Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
What Else editions take a look at some of the greater storylines and alternate realities that have been represented in Heroclix through the years.
Today we look at one of the darker possible futures of the DC universe: Kingdom Come
Appearances in Heroclix: Wizkids DC, World’s Finest, The Flash, Superman, Giants, Legacy, Unleashed
First Appearance: Kingdom Come #1
Notable Members: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Harlequinn, Hawkman, Red Robin, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain Marvel, Magog, Bat-Knight, Bat-Sentry, Spectre, Alloy
The Joker finally goes too far and kills a number of people in Metropolis, including Lois Lane. A new hero, Magog, kills him without thought and is brought to justice by Superman. The trial finds Magog’s murder justified, however, leading to Superman and subsequently the Justice League retiring. Without their elders guiding them, a new generation of metahumans become increasingly more dangerous with little distinction between heroes and villains. Their battles become more like costly games.
Norman McCay, a minister, visits the death bed of former hero Wesley Dodds. After Dodds passes, the Spectre appears to McCay and recruits him to pass judgment on a coming superhuman apocalypse. Magog soons leads his meta team on an attack on the Parasite, who has absorbed the powers of Captain Atom. The battle goes awry and the Parasite unleashes his stolen power in a radioactive blast that kills most of Magog’s team and millions of civilians, though spares Magog, and irradiates the majority of the American Midwest.
Months later, Wonder Woman visits Superman on a farm. She talks to him about the events of the world and urges him to return. He is initially reluctant but when she motions to the irradiated land just outside the safe bubble of his farm, he realizes that the world needs him. Superman seeks out friends old and new to form a new Justice League. He soon returns to his old ways and begins locking up the dangerous younger metas in a Gulag in the Midwest.
Wonder Woman has become exiled from Paradise Island as they view her mission to bring peace to the world as a failure. This leads to her becoming increasingly more militant once Superman has reformed the Justice League. While Superman seeks to fix the world through a fatherly but firm love, Wonder Woman has almost become tainted with the more violent approach of the younger generation.
Bruce resents Superman for leaving the world and abandoning the cause. Without the Justice League, Bruce decides to make Gotham a safe, though authoritarian, city. His Bat-Knights keep a constant watch over the city, punishing criminals. After a failed recruitment attempt from Superman, Bruce can see a conflict coming and forms a new network of “Outsiders.” This group has some of the more reasonable younger metas as well as experienced heroes like Oliver Queen and Ted Kord acting as Batman’s lieutenants.
Much like Batman, Alan Scott chose his own personal vigil after Superman’s retirement. Bonding his ring and battery with himself, he has forged a green knight’s armor to protect himself. He watches over the Earth from an emerald city in orbit maintained by his will. Alan returns to Earth when Superman asks for his help and lets the League use his home as a base.
Dick Grayson adopts the Red Robin moniker after becoming estranged from Bruce and his authoritarian methods. He is among the first to join Superman’s new Justice League.
Through unknown means, Hawkman has combined his different powers to become a literal hawk-man. He takes a special interest in the health of the Earth and is called an eco-terrorist for the measures he takes to protect it.
Though he is believed to be Wally West, this Flash merged with the Speed Force itself and has all the power and experience of all the Flashes. He is now so fast that he is able to patrol all of Central City at once as well as see Norman McCay, even though the minister was supposed to be hidden by the Spectre’s power.
Perhaps the most powerful being in the universe, the Spectre originally went to his old teammate Wesley Dodds for help. After Dodds’ death, the Spectre chooses Norman McCay to act as witness to the coming apocalypse and transports him to all the important events.
Billy Batson serves Lex Luthor as a result of engineered clones of Mr. Mind controlling him. Luthor uses Batson as an ace in the hole, as the only meta that can match Superman’s power. While Batson handles Superman, Luthor intends to cause a prison break at the Gulag that will allow him and his Mankind Liberation Front to take control.
The first of the more extreme younger heroes, Magog is one of the major forces that sets the events of the apocalypse in motion. After he kills the Joker, he believes that Superman’s time has past and it is time for a generations of heroes that can deal with the threat of maniacs like the Joker. He and Alloy are the only survivors of the Parasite explosion.
