The Great iFanboy Re-Read: What Did You Re-Read?

As promised, we’re back to finish up and share on the Great iFanboy Re-Read.

So what did you read? What did you think? Did you finish at all, or did you just forget all about it?

As you may know, I waded through all nine volumes of Preacher

I haven’t read Preacher since the first time I burned through it back between 2001 and 2003. I finished the 8th trade just before the 9th came out, and I can tell you that the wait of about two or so weeks was really painful. That’s because I don’t know if there’s ever been a comic series that beckoned me so dutifully to press on and find out what happens next. I just couldn’t get enough.

I had considered going through this point by point and talking about what I liked as I read the issues in order, but the fact is, I blazed through it again at about the same speed as I did the first time around. And in all that time, I’d pretty much forgotten all the details of the book. There was a little part of me that worried that I wouldn’t like it as much this time through, or that I had matured as a reader. This is partially due to my semi-disappointment with The Boys, which feels vaguely familiar, yet just isn’t as satisfying a read. So there was a bit of concern that time would mar the adoration I held for this book.

Turns out, that wasn’t the case. Not even a little.

If anything, I liked it more this time, and was even more impressed by it. I would go so far as to say that I can’t think of a better self-contained series of this size. It’s completely unique and unlike anything else out there. It could only be done by the people who made it, at the time they did. I think, when taken as a whole, I can certainly see some of the flaw, but even more, I saw something that really functioned as a whole. It’s easy enough to see that there was a plan, as well as a complete arc for all the characters, and a deep exploration of who those people are, and why they are that way.

It should be noted that I can certainly understand, and have heard that many people didn’t like this the same way I did. Obviously taste is subjective. For some the graphic, over the top nature of this series was too much to take from the get go, but to focus on that is to miss the point.

If you’re new to this, you’re probably wondering what Preacher is. In a very basic nutshell, I’ll try to summarize. But the thing is, it’s really about the experience, and no synopsis can capture what it’s like to read this book. The basic idea is this. Bear with me, because it won’t make much sense.

genesis.jpgA man named Jesse Custer is a preacher in a small town in Texas. A comet smashes through the church, and kills everyone there except for Custer. But it wasn’t really a comet, but the offspring of a demon and an angel, who bonded with Custer. This gives Custer the “Word of God,” which is basically a superpower where, if he tells someone to do something while using the word, they must do it. Then he happens to meet up with his ex-girlfriend, Tulip, and an Irish vampire named Cassidy. They find out that God has left heaven and he’s left the world without a deity. Jesse, a good Texas boy who believes in the sentimentality of morals derived from Western movies, decides that’s not cool, and decides to make it his quest to use his newfound ability to find God and make him answer for abandoning humanity. Thus sets off a series of adventures, and various characters, all increasingly wacky.

To get into this, you’ve got to buy into it. The characters are not necessarily rooted in reality; rather things are just amped up enough from reality that subtlety is not really a tool Garth Ennis chose to employ. Jesse is a western hero. He takes no guff. He’ll kick anyone’s ass, and he does what he thinks is right. That’s it. That’s his whole character. He went through some shit growing up (really terrible bad shit), and it made him so unbelievably tough. Cassidy and Tulip are probably a little more three dimensional, but in the end, it’s a story about doing what’s right, loyalty, friendship, and love. Besides that, it’s a kickass roadtrip movie that never stops moving.

There are definitely conceits to believability to be made. There are numerous coincidences that take place in this story. If you’re the kind of person who is going to say, “that would never happen!” this just might not be for you. Along the road, Jesse runs into people from his life, past and future, and quite honestly, you just have to go with it. Normally, I am the kind of person who will refuse to give that kind of slack to a writer, but with this story, I never let it bother me, which required no effort.

cassidy.gifYou might be wondering what it was exactly that I liked about this so much. I can give you a few specific points of interest to me.

I love the characters. Cassidy is one of my favorite characters in any fiction. He’s so dense and layered, and on one hand you love him, and on the other hand you hate him. He’s the best guy in the world, and the worst guy in the world, much like Vic Mackey from The Shield, or Tony Soprano. You want to like him badly, but at the end of the day, you’re just not sure if you should.

