Civil War II: Kingpin #1 (Marvel)


CREDIT: Marvel

Rating: 4/5 – The Kingpin Takes Advantage of the Civil War.
By Comic Spectrum senior reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

I definitely feel as though Kingpin could hold a series on his own. It could be argued that the recent Netflix Daredevil show was just as much a Kingpin story as it was a Daredevil story. There’s the dark and criminal side of the Marvel Universe that could definitely be explored much more than it is right now.

Writer Matthew Rosenberg writes two separate stories here with two separate artists. The first story titled “Shouldn’t Have Come Back” is written from the perspective of the Kingpin himself as he attempts to take advantage of the superheroes being preoccupied with the effects of Civil War to begin a rebuilding his criminal empire. This first story shows that potential mentioned above. The Kingpin is sitting at a table with other villains discussing his return before being attacked by another villain, and then being harassed by the Avengers. Fortunately for Kingpin he has a secret weapon, an Inhuman named Janus who without spoiling it, is able counter the effects of what’s been happening in the main Civil War II event.

The art by Ricardo Lopez-Ortiz is heavily stylized and at times very dramatic. Although I like it, I’m just not sure if it was a fit for a tale starring the Kingpin. Lopez-Ortiz has a sharp and very thin line that doesn’t always show the weight of a character like the Kingpin, although he does have one panel that truly stands out. The eyes he draws can be a bit large at times which gives characters a bit of a cartoony feel, which again, feels off for a character like the Kingpin and the tone Rosenberg is trying to accomplish with the story.

The second story is from the perspective of the Inhuman Janus and is actually the stronger story of the two as it provides the backstory of what happened in the first. In terms of the art, it was a dramatic difference from what came before. It’s a more traditional art style and seems like a better fit. There’s a weight to the line not found in the first story. Artist Dalibor Talajic does a great job and although I haven’t looked at the solicits for future issues, I’m hoping he returns for more!

Civil War II: Kingpin #1 gives us a taste of the criminal side of the Marvel Universe.  Although this first issue isn’t perfect, it shows potential and promise of what a series starring the Kingpin and a supporting criminal cast that includes Jigsaw, Hammerhead and more could be.  I enjoyed this issue and even though the art in the first story didn’t match the tone it wasn’t enough to turn me away from the reminder of this series, I’ll be back for #2.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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