If you’re a fan of the Netflix original series Daredevil then you can understand when I say that I can no longer read a kingpin story without the voice of Vincent D’ Onofrio ringing in my ears. He played such an amazing Wilson Fisk during his time on the TV show that he has become ingrained in my thinking. If you’ve seen the second season you’ll also recognize my giddiness when I say that in this issue it’s Punisher Vs. Kingpin. This is a replay of some classic fights that happened on the show between two amazing actors, the other being Jon Bernthal, whose turn as Frank Castle was mind-blowing.
Seeing these two characters is almost like watching a sequel to the show. It’s unexpected, brutal, and in the end no real winner is standing, just a lot of blood spilled. This violence comes as a result of a failed assassination attempt on Fisk’s life. A car bombing set up by Castle goes wrong and the Kingpin of crime somehow escapes. As Fisk rallies his forces he is ambushed by a costumed Punisher who is hidden among Wilson’s thugs.
The plot of this mini-series is now moving along at a brisk clip. The previous issues had done their work in fleshing out the characters and setting, allowing this issue and I’m guessing the subsequent issue to really ratchet up the action and violence.
The artwork is a breed all its own. There are panels that look rough and sketchy, yet this “dirty” style lends a layer of tone to the overall grim and gritty overtones of the story. When the Punisher arrives on the scene and he goes to battle with the Kingpin you can almost smell the gun powder and taste the coppery hint of blood in the air. These visuals give an extra edge to the violence that another artist would not achieve.
Final Thoughts: “Fighting issues” as I’ve come to call comics that hinge a bulk of the book on one-on-one fights, can come off like rock ‘em sock ‘em robots when done wrong. But when a creative team takes the time to install the right amount of story and stakes this type of issue can be ultimately satisfying. This book delivers and then some. The Kingpin comes off looking like the brutal beast that he really is and that should be the goal for a self-titled mini-series.
Final Grade: 4 stars
Civil War II- Kingpin #3
Story: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz and Hayden Sherman
Colors: Mat Lopes