Garth Ennis also manages to give me more chills when reading a comic book than anyone else has been able. There are lines and panels that you simply couldn’t get away with in any movie or TV show without causing outbreaks of laughter. But Jesse is so sincere and so truthful that there are times he says certain lines; the heroic lines, the loving sentiment, which just work in this medium. But again, you just have to buy in. When you do, it all comes together.

I’m realizing that I could probably go on about this for a good long while, but I’m pretty sure you get the point. Perhaps the best thing I can say about it is that it ends well. It’s one complete story, and the ending works. A lot of people have said they had problems with the ending. Unfortunately, they’re just wrong. It’s a perfect ending, and it fits the worldview of the book perfectly. At the end, you’re looking at a closed circle, and while I would certainly liked to have seen more, the story ends, and there’s nothing else to say about any of these characters. I really consider it a perfect story. Sure there are moments of imperfection, but as a whole, I consider it a masterpiece. A second reading only cemented that idea in my mind.



  1. I have to say, out of any comic book writer who’s name I have been hearing for years, Ennis is the one who’s work I’ve read the least of. I’ve picked up issues of Punisher here and there, but those purchases were motivated slightly more by Bradstreet’s covers. I’ve heard so many people mention Preacher though, I think it’s time I checked it out and got a good idea of what Ennis is all about.

    I got on a Frank Miller kick after reading through Daredevil Visionaries Vol 2, so I went back and read through The Dark Knight Strikes Again. I had read The Dark Knight Returns a couple of times already, and although I am in the minority surely, it didn’t speak to me nearly as much as its sequel. The Dark Knight Returns is a landmark comic book, and its message is profound, but I was just a boy in Reagan America, so my love for DK2 might just be an age thing.

    It certainly held up to a second reading, most of the things that wowed me the first time were simply more vivid this time around. Millers understanding of the DCU’s characters is mind blowing to me. It’s funny how many things just made sense, and worked well for the story that no one but Miller would have the balls to do. From what was to come for The Atom, The Flash, and Hal Jordan in that bleak future, to Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship.
    DK2 came around at the inception of this new world Americans are living in, one where we’re always on alert. The political under-lyings are still relevant. And when that seems too deep for a comic, there is always the art. Miller – top of his game, the Dark Knight further on, the unique style more refined, as gritty as it is. Lynn Varley’s colors – her unique use of the digital technique left me in awe. Anyone who dug DK1 should check it out if you haven’t, or give it another chance if you played it down as just a sequel.

  2. I also reread Preacher – it was the only series in my library that would pull me away from my ever-growing to-read pile for a re-read.

    I think the series has held up very well since it began in, what, ’95 or ’96? That is just a testament to the craft both Ennis and Dillon (and everyone else along the way) put into this story. It truly is the one series I feel you can give to anyone and not get the “it’s crap because it’s a comic” response.

    This was my third and a half time reading the series, and while there were things that I remembered in detail – the Angelville story, the ‘savior’, Arseface’s and the Saint’s origins – there were some other details I had forgotten that either instilled me with fits of giggles (Starr crossing the desert after his run-in with the cannibals – “Huh, huh, huh, fuck. Huh, huh, huh, fuck.”) or just creeped me the fuck out (Cassidy in San Fran). This is a series that ran the gamut of making you laugh one minute and just pumping you up the next. Ennis did this without insulting the reader, like if you didn’t get the Bill Hicks reference, you weren’t cool.

    I liked this experiment and plan on going back and rereading some other series — as soon as I can get paid to read comics, but I digress. I’m setting my sights on things that I thought were good the first time around – the first dozen or so of Spawn, Moore’s Swamp Thing, Top 10 – but may not hold up so well on later readings.

    (And if anyone knows where I can find that Herr Starr original page, let me know. No price is too high.)

