Charles Soule on Matt's new job for New York's new mayor.

With Wilson Fisk as the new mayor of New York, Matt Murdock finds himself between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, there’s a warrant out for Daredevil’s arrest. On the other hand, he just got an offer from Fisk to become the mayor’s personal lawyer. And here’s the craziest part: He accepted the job!

Is Matt trying to advance his law career or is he playing a two-faced game like the crooked mayor he just agreed to serve? We’ll learn more about it in DAREDEVIL #597 by Charles Soule and Stefano Landini on January 10, 2018. In the meantime, caught up with Charles to get a better grip of what Manhattan looks like under the control of Kingpin. Can you give us a quick rundown of the dynamic between Murdock and Fisk as lawyer and mayor?

Charles Soule: I’m trying to set things up in this story as closely as I can to the way things actually work in City Hall. The truth is, there aren’t a ton of checks on the power of the mayor in New York. More or less, if the mayor wants the city to shift in a certain direction, or has policies he or she wants implemented, then the city’s various departments and agencies tend to go that way. So, Fisk has all the power, and Matt Murdock has very little – at least in a political sense. However, he’s got his mind, and of course he’s got all the abilities of Daredevil… so he’s still got a fighting chance. Where can we expect this situation to go? Is Matt going to tolerate Fisk’s control of the city for much longer?

Charles Soule: Well, that would be telling. Let’s put it this way – from the moment Matt heard that Fisk had been elected mayor, he was convinced that Fisk was putting something sinister into motion, and he was resolved to stop it any way he could. He could approach it any number of ways – but he knows the one thing he probably can’t do is just go in fists-first. You can’t just beat up the Mayor and hope to achieve anything, even if it is Wilson Fisk.

DAREDEVIL #597 Is there anyone else out in Manhattan who might be a useful ally in destabilizing the Fisk regime?

Charles Soule: Well, sure. Fisk didn’t win in a landslide. He won by like a percentage point – it was super close. So, that means about half the city didn’t want him in office. Beyond that, there are all the superheroes who run around Manhattan – street-level folks like Spider-Man, Moon Knight, Echo and of course, Matt’s buddies in the Defenders. The problem is that one of the first things Wilson did when he took office was to start building up evidence against New York’s vigilantes, in a move toward making them actual criminals. He’s already got a warrant out for Daredevil’s arrest, which makes things pretty tough too. The city’s changing quickly, no doubt about it. What do you think Mayor Fisk has done that greatly benefits the city?

Charles Soule: Well, it’s early days yet. In Marvel Universe time, he’s been in office for maybe like a week. He has plans, but the first thing he needs to do is start convincing people that they should listen to him and trust him – even with all the power of the mayor’s office, tons of people still think of Wilson Fisk as the Kingpin of Crime. If he wants to change the city for the better – and believe it or not, he thinks he does – the first thing he’ll need to do is get more of its citizens on his side. In Part 3 of the story, Matt has the chance to serve at the mercy of the mayor. What kind of internal struggle is he going through?

Charles Soule: That’s a lot of the story of Part 3, actually [in DAREDEVIL #597]. At the end of the previous chapter, Wilson Fisk came to Matt Murdock with an offer to actually leave the DA’s office and help him in his work as mayor. Matt accepted – which is completely crazy. It’s throwing himself into the lion’s den. Doing high-wire work without a net. But that’s Daredevil, right? No fear.

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Mayor of New York City Wilson Fisk addresses his people!

The following transcript covers a recent speech by Wilson Fisk, Mayor of New York City

I want to begin by confirming that reports that I’m sure many of you have heard today. I was, in fact, attacked by the vigilante Daredevil last night while doing some late night work in my office. My security team was able to arrive before the so-called “crime fighter” could do much more than threaten me, and he ran away. I am glad to report to you today that I am fine.


No. No that’s not accurate. I am not fine. And I will not pretend to be—because I do not want you to have to pretend either. You, the scores of New Yorkers who have been threatened, assaulted, and otherwise victimized every day by these costumed bullies, self-deputized and self-righteous, inflated by their own twisted sense of self regard.

That is why I call upon the City Council to take on the issue of these arrogant lawless thugs who have decided that they somehow know how to enforce the law better than the best-trained police force in the world; than the most passionate and competent set of District Attorneys in any city. The time is now to say, “No more!” The time is now to say we do not accept protection rackets dressed up as super heroics. The time is now to say vigilantism must be driven from this city so that we all may truly be safe once more.

