The near-dystopian future world of Kingdom Come, crafted by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, sent shockwaves across the comics industry when the four-issue series debuted in 1996. In this futuristic DC Universe, Waid takes on the “grim and gritty” interpretation of superheroes that prevailed in the 1990s by showing what would happen if the “classic” heroes retired, leaving those wild, unrestrained, so-called “heroes” to inherit the Earth. Indeed, the so-called heroes, as noted by protagonist and narrator Norman McCay, “number in the nameless thousands ... inspired by the legends of those who came before... if not the morals.” One memorable page not only asks how much people “missed the concept of human achievement,” it hammers the point home with an image of a signed baseball from the 2002 “last-ever World Series.” Biblical prophecy runs alongside a tale of personal discovery and redemption as McCay must bear witness to the events that might spark the end of the world. Ten years after Superman abandoned the fight for truth and justice, he returns to make things right, building a new Justice League with the intent of reining in the newer, deadlier generation of heroes. But humanity has had enough of superhumanity running riot, and is prepared to end the problem once and for all. And caught in the middle is the Batman, trying to keep both sides from tipping the balance into world destruction. Words can’t really describe the rich complexity of the plot, a blend of superheroics, politics and an analysis of the human condition. Waid’s words are deftly complemented by Ross’ hand-painted pages, bursting with color that shifts with each page’s individual mood. If you’re looking for a classic, self-contained spectacular storyline with fantastic art, this is the book for you.