With the loss of Dr. Magnus, the Metal Men join together into one being: the giant Alloy. This hero joins Magog’s Justice Battalion and is the only other survivor of the atomic Parasite explosion.
One of several riotgrrls that pattern themselves after the Joker in the wake of his death, this Harlequinn does not seem to have any actual connection to the Joker, other Harlequinns, Harley Quinn or Duela Dent. She is among the Guglag inmates.
The Rest of the Story:
Batman and his Outsiders ally with the MLF to bring down the Justice League. This proves to be a ruse, however, as Batman just wants to learn Luthor’s plan and capabilities. After the Gulag inmates kill Captain Comet in a riot, Luthor tells Batman his plan to use Captain Marvel to break open the Gulag and lure Superman into the open. At this point, Batman and his Outsiders ambush the MLF to try and stop the chaos to come. They are unable to stop Batson from transforming into Captain Marvel and flying to the Gulag.
Superman’s pacifism grows as he remains reluctant to put down the Gulag riot with force. Wonder Woman grows impatient with Superman and leads the League to the Gulag while Superman seeks out Batman. Batman contends that inaction is preferable as the world will be a better place if the metas wipe each other out. Superman reminds him that meta-human life is still human life and every bit as precious. As a result, Batman tells Superman that Captain Marvel is under Luthor’s control and headed to the Gulag.
Superman arrives at the Gulag just in time to be attacked by Captain Marvel and witness the war between the inmates and Justice League caused by a breach in the prison. Norman and the Spectre watch the events unfold from another plane of reality. The Outsiders arrive as a mitigating force, trying to put the riot down while keeping the League from killing any prisoners. They are unable to stop Wonder Woman from killing Von Bach, however, which only enrages the prisoners further. Batman leads Wonder Woman away from the main battle and attempts to talk some sense into her. He finally gets through when they both see stealth bombers that are about to deliver three nuclear warheads to the site of the battle. They manage to destroy two of the bombs but are ineffective against the third.
Captain Marvel and Superman battle relentlessly, with Marvel weakening the kryptonian with multiple strikes from his magical lightning bolt. In a last ditch effort, Superman is able to wrestle Marvel into the path of the bolt and transform him back into Billy Batson. He holds his hand over Batson’s mouth and tells him of the incoming warhead. Superman intends to stop it and Batson can either stop him, costing them all of their lives, or let Superman stop the bomb and let the meta war come to its natural conclusion. Superman tells Batson that he is the only one that can be trusted with this because he simultaneously lives in both the human and meta-human world.
With the worm controlling his mind dead, Batson transforms back into Captain Marvel and quickly catches up with Superman. He throws Superman back to the ground and flies to the warhead, destroying it with his lightning at the cost of his life.
Though the explosion is not as deadly as it could have been, most of the metahumans are still destroyed. A small contingent survive thanks to shielding from Jade and teleportation by metas like Dr. Fate. Superman sits in mourning in the middle of yet more corpses, strong enough to survive the blast without any protection. Thinking that he is yet again the last survivor of a world, he flies to the UN building in the tattered remains of his costume and rips the roof off. He threatens to bring the entire building down on top of the delegates in vengeance until the arrival of the surviving metas and Norman McCay.
McCay reminds Superman that these actions are not only what he has fought against his entire life but are also the very reasons why normal humans fear the metas. Superman is calmed by this logic and is soon handed the remains of Captain Marvel’s cape. He tells the assembled delegates that he will remain to guide humankind but will make no attempt to lead them before flying outside and tying the cape to a flagpole outside the UN.
Paradise Island welcomes Wonder Woman back and reinstates her as an ambassador to the outside world. The remaining survivors of the Gulag are taken to Paradise Island where they are rehabilitated. Magog is among them and has learned to control his own rage, helping others to control theirs. Batman changes his crusade and rebuilds Wayne Manor as a hospital to care for survivors of the Gulag. He also reconciles with Dick Grayson and his own son. Superman returns to the Midwest and begins work to restore the irradiated farmlands once more.
A year later, Superman and Wonder Woman meet up with Bruce at a meta-human themed restaurant. They intend to surprise him with news of their impending child but Bruce already knows. Instead, Clark surprises him by asking that Bruce act as godfather to their child.