Can’t let it die, can you?


The readership seems to be divided on the return of the Earth-22 Superman.  Some are in favor of the continuing adventures of the Kingdom Come storyline, even though the original follow up series tanked, while others are content with reliving the glory days in Absolute Editions.  With the return of Magog, and E22 Superman, is DC trying to repeat the events from one universe to the other?

kcsuperman1cover.jpgWho would have guessed old people could be so emo.  E22 Superman has been moping about the Justice Society Hall since his return, reluctant to get involved in everything that is going on, because A) he’s the last of his universe, and B) he’s upset about the events that are unfolding on Earth Prime.

Is it just me, or is E22 Superman a bit confused?  He’s claiming he’s the sole survivor of his universe, yet Starman is hanging out in the same room.  Talk about snubbing one of your friends… geesh.

When Cyclone asks what happens, he’s a tad reluctant to tell the story, but when he does, we discover that E22 Superman never reached the final chapter of the story we know so well.  Instead it was the nuclear blast that brought him to Earth Prime. He never had the chance to take his anger out on the United Nations, and he didn’t come to his senses when he was talked down by Norman McCay.

E22 Superman does remember his first encounter with McCay, so Cyclone suggests E22 Superman look on the NSA/JSA database to see if an Earth Prime Norman McCay exists, as he might be able to give him some guidance.  The thought of a JSA/NSA database that contains information about everyone in the planet is a bit disturbing, don’t you think?

More than anything, E22 Superman is upset over the loss of his wife, who died when the Joker attacked the Daily Planet of his Universe.  Throughout the remainder of the issue, we see a similar attack on the Daily Planet as a means of drawing Superman out.  It’s all set up by Lex Luthor, and even though the attack backfires, it does cause E22 Superman to become even more mopey.  Through a conversation with Lois Lane, Superman does recount the real story of how his Lois died.  There’s even a great line when Lois asks him why he doesn’t go by Clark anymore, to which he replies, “Clark died the day she died, and he will never return.”

This one-shot is written and illustrated by Alex Ross.  If you’re going to do a follow up to the follow up, then he’s the guy to mastermind it.  While I like finding out more about the Kingdom Come universe, and the missing chapter on the attack on the Daily Planet, I’m ultimately let down by the story.  Like many one-shots and tie-ins we’ve seen released by DC this year, this could have been told in the pages of JSA as a continuation of the Gog/Magog story.  Instead, this tale is rather open ended with E22’s closing remarks, and sets us up for two other one-shot issues set to release over the next couple of weeks; JSA: Magog #1 and JSA: The Kingdom #1.  Yes, more Kingdom Come stories that could probably be told in the pages of JSA.

While I haven’t read the other two issues yet, I have a feeling all three of these stories could have been merged together into an 80-page giant JSA Annual.   As a one-shot, don’t expect to find a whole lot of extra pages.  The story itself is 23 pages, while the rest of the issue is filled with pencil sketches, and annotations by Ross.  This is nice content, but to add it in and charge $3.99 for content that would have cost $2.99 had it been part of the regular JSA series is off-putting.

I always like Alex Ross’ art and layouts, and when he writes his own stories everything comes together nicely.  I’m not sure we really need more Kingdom Come stories at this point, as everything that needed to be said seems to have already been done over a decade ago.  As much as I like the issue, the cost and fact this could have been part of a JSA Annual are huge letdowns.  I’m giving JSA: Kingdom Come Special – Superman 3 out of 5 Stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. You just can not see the truth even though it is staring at you in the face. Key to everything is Starman. The man removed from the future to do somethingbad he can only do it if he is nuts. Grant Morrison who is in charge of both Batman R.I.P. and Countdown to the Last Infinite Final Crisis Until the Next One has set everything up so carefully and you have not been able to see it . Starman is the one who will ultimately KILL “Bruce Wayne” thereby sending E-22 off the deepend for not stopping one of his crew from killing his best friend and current sidekick. Yes I said sidekick, Robin will also die, but Tim Drake will in a final act of repentance from Starman be transported to the 31st Century Earth to become a Legionairre.
    You say that he has no powers? What about the greatest gift Batman & Grant Morrison ever gave him. The power to defeat anyone given at least thirty minutes of advanced preparation. After all, Matthew has said on multiple occasions that very “POWER” belonged to Batman.
    Now who wants to argue with Morrison!!!

  2. I am now officially on the side of “Who gives a $&@?”

    Making Kingdom Come Superman AN ALTERNATE VERSION of Kingdom Come Superman is an excess that makes this whole storyline ridiculously complex and unforgiveable. We’re actually strip-mining an idea that was itself strip-mining the history of the DC Universe to date, and it’s just ridiculous.

  3. You keep saying that this story could be told in the pages of JSA, do you realize how LONG this storyline has/will last? I say bring on MORE one-shots so we can get away from Kingdom Come and back to the fun stories and nicely fleshed out characters that this series began with.

    So no, these stories should not be told in JSA proper.

  4. Lets just make the last 3 years of the DC Universe on big dream Snapper Carr and have him wake-up next week. That way you don’t have to worry about tying up the loose ends.

  5. I agree with Mike… Less Gog Society of America, please???? I just finished reading the first 80-whatever issues of Geoff Johns’ first go-round with the JSA, and this Gog-awful story arc has made me realize how good the JSA _could_ be if it focused a little more on ITSELF and not some storyline Alex Ross sold a lotta books with once upon a time. (I know that’s a really long sentence, but my grammatical skills don’t kick in until noon.)

  6. Yes, so we go from a sequel that no one was clamoring for to a character that Johns doesn’t see as a villain despite having him rip a fellow human being in half and then slaughtering a whole country. Yay.

  7. DrStrangeCubicle on

    Did Johns actually say that? I thought that was how he viewed Black Adam before 52/WW3 (which really derailed the whole anti-hero/villain bit Adam had going)

  8. All of the above makes me glad I’ve not read too many DC comics since I started getting back into comics this year after a 4 year gap. I’ve picked up 4 issue of LSH and one issue of Green Lantern Corps, but all these infernal re-boots and retcons are getting silly now. And I thought Crisis back in 1985 was supposed to make everything a lot clearer! Still, if you keep having a Crisis every year, now wonder it’s in such a mess now!

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