And know this: My opponents will try to twist my words. They will try to tell you that I am against selflessness, against true heroes. But the scourge I speak of is not the Avengers who protect us from terrorists, alien invasions, and time-traveling tin pot dictators. I stand with true heroes like The Falcon, like Ms. Marvel, like the true Captain America who has returned to us. I stand with them and say, “We will not allow these false heroes, these pretenders, to sully your good name any longer. We, in the greatest city on Earth, recognize true heroism, and we will no longer allow those who do not represent sacrifice, honor, and justice to slip in under your shadows. We will not let them use your good names to enact their petty grudges.”

No, the violent costumed menaces I speak of are the likes of The Punisher—little more than a maniac with an arsenal to rival the armory of a small country on our city streets. I speak of the likes of Moon Knight—a religious zealot who perverts the rule of law and soaks his costume in the blood of our fellow citizens. I speak of Spider-Man—who has the nerve to make jokes as he destroys property and endangers innocent people in broad daylight through reckless behavior. And yes, I speak of Daredevil. Erratic. Unreasonable. Sadistic. The kind of man who would proudly call himself a devil and delight in spreading fear into a neighborhood he insists he “owns.”

As your mayor, I confess, I too have been guilty of being complacent, of looking the other way, of mumbling, “well, they do some good.” But I will do that no longer. No one should have to live their lives in fear of the bullet, the blade, the billy club. No one should have a person in a Halloween costume decide they are a criminal. No one should have their very rights trampled by men and women who decided their desire to harm takes precedence over the very laws of this great city, this great state, this great nation.

So City Council, I reiterate. The time is now. Let us be inspired by the acts of true heroes and use our skills and our tools, all legal and provided by the people themselves, to cease this covert costumed reign of terror.

I thank all of you here today. I thank all of you who consider themselves New Yorkers. And most of all I thank the real heroes—the NYPD, the FDNY, the Avengers, the Office of the District Attorney, and the elected officials of New York City. We must unite now to ensure a brighter safer future for us all.

Good night, and bless you all.

Fisk’s campaign continues in the pages of DAREDEVIL!

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Charles Soule addresses Kingpin’s campaign for Mayor of New York City!

Talk about your eye-opening moments: Wilson Fisk—the infamous Kingpin—wins the office of Mayor of New York City and Daredevil’s powerless from stopping his old enemy from running roughshod over the town he loves…right? We checked in with writer Charles Soule to see if good things truly can happen to bad people in DAREDEVIL #595—coming November 8—or if Mayor Fisk has to be blind not to see what problems the Man Without Fear can cause him. So, Charles, can you fight City Hall in the Marvel Universe?

Charles Soule: If anyone might have a chance, it’s Daredevil, aka New York District Attorney Matt Murdock. After all, he’s armed with more than just his incredible fighting skills and enhanced senses—he has what might be the strongest power of all: a thorough understanding of the legal system. That’s not to say it’ll be easy, of course—the Mayor’s office is incredibly powerful in New York City, with city agencies at its beck and call—including, of course, the NYPD. Should be a hell of a fight. To say the least! But where’s Matt’s head at as he goes into this storyline? What’s he dealing with that might complicate his approach to the Fisk administration?

Charles Soule: Matt feels, to a degree, like his city has gone insane. Either that, or much more likely, Kingpin pulled one of his trademark shenanigans and rigged the system somehow. In either case, the place he’s sworn to protect has turned against him in some ways, and he’s having a hard time understanding or dealing with it. Plus, of course, Wilson Fisk knows that the costumed heroes are a huge threat to his plans, and he’ll take immediate steps to shut them down. Should be amazing.

Beyond that, we’ll have the return of a new character I introduced back in DAREDEVIL#11,  Muse, the serial killer artist who made Murdock’s life—and that of his apprentice Sam Chung, aka the young hero Blindspot—extremely complicated a little while back. Muse alone is almost impossible to handle, and when you add the Kingpin on top of it…it’ll be something. What exactly is Fisk’s single greatest qualification for being mayor of a major metropolitan city?

Charles Soule: As he tells the city in his campaign: he loves New York as much as anyone can, and he has a clear vision for improving it. Now, the question is whether the Kingpin’s city is the city New Yorkers would want. We know it’s definitely not what Daredevil wants. So, you’re sort of saying if he weren’t a criminal, Fisk might in reality become a good mayor?

