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The Kingpin Builds a Brand New Empire

Wilson Fisk makes a disgraced journalist an offer she can’t refuse

Wilson Fisk made his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967). The Kingpin later made enemies of The Punisher and Hell’s Kitchen’s own Daredevil. Kingpin is classically depicted as a cold-blooded crime lord who uses his wealth and law enforcement connections to remain untouchable.

King Pin #1 Preview Pages
King Pin #1 Preview Pages

Kingpin #1 presents Wilson Fisk as a repentant gentle giant who is seeking to have his story told in an attempt to reinvent his image. Fisk seeks out disgraced journalist Sarah Dewey to write his book and spends the entire chapter trying to cajole her into taking the job. There are a couple red flags that pop up here and there. But if Fisk is working an angle, he never breaks kayfabe.

Dewey’s resistance to Fisk is palpable, but she really doesn’t have any options. The former Pulitzer Prize winner has been reduced to covering local boxing matches in seedy gyms. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and Fisk’s charm is disarming. It would appear that Kingpin has chosen wisely as Dewey’s resolve begins to shake.

A Spiraling Saga of Crime and Betrayal Begins Anew

Matthew Rosenberg, who also wrote the Civil War II Kingpin tie-in, takes a fresh look at the classic villain. Narrative exposition isn’t really necessary in a book that centers on such an established heel. This script falls right in line with what the reader already knows and then takes a new direction.

Ben Torres’ art uses heavy lines and deep shadows to give a noir impression to the work. Torres’ use of facial expressions is especially effective on the big man. Kingpin’s nonverbal cues can easily be read as either affable and aloof or menacing and dangerous.

Readers who are already familiar with Wilson Fisk from the Spider-Man series, Daredevil and Punisher will enjoy Kingpin. This title also works as a brilliant jumping on point for fans of noir and crime procedurals. While the character is familiar, Kingpin is a brand new series. No foreknowledge is necessary to pick up this book and dive in.

HAS WILSON FISK REALLY CHANGED? PRE-ORDER KINGPIN #2 AND FIND OUT

Kingpin #1, Marvel Comics, Released February 8, 2017, Written by Matthew Rosenberg, Art by Ben Torres, Color by Jordan Boyd, Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham, Cover by Jeff Dekal, $3.99

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Written by Brendan Allen

Brendan Allen has probably had more jobs than you would reasonably believe. Dog trainer? He’s done it. Flooring contractor? Yep! EMT? Army NBC specialist? Road dog for a Celtic rock band? Yes, yes, and och aye! Now he reads comics and writes about them. His kids think he's Batman, and he just may be.