comic series should be.

The religious aspect is lent to it by the stories overarching religious premise. In a world of superheroes the generation after Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman (who are seen as irrelevant now), the Spectre (God’s agent of vengeance in the universe, and a recurring character in the DC universe) comes to struggling pastor, Norman McCay, to in some way decide the fate of the world. McCay narrates the story, coupled with apocalyptic visions he receives and plays a critical role in brokering peace between the superhero community and the UN. The story ends with McCay recovering his faith, and rebuilding a congregation with a message of hope.

Of course, the religious elements are not the only thing going on here. There are questions about what true heroism looks like; ethical and moral dimensions played out through the characters and plot; the nature of (super)human relationships; and what hope looks like in a world that has lost it. As an Elseworlds title, it exists outside of the canonical continuity, but its influence of the shape of the DC canon is significant.

And not only do you get the storytelling abilities of Waid and Ross in this, but also Ross’ incredible artwork. I’d highly recommend getting hold of the book below and having a read of it. (It also has an interesting page or two exploring religious parallels between Superman, Moses and others.) There’s also a Marvel version of Ross’ work.