Tag Archives: kingpin

Super-Articulate: Marvel Legends Spider-Man Kingpin BAF assortment

I know the title puts the Kingpin right up front, but we’re going to take a detour first. If you recall, last week we did a bit of a preview of the ML Target exclusive Captain Marvel (Starforce) figure. Today, we’ll start with a look at the actual figure.

Captain Marvel (Starforce): As I said before, the notion of exclusive figures that bring a value-add past a simple outfit swap is great. Granted, completists might want the green outfit, given its prominence in the film. But the inclusion of all the separate pieces (head, hands, scarf, bandolier, rifle) that allow you to convert the figure into Doctor Minn-Erva just really stands out. It enables Hasbro to essentially offer an extra character in the same package as a headliner character that the stores will want. Moves like this, along with things like the Shadow King and Lilandra heads, just elevate the line.

Now Comes the Days of the Kingpin . . .

When this assortment was announced, I was genuinely excited. There are some characters here that I’ve wanted for years in ML form that FINALLY made it in. There’s a fairly new villain that I was surprised to see included. And of course, Mr. Fisk. Let’s go.

Silver Sable: FINALLY, indeed. This is a drop-dead excellent figure that should have been made years ago, but I’m glad that it happened on the back of the constantly improving sculpting that Hasbro brings to the line. This is top-notch.

Black Cat: I wasn’t quite as into this one because honestly, I was satisfied with the previous versions. However, I think this turned out great, and I’m glad to have it. A lot of attention was paid here to the hair and to the “fur” portions of the outfit. The whip is also nicely done, as is the wrapped segment arranged as a belt.

Night Thrasher: Back to the FINALLY portion of the program. It’s kind of mind-boggling that we never got the founder of the New Warriors before now. The accessories are great; while the staff portions pre-existing, the backpack and skateboard are new. The board even has working wheels. I took a shot with the original Nova and Vance Astro from the GOTG2 assortment because that’s as close to the original New Warriors as we have right now. I certainly hope that Speedball, Firestar, and Namorita are in the cards down the road.

Puma: I’ve always dug Puma. The ML line can only benefit from diverse characters like Thrasher and Thomas Fireheart here, and I genuinely like that hybrid human look. The figure nails it and gets the flourishes like the feather fetish and necklace right. The increased articulation present in most Legends works a great benefit in the figure, as it affords some very character-appropriate posing. Big winner, kids.

Red Goblin: I didn’t expect Red Goblin this soon; in fact, that might be some kind of page-to-Legend record. But man, they did another great job. And that tail! Honestly, it’s a little crazy that this exists already, but damn if they didn’t prove that it should exist just by making it exist. Well done.

Symbiote Spider-Man:I’ll be honest; I’m pretty take it or leave it with this one. It’s kinda neat of its own accord, and it looks good, but I doubt I would have gotten it were it not for the BAF piece. Still, if you don’t have a black costume Spidey, this is a solid get.

Spider-Man (Six-Armed): I know that there were some early complaints about the torso from some fans online, but I have to say that this looks quite good in person. The arms are surprisingly poseable, given the torso size, and I’m glad that the new torso sculpt also gives us the ability to have Doppelganger Spider-Man later in the year. This version of Spidey wasn’t super-high on my list, but it’s cool to see and it’s a worthy entry, given its place in the comic’s history.

Before we get to the big guy, here’s a quick rundown of which piece comes with whom:

Heads: Symbiote Spider-Man
Torso: Puma
Right Arm and cane: Black Cat
Left Arm: Silver Sable
Right Leg: Red Goblin
Left Leg: Night Thrasher
The Six-Armed Spidey does not include a BAF piece.

The Kingpin (BAF): I mean . . . just look. This thing is outstanding. The alternate heads were a fine idea (one smug, one angry), and it’s just . . . massive. I took a picture of the recent Defenders boxed set Daredevil for scale. It’s just awesome. And I’m looking forward to turning him into the Shadow King in the near future. Yeah, I’m a giant X-Men fan from way back, so that’s happening.

Overall, this is a pretty great assortment with strong character choices, pleasant surprises, and a whale of a BAF. These are available on Hasbro Pulse right now and should be hitting retail around you at any time.

How about you? Thoughts, questions, discussions? Let us know.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Rai: The History Of The Valiant Universe#1 (Valiant) – I’ve been waiting for a return to Rai for a long time, an these four standalone stories may scratch that itch.

Kill The Minotaur #1 (Image) – The cover looks awesome, and I’m on an Ancient Greece kick.

Mother Russia #1 (Alterna) – With Alterna’s move to bring back newsprint, their price points have dropped significantly. I don’t even know what this comic is about, but I’m getting because it’s $1.50.