  3. Mr.Flanagan, Sir. I… um… need another week to do my report. My dog ate my homework. Then my printer wouldn’t print. And I have a note from my doctor saying I am depressed. I’ll have it “soon.” Thanks!

  4. I just finished the series yesterday for the first time ever.
    A lot of people say that the ending was a piece of crap, which I can kinda see, but at least it was an ENDING and not some weak cop out.
    I thought the story was very entertaining. There wasn’t one time I felt bored and didn’t want to see what happened next.
    I guess my one complaint has to do with Steve Dillon’s art. The fact that everyone looks the same got to me a bit, but didn’t ruin anything for me.
    The covers were absolutely amazing.

  5. I re-read Dark Knight Returns, and am almost finished re-reading Watchmen (I’ve read 1-10).

    Both books held up very well. In fact, I’d say both books– especially Watchmen– were better this time than ever. I just pick up on more and more in Watchmen each time I read it. And, unlike Conor, I even read the pirate parts.

    Now, as to Preacher– I feel completely in the dark. Some months ago, I read the first and second trades. For some reason, I didn’t continue picking up the trades at the time. I had been out of comics for some years, and was re-emerging myself– reading trade after trade of all types– and I guess Preacher didn’t grab me enough in those two trades, and I moved on to other series– Y the Last Man, Fables, New Avengers, Invincible, etc.

    Now, my question is: obviously you really like Preacher, Josh– but is there still hope for me…? Is it the kind of series, like Fables (according to many) that really gets better as the trades go on…? Or is it more likely the case that, if the first two trades didn’t hook me, it’s probably not going to be for me?

  6. While it’s by no means “a run” I did reread Winter Soldier: Winter Kills in the Cap Omnibus and I’ll be damned if that isn’t one of the best single issues I’ve read in a long time.

  7. Now, my question is: obviously you really like Preacher, Josh– but is there still hope for me…? Is it the kind of series, like Fables (according to many) that really gets better as the trades go on…? Or is it more likely the case that, if the first two trades didn’t hook me, it’s probably not going to be for me?

    Yeah, I’m guessing that if it didn’t hook you by then, it’s not going to. Maybe re-read those 2 you have and see how you feel then?

    It’s funny, I want to discuss the ending in more detail, but I don’t want to run it for people who haven’t read it. I had it ruined for me by Wizard. I gotta say, I’m surprised that it bugged people. It seems like the perfect end to the story that started right in the beginning. It’s a strange ending, but as far as stories go, it tracks on a straight line, and I can’t figure out what the problem is that people have with it.

  8. As much as I’d like to blame my newborn for falling down on the job, I petered out on this project well before the contractions started.

    I started rereading Watchmen for the first time since the day I bought in 1989 or 1990. In the time since that long-ago afternoon, when I read it in one sitting, my fuzzy memory had turned it from a great read into something that I secretly thought was probably overrated and unworthy of its considerable reputation. Then the movie talk began, and the more everyone talked about how it was this unfilmable masterpiece that was going to be ruined by Mr. Snyder, the more I thought, “I’d better read it again now before it gets tainted in my mind by the video game.”

    I got all the way to the end of chapter 4. Those four chapters, mind you, were an enjoyable experience. This time, I went in knowing that Moore’s panel descriptions in the script are more detailed than some entire stories I have written, and I went over each page almost forensically and did indeed feel like I got a lot out of the experience.

    But then… there was the prose. I realize that it makes me sound like some sort of knuckle dragger, but something about those blocks of paragraphs piled there, walling off each chapter, bereft of all the color and dynamism and vibrance of the previous pages, felt like an insurmountable slog for some reason. I was asking my brain to shift gears in a way that my brain was just not up to at the end of the evening. The night I waded through all the pirate bulls*** and then had a big fat chapter from an imaginary biography waiting for me for dessert broke my spirit. Now the trade sits there on the coffee table, judging me quietly. I will beat you yet, you weighty beast!

