Tag Archives: kingpin

Diamond Select Toys in Stores Now: Indiana Jones, Marvel, Muppets and Star Wars!

This week, there are a variety of new items available from Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant LTD, from such licenses as Indiana Jones, Marvel, Muppets and Star Wars! With action figures, Jumbo figures, Gallery Dioramas and statues, there’s something for every type of collector, so read on!

Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones Jumbo 12″ Figure

A Gentle Giant LTD release! He’s a blast from the past! This all-new figure of Indiana Jones is based on his 1982 Kenner appearance, but at a whopping 12-inch scale! With pouch and pistol, this fully accurate reproduction features 7 points of articulation, and comes packaged on a retro-style resealable blistercard with a vintage-style cardback. SRP: $80.00

Marvel Animated Style Blade Statue

A Gentle Giant LTD release! Bloodsuckers beware! The daywalking half-vampire once called Eric Brooks, now called Blade, is the newest animated-style statue from Gentle Giant LTD! Based on the Marvel cover artwork of Skottie Young, this statue of Blade lunging forward with sword in hand measures approximately 3.5 inches tall. It is limited to only 3,000 pieces and comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Sculpted by Casen Barnard! SRP: $59.99

Marvel Animated Style Moon Knight Statue

A Gentle Giant LTD release! The Fist of Khonshu has never been cuter! Marc Spector, the Moon Knight, is ready for action in this 3 ¼” tall statue, inspired by the “Young Marvel” cover artwork of Skottie Young. Limited to only 3000 pieces, it comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. Sculpted by Casen Barnard! (SRP: $60.00)

Marvel Gallery Comic Doctor Doom PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s Victor Von Doom vs. prehistory in the newest Marvel Comic Gallery Diorama! The Fantastic Four foe stands on top of a pile of dinosaur skulls, his fists glowing as if preparing to take on even more giant reptiles. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, it features detailed sculpting and paint applications and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Formerly a Wal-Mart exclusive. Designed by Caesar, sculpted by Alterton! SRP: $59.99

Marvel TV Gallery Hawkeye Kingpin PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Kingpin has arrived! This 10-inch Gallery Diorama of Vincent D’Onofrio as TV’s Kingpin is based on his appearance in the Hawkeye TV series. Wearing his white suit, black shirt and carrying his diamond-headed cane, The Kingpin stands amidst the wreckage of his fight with Kate Bishop. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, this sculpture is made out of high-quality PVC and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella! SRP: $59.99

Muppets Deluxe Action Figures Backstage Box Set

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s time to get things started again! Looking to fill gaps in your Muppets collection, or just give them a place to hang out between shows? Then you need the Muppets Action Figures Backstage Box Set! Made to look like the backstage area of the Muppet Theater, this box set of action figures includes Kermit, Fozzie (with hat), Gonzo, Scooter, Mahna Mahna and Bean Bunny! Each action figure features multiple points of articulation. Packaged in a full-color window box. SRP: $90.00

Star Wars: A New Hope Sandtrooper 12” Jumbo Figure

A Gentle Giant LTD release! This is the Jumbo figure you’re looking for! Standing 12 inches tall, this Jumbo scale replica of a vintage Star Wars figure depicts a never-made vintage Sandtrooper, complete with orange shoulder pauldron and an Imperial blaster! Featuring five points of articulation, this figure comes packaged on a full-color, vintage-style blister card, sealed inside a clamshell case for its protection. SRP: $80.00

Diamond Select Toys coming this Winter: Cobra Kai, D&D, Game of Thrones and More!

It’s almost May, which means it’s almost time for the new Previews catalog to arrive, chock-full of new items from Diamond Select Toys and Gentle Giant LTD! This month, it features their first-ever product based on Game of Thrones, as well as items from Cobra Kai, Dungeons & Dragons, Green Hornet, Marvel, Star Wars and The Mandalorian! It’s the best of all worlds!

Cobra Kai Resin Bobble Heads

A Diamond Select Toys release! Say yes to Cobra Kai! Get the valued opinions of senseis Daniel La Russo and John Kreese with these nodding, spring-loaded bobble heads! With oversized heads on springs, these approximately 7-inch figures feature detailed sculpting and paint application, and are made out of high-quality resin. Each comes packaged in a full-color window box. Sculpted by Rocco Tartamella! SRP: $29.99/each

Dungeons & Dragons Animated Gallery Venger PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! One of the great animated villains is now the first Gallery Diorama based on Dungeons & Dragons! Venger, he of the one horn, is now a 10-inch Gallery Diorama from DST, based on his appearance in the 1980s D&D animated series. Made from high-quality PVC, this sculpture comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue, sculpted by Alejandro Pereira Ezcurra! SRP: $75.00