Trespasser #1 (Alterna) – The second of this week’s newsprint comics from Alterna that also rings in at $1.50. I don’t know what this is about either, but it’s at a very attractive price, and Alterna haven’t done me wrong yet.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Dark Days: The Forge #1 (DC Comics) – DC has been teasing this for so long and this is our first look as to what we can expect in this summer’s event. I’m beyond excited to see how this fits into Rebith and where it goes.

Legion of Super Heroes/Bugs Bunny #1 (DC Comics) – This just looks too fun.

Martian Manhunter/Marvin the Martian #1 (DC Comics) – See above, too fun.

Tomboy #11 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – This series continously surprises me mixing horror, manga, superheroes, and teenage drama. An awesome indie series that deserves more eyes on it.

Catalyst Prime Accell #1 (Lion Forge Comics) – Lion Forge has been killing it with their Catalyst line of comics and I look forward to each series to see what it entails.

 

Shay

Suicide Squad #19 (DC Comics) – Zod has broken free, a Kryptonian army of invaders is about to take over earth and, the Suicide Squad is our only hope. Grab some popcorn kiddos, this is about to get epic!

The Defenders #1 (Marvel) – The gangs all here and the first story arc , hopefully tying in with the upcoming Netflix series, is about to kick off. Fingers crossed for a fantastic story and a good time.

Motor Crush TP Vol. 1 (Image) – The first collection of the amazing lady powered bad assery that is Motor Crush. Catch up and get blown away by the kick ass Domino, her killer wheels and a high octane story line that’ll knock your knickers off.

Kingpin #5 (Marvel) – Sarah is in too deep , Fisk has got his image makeover, for better or worse, and now we get to see his end game. Is he going to keep showing us his human Fisk side? Or is the Kingpin gonna stay out and play? Or, are they both gonna run the town? I shiver with anticipation and you should too.

 

Paul

Top Pick: X-Men Blue #5 (Marvel) – I’ve really been enjoying this new title, setting the time displaced X-Men out on their own and doing the superhero thing. And the dynamic with Magneto has been interesting, and I’m really curious to see his end game given what was revealed to us in an earlier issue. Not totally on board with the arrival of another Wolverine character, but it could make an already interesting cast that much more interesting and throw some new curves in.

The Defenders #1 (Marvel) – Well we had to see this coming (thanks Netflix :P) but I am curious to see these 4 take to the page together. I’m hoping this is an action packed, fun ride.

Hulk #7 (Marvel) – Well the Hulk has come out, and it is very different from the She-Hulk we all know and love. This has been a fantastic book and I’m looking forward to see things progress now that Jen has released her Hulk.

Uncanny Avengers #24 (Marvel) – Given how things ended between this team and Steve Rogers, I am more then excited to see Rogue go up against him and his Hydra. I hope the gloves come off (literally) and she gets a little payback.

Exclusive Preview: Kingpin #5

Kingpin #5

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Ben Torres (CA) Jeff Dekal
Rated T+
In Shops: Jun 14, 2017
SRP: $3.99

THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF WILSON FISK!
• SARAH DEWEY realizes there’s no turning back from the KINGPIN now…
• …but how much MORE is it going to cost her?
• WILSON FISK reestablishes his reputation with his biography…but what is his end game?

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Eternal Warrior: Awakening #1 (Valiant) – You’re not surprised to see this here, are you? You shouldn’t be. It’s a comic featuring one of my favourite characters by my favourite publisher.

All-Star Batman #10 (DC Comics) – Scott Snyder on Batman. That’s exactly why I’m pumped about this.

Old Man Logan #23 (Marvel) – I am LOVING this arc. Jeff Lemire is taking Logan back through so key, and not-so-key moments in his life. It’s a fascinating story that I wish was longer than the four issues it’s billed for.

Redline #3 (Oni Press) – So here’s the deal. This comic is EVERYTHING that I usually avoid in fiction… and yet I’m loving every bloody page of this series. Go figure, eh?

 

Shay

Top Pick: Suicide Squad #17 (DC Comics) – Amanda has recruited Zod to help take down the Peoples version of the Suicide Squad. Grab popcorn and watch the battle begin!

Top Pick: America #3 (Marvel) – America joins the X-Men , which is either about to be hella awesome or short lived.

Black Panther and the Crew #2 (Marvel) – Misty Knight looking into a police cover up, issue #2 is calling out some social justice issues and, I’m here for it.

Kingpin #4 (Marvel) – The humanizing of Kingpin continues.

Rocket #1 (Marvel) – Wise cracks and space crimes abound. Who wouldn’t want to get in on the ground floor of this?

 

Brett

Top Pick: Medisin #1 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – This has been one that’s been on my radar for a while. The story is about a criminal mastermind who recruits a team of down on their luck physicians to handle health care for super villains. The concept sounds amazing and can’t wait to dive in and read this.

