The image above is from Kingdom Come, one of the best DC Comics graphic novels out there, by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. It’s a tale that covers both the best and worst, the highest and lowest concepts of the superhero, both as savior and destroyer. It was written and drawn by people who obviously understood the characters that move the plot and also have a deep respect for what these characters, our modern gods and heroes, mean and represent.
The alien immigrant who uses his uniqueness to make his adopted home a better place (a concept so incredibly American it hurts in today’s quagmire of xenophobia and idiocy) … a man who, through grit, determination, and skill, can manage to stand among gods (again, that spirit of determination and hope that we can all better ourselves) … a warrior who uses her strength not for conquest, but for peace (again, a paradox that is oh-s0 American, yet strangely compelling). Above all, these archetypes, this Trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are bound by the principle extolled in the panel above. Though they might not always be successful, these heroes, these paragons, always try to find another way, a way to succeed that doesn’t cost in the lives of others, no matter whose lives they may be.
Before I move on, from here on out, there will be spoilers for the recently released Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. If you read further, you have been warned!