This was a four-issue limited series set in an alternate reality outside that of the mainstream DC Universe designated as Earth-22.
The setting for Kingdom Come took place some twenty years into the future of the year that it began publication. The older, more established super-heroes had gone into retirement, giving rise to a new generation of anti-heroes, who did not uphold the same noble values as their predecessors.
Mark Waid and Alex Ross wrote Kingdom Come as an indictment against the growing trend of violent anti-hero archetypes that had sprung out of the early 1990s.
The story begins with Wesley Dodds speaking with his pastor, Norman McCay, as he is reading from the book of Revelation in the Bible. Dodds has begun seeing visions related to that book and is trying to tell Norman about them. However, he dies before he can explain them.
While walking sometime after the funeral, Norman reflects on Dodds’ life. Doods had once been the Sandman. During his later life, Dodds had been worried about the world’s current superheroes, who lack the morals of their predecessors. As Norman reflects on this and hopes that mankind can out last these heroes.
These thoughts leak into Norman’s next sermon subconsciously. After the sermon, Spectre appears to Norman. Spectre was supposed to use Dodds for his host, as he had witnessed the events of the coming Armageddon, but has to use Norman instead because he is now having the visions.
They are first transported to a farm in Kansas (which turns out to be a holographic environment created in the Fortress of Solitude) where an aged Superman lives. Wonder Woman arrives on the scene and tries to convince Superman that he needs to come out of retirement to help the world. Inside the house, they watch footage of a battle between a team of new heroes lead by Magog, battling Parasite. Parasite however pulls apart Captain Atom, causing a nuclear explosion that completely destroys Kansas.
The Spectre then shows Norman that some of the old heroes still remain. The Flash still patrols Keystone City, Hawkman protects the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and the Green Lantern watches Earth from an emerald city in orbit. Others, such as Aquaman, the Amazons, and the Legion of Super-Heroes have abandoned the world to its fate. When asked about Batman, the Spectre shows that he’s now using robots to patrol Gotham City.
The Spectre takes him to Metropolis next, where they see some of the modern heroes having a shoot out on a suspension bridge in between which is a tram full of innocents. The tram’s cable is cut, but Superman is able to save it in time. Everyone is thrilled to see Superman save the day once more, but Norman is able to see this is just the beginning of the Armageddon.