Annotations to Kingdom #1

Unless otherwise specified, descriptions are moving left to right.

Page 1. Panel 4. As Mark Coale points out, the presence of the stars around the planet here and in panel 5, along with the art deco architecture in panel 5 and the narrative captions, lead to the conclusion that the character described here and shown on page 2 is the Golden Age Superman, who was last seen disappearing into heaven near the end of Crisis On Infinite Earths . The Golden Age Superman worked at the Daily Star; rumor has it that DC editorial insisted that the name "Daily Star" be removed from the story.

Page 3. Panel 4. The skeletal figure is, as Superman points out in panel 6, Deadman. Deadman first appeared in Strange Adventures #205; he was originally Boston Brand, an aerialist, who was made into the agent of a higher power after his murder. His portrayal here, as in Kingdom Come, is something of a departure from his original, angst-ridden characterization. Deadman has traditionally been portrayed as a somewhat decayed human, but in the 1990s he has become more skeletal. Mark Waid explained Deadman's skeletal appearance in Kingdom Come as being an indication that he has finally accepted his fate.

Page 7. Panel 2. The "time barrier" was originally the "Iron Curtain of Time" erected by the Time Trapper (the archenemy of the futuristic heroes the Legion of Super-Heroes) to prevent humans from using time travel to journey into the future beyond brief periods.

Panel 4. Mr. Mxyzptlk (first appearance: Superman #131) is a fifth-dimensional prankster who has bedeviled Superman throughout his career. The Mr. Mxyzptlk seen here is the Silver Age version; the original, Mr. Mxyztplk, debuted in the Golden Age, in Superman #30, but, like the rest of the Golden Age Superman's career, was destroyed during the Crisis.

Page 8. Panel 3. The glowering character with the smoking trident is Gog (first appearance: New Year's Evil: Gog). His origin will be described later in this issue. To quote Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia about the origin of his name :

Gog and Magog: In British legend, the sole survivors of a monstrous brood, the offspring of the thirty-three infamous daughters of the Emperor Diocletian, who murdered their husbands, and, being set adrift in a ship, reached Albion, where they fell in with a number of demons. Their descendants, a race of giants, were extirpated by Brute (the mythological first king of the Britons) and his companions, with the exception of Gog and Magog, who were brought in chains to London and were made to do duty as porters of the royal palace, on the site of the London Guildhall, where their effigies have been at least since the reign of Henry V. The old giants were destroyed in the Great Fire, and the present ones, fourteen feet high, were carved in 1708 by Richard Saunders.

In the Bible, Magog is spoken of as a son of Japhet (Genesis 10:2), in the Revelation Gog and Magog symbolize all future enemies of the kingdom of God; and in Ezekial Gog is a prince of Magog, a terrible ruler of a country in the north, probably Scythia or Armenia. By rabbinical writers of the 7th century AD Gog was identified with the Antichrist.

Mr. Mxyzptlk is trying to say "Kltpzyxm," which used to be the magic word that summons Mr. Mxyzptlk back to his home dimension.

Page 9. Panel 1. As Mark Coale points out, this is the Fortress of Solitude. The destroyed statues of Jor-El, Lara, and Krypton can be seen.

Panel 3. Gog is wrenching metal from the birth chamber that brought the infant Kal-El to Earth.

Page 13. Panel 1. Unlike the Marvel universe, the DC universe, ever since Zero Hour (DC's 1994 miniseries designed to establish DC's past and resolve any contradictions caused by Crisis on Infinite Earth, the 1985/1986 miniseries designed to establish DC's past and resolve or erase the multiverse), has had only one past and one future, so that any time paradox, such as the one referred to here by Superman, would cause chaos.

Page 14. Panel 1. The figures seen here were first introduced in the pages of Kingdom Come.

Manotaur was described in the Kingdom Come card set as "classical Greek myth armed for the future." We will see more of him, and learn more about his current, post-Kingdom Come, status, as Kingdom progresses.

Trix was described in the Kingdom Come card set as "after `Matrix,' a morphing biomechanism." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement adds this:

"This is a favorite of mine based strongly on the paintings and design aesthetic of artist H.R. Giger, with biomechanical abilities that form complex hand weapons and allow it to repair itself."

