Alex Ross & Mark Waid’s ‘Kingdom Come’ Series Getting a Documentary

 

The Wrap announced there’s a documentary in production focused on Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s mid-1990s DC miniseries Kingdom Come, which was more like an exercise in darkness:

 

A documentary charting the creation of the 1996 DC Comics story “Kingdom Come” has set a fall 2024 release date, launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and debuted its first teaser trailer, all of which TheWrap can exclusively reveal. “The Legend of Kingdom Come” comes from director by Remsy Atassi and producer Sal Abbinanti, the business manager and art dealer for the comics’ influential artist Alex Ross.

“Kingdom Come” is one of the most acclaimed comic book stories of all time, featuring breathtaking painted art from Ross and a story written by Mark Waid. It tells the tale of a future where young superheroes have taken over but abandoned the fight for good, until Superman is pressed to return from retirement to again bring hope to mankind.

 

And what’s so great about a story building off of the death of Lois Lane and accompanying darkness? A story that practically led to more examples of depicting Superman as a bad guy later on? Even if it wasn’t part of regular DC canon, it’s yet another cliche in a long list where something more tragic than inspiring happens. What makes a story like this better than the marriage of Superman and Lois Lane? Or the marriage of Spider-Man and Mary Jane? I have yet to hear of such a project in the works for documentaries, and all the while, productions like this, where they actually expect people to crowdfund their efforts, get the lion’s share of notice instead. Also, the interviewees cited don’t sound like Superman specialists, but rather, for a character who’s been given more emphasis in the wider press than the Man of Steel has in the past decade:

 

The filmmakers conducted more than 30 interviews with collaborators and other members of the comic book industry. Other creators interviewed for the film include “Spawn” creator and Image Comics cofounder Todd McFarlane, “Batman: The Animated Series” writer and “Harley Quinn” cocreator Paul Dini, plus TV and comics writing team Julie and Shawna Benson.

Fans have speculated that there may be elements of the “Kingdom Come” mythology at play in 2025’s “Superman” film from writer/director James Gunn. That includes striking similarities between the S-shield emblem on the movie version of the hero’s costume with that of the classic comic miniseries. The “Kingdom Come” take on the character also influenced Brandon Routh’s reprise of his role as Superman when he portrayed the character in The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.

 

Well if Gunn’s going to build specifically on something that could be more attuned to darkness than brightness coupled with a tasteful sense of humor, that’s hardly encouraging. And why do Batman writers matter more than anybody who scripted Superman? It could be worse though: what if Brian Bendis, one of the worst of the overrated modern writers to get his mitts on the Man of Steel, turns out to be among the interviewees?

And the whole notion of younger heroes becoming as nasty as the crooks they battle is decidedly another annoyance with the premise of Kingdom Come in hindsight. How does that inspire younger generations in real life? As though it weren’t bad enough there’s whole younger generations today taking up lives of crime and making the USA a most miserable place to live. The way Kingdom Come is set up is hardly the way to convince younger folks why heroism and patriotism are better paths. It’s not all that different from the Dark Knight Returns either, what with dark premises forming the basis of the story. So why is Kingdom Come seen as a big deal for documentaries, but not something like a marriage, or even the birth of Franklin Richards from Fantastic Four, if child-bearing also counts as an inspirational premise? Some Hollywooders sure know how to go for the easy choices indeed. I certainly won’t be contributing any dough to finance this production through crowdfunding, and it seems awfully cynical to even produce it that way anyway.

 

Originally published here.

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Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1

JUST KEEPING THE LIGHTS ON