Kingpin #7 Review

Reviewer: “Starman” Matt Morrison
Story Title: N/A

Written by: Bruce Jones
Penciled by: Sean Phillips
Inked by: Klaus Janson
Colored by: Lee Loughridge
Lettered by: Cory Petit
Editor: Warren Simons
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Amazing what a difference a few months can make. Originally, Kingpin was meant to be a six-issue mini-series about the early years of Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin of Crime. Sometime along the way, it was decided to turn the series into a full-length retro-series (ala Emma Frost) and to add an issue to the mini-series turned opening story arc. Now, sometime later again…the regular series is now a mini-series and is ending with this issue. And sadly, this issue looks like what it is…an editorially-mandated extension onto what was a done-deal story.

This is not to say that the issue is bad or bad reading. It just has some moments that seem to be filler and have no direct bearing upon the events at the start of the issue or indeed some of the events of the whole series. Among these are the scenes where Fisk visits his new ward (the son of an associate he has killed) and a “played” Senator making an ill-attempted assassination attempt on Fisk, with Spider-Man arriving just too late to save him…kinda.

This brings up the subject of the art, which feels competently drawn but not excellent. The film noir feel of the series feels overly inked and far too dark this time. And the visual storytelling appears to have fallen apart completely, with two police-cars showing up magically to mow down the senator as he approaches Fisk and Spider-Man sitting idly in a tree, not doing anything to stop the man with the gun and doing little but mutter that he should have moved faster. Even the cover by the usually excellent Tony Harris seems sub-par. The figure depicted looks like Lex Luthor, far too svelte to be Wilson Fisk.

Overall, I can’t say I’m sorry that this is the end of the series. While I enjoyed the early issues, things started to become too complex to follow around issue 4 and the only thing that saved me was the “Previously On Kingpin” page at the start of each issue. And while the artwork was appropriately atmospheric and made everything seem like it was taken from the streets of a De Niro flick, it was also somewhat muddied at times and it sometimes became difficult to tell characters apart.