Bug: The Adventures of Forager #1 (DC’s Young Animal) – A new series from DC’s Young Animal imprint. I don’t know much about the character other than it’s a Jack Kirby creation or what to expect but the fact it’s Lee Allred and Michael Allred has me intrigued enough to check it out.

Honor Girl (Candlewick Press) – This is one I know nothing about but saw it in the list of releases and decided to take a look at the description. A graphic memoir by Maggie Trash that focuses on one’s first love and fist heartbreak.

Rough Riders: Riders on the Storm #3 (Aftershock Comics) – Fun, I don’t really need to say much more than that.

Solar Flare #2 (Vault Comics) – The first issue built the tension perfectly and it looks like we’re about to see the disaster break out. Really looking forward to this summer blockbuster in comic book form.

Star Wars: The Screaming Citadel #1 (Marvel) – Marvel has been killing it when it comes to their Star Wars comics. A new “event” and crossover is something I actually look forward to as they’ve shown so far, they can pull it off and do it well.

C2E2 2017: Interview with Marvel and Black Mask Star Matt Rosenberg

Matt Rosenberg is one of several comic book writers who has conquered both the world of creator owned and corporate comics. He broke into comics as one of the co-writers on 12 Reasons to Die, a comic released in conjunction with Ghostface Killah’s 2013 album of the same name from Black Mask Studios. From there, he has dabbled in a variety of genres, including superhero road trip (We Can Never Go Home), espionage (a Quake one-shot for Marvel), crime (Kingpin, 4 Kids Walk into a Bank), and even comedy (Rocket Raccoon.) Rosenberg’s work has clever plots and a sly sense of humor, but there is also a spirit of social consciousness that imbues both his comics for Marvel and Black Mask

I had the privilege of chatting with Matt at C2E2 about many of his current and former comics, including Rocket Raccoon, the upcoming Secret Warriors series, Kingpin, and the long anticipated sequel to We Can Never Go Home.

Graphic Policy: What did you enjoy most about writing Rocket Raccoon in the streets of New York versus his usual space adventures?

Matt Rosenberg: Rocket is a character that a lot of people have done really well in his space adventures. I don’t think I would do that well with that. It’s not my strong suit. But I’m from New York and grew up there.

Rocket’s great because no matter where you put him, he’s a fish out of water. He’s the only one of his kind and is sort of lost. There’s no difference for him between a space cantina and the D-Train. I wanted to give him an Earth experience where it’s not social satire, but it’s pointing out a lot of things that are weird about American culture.

And he’s just super fun to write. He’s a jerk, but a really good-intentioned jerk.

GP: He’s cute.

MR: Yeah, he’s cute. He may be gruff, but you can’t hold it against him. I love him. I’m really happy that I did my run on him. But I am very excited for Al Ewing and Adam Gorham to send him back to space.

GP: Al is one of my favorite Marvel writers. So, why did you decide to make Kraven the Hunter the Big Bad of your Rocket Raccoon run?

MR: First of all, I love Kraven. “Kraven’s Last Hunt” is one of the best Marvel books and one of the best comics period. Rocket is on Earth, and no one really respects him because he’s an animal, he’s different, and he’s an outsider. The book has a lot to do with xenophobia, and people not respecting each other.

Kraven is someone who hunts people and things, but only the things he respects. I thought it was an interesting dichotomy because the character that is trying to kill him is the only one on Earth that shows him proper deference. Kraven has a lot of respect and admiration for Rocket, and that’s why he wants him.

Everyone else doesn’t care that someone is trying to kill him because he’s basically a raccoon to him. I thought Kraven presented an interesting opportunity. And I got to put the “Kra-Van” in there, which I love. He’s a madman so it’s fun.

GP: Moving onto your new series Secret Warriors, which of the members of the team was most difficult for you to write, and why?

MR: Devil Dinosaur’s really difficult because he’s a dinosaur. It’s hard because you have to put him places. Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare, who write Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, are really good friends of mine, and I bug them a lot like “What do you do with him when people have to go into a building?”

And they’re like, “He goes into large buildings.” Yeah, I guess.

For me, [the hardest to write] in a lot ways is Ms. Marvel because that is a book I love so much. What Adrian [Alphona] and [G] Willow [Wilson] do on that book is so important to me. I think in twenty years she’s gonna be considered one of the great characters in superhero comics standing on her own.

I love Quake, and she’s one of my favorite superheroes. But Ms. Marvel is such a specific, singular voice. A lot of people have written Quake. I think of her as a [Brian Michael] Bendis character, but Jonathan Hickman’s run on her is really good. A lot of people have contributed. Ms. Marvel feels like just a few people’s visions, like Sana [Amanat] who edits it. That’s really intimidating, and her fans expect her to be certain things, which I want her to be.

