View Poll Results: Which Story Is Better as a Whole?

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  • Dark Knight Returns

    25 40.32%
  • Kingdom Come

    37 59.68%
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  1. #16
    Senior Member Lorendiac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Hedge Coke View Post
    DKR, both as a comic and for Superman's portrayal. He really doesn't do anything terrible in DKR, but KC Superman is a jerk and too self-pitying for my tastes.
    I can't argue with that!

    I bought and read KC as it was first coming out, and I was very disappointed by the way it handled Superman's personality. Everything that follows this paragraph is cut-and-pasted from what I said in another discussion thread, six years ago!

    ************************************************** *********************************

    By coincidence, yesterday I reacted to someone else's comments about Kingdom Come on another forum. His basic argument appeared to be that Kingdom Come was long-winded and pretentious because Alex Ross was bound and determined to show us, at great length, that "classic" superhero concepts were much better than 1990s Image-style "superheroes."

    That was his attitude. Mine was a bit different. Here's what I said:

    *****

    Of course, the ironic thing here was that, from where I stood when I bought the miniseries as it came out, the plot of Kingdom Come seemed to "prove" that Alex Ross saw "classic" old-fashioned superhero Superman as "Mister Crybaby, the Clueless Quitter."

    How did the backstory go? Magog killed the Joker. Magog stood trial for this. A jury of his peers ruled that it was a justifiable act of violence, all things considered. Superman was so heartbroken at hearing that a single court decision had made what he judged to be a mistake that he threw a childish super-tantrum and flew off into oblivion for the next several years, rather than lift a finger to help anyone the next time any Global Catastrophe was threatening to wipe out zillions of people.

    Sometimes I hear about cases in the criminal justice system that were not resolved the way I think they should have been resolved, but I don't dump all my responsibilities and run off to be a hermit in a cave because of it. (Does this prove I'm a better person than Superman?)

    Eventually Superman gets the word that Kansas has just been nuked. "Gosh!" he says. "Even though I had single-handedly prevented such things from happening a thousand times before, it never occurred to me that when I quit being Superman for awhile, this might happen due to my absence!"

    So we've established that he's a Crybaby, a Quitter, and Utterly Clueless about the probable consequences of his own absence from the scene for an extended period.

    Eventually Superman decides to resume an active role in the world, and clean up the huge mess that the younger generations of heroes and villains have made of things, as he sees it. (Of course, if he had stuck around to provide an example to the younger heroes, and share the benefit of his greater experience with them, there might not be such a huge mess needing to be cleaned up in the first place.)

    And Alex Ross's "epic" was supposed to persuade me that Superman was inherently better than those courageous young whippersnappers who, during Kal-El's nice long sulk -- "Go away! Somebody hurt my feelings and I refuse to come out of my room!" -- had actually been risking their necks on a daily basis as they tried to maintain some degree of law and order and to keep the lid on the supervillain population? If that was Ross's intention, then he did a fantastic job of shooting himself in the foot!

  2. #17
    Paladin Kurosawa's Avatar
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    Kingdom Come, easily, although it is very flawed. At least you can tell Waid likes Superman. Every page of DKR where Superman appears or is mentioned drips with Miller's complete hatred of the character.

    Both books are very flawed in regards to Superman and I refuse to accept either of them as a legitimate interpretation of the character. Superman would never go off and mope by himself like he did in Kingdom Come, and he would never become a government lackey like he did in DKR.
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  3. #18
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurosawa View Post
    Kingdom Come, easily, although it is very flawed. At least you can tell Waid likes Superman. Every page of DKR where Superman appears or is mentioned drips with Miller's complete hatred of the character.
    Like when Superman attends Bruce's funeral politely and quietly? Or, when Superman saves people? Or Superman standing in the sun, trying to talk sense to Bruce, butterflies and goddammed eagles flitting around him and he's just trying to tell Bruce that being Batman is going to give him a heart attack? Superman lifting tanks to protect ground troops? Superman stopping a nuclear war even as it reduces him to a shriveled husk?

    Yeah. Frank Miller hates Superman and made him a moral monster.

    (DKR made it clear that he was only a "government lackey" insomuch as he went to talk to Bruce to try to get him to stop breaking the law loudly and then, later, tried to curtail Batman and his army overtaking Gotham City amidst the chaos of war, storm, and riots.

    DKSA upped his by establishing the government was holding Kandor and many other people hostage. Supes doesn't play ball, the men in charge, like Luthor, just kill a city in retaliation. They're holding Superman hostage and because Supes won't accept any casualties, he's stuck doing as much good as he can try to.)
    Last edited by T Hedge Coke; 11-22-2012 at 01:43 AM.

