Comic Book Review – Kingpin #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Because I’m a large man? No, I never made donuts when I was fourteen. I sat at this table most nights and sold narcotics for a man named Pizzolo” – Wilson Fisk

Cover art by Jeff Dekal

Cover art by Jeff Dekal

The Kingpin has been a staple villain throughout my enjoyment of super heroes for my whole life. This started with him as the arch nemesis during Spiderman: The Animated Series, to the current Daredevil run on Netflix. During the modern Daredevil interpretation he’s presented as a surprisingly endearing and complex character, and seeing a new run focusing him in the comics this week I thought I’d pick it up and give it a try. This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Matthew Rosenberg
  • Penciler – Ben Torres
  • Colourist – Jordan Boyd
  • Letterer – VC’s Travis Lanham

The story is from the perspective of Sarah Dewey, a reporter who’s found herself writing boxing profiles. She’s approached by Wesley (those who have seen the Netflix Daredevil will be immediately familiar with him), and finds herself offered a unique opportunity of writing the Kingpin’s biography. The focus of the first issue is Sarah’s conflict in deciding whether or not to take Fisk up on the offer. Unsurprisingly, there are parallels between the Netflix and comic incarnations of Fisk. He’s presented as intelligent, dangerous, a little awkward but surprisingly charming.

Art by Torres & Boyd

Art by Torres & Boyd

A very dark palette is adopted for the colours throughout the issue, changing briefly when we’re first introduced to Fisk. This really emphasises his status as main character to the series, despite the story not being from his perspective. Fisk himself is drawn in a very intimidating physique, with extremities supersized, combined with a cruel smile creating a slightly monstrous appearance. Individual panels are kept clear of clutter with no detail beyond the character themselves during many of the conversations. This helps keep the focus on the character development and plot which will lead the series.

The real question is, can Torres and Boyd draw hands? In an issue like this the focus will be on gesticulation and hands in casual poses much more than clenched fists. Fisk’s stand out as they’re the same size as most character’s heads. Where possible a fair amount of personality is communicated through each character’s gestures, with their mannerisms showing through. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

As the first issue of the series, it takes its time to set up the characters. If you’re hoping for an action packed explosive series it’s unlikely this will be for you. If you’re hoping for an exploration of a classic character, getting into detailed plots of corruption and drama then this absolutely will be for you.

Score: 8.9 Apple Juices out of 10


Comic Review – God Hates Astronauts #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I picked up God Hates Astronauts #1, the first of a five issue mini-series. It was written and drawn by Ryan Browne, with colours by Jordan Boyd and letters by Chris Crank and Ryan Browne, published by Image Comics.

Where to start? God Hates Astronauts involves astro-farmers, who are in love with chickens-turned- Frankenstein’s monster-style creations, trying to find their way to the ‘Golden Moon Heaven’ using shoddily built rockets. NASA doesn’t want them doing any of that, so they send star bears and the Power Persons Five, headed up by Star Grass (a cosmic ghost warrior created by the merging of the headless body of the hero Star Fighter, and a ghost cow head called Blue Grass) to put a stop to them. There are also crab people in a different galaxy, who are angered by one of the astro-farmers’ rockets crashing into and destroying one of their ships. They are ruled by Tigers. Eating cheeseburgers.

If any of that doesn’t sound great to you, I don’t know, maybe you just hate fun or something. It is actually a continuation of a previous series by Browne, which I haven’t read (I will after having read this, you can buy the whole thing in trade paperback or read it on the GHA website), but the back story is summed up in two pages by ‘3-D Cowboy’ pretty succinctly. I can’t really adequately describe this comic, but god damn I enjoyed it. It was the funniest thing I have read in a long while, the story made just about as much sense as it needed to, the dialogue was laden with unnecessary profanity and the all the characters are totally ridiculous. The art was a lot of fun too, with heavy line work and really nice and vibrant colours making The Impossible’s insane powers look particularly good. I loved the brilliant sound effects too, like ‘MARITAL STRIFE!’, ‘SPACE COLLISION!’ and ABOUT TO CLICK!’.

Fantastic stuff. Buy it. Now.

Score: 9.5 Tigers Eating Cheeseburgers out of 10