Charles Soule: That’s something we’ll definitely be exploring. Just because The Kingpin is a crime lord doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to run a city. In fact, it might be exactly the opposite. It’ll be fun to explore. What are Matt’s greatest risks in opposing Fisk right now? Does he care what anyone in the city actually thinks of him?

Charles Soule: The biggest issue, really, is that to fight Fisk, Daredevil will have to fight the city itself, a place he loves and thought he understood. Not anymore. It’s very complicated for him morally and logistically, and he’ll have to figure out how he fits into this new puzzle. Things he took for granted, like the cops turning a blind eye—heh—to his activities, might not be so easily assumed anymore. What will New York’s criminal element do with this new status quo, in general?

Charles Soule: I’d say they’re pretty excited. One of their own has ascended to the big chair, you know? New York City’s their playground. Lastly, how its feel for you to go back to the original numbering with this issue?

Charles Soule: It’s always felt amazing to be part of the incredible Daredevil legacy, and returning to the original numbering with DAREDEVIL #595 cements that for me even more. Not only that, but I get to write DAREDEVIL #600! That will be an incredible issue; the culmination of the “Mayor Fisk story, with twists and turns I’ve been building to forever. I’m very excited for everyone to see where this is all going.

Hop on the campaign trail with Charles Soule and artist Stefano Landini with DAREDEVIL #595, arriving November 8!

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Artist Stefando Landini helps inaugurate Kingpin for Marvel Legacy!

Marvel Legacy promises to get hallmark characters back to their roots. For Matt Murdock that means a familiar red costume drawn by new DAREDEVIL artist Stefano Landini and a plot by The Kingpin to become mayor of New York City developed by series writer Charles Soule, all kicking off with issue #595 on November 8.

The Man Without Fear races around the Big Apple trying to figure out the best way to discredit the man he knows to be a scheming murderer, even as the public can’t seem to get enough of Wilson Fisk after all the good he did during Secret Empire. Even worse? DD’s wanted by the law!

We talked with Landini about working with Soule, keeping Daredevil’s look classic, and his particular inspirations for Kingpin. How has it been getting to work with Charles on this series he’s been helming for a while now?

Stefano Landini: When Marvel offered me to work on DAREDEVIL, I was very excited, but when I found out that Charles was going to write it, I was dumbstruck! I admire his work and love his writing, so for me, working with him is much more than a beautiful experience, it’s more like a little dream come true. Daredevil has a classic and sleek costume. Is it difficult putting your own spin on a look like that?

Stefano Landini: Concerning Daredevil’s costume, I wanted to do something traditional. I didn’t add anything. I love the original costumes of super heroes and when I read in the script that the costume had to be the old one, I immediately decided to avoid any personal addition. I hope people will like it. For me, this old version of Daredevil is among my favorites. Kingpin’s always been interesting from a physical perspective because he’s so large, but also so strong and fast. How has it been conveying his physicality so far?

Stefano Landini: For Kingpin, as a reference I used [Vincent] D’Onofrio, the actor portraying him in the [Netflix “Marvel’s Daredevil” TV] series, because I think he’s perfect for the part. I only changed the proportions of his body. As you say, he’s a giant in the comics, so I preferred to make him bigger, but still with realistic proportions. How do you enjoy working on the scenes of Matt outside of his hero identity, including the ones in the courtroom?

Stefano Landini: As for now I haven’t done many scenes in the court yet—I’m starting with the third [issue] right now—but drawing Matt is really great. I want to characterize him in a cool way, studying his behavior as well as his movements, and anything else that distinguishes him from other heroes. These are the things I enjoy the most while drawing him.

Stefano Landini helps Charles Soule put Matt Murdock to the test in DAREDEVIL #595 on November 8!

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Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan send the Runaways back to NYC...and back in time!

Before Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka’s RUNAWAYS launches in September, take a look at all of their major adventures as seen on Marvel Unlimited!

When series creators Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona announced they planned to leave RUNAWAYS with #24, fans clamored to find out who could possibly replace them. The answer soon came forth, surprising many: Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan.

Readers will remember that BKV and Alphona left the kids in a precarious position as they left, facing off against Iron Man and armored S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the Hostel. As Whedon picked the story up, the kids sat in a fancy New York City restaurant waiting to meet with The Kingpin! 

