Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: David Aja
Inker: Stefano Gaudiano
Colorist: Jose Villarrubia
Story - Return of the King: Prologue - On the Costa Da Morte
I have to admit that after War of Kings and Blackest Night events "Return of the King" was the story I have been looking forward to the most this year. Ever since the beginning of Dark Reign I have felt that if it started a few years ago it would have been Kingpin in the place of Norman Osborn as the Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. While Norman was mostly a threat to Spider-Man, until recently, Kingpin has always been one of the biggest villains in the Marvel Universe that posed a threat to every hero not just to one.
Between this issue and War of Kings #1 I don't know which comic was the book of the week for me. Both were excellent reads. But if I had to pick one Daredevil #116 would be my choice. Ed Brubaker did a great with this prologue issue that focused completely on Kingpin and the new life he built for himself with the family that let him in.
For all the irredeemable qualities Kingpin has at his core he is a family man who has always looked for a happy life with a wife and kids. But just like Matt the thing that has keep Kingpin from having that happy ending life he seeks is the line of work he had chosen for himself as the Kingpin of Crime. I actually felt a bit happy for Kingpin as he found a family that was able to accept him and calm the wild beast inside of him which is what made the final scene even more sad as he lost the family he always wanted to his past at the Hands revenge.
My favorite aspect of this issue was how Brubaker used this issue to show that even though Matt and Kingpin have been enemies for a long time, having tortured one another throughout their history, that they are mirror images of one another. As I mentioned earlier, just like Matt the thing keeping Kingpin from being happy is the line of work he chose to be in in his past. For both characters their worst enemy are themselves. No matter how hard each one of them tries to not get in their own way they find a way, whether it is consciously or unconsciously, to do something that cause them to never be happy for to long. And with the awesome cover of Daredevil and Kingpin shaking hands in the next issue it will be interesting to see what happens if both former enemies team up to take down a similar enemy.
Though Michael Lark has the right type of art style for this books dark and street-level feel I loved David Aja's artowork in this issue. His artwork did a great job conveying the new life Kingpin built for himself and the utter sadness he felt once that life is taken away from him. My favorite part of the whole issue from Aja's artwork was the single page that had a silhouette of Kingpin's face as we see it filled with images of Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Bullseye. That was just a great image that helps to illustrate how tired of his previous life Kingpin is.
Story: 9.5/10 - Brubaker did a perfect job showing us what happened to Kingpin as he has moved on to a new life that is quickly taken away from him in front of his eyes.
Art: 8.6/10 - Aja does a wonderful job packing this issue with tons of emotion especially as Kingpin see his new family dead when he gets home.
Overall: 9.1/10 - For anyone that has been upset over how Kingpin has been portrayed these past few storylines you will want to read this issue. And if you have either dropped this title in the past or are looking to get into Daredevil this is a great issue to come back to or jumping on point.
Monday, March 9, 2009