series writer Mark Waid breaks it down: In 1996, artist Alex Ross and I worked together on this graphic novel called Kingdom Come for DC Comics... a story about what happens when Superman retires then is drawn back out of retirement by this next generation of superheroes who have gone awry because they don’t have that North Star. They don’t have that…he didn’t realize what an inspiration he was to them and what a guiding force he was to them. He retires and then everything in the world just goes hilt, and he’s got to come back. So, a couple years ago, Jay Z, he’s been running Def Jam for a while, and he’s thinking about coming back into the studio and doing something new, and his engineer gives him a copy of Kingdom Come and he sees such a parallel between himself and Superman in the sense of ‘I’ve been away, I’m not sure I like the way things have gone in my absence, I’m coming back’ that he based the comeback album on this graphic novel. The title song talks about Superman, Bruce Wayne, and comics in general and that’s what I call a career highlight.
of course none of this is news to Jay-Z fans, who have already consumed the album, measured it against his other work, and moved on. but i nevered payed the record any mind, so i figured i'd give the man his props now. way to go, Jay. if you've never read Kingdom Come for whatever reason, i'm telling you to go read it now. it is simply one of the best comics ever made, up there with Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. i doubt it will ever be adapted to film effectively, since the budget would be similar to a third world GNP. but the beauty of comics is they are only limited by the imagination and talent of the creative team. and Waid and Alex Ross are two of the best, and were at the top of their game on this one... COP IT by any means!