  9. Jimski: I feel ya– that’s why, when I re-read Watchmen, I skipped the text between chapters. Now, it hadn’t been as long between readings for me, mind you. But, allowing myself to skip that text gave me the incentive to actually re-read it. If I’d forced myself to read the re-read all that text— I’m not sure I would have taken it on. Just the regular comics part of Watchmen takes enough to read and absorb.

  10. I finished Sleeper Season 1 again, I’ll join into the discussion tomorrow

  11. During our hiatus, I re-read alot of stuff, mostly to prepare for new trades that were coming out in the last six or so weeks.

    In no particular order:

    Captain America #1-25 (captured handily in a beautiful omnibus)

    Batman: The Long Halloween

    Checkmate Vol. 1

    DMZ Vol. 1 & 2

    Gotham Central Vol. 1-4

    The Losers Vol. 1-5 (A Green Arrow: Year One inspired pick)

    All of these were amazing reads and reminded me of why I read comics in the first place. Most of these were read back to back because they just sucked me in.

    Currently, I’m re-reading Savage Dragon Vol. 1-6 so I can tackle the vol. 7-11 that I just bought from

    Yeah, I’ve been a busy little bee. Do I get the gold star?

  12. A++ Neb, you just messed up the curve for all of us. Seriously though, Savage Dragon rocks. My initial exposure to the character was a set of trading cards that spanned the first miniseries. I always had a soft spot for the character, but never actually got to read the book until the Archives came out, fantastic stuff, I gotta pick it up in color now.

  13. I’m currently up to volume four of the Grant Morrison DOOM PATROL stuff, which I haven’t read in goddamn four years now or so. And I have to say, it’s so much better than I remember, I really just have to write something about it. I’m going to type up some sort of Blog, or god forbid, maybe a short article for our AICN column, but the shear amount of just gratuitous creativity abounding in those comics, I pray so hard that the industry can find its way back to something like that again before it eats itself with this by the numbers approach its taking these days.

  14. “It seems like the perfect end to the story that started right in the beginning. It’s a strange ending, but as far as stories go, it tracks on a straight line, and I can’t figure out what the problem is that people have with it.”

    I think it was a bit of a let down, because the scope and issues being dealt with are so huge and beyond comprehension I guess I didn’t want everything to be so tidy and understandable.
    I don’t want to give away the ending, that would piss me off too. It wasn’t the end of the world for me. Most series don’t have the balls to really end something with finality. Do you think this is one of the series that should have been more open ended?
    Did it seem to easy?

  15. Turns out I’m an idiot. I thought I had read the first two trades, but it turns out I had only read the first trade. So, I went ahead and bought the 2nd trade, and I’m going to re-read the first, then read the 2nd, then see if it’s for me.
    I’m thinking that maybe I was just in a non-receptive mood when I read the first trade. Maybe I just wasn’t ready for Preacher at the time!!

  16. That’s actually happened to me a lot. In the fall, when a lot of new series start up, I make it very hard for me to like them, thus saving more of my precious time.

    I always find out about the really good ones and go back eventually.

  17. I’m getting The Losers for Christmas

  18. I just read 1-4. I love it. I need to get the next one.

  19. I re-read the Claremont/Byrne run on X-Men. To be honest, I was very dubious going into the re-read. I first read these issues as a child in the reprint book Classic X-Men (with the great Art Adams covers), and I think I found them a little hokey even then. But, Claremont and Byrne are frequently referenced as creating the language that modern super-hero comics are based on, so I thought I’d give it a re-read.

    Some backgroud: I don’t own all of the issues (my Uncanny run gets spotty before #175), and I didn’t want to drag out the Classic X-Men issues from storage. So, I invested in the first two Essential X-Men collections (starting with Giant Size). If anyone else is thinking about re-reading X-Men, I strongly suggest the Essentials as a good option. It was my first foray into black and white reprints. I’ve since bought five more. Byrne’s art looks better than ever (I can’t wait to see Paul Smith in B&W). I think Byrne was mentioned on the show as an artist hurt by modern coloring techniques; turns out he’s just hurt by coloring.

