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Kingpin #1

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Ben Torres
Publisher: Marvel

Marvel’s “Running with the Devil” event kicked off last week with the excellent Bullseye #1, and continues going strong with a new series featuring Daredevil’s greatest nemesis. By the nature of his complex character and tragic backstory, Wilson Fisk, A.K.A the Kingpin, has more than enough merit to star in his own series. He’s just one of those timeless villains who can appeal to readers from multiple generations. He’s big, intimidating and yet there’s so much more to him than his title as the Kingpin of the criminal underworld. This book does a great job of showing the different layers of his character.

What makes this series so promising is that it’s told through the lens of a struggling reporter who gets a job offer from Fisk. While she is reluctant to write stories about a man with such a murderous reputation, Sarah Dewey nonetheless finds herself curious to learn more about who he is. And while Fisk claims that his crime lord days are behind him, the issue leaves readers with questions as to whether or not his turning over a new leaf narrative is true.

It’s true that this one is much more dialogue-heavy and character-driven than the Bullseye comic, but nevertheless writer Matthew Rosenberg does a great job of making it interesting and not come across as overtly dense. By playing on Sarah’s desperation and Fisk’s apparent desire to start fresh, Rosenberg creates both an engaging narrative and some crisp dialogue. Coinciding with the script, Ben Torres’ excellent pencils and Jordan Boyd’s colors give the book a great noir aesthetic. Almost all of it takes place at night, and Torres makes use of a large number of close-ups and shadowy frames to give it a Frank Miller/Klaus Janson feel. There’s also a great splash page at the end which provides a nice cliffhanger. While we’re only two issues into this event, I’m nonetheless excited to see where it’ll go from here with the Elektra solo series and the continuation of Charles Soule’s Daredevil run. If you haven’t yet checked out “Running with the Devil,” get on over and pick up this and Bullseye #1.

-KEVIN SCHAEFER for Ultimate Comics