But we’re also challenging the team in different ways. She’s gonna be challenged. I love her so much. In the book, we put [the Secret Warriors] through the wringer, and they don’t all get along. I don’t like writing her and Quake fighting. I kind of want those characters to be friends, and they’re not. They wouldn’t be in a lot of ways if you think about it. They have differing beliefs, ways of acting, and end goals. Quake is a spy, and Ms. Marvel is a superhero.

So, Ms. Marvel was a challenge for me because we want people who like the Ms. Marvel book to pick up Secret Warriors and feel like it’s their character, but it’s a very different setting for her. She’s out of her element a little bit, and that was hard.

GP: At the Secret Empire panel, they talked a little bit about Secret Warriors, and that the Inhumans are getting rounded up into camps. What are the implications of that plot point in light of the camps in Chechnya where gay men are being rounded up, tortured, and killed?

MR: It’s hard because everyone wants different things from comics. Some people really want escapism. Some people really want social commentary. Some people want things to be uplifting. You can’t do all of those things in a story.

What I like about Secret Empire is that there are facets to everyone. It’s a dark story, and it’s a story that’s controversial because it’s about the rise of facism and why a hero would become a villain. It’s a time when that stresses out a lot of people understandably, and there’s a lot of real world stuff that you can see on the pages.

What’s going on in Chechnya and the rise of white supremacy with more nationalism and more jingoism is obviously a problem. I’m a leftist. But we’re not the escapist book. If you want to see a happy, uplifting book, we’re not necessarily that book. We are about watching the people, who get stepped on, and the people, who are a little bit underappreciated, fight back and kick the bad guys in the face.

It’s hard to make the correlation with the real world because real people are dying and having their rights trampled on. I don’t think a comic can address that in a way that does what is happening in Chechnya justice. It’s a human rights violation, an upcoming holocaust, and a nightmare. And we’re dealing with a cartoon dinosaur. We don’t have the language emotionally to handle that in a way that is deserving of the magnitude of the event.

But if you wanna see the downtrodden fight back, that’s what Secret Warriors is. Everyone’s book has a different purpose, and that’s what our book has always been. They’re young. They’re kids with very diverse backgrounds and methodologies. They’re people coming together to fight back. That’s something I really believe in. People need to look out for each other and support each other as much as they can, which is why I wanted to write this book for that event.

GP: That team lineup is seriously stacked.

MR: I’m excited for it. I hope that some people read the book, and it’s inspiring. That’s sort of what we wanted to do. It gets dark, but there’s light at the end of it.

GP: Moving onto Kingpin, why did you decide to make the journalist character, Sarah Dewey, the POV character instead of Wilson Fisk?

MR: Wilson Fisk is my favorite Marvel villain by far. He’s a character who is always two steps ahead of everyone else. He’s controlling the chessboard, and if it’s his POV, there’s not going to be as much mystery. Knowing what the Kingpin is going to do takes away so much from him.

We talked about doing it from a superhero’s perspective or another gangster’s perspective, but I really love the idea of books like Marvels or characters, like Ben Urich. You can follow a character into this world and see [the Marvel Universe] from their perspective.

Sarah is a journalist, who’s not a perfect person. She’s had some problems in her life and has fallen on some bad times. She’s coming out of an awful, failed marriage. The idea of Kingpin to Sarah is that she knows he’s a bad guy, but he’s good to her. Not everyone is a hero, but is the Kingpin going to be a hero to her?

I want the reader to wonder if he’s going to be a good guy in the end. I think the Kingpin definitely has the capacity to be a good guy. You can’t forgive past deeds, but he has all the trappings of a classic hero.

GP: You really believe in him.

MR: In a lot of ways, yes. I said to someone once, “He’s almost a superhero.”

And they said, “No, he’s a monster.” Daredevil and Spider-Man want to save New York City by fighting in alleys. Kingpin wants to clean up New York City and make it a better place, but he’s in the whole city. He’s not in alleys, but he’s trying to make sure there aren’t warring crime factions in the streets. He’s trying to make it so the regular person doesn’t have this rough, violent city. He’s bringing a classier element of crime. Kingpin wants New York to be a nicer and safer city for the average person.

Well, [some might say], “He kills people.” But the Punisher kills people. Is the Punisher a superhero? No, but he’s on the other side of the line from the Kingpin. [Others say], “He’s trying to make a profit.” Tony Stark is trying to make a profit. He’s making technology that he uses as a superhero and vice versa.

I don’t think Kingpin’s a good guy, but he’s passionate toward a good thing. His methodology is wrong, and his moral compass is wrong. But that’s what’s fascinating. Can he fix it? Can he end up being a hero at the end of his story? I don’t know if he’s worth redemption, but I would like to see him try.