    In any event, the re-read was great for me. I loved these issues more now than when I was a kid. Sure, you have to get past a couple of problems when re-reading comics from this era. For one, the references and design is pretty dated (Jimmy Carter appearances will take you right out of a story – this is why the Ultimates will never hold up in 10 years). Additionally, the writing style is completely different in that you have to get comfortable with the Jim Shooter era re-capping of stories (Shooter was famous for insisting that every comic issue was written as though it was someones first, so you get clunky exposition and characters explaining their powers. The most egregious example of this that I can remember from my youth was Cannonball in The New Mutants. I still can’t read a scene with that character without hearing “Ah’m invulnerable when ah’m blastin’ “). I’ve heard other old time fans (I just turned 30 last week, so I count as old school now) lament the loss of the letters page. Not me – I’d trade the letter’s page for the story re-cap page at the beginning of books any day. And I’d trade DiDio’s column at the end of DC books for making the re-cap standard.

    Once you get past the fact that these books were written for monthly readers and not the trade, however, these are pure comic gold. The sheer volume of ideas and characterization that are packed into every issue is staggering at times. It’s in the second volume of the Essentials where Claremont and Byrne really get cookin’. Sure, there are still clunkers (Arcade!) and some strange characterization (in one volume, it seems strange that Cyclops is that upset about the death of Jean Grey when 12 issues earlier he was hooking up with Colleen Wing), but by the time we get to the Proteus story, the hits just keep coming: Proteus, the White Queen, into the Hellfire Club, Dark Phoenix and Jean’s death, Kitty joins the team, and Days of Future Past (the now-underrated classic; to me, better than Dark Phoenix).

    And some of the characterization laid out still matters today, especially in the way one reads Whedon’s Astonishing. Kitty (I think that I could write a book on Kitty’s importance to the X-Men as a POV character; she solidifies the books golden era and the end of it ends not coincidentally when she leaves for Muir Island and Excalibur at the end of the Mutant Massacre) is completely creeped out by Emma in their first meeting, a meeting that informs their reactions in Astonishing. What Claremont does in a single page at the end of Kitty’s first adventure with the team (an annual) sets the tone of her relationship with both Colossus and Wolverine for over 25 years.

    In any event, thanks to Josh for the idea. This was a blast. I want to go back and read other classic runs now, especially my new Absolute DK. But also some other 80s classics, like the Giffen/DeMatties Justice League, the Giffen/Biernbaum 5-year gap Legion, and – as soon as the Showcase volumes catch up – the Wolfman/Perez Teen Titans. I also just bought the rest of the X-Men Essentials (Paul Smith! JR JR! BWS!) and the Batman & the Outsiders Showcase.

    BTW – I just read Preacher for the first time. Awesome.

  20. I loved those Classic X-Mens; I think I subscribed to that. The only thing I didn’t care for was the art style of the guy who did the back-up stories. What happened to that guy?

  21. I think the artist on the Classic X-Men backups was John Bolton. I don’t know what happened to him.

    It’s 9am… does anyone know where John Bolton is?

  22. Losers was a great series, but kind of tough to keep track of from month to month. Definitely adding to the list to reread, but more for enjoyment than to see how it holds up.

    I think it was a bit of a let down, because the scope and issues being dealt with are so huge and beyond comprehension I guess I didn’t want everything to be so tidy and understandable.
    I don’t want to give away the ending, that would piss me off too. It wasn’t the end of the world for me. Most series don’t have the balls to really end something with finality. Do you think this is one of the series that should have been more open ended?
    Did it seem to easy?

    Mr. Howard, kudos to you. I’ve heard more than one person say they didn’t like the ending to Preacher, but never heard anyone give a good reason. Not saying I agree with you, but thanks for saying why instead of just throwing it out there.

    I also had the ending ruined for me by Wizard – I believe it was the readers’ award ballot that had the Saint’s fate listed on it – but it still didn’t take away my enjoyment from the ending (especially since it was just one ending). I like to believe Ennis and Co. had that ending planned, and given that they were pretty much given carte blanche to tell what stories they wanted (as evidenced by the amount of one-shots and such- except for the rumored sex investigators), to leave it open-ended would have diminished the series. I can only imagine what would have happened if it had a Sopranos-like ending. With the ending we got, you knew where every character ended up – no one was left hanging, and that’s what a good ending – no matter what medium – should do.

