Decisions, decisions. Should Orlando Perez take that big fight offer? Should Sarah Dewey write Wilson Fisk’s biography, at his request? Do you dare miss Kingpin #2? Is it good?
Kingpin #2 (Marvel Comics)
You know things are bad when you can barely scrape together a couple of bucks for some ‘za. And you have to wear the same, non-dry cleaned dress to see your potential employer, a meeting that actually ends up costing you visitation rights. You almost HAVE to take the job now, don’t you, Sarah?
But who are you really getting into bed with? A philanthropist socialite, or a former gangster? The “Kingpin”? Does that person even exist? And if so, to whose benefit and for what purpose? I bet this crimson leather-clad fellow has something to say on the matter.
Is It Good?
That not-so-surprising appearance is a payoff to foreshadowing in writer Matthew Rosenberg’s Kingpin #1, and you’ll get a lot more of it in this issue. We see the developing relationship between main character Sarah Dewey and boxer Orlando Perez, and another short scene with real estate guy Gavin Boyce who, as we’re reminded, is no fan of Wilson Fisk. These small bits in Kingpin #2 serve to set up future plot points, but they also bolster the current story, by further illustrating Dewey’s down-on-her-luck situation in the former case, and by giving Fisk another chance to show off his manipulation skills in the latter. There are no wasted moments here.
And no wasted words. Kingpin is still playing the long game in getting Dewey to write his biography, and the nature of that particular moniker plays a huge part. He shrugs it off as something the media invented to sell papers, but admits he’s used it to accomplish bad things — bad things that needed to be done, though, because others would see Fisk’s real humanity as weakness.
Wait, what humanity? The kind that Fisk has manipulated Dewey into seeing. The master gamesman artfully executes the tenet that if you really want someone to believe something, make them think it was their own idea. Add a little reverse psychology on top, and you might as well fire up those printing presses.
The art team of penciller Ben Torres and colorist Jordan Boyd turn in work on par with their story-suited performance from the previous issue. The lines and folds in Fisk’s face tell their own story, and the contrasting white and black silhouettes continue to emphasize the noir feel. A surprising and brutal scene of the Kingpin fending off fellow mobsters has just the right touch of muted gore.
Kingpin #2 shows writer Rosenberg’s total commitment to getting the character right, minus the strange decision from the first issue. The reader can feel Fisk’s tendrils wrapping around Dewey as she becomes further trapped and willingly forced to do the big man’s bidding. Kingpin is shaping up to be a can’t-miss series for anyone interested in character development and the ways that both good and bad people can end up in situations they don’t deserve.