  4. #19
    Senior Member greatmetropolitan's Avatar
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    While I agree that DKR Superman wasn't nearly as bad as is often made out, unfortunately a shallow reading of the comic - Batman the moral rebel and Superman the authoritarian lackey/boy scout - has clung to Superman for decades. The writers whose take on Batman was informed by DKR also took a narrow Superman portrayal away with them too, so we got years of Supes being a little too safe and a stale authority figure. Only now is he recovering, pretty much thanks to Morrison, the Anti-MillerMoore.
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  5. #20
    Crusader of Justice dancj's Avatar
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    I went into this thread expecting a barrage of diatribes against Superman's treatment in TDKR.

    All of the positive comments are a really pleasant surprise.

  6. #21
    Elder Member Mat001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorendiac View Post
    I can't argue with that!

    I bought and read KC as it was first coming out, and I was very disappointed by the way it handled Superman's personality. Everything that follows this paragraph is cut-and-pasted from what I said in another discussion thread, six years ago!

    ************************************************** *********************************

    By coincidence, yesterday I reacted to someone else's comments about Kingdom Come on another forum. His basic argument appeared to be that Kingdom Come was long-winded and pretentious because Alex Ross was bound and determined to show us, at great length, that "classic" superhero concepts were much better than 1990s Image-style "superheroes."

    That was his attitude. Mine was a bit different. Here's what I said:

    *****

    Of course, the ironic thing here was that, from where I stood when I bought the miniseries as it came out, the plot of Kingdom Come seemed to "prove" that Alex Ross saw "classic" old-fashioned superhero Superman as "Mister Crybaby, the Clueless Quitter."

    How did the backstory go? Magog killed the Joker. Magog stood trial for this. A jury of his peers ruled that it was a justifiable act of violence, all things considered. Superman was so heartbroken at hearing that a single court decision had made what he judged to be a mistake that he threw a childish super-tantrum and flew off into oblivion for the next several years, rather than lift a finger to help anyone the next time any Global Catastrophe was threatening to wipe out zillions of people.

    Sometimes I hear about cases in the criminal justice system that were not resolved the way I think they should have been resolved, but I don't dump all my responsibilities and run off to be a hermit in a cave because of it. (Does this prove I'm a better person than Superman?)
    The story was that the Joker broke out of Arkham and opted to go to Metropolis, where he unleashed his Joker venom in the Daily Planet newsroom. Clark did his best to inhale the gas and get rid of it, but a number of people had been killed including Jimmy Olsen. Clark returned too late to rescue Lois, who was bludgeoned to death by the Joker. Clark and Bruce then went on a massive manhunt for the Joker and caught him. As he was being escorted into the courthouse, he was killed by Magog. The problem Clark had was that the law states that a criminal in custody, who is being compliment, cannot be killed by anyone off the street. It was vigilante justice, which is why Clark took Magog into custody and was later upset when the jury found him not guilty. And it was more than the jury doing that, but that the people supported Magog's actions. When Magog challenged Clark to a fight, he took off for the Fortress as he saw that the world didn't need him anymore. That nothing he did mattered and since he was still grieving over Lois, he was more than willing to do this.

    Eventually Superman gets the word that Kansas has just been nuked. "Gosh!" he says. "Even though I had single-handedly prevented such things from happening a thousand times before, it never occurred to me that when I quit being Superman for awhile, this might happen due to my absence!"

    So we've established that he's a Crybaby, a Quitter, and Utterly Clueless about the probable consequences of his own absence from the scene for an extended period.
    It was only nuked because Captain Atom's containment suit was ruptured. It wouldn't have mattered if he was there or not, as such an act was destined to happen with such a volatile power and such a flimsy containment suit.

  7. #22
    Senior Member Coyote2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mat001 View Post
    The story was that the Joker broke out of Arkham and opted to go to Metropolis, where he unleashed his Joker venom in the Daily Planet newsroom. Clark did his best to inhale the gas and get rid of it, but a number of people had been killed including Jimmy Olsen. Clark returned too late to rescue Lois, who was bludgeoned to death by the Joker. Clark and Bruce then went on a massive manhunt for the Joker and caught him. As he was being escorted into the courthouse, he was killed by Magog. The problem Clark had was that the law states that a criminal in custody, who is being compliment, cannot be killed by anyone off the street. It was vigilante justice, which is why Clark took Magog into custody and was later upset when the jury found him not guilty. And it was more than the jury doing that, but that the people supported Magog's actions. When Magog challenged Clark to a fight, he took off for the Fortress as he saw that the world didn't need him anymore. That nothing he did mattered and since he was still grieving over Lois, he was more than willing to do this.



