Sunday, February 25, 2018

Review: KINGPIN #1

KINGPIN No. 1 (2017)

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Matthew Rosenberg
ART: Ben Torres
COLORS: Jordan Boyd
LETTERS: VC's Travis Lanham
COVER: Jeff Dekal
VARIANT COVERS: Marco Checchetto; Bill Sienkiewicz; Ben Torres; Julian Totino Tedesco; Skottie Young; John Tyler Christopher
28pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (April 2017)

Rated “T+”

Kingpin created by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr.

“Born Against”

The Kingpin/Wilson Fisk is a Marvel Comics villain.  He was created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita and first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (cover date: July 1967).

The Kingpin is portrayed as one of the most (if not the most) feared and powerful crime lords in Marvel Comics and as the “kingpin” of crime in New York City.  During his run on Daredevil in the early 1980s, writer-artist Frank Miller depicted the Kingpin as a master schemer and cold-blooded murderer who stayed beyond the reach of the law.  Personally, I think Miller is the creator that defined Kingpin more than anyone else.

Kingpin is the new comic book series that chronicles the new adventures of Wilson Fisk.  It is written by Matthew Rosenberg; drawn by Ben Torres; colored by Jordan Boyd; and lettered by Travis Lanham.

Kingpin #1 (“Born Against”) introduces Sarah Dewey, a down on her luck writer, reporter, and journalist.  She has staked some of her remaining credibility on chronicling what she hopes will be the rise of a promising boxer, Orlando Perez.  She gets a break when a powerful man asks her to write his tell-all memoir – warts and all.  However, Sarah does not think she is the right person to write the story of Wilson Fisk... even if he won't take “No” for an answer.

It would be lazy of me to say that Kingpin #1 is “awful” or “terrible.”  Instead, I can simply say that it does not seem like the work of professional comic book creators, although, considering how and why comic book professionals often get assignments, I guess that isn't saying much either.  Still, this is such lazy, uninspired, unimaginative writing on the part of Matthew Rosenberg.  If he had a “Eureka!” moment before he wrote this, I am sad for him.

Now, the art is actually terrible.  Ben Torres does not have the compositional chops to draw for Marvel Comics, and yes, I know.  Marvel's standards for comic book artists have been and still are inconsistent at best.  Right now, Torres is certainly ready for semi-pro-zine work (if such a thing still exists).  I can see him drawing for small press, black and white publishers or self-published webcomics, but he ain't ready for prime time.  Oh, he is has potential, but he has not reached it.

Marvel's overall publishing program treats the North American comic book market like a flood plain in need of a flood.  With so many comic books to publish and likely budgetary constraints, the need for low-page-rate artists means artists like Ben Torres – amateurs who are technically not amateurs because a Diamond Distributors premiere publisher is willing to give them paying assignments.

Yeah... I'm not coming back to this, no.

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint or syndication rights and fees.


No comments:

Post a Comment