Nightstar, the character in blue flying above Trix, is the daughter of Nightwing (aka Robin, aka Kingdom Come's Red Robin) and Starfire, from the Teen Titans. The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement says this about her:

"Definitely her mother's daughter, the flying starbolt-firing vixen with the rich, flowing hair and green eyes seems to show more of the superhuman/alien side of her parentage. The half-human, half-Tamaranean child of longtime Titans couple (separated in current storylines) Starfire and Nightwing (Red Robin) is the focal example in Kingdom Come of the generational divide between the classic super-heroes and their children....visually, she combines her parents' individual costumed identities with the wing motif of Nightwing and the more violet hue of her starbolt power (Starfire's was red)."

We will see more of her in Kingdom: Nightstar.

Starman VIII, the character in the black starfield design, was formerly Thom Kallor, Star Boy, of the Legion of Superheroes. The Kingdom Come card set describes him this way: "formerly Star Boy, from the 30th century." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement adds the following:

"The eighth character to bear this title is actually a design culled from my childhood supergroup creation. Since my design was so obviously inspired by the Legion of Super Heroes 1970s Star Boy costume, I figured that this Starman should be the grown-up incarnation of that character, transplanted to our time from the 30th Century (much like Karate Kid was for a time, as well as many of his contemporaries have been on occasion)."

As Thad A. Doria points out, a recent issue of Starman pointed out that Thom Kallor will succeed Jack Knight (the current Starman, Starman VII) as the Starman of the 21st century.

Phoebus is a new character; the Kingdom Come card set calls him "Firestorm's successor as Earth's fire elemental."

Panels 2-4. The events summarized here, and on pages 15 & 16, were described at greater length in Kingdom Come and in New Year's Evil: Gog.

The scene in panel 2, as Mark Coale points out, is the current JLA Watchtower.

Page 17. Panel 2. The Quintessence, mentioned on page 16, panel 2, as the cause of Gog's power, are described in the Kingdom Come Revelations supplement in this way:

"This five-person elite of the major spiritual/unearthly powers in the DC cosmos converge to judge the importance of events that might command their involvement and/or interference."

Their role has obviously changed.

Panel 3. This is Zeus, the leader of the Greek Gods, whose visual depiction in Kingdom Come and here is similar to his portrayal in the Greek myth sequence of the film Fantasia.

Panel 4. Ganthet is, in current DC continuity, the last remaining Guardian of the Universe, the group of figures who acted as universal overseers and who gave the intergalactic police force The Green Lantern Corps their powers. The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement adds that Ganthet

"supervised the passing of Green Lantern's mantle [in the future of Kingdom Come - annotator] from Hal Jordan to Kyle Rayner and, in time, to Jade."

Page 5. Izaya Highfather, was the leader of the New Gods of New Genesis, while he lived. In current DC continuity he has died, but in the future of Kingdom Come he was still alive.

The "Godwar" mentioned was the end of the "old gods" and split one planet into two: New Genesis, the home of the New Gods, and Apokolips, the home of the evil Darkseid.

Panel 6. Shazam is the aged wizard/god who granted Captain Marvel - the superheroic identity of the Billy Batson referred to here - his powers.

Billy Batson's death took place in Kingdom Come #4.

Page 18. Panel 1. The character doing the speaking here is the former fifth member of the Quintessence, the Phantom Stranger. The Stranger was first introduced in The Phantom Stranger #1; he is a character of some mystery and stature within the DC universe; his precise origin has never been determined, and theories range from the Wandering Jew to a fallen angel.

Page 19. The characters seen here are the Linear Men - Rip Hunter (formerly the Time Master), Waverider, Liri Lee, and Matthew Ryder.

Rip Hunter, who has the mechanical eyepiece, first appeared in Showcase #20; he invented a "time sphere" with which he traveled through time, having various adventures, before he joined the Linear Men. The first appearance of the Linear Men was in Superman #61.

Waverider, aka Matthew Ryder, debuted in Armageddon 2001 #1; he was a traveler from the future who came back to stop Monarch, the despotic ruler of Waverider's future, from coming into existance.

