REVIEW: Civil War II: Kingpin #1 – Blindspot

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Civil War II: Kingpin #1

Written By: Matthew Rosenberg

Pencils By: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, &  Dalibor Talajic

Inks By: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, & Jose Marzan Jr.

Colors By: Mat Lopez, & Miroslav Mrva

Letters By: Travis Lanham

Release Date: 07/06/16

Rating: Rated T+

Price: $4.99

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The Marvel Universe stands on the precipice of another Civil War. When a new Inhuman emerges with the power to predict the future like never before sides are chosen once again. After Captain Marvel uses Ulysses prediction to stop an attack by Thanos leaves War Machine dead and She-Hulk in critical condition Iron Man takes against the Inhumans and all who stand with Captain Marvel. Now Kingpin is armed with his own Inhuman who is able to stay off of the heroes radar that allows the Kingpin to operate in a world without crime!

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Plot

The underworld is laying low with the recent appearance of the Inhuman Ulysses who can predict the future allowing the heroes to stop the villains before they can commit the crime. But business is building for the Kingpin who has returned to New York city to reclaim his turf. When the Kingpin finds out that one of his former associates is an Inhuman with the ability to be invisible to the heroes he uses it to his advantage in his campaign to regain the title of Kingpin of New York.

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Story

When this tie-in was first announced I was interested in checking it out as I have always thought the Kingpin was an interesting character. He was always essentially the Lex Luthor of the Marvel Universe, he was the one guy who ran a legit business by doing illegal crimes and making sure no one can touch him. I love that audacity and ingenuity in a character to not only go about doing it but actually carrying it out.

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But what I got here was more like what I got in the Daredevil show, a watered down Kingpin. He has actually been like that for a while in the Marvel Universe for me. I haven’t really felt that true power of the Kingpin that draws me to him in a long time. I get that they have to rebuild him, but even with the monopoly of getting away with things he is still at the bottom. He should have quickly built his empire with this advantage and the fact that the rest of the underworld are scared of the Predictive Justice.

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My issues with the Kingpin aside, the story didn’t mesh well, but this is not the writer’s fault but more editorial as you can see the inconsistencies throughout the various tie-ins. Ulysses: Is he a secret weapon?Is he known by other heroes? Is he known by the villains? Is he known by the general public? All of those answers fluctuates between which issue or tie-in you are reading. I have a problem with this because I am a big continuity person, I do read every Marvel title out there and when these things happen it weakens the shared universe for me especially with a huge event like Civil War II. This is some basic stuff the Marvel editorial staff should have laid out. “Here is the premise of the event. Here is the knowledge that people have about Ulysses.”

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Now the problem I have with this issue in itself is the Inhuman that Fisk uses. Fisk employes an Inhuman who basically possesses the power to remain off their radar. That is a very particular and convenient power, but fits in with what the show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. told us about the Inhumans finding a balance and every power is for a reason. But for this issue alone I don’t get how the Kingpin stays off the radar by extension? If Kingpin thinks up this big elaborate crime and sets out to commit it, Ulysses should be able to have a vision of it. Even Fisk’s plans to regain the title of Kingpin, that is something major that Ulysses should in fact pick up but because Fisk is near Janus Jardeesh he is immune by extension? I think it is a very weak plot device. Plus the low level crimes that Ulysses seems to have been doing and the frequency of them just doesn’t jive with the rest of the event.

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Art

The art here was the weakest point in this issue. The cover alone is very misleading. You think it will be this big power move issue where Fisk climbs over all of the other major players in New York to reclaim his spot but instead is seen sucking up and bargaining with whoever will meet up with him.

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Then you have characters looking nothing like themselves, from The Owl, to Madame Mask, two very distinct looking characters in the Marvel Universe are reduced to vague reflections of themselves. The Owl who is usually very recognizable for his appearance could easily have been any number of people who go to the same barber as Wolverine. The same for Madame Masque who has such easily recognizable characteristics like her mask that she should be spotted easily but instead is reduced to any circa 1950’s-1960’s woman with a hat and veil.

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The art overall has this unfinished look to it, with unnecessary lines everywhere, but I think the worst part of it was the atrocity that was Spectrum. Monica Rambeau has always been this beautiful woman who is all woman, but here man, she could have been Brother Voodoo in a genderbent cosplay of Spectrum.

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Verdict

Overall the plot was weak and the art was weaker. I don’t think this tie-in was needed at all, especially not for the cover price.

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