Thy will be done
Easily one of the most beautifully illustrated comics was the Elseworld "Kingdom Come" saga. However, for all its visual beauty, the story sent a mixed message. What began as a battle between a group of ruthless new age heroes and the old guard heroes segued into a story of ethics and morals regarding super beings behaving as gods and being treated as such.
Though the story allowed the heroes to come to the conclusion that they should stop trying to lord over humankind whether as benevolent role models or ultimate cops, there was a segregated feeling that never really vanished.
While it's true the heroes took off their costumes to erase something of an Olympian presence, there was almost no interaction between them and human characters on any kind of close or personal level. Even the phrase "Living among you" set them apart from us. In a sense their civilian clothing tended to be just as much costuming as their tights and tiaras.
A saga that was meant to teach the lesson that superheroes aren't gods and that they should live as equals with humans, ended with Clark married to and expecting a child by a fellow superhero with yet another hero chosen to be the child's godfather.
Given that Clark had been married to a human long before this epic began to unfold and that he worked alongside humans every day and that the only parents he knew or loved had been human, it would seem he had lived and understood this lesson much better in his past.
An eye for an eye
|For all its minor problems, "Kingdom Come"
meant well, and despite several battle scenes, it never stooped to
graphic depictions of violence
In "Kal," however, the attempted rape and graphic beating death of Lois was done for one reason in this story, to create a killing rage in Superman.
Superman, or Sir Kal as he was called, confronted the villain in a battle to the death. Moments before Kal succumbed to Luthor's Kryptonite weapon, he killed Lex.
Though the artwork was more of a stylized primitive in this issue, the sentiments were identical -- kill and maim those closest to Superman. In "Metropolis" Ma Kent was murdered and a badly beaten Pa Kent died shortly after he managed to give a message to his son. Lois' beating, of course, was given the "in progress" treatment. When you add some bizarre sexual imagery to the violence you get "Whom Gods Destroy" ...
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