Liri Lee is the archivist for the Linear Men.

Jim Smith says this about Matthew Ryder: "The fourth Linear Man is Matthew Ryder. Of course, so is Waverider, but Matt is the version indiginous to our own timeline and (presumably) the one "real" post-Zero Hour future. He's about eight years old or so "now," and grows up to found the Linear Men in a fate that comes into stark contrast with Waverider's Monarch-dominated reality."

Pages 21. The characters seen here and on the pages following are from Kingdom Come.

Panel 1. The barechested character is Atlas the Great. Atlas was a Jack Kirby character introduced in First Issue Special #1, back in 1975, and whose next appearance was in Kingdom Come. He was described in the Kingdom Come card set as "legendary demigod figure." Thad Doria points out that a recent issue of Superboy has foreshadowed Atlas' arrival into the DC Universe.

The armored character in front of Atlas is Green Lantern 1. The Kingdom Come card set says this him: "merging his lantern into his armor, Alan Scott is the most powerful champion of that name."

The purple-and-orange costumed character to the left of Green Lantern 1 is Powerman. He was, in DC continuity, an android who for the space of one issue replaced Batman as Superman's partner in the pages of World's Finest #94. Contrary to what I'd originally written, based on faulty information, Powerman *didn't* appear in the 1980s, so that Kingdom Come was his first appearance in decades.

The familiar character in white is Power Woman, described in the Kingdom Come card set as "formerly Power Girl, and still a major superhuman wrecking machine."

There was never a complete and definitive listing of which characters were killed at the end of Kingdom Come. What we're seeing here adds to the list of those who survived, somehow.

Panel 2. The flying character is Nightstar, seen on page 14, panel 1.

The red, blurred character is Tornado. The Tornado is the Kingdom Come version of the former Justice League hero Red Tornado, a heroic android who later became a sort of air elemental; he is now appearing regularly in the pages of Young Justice. The Kingdom Come card set describes the Tornado as the "reformed spirit of the Tornado Champion." The Tornado Champion was a pre-Crisis being who fought Adam Strange, changed sides to become a hero, and then aided the Justice League against Kanjar Ro; the Tornado Champion inhabited the body of the Red Tornado and gave him his powers. The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement adds the following:

"The body of the more familiar Justice League member Red Tornado is formed by swirling red and violet mists. This was inspired by the knowledge that the former android's incarnated spirit was the alien entity known as the Tornado Tyrant, later the Tornado Champion, an early JLA villain with a dual nature. It was that same spirit here taking a physical shape similar to the robot shell it once inhabited."

The third character, as Marilee Stevens and Mark Coale pointed out, is the Kingdom Come version of Scott Free, aka Mister Miracle.

Page 22. That is Diana, aka Wonder Woman, who is giving birth; Clark Kent, aka Superman, who is the anxious father; and Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, speaking to Clark via remote.

Panel 4. Clark and Diana made Bruce their child's godfather at the end of Kingdom Come, in the extra pages added to the collected, hardcover version.

Panel 7. Clark's hovering in mid-air could be a reference to the comic book tradition that if a man were ever to set foot on Paradise Island, then the Amazons would lose their powers & immortality. However, since we saw several men on Amazon Island at the end of Kingdom Come, that prohibition would seem to have expired.

Page 23. Panel 5. The three characters seen here are from Kingdom Come.

Ray II is the Kingdom Come version of the current DC hero the Ray, who is the son of the GA hero Ray. The Kingdom Come card set says this about him: "son of the original, and Lord of Light." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement adds this about him:

"The current Ray takes after his father, not only with a gold-chrome version of the original Ray's costume but he has apparently halted his own aging process as well."

The character in the middle is Starman VIII, seen on page 14, panel 1.

The character on the right is Fate. Fate is the Kingdom Come version of the DC hero Dr. Fate. The Kingdom Come card set describes it this way: "the Helmet of Nabu, a talisman that no longer needs a human host." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement adds the following:

"Reconstituting itself from the knife form it is currently in, the gold helmet of Nabu, one of the ancient Lords of Order, reclaims the sentience it once held in the old Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson relationship, but this time without the need for a human host to bear its mystical power."