  23. I think the artist on the Classic X-Men backups was John Bolton. I don’t know what happened to him.

    Didn’t he grow a really bad mustache and become the U.S. representative to the U.N.?

  24. I’m thinking there’s a Michael Bolton joke somewhere in here…

  25. I just finished rereading vols. 1 – 7 of The Walking Dead and I must say that there is no better sense of dramatic tension in comics right now. Between The Walking Dead and Invincible, Robert Kirkman is easily in the top 10 percent of all comic authors currently working. His dialogue is pure genius. His wordless panels are intense. His cliffhangers…whew!

    I know Josh, Ron, and Conor read The Walking Dead in either trade or HC format but it’d be nice if we could, for once, get an issue of this book as pick of the week. Perhaps the iFanboys can catch up on the trades in time to review #43 as a single issue. Judging by the way #42 ended the next issue certainly has POW potential. It’s gonna be freaking HUGE!!!

  26. I just got caught up with The Walking Dead and I am switching over to single issues, because I hear it holds up. Whew. I mean…damn the image on that last page. It is sickening in the most exquisite way. I cannot express the level of anticipation I have for the next issue. You don’t get that when you read the trades.

  27. I feel the need to agree with everything said about those old X-Men stories.

    Also wanna thank Josh for not ruining the ending of Preacher for me. I read the very first issue (thanks to the DC website) and I’ve been meaning to actually read the entire series, but I haven’t had the spare cash to invest in that venture lately.

  28. I feel Kirkman is doing a disservice to the trade-only groupies like me and Dave Graham by making the cliffhanger of the last trade so intense. I mean this is up there with Star Trek TNG: The Best of Both Worlds Part 1 and the OZ season 1 finale!! Like, how can I not pick up issue #43 to find out what happens. The guy is way to good. Bastid!!

  29. Walking Dead is high up there on the re-read list. He might be doing me a disservice, but I never noticed.

  30. Well, I went back and re-read the first Preacher trade, and have also almost finished the second Preacher trade, and I have to say— boy, was I wrong about Preacher. After reading the first trade, I hadn’t been that excited about it. But, it is truly great. I realized how great it was I think as I made my way through the story arc that begins the second trade— involving Jesse’s grandma and the hooligans around her.

    Boy, has there even been a more detestable set of villains…? Did anyone ever deserve killin’ more than granma and that Jody guy…?

    Anyway, I really love the three characters, Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy. I especially love the relationships between them, and how they change over time.

    I’m down for the whole Preacher run now. Just have to go out and pick up the other trades….

    Preacher, Fables, Y: the Last Man– I love me some Vertigo books, it seems.

  31. Well, I went back and re-read the first Preacher trade, and have also almost finished the second Preacher trade, and I have to say— boy, was I wrong about Preacher. After reading the first trade, I hadn’t been that excited about it. But, it is truly great. I realized how great it was I think as I made my way through the story arc that begins the second trade— involving Jesse’s grandma and the hooligans around her.

    When I was first given Preacher to read I was handed the first two trades. I was told that the first trade was somewhat average but that the second trade would hook me like enothing else and that I’d go crazy wanting more. He was not wrong. I blazed through the first two trades and then went to Amazon and ordered all nine trades.

  32. I’ve been meaning to come clean about this for a while now: as much as I have taken every opportunity here to post about my hatred of zombies, I read the first Walking Dead hardcover based on your recommendations and it rocked my block. (I thought, “Am I seriously buying this? Zombies?” but I am powerless against those sweet 30% Borders coupons.)

    I’m not sure how it would hold up to rereading, though. Once you know who’s not going to make it, does that kill the tension or ratchet it up?

  33. It re-reads fine, because if you read it in trades, you forget who everyone is from one to the next.

    By the way, I’m overjoyed to hear you liked it. I’ve had my doubts about you ‘ski. I think I’ll be re-reading it soon as well.