GP: You’ve written a lot of event tie-ins for Marvel, like the upcoming Edge of Venomverse and Civil War II: Kingpin. How do you balance serving the ongoing plot of the event with telling your own story?

MR: The short answer is that it’s the job. I grew up reading Marvel and liking them as a company. I love what superhero comics do. It’s really a tapestry and a huge picture that everyone is working in tiny portions on. It’s a challenge to be relevant to someone else’s story while telling your own satisfying story. That’s the challenge that I grew up loving, like “How do the X-Men deal with Civil War?”

GP: It’s like a puzzle.

MR: Exactly. When it works well, stories complement each other. When it doesn’t, things feel crazy and schizophrenic. I did the Civil War II: Kingpin book [with the idea that] the heroes are fighting so what does Kingpin do? How is he going to rise to power? Everyone is afraid to operate, and the Kingpin finds a way to operate. That’s what the book is about.

Do you need to read it to read Civil War II? No. Do you need to read Civil War Ii to read it? No. But I think if you understand both, there’s a nice complement. I think that’s the balance you should have. Don’t make anyone read anything else that they wouldn’t normally read, but complement each other if you can.

GP: That makes sense. You’re doing The Archies one-shot with Alex Segura and Joe Eisma. How are you bringing the world’s first “cartoon band” into 2017?

MR: Archie is sort of having a renaissance now and modernizing. The Archies and the Archie universe is really classic Americana. I grew up in New York City, and Archie didn’t feel like my childhood, it felt like Happy Days. That idealized sort of thing.

That evolves and changes, and what Americana is in the greater pop culture sense  is updated and changing. Hopefully, it’s more inclusive to people who aren’t white suburban kids. It’s nice to watch that. The Archies is about kids in a band, and it’s not perfectly idyllic. They struggle to put it together, and there’s conflict. It’s about Archie’s aspirations to make something of his talent. I think that’s something people can identify with.

You don’t want to make something that’s so current that it’s alien to classic Archie fans. But you don’t want to pick it up and feel like it’s anachronistic. A lot of it is the language and the visuals, and the way people interact. Not so much that they’re on Twitter.

GP: The main Archie does love using hashtags as plot points.

MR: But it doesn’t rely on those hashtags. The main book doesn’t, and we don’t. We want it to feel like a modern and to give it to people who haven’t read Archie in years to jump right in.

GP: I have one last question about the We Can Never Go Home sequel. What can fans of the original miniseries expect from the sequel, and because you had those playlists in the back of We Can Never Go Home, what music are you listening to while scripting the new series?

MR: A lot of people when they were done reading We Can Never Go Home thought it was truncated and cut short. That’s definitely not true. We didn’t want do more; that was the story we wanted to tell from day one. Josh [Hood], Patrick [Kindlon], Tyler [Boss], Jim [Campbell], and I wanted to do a book that was essentially about growing up.

There’s no finality to growing up. I feel like it’s an ongoing process. It can be a frustrating and heartbreaking one. An important thing for me going back to those characters’ world is not to end it or say what we didn’t say before, but to say something different.

I don’t want to talk about it too much, but the sequel is going to focus on some different characters. Madison and Duncan will be in it, but it’s a journey from a different perspective that relates to them. It takes place a year later in 1990.

As far as the music, I haven’t started working on [a playlist]. I’m a little nervous about it. I put a lot of my favorites in the first volume so there are gonna be some deeper cuts in this one. It’s all punk rock stuff from 1976, 1977 to 1990. We have some new characters so I’m hoping to throw in some different genres. I hope people are into it.

It’s coming out either the end of this year, or the beginning of next year. We want to make sure there are no delays, and that it’s the best book it can be. We don’t wanted it to be rushed. Josh is such a brilliant artist, and I want him to have time to do his absolute best. People are impatient, but we hope the book pays off in the end.

Matt Rosenberg is currently writing Kingpin for Marvel Comics and 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank for Black Mask Studios. He is also writing the upcoming Secret Warriors series for Marvel along with a story in Edge of VenomverseThe Archies for Archie Comics, and another volume of We Can Never Go Home for Black Mask Studios.

You can find Matt’s website here, and his Twitter here.

Review: Kingpin #3

Matthew Rosenberg is forging forward with his mission to humanize one of Marvel’s most notorious gangsters and he’s doing one hell of a job. Kingpin #3 digs even further into the mystery of what made Wilson Fisk into the Kingpin. There are more than a few shades of gray that run alongside the line that Kingpin rides making him neither pure evil nor pure good. Rosenberg gives us a glimpse into the mushy parts that make Kingpin a protector of the weak and a corrector of the strong and evil.