Page 24. Panel 2. More characters from Kingdom Come.

I do not know who the character on the far left is, although he is presumably meant to be someone.

The character throwing his hat is Zatara II. The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement says this about Zatara II:

"The son of the late Zatanna and grandson of the original Zatara is a youthful Harry Houdini-like successor to the magician super-hero lineage."

The Revelations genealogy reveals that Zatara II's father was John Constantine.

The character to Zatara II's left is Green Lantern VI. The Kingdom Come card set describes Green Lantern VI (currently known, in DC continuity, as the heroine Jade) as "daughter of Green Lantern I and Harlequin, and a living battery of the Lantern's power." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement also adds this:

"Alan Scott has two children, the super-powered Jade and Obsidian. Jade is now sporting the Silver Age Green Lantern's mantle, suggesting that she is truly the inheritor of the mission of Kyle Rayner (DC's current GL) and the once interplanetary GL Corps.....following more in Hal Jordan's shoes than her father's, Alan Scott's daughter Jade is the new bearer of the GL mantle after Kyle Rayner. Due to her natural-born ability, the green-skinned spawn of the first man on earth to wear a Green Lantern ring does not need the Guardians' gift to be passed on to her - she has always been a living power battery."

The character to Green Lantern VI's left is Bulletgirl II. Bulletman and Bulletgirl were heroes from the Fawcett line of comics, the same company that published Captain Marvel in the 1940s; Bulletman (but not Bulletgirl, unfortunately) was recently introduced into DC continuity in the Power of Shazam book. The Kingdom Come card set describes both Bulletman and Bulletgirl as "modern steel-coated human bullet." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement says this:

"These Fawcett Comics characters were the next rung down from the Marvel Family in popularity. Their appearance is a homage to the original jodhpurs style and the steel-arms and full mask of a G.I. Joe Bulletman doll from the early `70s."

Bulletgirl was definitively idenitifed as having died in the atomic blast that killed so many other characters in Kingdom Come #4. Her presence here, presumably, will be explained later. I hope.

Panel 3. The two characters seen here are from Kingdom Come.

Avia is described in the Kingdom Come card set as "Big Barda and Mister Miracle's daughter." Mister Miracle and Big Barda are both DC heroes and Fourth World gods; Avia's parentage is reflected in her costume, which is a combination of the costumes of Scott Free (Mister Miracle) and Big Barda. The name of the wife of Izaya Highfather, the mother of Mr. Miracle, was "Avia." The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement says this about Avia:

"Our second Kirby-derived character here is the obvious product of the marriage of Scott Free (Mister Miracle) and Big Barda. Barda's strong female genes seemed to have won out in the chromosome game....she is named after Scott Free's late mother."

Darkstar is Robert Long, the son of Donna Troy (formerly Wonder Girl and later Darkstar) and Terry Long, Donna's first husband. Darkstar is wearing the uniform of the Darkstars, the galactic police force created by the alien Controllers; Donna Troy was a member of the Darkstars, and the card set describes Darkstar as "inheritor of her Darkstar role." His blond hair is inherited from his father. In an alternate DC future Donna Troy's son became a dictator named Lord Chaos, who had long, curly hair, just like Darkstar. The Kingdom Come Revelations supplement says this about him:

"The child of Donna Troy and ex-husband Terry Long (human guy) has died in current continuity and been an adult in another, possible future timeline. There, he was imbued with the power of all the Titan gods of Greek myth at birth and became the evil Lord Chaos, despotic ruler of the future Earth. Responsible for the creation of the time-displaced Team Titans, Lord Chaos's existence was ultimately averted in a story of time travel and alternative futures. Considering that in current continuity his mother, formerly known as both Wonder Girl and Troia, was this planet's Darkstar (an intergalactic police force), it seemed perfectly logical that he might assume that role one day. This frees Donna Troy to return to her Amazonian origins and provides a new, heroic future for her once darkly-destined son. To include a touch of his mom's mythological Greek connection, I adapted his Darkstar chest emblem to resemble the Caduceus, the staff carried by the god Hermes (also used as the symbol for medicine), whom he resembles."

