Thursday, January 19, 2012

And I Saw Seven Angels

And I saw the seven angels which stood before God...
...and another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer...
...and the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar...
...and the seven angels prepared themselves to sound...
- Kingdom Come #2
by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

The text quoted in this panel is, like much of Kingdom Come, adapted from the book of Revelation. Specifically, this passage can be found towards the beginning of chapter 8. Kingdom Come envisions Revelation as a grand confrontation between the superheroes and villains of the DC Universe.

Maybe you think that's silly. Maybe you think Revelation is a truly literal prediction of exact events that will occur. And such events are occurring right now during our time. If so, you're not alone. Countless other people have thought this as well during every age since the document was written and circulated. Someone always thinks the end times will happen during their present lifetime. So why shouldn't it happen during the age of superheroes?

See, that's the true beauty of apocalyptic literature: it's application is near universal. It is written in such a way that it is forever reinterpreted to reflect the current global landscape. It is far more effective if we can convince ourselves that the time this work is talking about is right now.

So is the premise of Kingdom Come silly? No. Certainly no more so than Left Behind or the plethora of generic artistry depicting Revelation utilizing stereotypical imagery of the angelic and divine derived from tradition and popular culture. And we proudly hang that crap up in our churches.

Honestly, I like Alex Ross's art better.

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