The third issue in the current solo story line still relies heavily on Sarah doing her journalistic due diligence but, Kingpin exudes a sense of omnipresence that casts his rather large shadow in every panel whether he’s in it or not. Rosenberg shows us some of Kingpin’s oldest friends, kids from his old neighborhood and, much like the last issue we are treated to some of Kingpin’s gentle side. We also get in on the ground floor of Tombstone’s inevitable pushback against Fisk and, see him using Sarah as a pawn in his game. There are some decent and memorable cameos in this issue and they fit nicely into the story that Rosenberg is committed to telling.

Ben Torres provides some good, old fashioned comic book line art that shows the grit and the grime of the NY underworld. The detail in Torres’ work also shows us the bleak situation that Sarah is in as a divorced alcoholic mother trying to regain herself and her children. Jordan Boyd gives the issue just enough color and makes sure that his palette choices match the mood of the panels. Boyd uses dark, muted & shadowy colors when showing Sarah’s life and on any panels showing the criminal underworld but, he’s talented enough to use bright 80s style colors when we are treated to the scenes that show the sweet and sensitive side of Kingpin.

This issue gives us more pieces to the Kingpin puzzle and reads like a really good comic noir. The creative team behind this issue made sure that the story and art was consistent with the issues that preceded it and, that this issue had a sense of stand alone cohesiveness. The story as a whole is tight, well written, beautifully drawn and colored, plus it makes sure that when you’re starting to feel overly sympathetic to Kingpin, you get a nice jolt and reminder that there is a monster lurking under his surface. We still don’t know all of Kingpin’s motives but, as a reader, this issue makes sure that you’re all in to find out what happens next and, see how the story unfolds.

My only problem with this issue is the cringeworthy moment in the diner where Sarah is sitting down with Kingpin and the subject of the slap she received at her ex-husband’s hand comes up. Sarah tells Kingpin that it was her fault for pushing his buttons, Kingpin does not agree with her assessment and for now it looks as if he won’t take action against her ex. But, even though that small portion of the story is cringeworthy, it’s still real and poignant. Most abused partners truly believe that abuse in any form is their fault, Kingpin seems to acknowledge that fact and doesn’t push too hard but, he also doesn’t white knight for her making the reader feel a sense of guilt for wishing he did. But, that’s the thing with Rosenberg’s writing, the world he created seems real, visceral and often makes it hard to disconnect with the characters which makes this story less of an escape and, more of an investment. The good news is that it is an arc worthy of becoming invested in and serves as a testament to the overall package.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Ben Torres and Jordan Boyd
Story: 9.1 Art: 8.8 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Alex

Top Pick: Immortal Brothers: The Green Knight #1 (Valiant) – The Eternal Warrior has become one of my favourite characters, so this 48 page one-shot by Matt Kindt and Cary Nord that places him and his brothers in King Arthur’s court (another subject I’m very fond of) is going to rocket to the top of my pull list. I’ve been looking forward to this for months.

Old Man Logan #21 (Marvel) – Logan heads back in time to, I assume, various points in his past. I know nothing about this series beyond the front covers, but they look so incredibly exciting.

Redline #2 (Oni Press) – It’s not often I get excited about sci-fi comics… but this is one of the ones that tickles my fancy,

Voracious: Feeding Time #5 (Action Lab Entertainment/Action Lab: Danger Zone) – I make no secret of my love for this series whatsoever, and the finale to the second miniseries is going to be explosive – and awesome. My expectations are through the roof for this, but Markisan Naso and Jason Muhr have a habit of smashing those to smithereens with each issue.

 

Patrick

Top Pick: Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #2 (Dynamite Entertainment) – Last issue introduced us to Hardy Boys noir, let’s see what’s in store for Nancy.

All-Time Comics: Bullwhip #1 (Fantagraphics) – The idea of this line is so perfect and ridiculous it’s a must for me.

Spencer and Locke #1 (Action Lab Entertainment/Action Lab: Danger Zone) – Calvin & Hobbes noir. I’ll take that for at least one issue.

American Barbarian Complete Series (IDW Publishing) – !!!

 

Joe

Top Pick: Old Man Logan #21 (Marvel) – I can’t believe Lemire’s run is almost over, but this four issue arc sounds like a hell of a way to go out on top.

Seven to Eternity #5 (Image) – It’s back! The book returns after a usual image trade release break, and I’m stoked to see what Remender does.

Grass Kings #2 (BOOM! Studios) – After a promising first issue from one of my favorite writers, Matt Kindt, I am hyped for the second one.

Action Comics #977 (DC Comics) – The Superman Reborn arc was a lot of fun, and this comic has been consistently great. What’s next for Supes?

Detective Comics #954 (DC Comics) – A classic villain and Batman prepare to battle? Or will they? Tynion is killing it on this book and I’m so excited to see where this story goes, especially involving Orphan so much.

 

Shay

It’s an amazing week to be a comic book lover. It was really hard to narrow it down to the seven titles I picked.

