Welcome back to Strange Times & Places! The Crisis on Infinite Earths gets underway this weekend on The CW, pretty immediately introducing the Kingdom Come Superman into live action. In honor of that, we’re looking at KC Superman’s time in the mainstream DCU with Justice Society of America Kingdom Come Special: Superman #1!
How’s It Different?
It’s a Royale With Cheese wherein Superman went into exile shortly after a 90s style wave of lethal superbeings started their rise. He came out of seclusion and tried to set things right, but a riot at his totally unsanctioned prison for metahumans who didn’t toe his line lead to an international government response that wiped out all sides of the conflict…and sent Superman to New Earth.
What’s The Story?
So far as Superman knows, his world is as good as dead – the U.N. bombed the largest superhuman battle the world had ever seen so hard it knocked him into another universe. Working with the Justice Society of America, Kal-El is working to prevent his future from coming to pass…even as the generation of heroes that ultimately destroyed his seems to be rising. And now, the worst day of his life looks to be playing out in this new universe…looking to sell action figures online?
Best of Differences
- This tale uses a Pre-Flashpoint quirk of the multiverse to great effect: Kryptonite only harms Kryptonians if they both come from the same world of the Multiverse. As such, Kal-El mistakes a bungled Kryptonite gas attack on the Daily Planet for the deadly Joker Gas attack that killed his wife on Earth-22. After all, the gases look near identical and do him the same amount of harm.
- The Lois Lane of Earth-22 goes down swinging, saving her life with a gas mask and knocking The Joker over the head with a fire extinguisher. She doesn’t take down the killer clown, but she does not go quietly either.
- When the whole story wraps up in Justice Society of America #22, Superman’s time on New Earth actually lends a new emotional power to his U.N. rampage in Kingdom Come #4: not only has he reappeared amidst the indiscriminate termination of dozens of self-styled superheroes (whether they were forces for good or ill), he’s come from a world where he saw many of those same heroes be better. He’s gone from a world where superheroes had hope to one where they were (darn near) all dead.