Page 26. Panel 5. Forgive me, Mister Waid, but this is *not* how Wonder Woman would react.

Page 27. Panel 5. Gog is quoting, in this panel, from Superman, who originally said these words in both of Elliot S. Maggin's Superman novels, Last Son of Krypton and Miracle Monday. Maggin, as Thad Doria points out, also wrote the Kingdom Come novelization.

Page 28. Panel 3. From left to right and top to bottom: Darkstar, Flash III, Hawkman, Avia, Nightstar, Green Lantern VI, Bulletgirl II, Green Lantern I, Fate, Steel (to the left of Jade), Powerman, Power Woman, Zatara II, Tornado, Ray, Atlas, Starman VIII, and Red Tornado III.

Flash III is described in the Kingdom Come card set as "emanating from the Speed Force, Wally West fights crime 24 hours every day at super-speed."

Hawkman is described this way in the Kingdom Come Revelations supplement:

"Hawkman had a less developed extended family as we strove to make him a lone figure, removed from the presence of similar Thanagarians or a Hawkgirl. Hawkman's body is that of a recent storyline's character, the Hawkgod, an extradimensional being whose physical might was the power source which fueled the famous "Nth Metal's" anti-gravity ability. Reusing the character's body (the physical appearance), his soul was supplanted with that of the original, Golden Age Hawkman (a reincarnated Egyptian prince, if you recall). This Hawkman cannot speak in a normal fashion..."

Hawkman was definitively identified among the dead at the end of Kingdom Come.

Steel is the Kingdom Come version of the DC hero Steel, and the Kingdom Come card set says he "has switched his devotion from Superman to Batman, and is accented with his bat-shaped battle ax." Alex Ross has said that the Kingdom Come Steel is a version of the character if he'd come under the influence of The Batman after Superman retired, rather than being influenced only by Superman, as he was/is in current DC continuity.

Red Tornado III is described in the Kingdom Come card set as the "fire-haired, wind-manipulating successor to the mantle." Alex Ross, when he still had anything to do with Kingdom Come and its characters, identified Red Tornado III as the prot‚g‚' of Tornado. Red Tornado III has visual and power similarities to both the current DC character Maxima and, as Basil points out, Kinetix of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Page 33. Panel 2. Michael Starsnic and Floyd Wallace ask the question of why/how Power Woman is shooting rays out of her hands, since this is never a power she's ever had. Good question.

Page 35. Panel 4. One of the deadliest enemies of the Legion of Super-Heroes was the monster Validus, who was a member of the Fatal Five and killed the original Invisible Kid. It was revealed in the 1980s that Validus was in fact Validus Ranzz, the child of Garth Ranzz and Irma Ardeen Ranzz, aka Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Darkseid stole Validus when he was born and, as T. Troy McNemar points out, transported him back in time to face a younger version of Legion of Super-Heroes, which further heightens the possible similarities between Validus and Magog.

The similarities between Validus' origin and what is going on here are not, I think, coincidental.

Page 38. Panel 5. As Mark Coale points out, Powerman's costume is different here than on page 21.

Page 39. Wonder Woman's sword played a role in Kingdom Come; although she does not use such a weapon in current continuity, in Kingdom Come she used it without hesitation, even killing with it.

Page 40. In case you didn't catch it, the couple here are Jonathan and Martha Kent, the adoptive parents of Clark Kent, aka Superman.

Thanks for corrections/additions to, for Red Tornado information; Mark Coale, as always, for everything; ChuckG; Robert Cole, Michael Dietsch, for correcting my misidentification of Steel on page 28; Thad A. Doria; Carl Fink; Dale Hicks; Andrew Johnston; Ben Jones; Jacob T. Levy; Adam Mallinger; Dan McEwan; T. Troy McNemar for various information; Alan Meisler; Mikel Midnight for various corrections and useful information, as always; Paul; Jamie Rosen; Josiah Rowe; Jim "abrasive" Smith, for information on the Linear Men; David J. Snyder; Michael Starsnic; Marilee Stevens; Roger Tang; Darren Toews; Floyd Wallace; and Woofr.

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