Top Pick: Neil Gaiman’s American Gods Shadow #2 (Dark Horse) – Shadow’s life is about to get even more interesting in this graphic serial version of almost everyone favorite Gaiman book. Come for the David Mack variant covers, stay for the amazing story.

Top Pick: Black Panther and the Crew #1 (Marvel) – YES PLEASE. So many black superheroes, such a strong story, so much action. Saying I am here for the page turning story arc is an understatement.

America #1 2nd Printing (Marvel) – If you don’t already own a copy or haven’t read it yet, then you should get to it. Despite the shady AF comments about diversity killing the Marvel’s print sales, we have a comic book about a Queer Latina requiring a 2nd printing proving that representation counts, diversity is important and  America (the superhero & the country) is for all of us.

Kingpin #3 (Marvel) – The hits keep on coming, take that however you want, and, Kingpin is becoming a complex, fully realized, multi-faceted character.

Suicide Squad #15 (DC Comics) – The “Burning Down the House” storyline comes to an end. Deadshot is about to go up against his old team with Harley leading the charge. Rustam and his crew had better bring their A-game because, the Squad is in a take no prisoners, crack all skulls kind of mood.

Honorable Mention: Deadpool vs Punisher #1 (Marvel) – A battle of the morally gray psycho “heroes” is upon us. The man of all the action and little words meets the man with all the words and all the action.  Got popcorn?

Honorable Mention: Weapon X #1 (Marvel) – building on the awesomeness of Logan, the newest version of the Weapon X will keep you on your toes and worried about the safety of some of our favorite clawed mutants. You should be worried, this Weapon X upgrade isn’t just about creating superior mutants, it’s about kicking off a mutant genocide.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Weapon X #1 (Marvel) – I’m a sucker for shadowy government agencies, and Weapon X has a long standing history in Marvel of being one of the most shadiest and deadliest.  I’m excited to see what this new agency’s agenda is, and I’m looking forward to seeing Domino and Warpath back on a team line up.

X-Men Blue #1 (Marvel) – I’m hoping this title brings some of the fun from this teams first book, but also get them more into playing the heroes they will one day grow up to be.  And it’s going to be interesting to see how Magneto performs as mentor and how he will influence this team.  I’m thinking this is going to be a good one.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Spencer & Locke #1 (Action Lab Entertainment/Action Lab: Danger Zone) – It’s Calvin and Hobbes meets Sin City and it’s amazing. One of my favorite debuts so far of 2017 it’s entertaining and subversive.

Godshaper #1 (BOOM! Studios) – A super interesting concept where everyone has a god. I’ve read the first issue and it’s a unique idea and intriguing start.

Heathen #3 (Vault Comics) – Have you read the first two issues? That alone is reason this is on my list. A solid LGBT comic that is set in the world of vikings.

Solar Flare #1 (Scout Comics) – An apocalypse story where power goes out, Scout has been putting out entertaining comics that fly under the radar. They’ve nailed it when it comes to quality and solid comics. So, when there’s a new release it’s always on my list to check out.

The Unstoppable Wasp #4 (Marvel) – So far, the comic has been a lot of fun with a positive entertaining vibe that I can’t help but smile when I read it.

Preview: Kingpin #3

Kingpin #3

(W) Matthew Rosenberg (A) Ben Torres (CA) Jeff Dekal
Rated T+
In Shops: Apr 12, 2017
SRP: $3.99

BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW!

WILSON FISK. People love him. Kids look up to him. His generosity and kindness make him a model citizen. This is the spin…but DAREDEVIL doesn’t buy it. As SARAH DEWEY tries to separate fact from fiction while on assignment to pen Fisk’s biography, will an OLD ENEMY’S plan to snuff out Fisk change the narrative?

Review: Kingpin #2

Kingpin #2 is titled “Messes of Men,” luckily for the reader there’s nothing messy about this issue. Thanks to the writing talent of Matthew Rosenberg, the issue starts off with a genuine NYC scene, Sarah and Orlando hanging out on his front stoop enjoying a slice. Things move on to a fancy charity party that Fisk is throwing, Sarah makes an appearance and there’s a visit from an old criminal acquaintance of Fisk’s that turns the party on its head. For this issue Rosenberg decides to show off Fisk’s more charitable side mixed with just enough of the Kingpin to keep it interesting. You see all the good things he’s doing, but the way the story is written you know that there’s always a bit of the bad guy lurking in the cut. Rosenberg brings a bit of compassion to the character where the reader feels as if they can separate the man (Fisk) , from the monster (Kingpin). You feel like it might be one big act on his part but, you have hope that he’s turned himself around.