    It was only nuked because Captain Atom's containment suit was ruptured. It wouldn't have mattered if he was there or not, as such an act was destined to happen with such a volatile power and such a flimsy containment suit.

    This summary helps alot about Superman's motivation to become a recluse, it's just a good a reason as Batman's in TDKR, or exposing himself to Gold Kryptonite in Whatever Happens.

    I wonder why it doesn't hit me as much when I re-read the book? The loss of Lois alone would justify the need for Solitude... Maybe the art does seem too sterile or stiff?

    Some Kingdom Come moments are just terrific. The reunited League descending on some hoodlooms is just awe inspiring. Thinking ahead to those Marvel poses too!


    This thread has made me want to re-read TDKR. Miller gives Superman some great shots, but in no way does it compare to the dressing down Bats gives, that has been the dynamic ever since that book. Superman eats a lot of crow since then.


    I wonder if Absolute TDKR includes the Strikes Back? The love affair of Supes and WW works well there.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurosawa View Post
    Kingdom Come, easily, although it is very flawed. At least you can tell Waid likes Superman. Every page of DKR where Superman appears or is mentioned drips with Miller's complete hatred of the character.

    Both books are very flawed in regards to Superman and I refuse to accept either of them as a legitimate interpretation of the character. Superman would never go off and mope by himself like he did in Kingdom Come, and he would never become a government lackey like he did in DKR.
    You could argue Miller hate Supes in DKSA and ASBAR but in DKR it mostly comes off as fanboyism and that people are upset Batman beat him in a fight.
    Superman being in a bad place is no difference to what Batman was in the beginning of the book and he is not a facist in the book (that comes in the sequel) and saves hundreds of thousands of lives in DKR and is portrayed as someone who has just lost their way but still kind as he holds back in the fight.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote2010 View Post
    I wonder if Absolute TDKR includes the Strikes Back? The love affair of Supes and WW works well there.
    It does. I wonder how well the awful art will hold up that big.

  10. #25
    Senior Member jackdaw53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    "Better artist" is subjective, but Miller is absolutely a much better sequential storyteller than Ross.
    So insert the word "comic" in front of artist... and then all 3 of us all have the same subjective view ( that Frank M is the better artist). After all sequential storytelling is sort of important when it comes to comic book art!

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Holmes View Post
    Yeah I think Ross is a fine portrait artist, but it's not suited to telling stories in comics. Beyond that though, superheroes are tailored to the comic medium for a reason. They live in their stylized, colorful world. Making them look like real people in gaudy costumes takes me out of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by stk View Post
    "Better artist" is subjective, but Miller is absolutely a much better sequential storyteller than Ross.
    Prehapes however he is the much superior Illustrator than millar, by far.

    sure its can be argured that realistic paintings are not what the comic format intended but regardless it doesnt change how masterfuly illustrated they are. especialy in the format of painting. compare the tiresome strokes of painting, keeping the art from turning in to a mess, mixing all the hundreds of colors nessacary for evrey given page, to comic styles where your just basic outlineing and inking scenes. im not taking anything from traditional comic creators, but regardless if you like there work, you need to acknowledge the hard work painters such as alex ross put in to there work.

    And doing so on the time frame they work in, as alex ross has painted a cover for semingly every Dynimite issue of every new series to come out recently (voltron, shadow, the spider, mask)

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Movieartman View Post
    Prehapes however he is the much superior Illustrator than millar, by far.
    Mark Millar is a writer.

    But ceteris paribus (ie the writing), I'll take a Miller-illustrated comic over a Ross one. I think Ross should stick to covers.
    Last edited by Mr. Holmes; 11-22-2012 at 11:48 AM.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackdaw53 View Post
    So insert the word "comic" in front of artist... and then all 3 of us all have the same subjective view ( that Frank M is the better artist). After all sequential storytelling is sort of important when it comes to comic book art!
    but being a compentent illustrator is important very much also, as comics are very much a visual medium and some of us Want to enjoy the artwork we are looking at, and millars work was at times was a trial to look at, and in my experence ross has never had problems with his storytelling from page to page

  14. #29
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    The fact that comics are a visual medium is precisely why Miller is better. The grotesque style may not be to your taste, but it's a valid and unique one. I don't enjoy Ross's art because his superheroes look like 50 year old cosplayers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Movieartman View Post
    but being a compentent illustrator is important very much also, as comics are very much a visual medium and some of us Want to enjoy the artwork we are looking at, and millars work was at times was a trial to look at, and in my experence ross has never had problems with his storytelling from page to page
    Granted Frank Miller without Klaus Janson is pretty terrible (Sin City being the exception) he does tell a story better. His art tells a story well no matter how bad it is. Also Superheroes should look like Superheroes, not fat guys in cosplay.

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