Game of Thrones Gallery Jon Snow PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! It’s an all-new product line from Diamond Select Toys, based on the hit HBO series Game Of Thrones! In this inaugural sculpture, Jon Snow crouches, sword at the ready, as his injured direwolf Ghost looks on. Both are in their Season 8 appearances, and this piece measures 10 inches to the tip of Jon’s sword. It comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, sculpted by Ed Trujillo. SRP: $75.00

Green Hornet Valet Kato Deluxe Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! Justice is served! Outfitted in his white valet jacket, Kato is no less deadly an opponent, as depicted in this approximately 7-inch, 1/10 scale action figure. Featuring over 16 points of articulation as well as multiple weapons and interchangeable parts, this Kato figure features the likeness of actor Bruce Lee and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Yuri Timg, sculpted by Chris Dahlberg! SRP: $29.99

Marvel Animated Style Sue Storm Statue

A Gentle Giant LTD release! Now you see her, now you don’t! Sue Storm, the Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman, shifts from visible to invisible in this all-new animated-style statue, based on the Marvel cover artwork of Skottie Young. Featuring art-accurate paint applications and clear resin to simulate her powers, this statue stands approximately 4 inches tall and comes packaged in a full-color box with a numbered certificate of authenticity. Limited to 3000 pieces. Sculpted by Casen Barnard! SRP: $59.99

Marvel Select Classic Captain America Collector’s Action Figure

A Diamond Select Toys release! Atten-shun! Diamond Select Toys is making Captain America great with a great new action figure of the First Avenger! Based on classic Captain America artwork of the 1980s and 1990s, this 1/10 scale, approximately 7-inch-tall action figure features 16 points of articulation as well as multiple interchangeable parts and accessories, including heads, hands, shields and more! This figure comes in display-ready Select packaging, with side-panel artwork for shelf reference. Designed by Eamon O’Donoghue and sculpted by Chris Dahlberg! SRP: $29.99

Marvel TV Gallery Hawkeye Kingpin PVC Diorama

A Diamond Select Toys release! The Kingpin has arrived! This 10-inch Gallery Diorama of Vincent D’Onofrio as TV’s Kingpin is based on his appearance in the Hawkeye TV series. Wearing his white suit, black shirt and carrying his diamond-headed cane, The Kingpin stands amidst the wreckage of his fight with Kate Bishop. Measuring approximately 10 inches tall, this sculpture is made out of high-quality PVC and comes packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Nelson X. Asencio, sculpted by Rocco Tartamella! SRP: $59.99

Star Wars A New Hope Luke in Stormtrooper Disguise Milestones 1/6 Scale Statue PX

A Gentle Giant LTD release! Shut down all the trash compactors on the detention level! Luke may be a little short for a stormtrooper, but he’s just the right size for the Star Wars Milestones collection. At approximately 12 inches tall, this statue of Luke in his stolen Stormtrooper armor will fit right in with your other 1/6 scale collectibles. It includes interchangeable helmeted and unhelmeted heads, plus interchangeable arms, is limited to only 1000 pieces and comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. SRP: $250.00

Star Wars Attack of the Clones Jango Fett Legends in 3D 1/2 Scale Bust

A Gentle Giant LTD release! Jango Fett was a legend on Kamino, and now he’s a Legend in 3D! The helmet that launched a thousand starships, Jango Fett was the genetic basis for the entire clone army, as well as the great Boba Fett, making him an integral part of the Star Wars saga. Pay tribute to the OG Mandalorian with this 10-inch, ½ scale resin bust. It is limited to only 1000 pieces and comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. SRP: $200.00

Star Wars The Mandalorian Din Djarin on Speeder Bike Premier Collection 1/7 Scale Statue

A Gentle Giant LTD release! This is the big one! At 9 inches tall and over a foot long, this 1/7 scale statue of Din Djarin astride a speeder bike is the crown jewel in any Mandalorian statue collection. With Grogu hanging out of a pouch on the back of the bike, and one of Din’s feet touching the ground to pivot his attack, this statue is limited to only 1000 pieces and comes packaged with a numbered certificate of authenticity in a full-color box. SRP: $400.00

Entertainment Earth Gets an Exclusive Marvel Legends Kingpin

Kingpin is getting a new Marvel Legends figure sporting the classic Spider-Man toys card.

The Entertainment Earth exclusive Marvel Legends Series 6-Inch Kingpin Action Figure is lavishly detailed in a comic-inspired design. Fisk in his infamous suit is highly articulated and stands above your 6-inch tall figure collection.

The figure can be pre-ordered now for $29.99 and is expected to be released in August 2020.

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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.


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.



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.



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.



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

• 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.


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?



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?



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

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