Runaways (2005) #25

Runaways (2005) #25

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Playing off of Wilson Fisk’s respect for their parents, the kids agreed to do a favor for the Kingpin of Crime in exchange for room and board that would allow them to stay below the radar in a post-Civil War Big Apple.

That favor involved breaking into a secure location to steal a device that Chase’s parents actually built. In the process, they attracted the attention of the Punisher who didn’t take kindly to the Kingpin using children for crime. 

Runaways (2005) #26

Runaways (2005) #26

What is Marvel Unlimited?

Eventually, the kids decided to take the device and run, but Fisk figured on this move and revealed that he’d been hired to make all of this happen by an old woman and her giant, winged assistant Tristan. In making their escape, the Runaways hooked the object to Leapfrog and wound up back in 1907!

While there, they met a number of other young people with powers – dubbed Wonders back then – including a young girl named Klara with power over plants. And that’s not even mentioning the likes of The Sinners, the Mineola, the Merchant’s Trust and the Upward Path all of whom the Runaways get tangled up with in their search for a way home. 

Runaways (2005) #27

Runaways (2005) #27

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None of them actually hold a candle to the nova of surprise that came when Chase and Xavin met Gert’s time-traveling parents, the Yorkes, also working in the same era! 

Runaways (2005) #29

Runaways (2005) #29

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All of these elements bubble to a full-on boil as they explode into a street war. Thanks to some time-travel shenanigans on Chase’s part and Nico getting a power upgrade thanks to her great grandmother, the kids made their way back home with Klara in tow, but not Victor’s new flame Lillie because she had to stick around in order to hire Kingpin to get them to steal the device in the first place! 

Runaways (2005) #30

Runaways (2005) #30

What is Marvel Unlimited?


Before returning to Los Angeles, the kids stuck around New York City to give Klara a chance to say goodbye to her home as seen in SECRET INVASION: RUNAWAYS/YOUNG AVENGERS #1-3. That leads to another meeting between the Runaways and their Young Avengers counterparts as the Skrulls lead into their full-on invasion thanks to both teams playing home to Skrulls in Xavin and Hulkling. That leads to more than one conflict with various green-skinned aliens, but ultimately a win for both squads at the end.

Terry Moore and Humberto Ramos launch a brand new volume of RUNAWAYS next week!

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Get ready to defend!

The Guardians flew back down, Spidey swung through again, and now the Defenders of Hell’s Kitchen return to Avengers Academy to battle a new threat in their neighborhood. Kingpin’s been imprisoned for nearly a year, and in that time Madame Gao stepped in to fill the power vacuum left in the criminal underworld of Hell’s Kitchen. The Defenders and the rest of the Academy students – with the help of a few new friends – need to dispatch Madame Gao and take back the neighborhood once more.

We grabbed a few minutes with Allen Warner, Lead Narrative Designer at TinyCo, to see what The Hand has in store for us at the “Marvel Avengers Academy”. The Defenders are making their way back to Avengers Academy! What’s bringing the team to campus once more?

Allen Warner: With the Kingpin imprisoned, Madame Gao has seized control of the Hand, and conquered Hell’s Kitchen.  The Defenders held her off as long as they could, but she countered by kidnapping some of their closest friends and allies, forcing them to regroup and call in reinforcements.  With a firm hold on Hell’s Kitchen, and the combined resources of both the Hand and Kingpin’s entire operation, Madame Gao sets her sights on retrieving a powerful artifact that Director Fury has locked away in one of his secret vaults, launching a full-scale assault on Avengers Academy. Will players be returning to Hell’s Kitchen with the new event district?

Allen Warner: Yes, we’ll be revisiting Hell’s Kitchen and all of its iconic locales like Alias Investigations, Josie’s, and the law offices of Nelson and Murdock.  We’ll also be bringing back the Academy Courthouse from our Daredevil event, and giving some new recruits fun courtroom animations. How will the Avengers battle Madame Gao and her Hand minions?

Allen Warner: The Defenders and Avengers will team up to battle Madame Gao and her special henchmen on campus, as well as traveling away from the school to stop the Hand ninjas from attempting to take over the world. As with the Guardians and Spidey events before this, will players once again be able to recruit Defenders heroes from the previous event?

