99 Problems…But Superman Ain't One For Jay-Z

The perfect combination?

When rapper Jay-Z announced his retirement in 2004, no one really believed it, and that's not the mogul's fault. In an era where athletes like Michael Jordan have redefined the term "retirement" and a music industry in need of superstars like Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter), it would make sense for the man to return. Lo and behold, he's back, with a new album entitled "Kingdom Come" that is expected to hit stores this fall and whose title will seem familiar to comic book fans. In 1996, writer Mark Waid and artist Alex Ross told an epic story of Superman coming out of retirement to save a world that had lost its way. Entitled "Kingdom Come," the four-issue series instantly became a fan favorite and was even the inspiration for the creation of CBR! As reported by "Entertainment Weekly," it seems that Mr. Carter may be more of a comic book fan than we imagined, as he admits to having been inspired by that very series. Like Superman, Jay-Z's appeal transcends normal boundaries and he's become a force in a variety of industries, from music to clothing to even alcohol (most notably in his recent protesting of a certain brand of high end alcohol).

'Take off the blazer/Loosen up the tie/Step inside the booth/Superman is alive!'' raps Jay Z in the title track from "Kingdom Come," revealed "EW." While we're not sure how much of the "Kingdom Come" story will be reflected in the song, we're probably not alone in hoping to hear Jay-Z scream "Shazam! Shazam! SHAZAM!"

The meeting of rap music and the Superman mythology is not a new one. It was only a few years ago that rap artist Eminem recorded the overtly-sexual song "Superman" and even more recent that Big Boi brought fans a new song entitled "Kryptonite." Fans of "old school" rap probably fondly remember the Man of Steel being dissed in "Rapper's Delight," where his sexual proficiency was revealed to be, well, less than super.

While the single hasn't yet hit iTunes, expect "Kingdom Come" to be all over the airwaves quite soon, as with any new track from the mind of Jay-Z. With the music industry still struggling to keep CD sales high, Shawn Carter may be the man to help bring new fans back in the stores, just as "Kingdom Come" was a shining beacon of hope for many fans back in 1996. And since the last time "Kingdom Come" came around you got Comic Book Resources, we at CBR would like to think that Jay-Z couldn't have asked for better inspiration.

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