We also get more of a peek into Sarah’s life. We meet her kids, her brutish ex hubby, and we see her scold Fisk like a child and seemingly fire herself from the writing gig before it even starts. After a covert stalking mission Sarah and the readers are treated to see a softer side of Fisk. This issue ends with Sarah getting a surprise visit from one of Kingpin’s biggest foes. Without giving too much away, because this really is an issue you should read for yourself, I can tell you first hand that it’s more than worth a read. The writing is phenomenal, the story is insightful, and there’s some great credit to be given for someone who can give one of Marvel’s greatest villains a soul.

Ben Torres line artwork is amplified by Jordan Boyd‘s dark and ominous color job, making Kingpin #2 feel like an awesome comic noir. There’s this amazing panel where Fisk is having a talk with a man who calls him a a criminal and there’s so much detail in the close up panel. All you see is the size of Fisk’s fist, the darkness of his shadow with his sinister eyes staring down the man the back of the object of his intimidating head and shoulders. Fisk’s exaggerated fist size conveys more about what’s going on in that moment than any words could and it is brilliant!

Overall, this comic is an amazing leap into the world of Kingpin. It shows that the man he was is still alive in him and, we are treated to shades of man he was before he became Kingpin. I’m not sure where this arc is going but, I’m glad to be going along on this journey with Sarah. The material is rich, the characters are engaging and the art work is the perfect baseline for the overall mood of the comic. Boyd switches up his colors from dark and gloomy to bright and airy when showing Fisk interacting with children. He literally creates a bright spot in the sea of darkness that is Sarah and Fisk’s day to day life. Torres even seems to draw Fisk differently based upon his mood and who he’s interacting with. The slightest facial or body softness is highlighted to show the reader who they’re dealin with in the particular panel you’re reading. The only thing wrong with this issue is that we have to wait until April 12th to find out what the mysterious visitor to Sarah’s apartment wants and find out where this arc is headed next.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Ben Torres Color: Jordan Boyd
Story: 9.2 Art: 9.2 Overall: 9.2 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Review: Kingpin #2

Kingpin2CoverIs Wilson Fisk a man or a monster? Is he the crime lord Kingpin, or a philanthropist that funds a children’s hospital and gets genuinely emotional when they pass away. The answer that Matthew Rosenberg, Ben Torres, and Jordan Boyd give us is a bit of both. Kingpin #2‘s most shocking moment is Wilson beating up Tombstone and Hammerhead in a sequence that Torres makes into an old school monster mash with huge, ugly bodies whaling at each other while colorist Boyd adds distinct effects for color and blood. However, later, there’s an adorable series of panels where the huge Wilson has a couple sick kids jump on his back like he’s a human jungle gym. Kingpin is full of contradictions, but that’s what makes it one of Marvel’s more fascinating books.

Even though the book bears the name Kingpin, the down on her luck journalist and single mom Sarah Dewey is the true protagonist that we’re meant to feel for. At this point in her story, her life doesn’t revolve around Wilson Fisk, and she is still writing about and following the up and coming boxer Orlando Perez around. They’re friends too as evidenced by the friendly hug she gives Orlando when he tells her that he has a big match against a contender. Orlando also listens to Sarah when she talks about her terrible ex-husband, who slept with their babysitter and shows his real colors later on when he manipulates her busy journalist schedule to make her miss her visitation. Sarah’s life is really in a downward spiral and maybe swallowing her sense of ethics and writing what could end up being a hagiography for an old gangster, who claims to be retired, is her only way out.

WilsonThreat

The battle between is definitely raging in Kingpin #2, but with less punching and kicking and more manipulation of language. From his days of avoiding the law as Kingpin, Wilson has known his share of smooth mob lawyers, who could get him off on any charge. He puts these skills to good use deflecting questions about his criminal past from Jessica and saying that he took on the Kingpin name to protect himself personally. The influence from Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance in Daredevil can definitely be heard in Matthew Rosenberg’s writing of him. You almost believe Wilson when he says that he opened a hospital not out of guilt, but so no sick child would be a burden on their parents like Wilson was to his father. But, in the artwork, Torres draws a hulking, powerful Wilson Fisk, who could probably kill Tombstone with his bare hands if he didn’t want money for his hospital from NYC’s richest and most powerful. Except this larger scale can also be used for light, slightly ironic humor like a panel of Kingpin playing with a Spider-Man toy with one of the kids at his hospital.

Jordan Boyd’s funereal color palette (The hospital and the fundraiser for it look almost the same), Ben Torres’ unhesitating look at human pain and suffering through intimate close-ups, and Matthew Rosenberg’s pitch perfect writing of Wilson Fisk’s double talk and Sarah Dewey’s determination and vulnerability ensure that Kingpin #2 doesn’t suffer from a sophomore slump. And a final page cameo throws the moral order of this comic into even more imbalance.

Story: Matthew Rosenberg Art: Ben Torres Colors: Jordan Boyd
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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