Allen Warner: Yes, this is a similar structure where players will be given another opportunity to get characters from the original Daredevil event, as well as some other characters who weren’t part of that event, but make sense to be involved with the Defenders.  Players will have a chance to get Iron Fist, Daredevil, Hellcat, Elektra, Misty Knight, Punisher, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones.  They may also have an opportunity to get some characters who you wouldn’t associate with the Defenders TV show, but who have been part of various Defenders teams in the comics.  We’ll also be resurfacing all of the outfits from the Daredevil event, including what might be my personal favorite Avengers Academy outfit of all time, Lawyer Loki.  We learned in the original Daredevil event that Loki has a gift for lawyering, and a fondness for lawyers and the profession, and that will continue in this event with some fun results. While those who missed out will be excited to try for all those returning favorites, what new faces join the mix?

Allen Warner: A cool and diverse group of characters who are often thought of as supporting players, but who will take center stage and show their heroic sides during this event: Foggy Nelson, Colleen Wing, Stick, and Claire Temple.  They each bring a really unique and fresh perspective to not only the events at hand, but the Avengers heroes and Avengers Academy traditions.  Our awesome art team did some really great and brand-new things with their various visual levels, and their animations are really fun, and play to their unique occupations, personalities, and talents.  I’m really excited about this group from a narrative perspective because there is so much unexplored territory.  These characters typically only interact with the characters in their respective spheres, so there’s a ton of opportunity to do things that no one has ever seen before.  Foggy will form relationships and go on adventures with Loki and Captain America.  Claire Temple will go on an intergalactic rescue mission with Cosmo the Spacedog.  Stick will butt heads with J. Jonah Jameson.  Madame Gao will match wits with Mephisto, and so on.  One of my favorite things about the world we’ve built in this game is having the opportunity to reimagine and expand upon existing characters and Marvel lore, and this event and this group of recruits provided an awesome opportunity to do a lot of things that have never been done before. What new ways will our heroes suit up to dispatch the Hand threat?

Allen Warner: In addition to the resurfaced outfits from the previous Daredevil event, there will be new outfits and stories for Hulk, Punisher, Elektra, Iron Fist, and Misty Knight.  We love coming up with new looks for our characters that are unique to the world of Avengers Academy, but we decided to take a different approach this time around and only include outfits that have appeared in the comics.  Some are very recent looks that fans may not even be aware of, while others are iconic looks that have been around for decades.  They all look incredible, are completely different from the characters’ usual outfits, and add a new angle to their personalities and powers that make for some really fun animations and stories. As excited as we are to dive back into Hell’s Kitchen and dispatch Madame Gao, there’s always one eye on the horizon. Can you tease anything coming down the line for the Academy and its heroes?

Allen Warner: One of our frequently teased schools will finally have to come out of hiding, and they’ll be bringing more recruitable characters with them than ever before.

For all the latest on “Marvel Avengers Academy,” stay tuned to and @MarvelGames on Twitter!

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Kingpin takes advantage of social tensions to steal a major artifact!

Celebrate the Wall Crawler’s return to the big screen in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” by heading back to school with these adventures available on Marvel Unlimited!

Trouble rumbled through the pages of 1969’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #68 by Stan Lee and John Romita. The issue kicked off with Kingpin learning of an ancient clay tablet on display at Empire State University that he wanted, even if it meant throwing down with Spider-Man once again. Meanwhile, Spidey swung around after his battle with Mysterio, grumbling about not snapping any pictures of the fight. He got home only to find that his roommate, Harry Osborn, had locked the window!

The next day Peter Parker went to school on the E.S.U. campus and met Robbie Robertson’s son Randy. Moments after, a fellow student named Josh asked the young scholar about his thoughts on an on-campus issue; apparently the powers that be at the school intended to close down the exhibition hall and turn the building into rooms for visiting alumni. Josh represented a group that wanted the administration to turn that space into low-rent housing for students with financial difficulties.

Things looked up for our hero after he ran into Gwen Stacy and had a nice visit with Aunt May, but we readers learned that the latter had received some bad news from the doctor that she didn’t relay to her nephew. Back on campus the next morning, a protest had begun in an effort to convince the school to turn the hall into cost effective student housing. Josh wanted to take the building by force if necessary which did not sit well with Mr. Parker who pushed away from the group and went inside the hall to look at the tablet.

With enough of a crowd listening to him, Josh called for everyone to rush the hall. Kingpin saw this on TV and realized it would be the perfect distraction to steal the artifact. For his part, Peter also took advantage by snapping pictures of the demonstration. At dark, the villainous crime lord and his crew showed up and used an explosion to draw focus away from them as they ran into the not-so-secure location. Inside, Wilson Fisk actually came face to face with Peter Parker for a moment. As the Kingpin of Crime made his way to his goal, our hero ducked into a corner and changed into the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #68

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #68

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In the chamber holding the artifact, Spider-Man and Kingpin finally battled, with the well-dressed crime boss reminding the hero that his white jacket hid muscles galore. During the fray, Randy ran in and got smashed into a wall by the villain. Spidey grabbed him and escaped as part of the hall came crashing down and Fisk made off with the tablet. In the next issue, the police questioned Randy and Josh, assuming they had helped Kingpin with his plot. Meanwhile, out in the world, the villain allowed Spider-Man to find them, but the Wall-Crawler didn’t fall for the trap. The pair battled fiercely until Fisk’s cane gun backfired on him.

When the cops showed up, Kingpin lied and said that he and Spider-Man were actually allies. So, when the police saw Spidey him later, they opened fire. Peter wound up with the tablet in his possession until AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #71 when he gave it to Captain Stacy right after proving the kids didn’t have anything to do with Kingpin’s crime.

A Tangled Web

Thanks to Peter’s pictures of Kingpin’s attack, Randy Robertson avoided an unjust prison stay. Afterwards the two became friends, but Randy eventually met a woman named Mandy and the two got married. After they split up, the younger Robertson returned to New York City and started rooming with Parker. Years later, Dan Slott brought him back in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN. He started a relationship with Front Line reporter Norah Winters which didn’t sit well with Phil Urich, who doubled as The Hobgoblin. The two broke up after the events of Spider-Island when Norah made more of an effort to cover the story than to save Randy’s life!

Next time, tragedy strikes Peter Parker once again when Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy have a date with destiny in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121!

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Matthew Rosenberg makes the case for a change in Wilson Fisk!

Three issues in to the new KINGPIN series, Wilson Fisk seems to be nicer than ever.

Wait a sec, did you say nicer? Yes, I did.

The Kingpin has returned to New York City under the direction of writer Matthew Rosenberg and he’s determined to be fair and honest in all of his dealings this time around. But can we trust him? We spoke with Matthew who told us that Kingpin certainly deserves a fair shake and moreover, could be viewed as a super hero from a certain perspective.

One of the most violent characters in the Marvel Universe a noble super hero? Continue on to read the compelling case in favor of Fisk! Were three issues into Fisks solo series and all signs point to him genuinely wanting to turn over a new leaf. Why should we trust him all of the sudden, especially after his actions during Civil War II?

Matthew Rosenberg: How can you not trust that face? He’s just a sweet old businessman. But seriously, I don’t want to tell the reader who to trust and who not to trust here. Wilson Fisk has done a lot of bad things, and he is honest about that. He is a man asking for forgiveness, and that is a personal thing. I hope every reader, like the characters in the book, will weigh whether or not he deserves it. And maybe some won’t think he does. The story works in that case too, I hope. Fisk genuinely wants to accomplish big changes in his life and go down a different path. Personally, I hope he can. Youve go on record saying you wanted to portray Fisk as more of The Godfather than Scarface. What was the process like of separating the more volatile Kingpin weve seen and known before with the more patient and methodical one we see in this arc?

Matthew Rosenberg: The Kingpin who throws men out windows, zaps them with laser beams, or cuts their heads off with car doors is great. He is terrifying, and fun, and exciting. But he is a man who can only go so far in the world. Admittedly, it’s pretty far. But it’s not as far as he’d like and it’s not as far as I’d like. He’s a smart man though. He understands that if you leave bloody footprints everywhere you go there are a lot of places you won’t be allowed in. But the violent and impulsive Kingpin we all know and love, that’s his true nature. So it’s not so much that I am dismissing the man who beats people to death with his bare hands, but Wilson Fisk himself is doing whatever he can to suppress that man. And it’s a struggle for him on the page. There are a lot of people whose heads Fisk would love to remove, but he has bigger plans and eventually that gets in the way. But if movies have taught me anything, you can always trust a violent man to go back to his violent ways at some point. In the past hes used extortion, murder, and blackmail among other methods to achieve his ends. How hard is it for him to go straight after years of bending and breaking the law to his will?

Matthew Rosenberg: He has always used those tactics for sure. But he’s also run legitimate businesses as well. And he is nothing if not smart. Obviously hanging people out of windows gets things done faster than negotiating, but if Fisk is determined to walk the straight and narrow he knows how. It’s just a question of patience and the world not getting in his way too much. But the world has a way of doing that. Do you think were there times in the past when Wilson Fisk was simply misunderstood? Has he always just been misunderstood?