    And Jim L., I’m also so glad to hear it. I knew I wasn’t crazy!

  34. Josh- thanks. I didn’t think you were crazy, either– which is why I made sure to give Preacher another try.

    See, I heard you talking up Fables and Jack of Fables on the podcast– sometimes talking completely to yourself about those books, it seemed. I put off trying Fables for the longest time, and when I did– I read the first two trades and the 1001 Nights of Snowfall– I was hopelessly hooked.

    So, I figured my taste in books must be close enough to yours, that I would enjoy Preacher– and I think I might even enjoy it MORE than Fables now. Obviously, that’s like comparing apples and oranges I guess– but I love ’em both.


  35. The Angelville story in Preacher, for me, is really the highpoint of the series. It is really the one storyline I would have loved to have read in single issues (I’m a masochist like that).

    It seems like just about every other storyline in the series follows the same story beats as this one – main characters in jeopardy, put into worse possible scenario by vile villains, then main character makes those villains seem not so tough while getting out of predicament. Not to say this lessens the series – Ennis’ characters make this series, and the villains are the best villains and the heroes are the best heroes.

  36. I think you’re right about the characters. I think this is Cassidy’s story overall.

  37. You know, I’ll bet somebody could re-read Scott Pilgrim every couple of months and enjoy it anew every time.

  38. It’s late but I did my homework this morning. I wanted to reread MARVELS but couldn’t find it in the shelves behind me which meant the issues have been consigned to the dark cardboard recesses of the garage. So I decided to reread KINGDOM COME.

    I was really impressed when Marvels came out. Revisiting the key moments of the Marvel Universe that I had read the first time around and filtering them through the eyes of a reporter was genius. And the new kid, Alex Ross, trying to make everything look real — that really fit the conceit. Perfect mesh of story and art.

    I remember liking Kingdom Come as it came out. The Batman Luthor team up seemed to fit but seemed so wrong… boy was I relieved at the end. It was fun trying to figure out who the re-imagined characters on the covers might be. It was cool but not earthshaking. Okay, the floor might have trembled a bit.

    Since Marvels and KC, I am less impressed by Alex Ross. His Astro City stuff is great but too many times his “realism” works against the wonder of comics which ironically is what he’s trying to capture.

    So I read it straight through this morning.

    Wow! I grew up with the George Reeves Superman and reading the snatches of the TV prologue – bending steel, changing the course of a mighty river and, best of all, “Look. Up in the sky!” Yeah, got near misty. And Ross’s art of the returning Superman is perfect. They could’ve ended on that panel and I think the book would remain the milestone that the series is. But then there’s the turn around — it’s not over!

    The entire story is really smart, the framing device of the Spectre and Norman’s dreams and the examination of what would the world really be like if gods walked the earth, brilliant. Mark Waid earned his place with the comic greats. The use of Captain Marvel in the surprise reveal of his true nature and the horror of the worms and the near destruction of Superman finally gave the character a iconic place in the DCU. The series works on lots of levels and even plays with how comics changed to become grittier and more violent. And of course the storyline about the abuse of power has recently been redone as Marvel’s CIVIL WAR.

    I appreciated this much more now than when I read it as single issues. It also strikes me as painting the difference between Marvel and DC characters. Marvel was built on stories of real people, some times petty people, haunted by the nuisances of everyday life and relationships and how the powers we dreamed of having didn’t solve everything.

    DC gave us gods.

    They were forged in a simpler time of black and white, good against evil and bizarre adventures. They were modern fairy tales. This simpler rendition makes them closer to myth and KINGDOM COME explores that spectacularly.

    Thanks for the assignment, Teach.

  39. I’m going to steal your article idea for my site Josh 😉 I’m doing mine on Sleeper 1-4

  40. Tad, you’ve almost perfectly captured my reasons for loving Kingdom Come. The almost Biblical scope and tone really does it for me. When people talk about superheroes being modern day myths, this is what I think of and why I love it so.