Review: Kingpin #1
“Born Against” has Hells Kitchen’s favorite mob boss back in action. After watching her boo get pummeled in the ring Ms. Sarah Dewey has been summoned via a $2,000 enticement to the home of Wilson Fisk to help him write his biography. The promise of a Kingpin backstory already has my eyes ready to read the tale that writer Matthew Rosenberg is going to tell even if I have to wait a few issues to get to to the meat of it all. Rosenberg has been on my favorites list for a while because of his work with Black Mask Studios’ comics and I expected so much from him taking the reigns for the Kingpin story. He doesn’t disappoint in the story setup or keeping true to the character at hand.
After the initial encounter Sarah decides to show up to a fancy party in Park Slope to get to know more about Kingpin up close. But, after a misstep on one of the parties guests part, she bumps right into Daredevil in his day to day form and the party continues to go downhill for her from there. Later that night she gets to spend a little more time with Fisk, I call him that now because there is some softening to him. Rosenberg seems to give him a soul of sorts and he’s somewhat endearing. There are moments where I expected him to be the rage monster that he is when he’s the villain but, he seemed to keep it together and be even tempered and somewhat likable in his interactions with Sarah. That kind of writing is the kind I like, the ability to turn a long time villain into just a person. There was a moment of hope in the interaction with a would-be mugger who holds a knife on Sarah and Fisk on their walk, where he lets things go and complies with the muggers demands with what seems to be genuine compassion. But, this is the Kingpin we’re talking about and the way the issue ends makes sure to remind us and Sarah, of that very real fact.
There’s a panel in the story where Ben Torres has Sarah sporting a Spider-Man shirt and it was a lovely nod considering that besides Daredevil he is one of Kingpins biggest adversaries. It was also kind of cool that she kept that shirt on during her night-time diner donut run with Fisk. The juxtaposition of that iconic image with Kingpins looming and larger than life presence was a real visual treat. The style is hella old school which I love, it was like reading a Daredevil comic when I was a child. I loved the throwback graphics.
The issue as a whole is flawless. It’s a nice, well written, old school issue complete with the foul language, drug use, alcohol consumption, and danger. There were no pop colors and happy upbeat feelings, it’s grimy NYC rage in readable form. The panels and backgrounds were part of the story and kept the tone of the words that were on the page perfectly.
Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Ben Torres
Story: 9.8 Art: 9.6 Overall: 9.7 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel comics provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review