Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Penciller: Miguel Sepulveda
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: 5/10/17
Kingpin has been gaining steam for the past several issues. You knew with Daredevil’s appearance in the last issue that things were going to start happening, and that’s exactly what happened. The series took its time to get there, but it delivered with a bang when it finally arrived. As you would imagine, Kingpin is who he is (shocker, right?), but how will that play out with Sarah Dewey seemingly skyrocketing to the top? People don’t generally bite the hand that feeds them.
That’s really at the crux of Kingpin. Writer Matthew Rosenberg imagines a scenario that any average person can understand. What would you do if your crappy life suddenly turned around the second you began working with a known crime lord? Would you stop? Would you press on? After all, the story Kingpin, excuse me, Wilson is asking to be told is one of the unvarnished truth. The story within him could make or break a career. All you have to do is show up and continue to watch weird things happen right in front of your eyes.
Plot: Kingpin and Sarah Dewey find themselves attacked by men with guns, working for Tombstone, and on a mission to kill Fisk. As villains in comics tend to do, they babbled long enough for Kingpin to kill them. When Dewey goes to find the event in the paper, there’s no mention of it. Instead, everything in Dewey’s life starts turning up roses, including her child custody hearing where he husband, previously seeking full custody, suddenly decides he only wants half and he has no objection to paying alimony. Sarah is also given all the information needed to take down a cruel man, but it turns out to be an asset of one of the Kingpin’s rivals and he’s none too pleased over Ms. Dewey. As he is about to put the period at the end of Dewey’s life story, men with assault rifles show up and save Dewey’s life, citing that she is one of them.
Story: This story is so well written. As stated in the opener, it’s a situation that most people could understand. What happens when a criminal gets their mitts into the common man? How complicit are we in our own demise. Dewey knows this is a hit, but she publishes the story anyhow as it will advance her career. She even commented that it felt off, but that didn’t stop her from submitting her draft to the editor in time for deadline. There is a point where Sarah Dewey is the very criminal she didn’t want to write about.
It’s an interesting time in this story. At this point, Dewey knows she is in deep. She would have to be the stupidest person on the planet to not realize how deep she’s in it and as a fellow journalist, I can promise you that Ms. Dewey knows exactly what’s at stake with a story like this. Maybe that’s what speaks to me. There’s an element of these stories that deserve print, but what’s the overall cost of hitting the print button? Ms. Dewey is going to find out sooner rather than later. I suspect we’ll get some answers next issue.
Art: Miguel Sepulveda’s artistic style has won me over. At first, I found the artistic stylings of Kingpin to be a little off for my tastes, but Miguel Sepulveda does an outstanding job of balancing what Ben Torres was going for with a little bit of reality. No mention of why Torres was removed from the art team, but Sepulveda is a welcome addition if this first offering is anything to go off of vis-a-vis his work. It’s a shame Torres didn’t get to see out his vision. Rosenberg was really excited about him, but this does happen, so let’s just hope it was for a better reason than the recently dismissed X-Men artist.
How Sepulveda handles the work from here on out is up to him, but I liked the touches of reality and the narration element. I think the narration element is going to end up being one of the most powerful tools they have in story development and maybe it’s a credit to Rosenberg and Sepulveda for introducing the idea. I’m willing to bet we will see Dewey’s internal struggled played out via the narration element and it should be a good one. I will be curious to see if we get a peek behind the diabolical mind of Kingpin, turn about is only fair play.
Verdict: Kingpin had one of its strongest offerings yet with this issue. For the first time since I’ve picked up the series, I cannot wait for the next issue. I really thing Rosenberg and Sepulveda have a good thing going here, I think the comic has taken a turn for the better. Ultimately, time will tell if this was a one off or if this is the new direction in which Marvel is taking the book. I’m here for the latter, I’m out if it’s the former. As for this issue, it’s a must-read if you’re reading the series. — JW
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars