Monday, July 18, 2016

Civil War II: Kingpin #1 Review and *SPOILERS* - Marvel Mondays

Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City

Written By: Matthew Rosenberg

You Shouldn’t Have Come Back
Art By: Richardo Lopez Ortiz, Mat Lopes

The Death and Birth of Janus Jardeesh
Art By: Dalibor Talajic, Jose Marzan Jr., Miroslav, Mrva

Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: July 6, 2016
Publisher: Marvel

*Non Spoiler and Score At The Bottom*

So, just like the last Civil War crossover event, a major question comes to mind. While all these heroes are fighting each other, what are the villain up to? Well, in the original Civil War we got the Thunderbolts storyline. This time though, the focus seems to be on Kingpin and those around him. For those of you who don’t know, Kingpin had left the city of New York to run an organization in San Francisco for a while but now he’s back in the big apple. How’s New York treating Wilson Fisk? Lets find out in Civil War II: Kingpin #1. As this issue is separated into two parts, I will be reviewing each part separately and adding their individual scores at the end.

Part 1 – You Shouldn’t Have Come Back

Our issue begins with a long speech given by Kingpin about how he and those he is speaking to are the truly extraordinary people of the world. It is because the world hates and fears the extraordinary that they are seen as villains. Jigsaw responds to him, slightly cheapening the speech that Fisk just gave. Unsurprisingly, Fisk doesn’t take to kindly to this and gives Jigsaw one hell of a beating. Fisk’s assistant Janus stops him and they are about to leave the party when someone named Bushwacker comes out, using the gun that replaced his hand and is firing away at Fisk. Fisk screams out to protect Janus and even takes several bullets for the man. Bushwacker gets overconfident though and believes he has taken down Kingpin. This is when Fisk surprises him with a blow to the face before questioning him about his motives. Specifically, Fisk wants to know if Bushwacker was trying to kill him or Janus. Bushwacker hasn’t even heard of Janus, to which Fisk smiles before snapping Bushwacker’s neck. In the aftermath of the attack, Fisk gets sown up from the injuries and is interrupted by Sam Wilson and a few other heroes. They question him about Bushwacker and despite Fisk’s teasing, they don’t have any evidence on him and thus, are unable to bring him in.

We then switch to a flashback as we see the time in which Wilson returned to New York and he meets with some of the biggest crime bosses in the city. Much like everyone else in the city, they seem to think that San Francisco has made Fisk soft and that he is no longer fit to rule the cities underground. Fisk also gets are visit from Hawkeye who spends his time trying to intimidate him and telling him that he will be keeping a very close eye one him. After Hawkeye leaves, Fisk is approached by the shop owner and is told about some kidnappings that are occurring in the area. He asks Fisk to take care of it to which Fisk agrees. He finds out that the one doing all of the kidnapping was once a former henchmen of his and they soon find him. It isn’t long before a security guard finds him as well and two shots ring out. Fisk barges in to find Janus with the injured and tied up security guard. Fisk plans on killing Janus because he detests trafficking but he wonders why no heroes have come to catch him since they are using a new precog to stop crime. He quickly figures out that, for whatever reason, the heroes can’t predict what Janus will do. So, to prove his loyalty, Kingpin tells Janus to kill the security guard. This is where this half of the issue ends.

This part of the issue is amazing. It really shows that Matthew Rosenberg knows exactly how to write Kingpin. He’s incredibly charismatic, but also a terrifying juggernaut of a man. He’s brutal but also incredibly intelligent. He may be a villain but there is still a code that he follows. The dialogue is really great, albeit a bit forced at times. The art is a little strange to me but I think that it really fits the tone of this book very well and because of that I came to really enjoy it.


Part 2 – The Death and Birth of Janus Jardeesh

 In this part of the issue we get the backstory and origin for Janus, who we met in the previous part of the book. It would seem that Janus bounced around different crime organizations when Kingpin left and one of them was Black Cat’s organization. While there he was basically a used to keep an eye on things she collected. While he did that though, he came in contact with terrigen gas and becomes an Inhuman. However, it would seem that he doesn’t have any powers. However, something starts to weigh heavily on him as he finds himself feeling sick and unable to sleep. He even turns to self-mulitation at times. He attempts to contact the Inhumans but fails to do so.

Janus continues to do henchmen work in the meantime and finds himself being in a trap after the heroes are able to predict what will happen in the future. Janus is able to escape the bust along with many others but soon the others are all found and rounded up. For whatever reason though, Janus isn’t arrested or picked up. We then seen how Janus gets involved in trafficking and then we see the scene where he attacks the security guard that was looking for him. It’s at this point that we see Wilson Fisk find him, like he did in the first part of the issue and the issue ends with Janus pulling the trigger of the gun and killing the security guard.

This part of the issue was very interesting to me. It gave a new perspective about what it meant to be on the outside. Janus was blessed with gifts but had no idea what they were or how to use them and it tore him apart inside. He even tried to get help but was ignored (ironically this was a result of his power to stay hidden, most likely). It’s definitely a story that is not told quite often and I’m very impressed by Rosenberg’s storytelling here. Ultimately, it wasn’t as good as the first part of this book but I’m still intrigued. The art in this section of the book is really nice to look at but for whatever reason doesn’t carry the same weight that the first section. The tone of the section doesn’t seem to go with it as well either.


Bits and Pieces

Ultimately, I found myself enjoying one part of this book far more than the other but still found both intriguing and very well executed. Usually a book that has two parts sees the stories fail to mesh well together. That said, this issue did not fail in that regard. It’s basically like telling two different parts of the same story and I like that. The dialogue was nice and the art was interesting.


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