Kingdom Come is a four-issue comic book miniseries published in 1996 by DC Comics under their Elseworlds imprint. It was written by Mark Waid and Alex Ross and painted in gouache by Ross, who also developed the concept from an original idea.
The story is set in an alternate future of the DC Universe. The new generation of heroes have lost their moral compass, becoming as reckless and violent as the villains they fight. The previous regime of heroes—the Justice League—returns under dire circumstances, which sets up a battle of the old guard against these uncompromising protectors in a conflict that will define what heroism truly is and determine the future of the planet.
- (narration) The Sandman had gone to his grave without one grain of faith in the future. And the saddest part was... he was far from alone. With each passing day, hope for tomorrow has become more precious a commodity among every day folk. Still, I tried to keep the faith... and hew to the scriptures. According to the word of God, the meek would someday inherit the earth. Someday. But God never accounted for the mighty.
- (narration) What happens next is... for the first time... my own fault. I have overheard Flash described as a man too fast to be contained by one plane of existence. Apparently, entire strata of reality are open to him. So settled am I in my role as a spirit... that I have forgotten that fact!
- (narration) In the time of Superman's absence, Keystone City has become a utopia-- a protectorate relentlessly patrolled by a gale force once human. No one sees him... no one hears him. He runs a lonely race... but all who live here have felt his presence. He is everywhere at once... a guardian angel who rights even the most harmless of wrongs with lightning speed. He lives between the ticks of a second. He is The Flash.
- (narration) Another of yesterday's guardians has since claimed the Pacific Northwest as his aerie. Some call him a savior... others, an environmental terrorist. He is feared, and justly, by those who would deprive the beasts and birds of their sanctuary. His name is Hawkman.
- (narration) Yet another takes his refuge high above the earth's surface... his self-made emerald city twinkling in the night sky like a verdant star. There, Green Lantern commands a lonely throne... ever vigilant, ever waiting for signs of threats extraterrestrial. He waits still.
- I don't know what to do! You can see that, can't you? Every choice I've made so far has brought us here, has been wrong! So listen to me, Billy. Listen harder than you ever have before. There's a bomb falling. Either it kills us - or we run rampant across the globe. I can still stop the bomb, Billy. That much I'm sure of. What I don't know is whether I should be allowed to. Superhumans or mankind... one will pay the ultimate price. And that decision... is not for me to make. I'm not a god, I'm not a man. But you, Billy... you're both. More than anyone who ever existed, you know what it's like to live in both worlds. Only you can weigh their worth equally. You can let me go... or with a word, you can stop me. Do you understand the choice that can be made by you alone? Then decide. Decide the world.
- (re: Superman) After ten years he has finally unleashed a wrath that would cow Satan himself.
- Secretary-General of the New United Nations: Listen to me and understand! There is nothing rational about dispatching tactical nukes into the heart of my own country – But these are not rational times! We are at the flashpoint of human existence! My God... You can hear the battle even here! At any moment, it threatens to spread forth and engulf the world! What then? What then?