Matthew Rosenberg: Yes. 100%. If you look at Kingpin and who he is, where he comes from, he has all the makings of a great Marvel super hero. He is smart, determined, and exceptional. But he was always different and he had to face a lot of adversity. Now he has a love of his city, a strong desire to make it better, and a firm belief that he knows the right way to do that. It’s no different than Daredevil or Spider-Man. The only differences are that he kills people, but so does The Punisher, and he personally profits from what he does, but so does Iron Man. It’s all a question of scope. While Spider-Man and Daredevil spend a lot of time fighting in alleys, Kingpin wages his war across the whole city. He wants a better class of crime, less dangerous for the average person. He wants a generally safer city and he is willing to get his hands dirty to get there. And just because Spider-Man and Daredevil don’t agree with Kingpin’s tactics doesn’t mean they are right and he is wrong. It just means for years they have had people like [writers] Dan Slott and Charles Soule telling their side of the story, making them look good. And now Wilson Fisk has me. How do his nemeses, both heroic like Daredevil and criminal like opposing crime bosses, feel about his new outlook on getting ahead in life? What about his associates?

Matthew Rosenberg: I don’t think anybody likes it or particularly trusts it. But your nemeses aren’t supposed to believe in you. The art style by Ben Torres in this series has been described as heavy on the noir influences, a genre known for its morally ambiguous characters and machinations. Can you tell us how the noir-ish overtones factor into Fisks motivations over the course of this arc and its underlying themes?

Matthew Rosenberg: Yeah, for sure. First of all, Ben is amazing. His art speaks in a language I think both avid comic fans and casual readers will get. I see a lot of Frank Miller, Howard Chaykin, and Eduardo Risso in his work, and that just screams “noir” to me. But for folks not familiar with that stuff, I think the heavy shadows, the brooding characters, the worn look of the characters and world, they tell a story beyond the one I tell. As for the noir-ish elements of the story? For starters it’s not just about Fisk. Sarah Dewey, a down on her luck reporter, is one of the leads and this story is about their relationship. So Fisk’s operating in morally grey areas, his schemes, all of that plays a big part. But more than that it’s about how damaged people survive and what effect they have on each other. Nobody in this story comes out as the shiny hero, that’s not Fisk’s world. Everybody is a little broken and Fisk uses that to his advantage. Wilson Fisk is a dangerous man; a dangerous man to be enemies with and a dangerous man to be allies with. And he knows that. So watching him pull people into his circle, or watching them put themselves there, it has an ominous feeling. There are good things, but nothing good will stay. If you had to make a compelling case of why Kingpin should be given a fair shake in a sentence or two, what would you say?

Matthew Rosenberg: He’s a smart, passionate, and deeply flawed person, but he wants forgiveness. And there is no greater feeling than offering forgiveness to someone who wants to do right. Come forgive The Kingpin.

Judge for yourself in KINGPIN #3, available now, and issue #4, coming May 10!

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Wilson Fisk seeks to better understand himself!

Wilson Fisk is an adult male of immense size. He presents as composed and tightly wound, as though he were constantly holding something back. In a case of history repeating itself, he arrived at the office after hours, paid off the rest of the remaining staff to go home, and demanded this writer see him. He seemed aware of this writer breaking confidentiality following our last meeting, stated neither I nor anyone else I cared about was “in danger,” and assured me there would be no such needs to invoke Tarasoff after this session.

Interestingly, there did seem to be a shift in his presentation as the session continued—in comparison with both last time and with his demeanor at the start of session. He seemed far more interactive and far less didactic. Unlike the last session, he did not demand the writer’s silence but invited comment.

That said, there were moments were it was very clear to the writer that a line had been briefly crossed. Despite Fisk’s self-control, his body language often would give him away, showing a kind of coiled anger whenever he felt disrespected or the writer touched upon what could perhaps be best labeled “off-limits” areas—for example his relationship to his deceased wife Vanessa.

Throughout the session, however, this writer had a difficult time shaking the idea that the client was doing this session in a performative manner; as if he wanted someone else to see his willingness to attend therapy. When he left, I saw a woman with him who clearly was not part of his “muscle” nor resembled any of his former woman assassins—Elektra, Lady Bullseye, Typhoid Mary. Perhaps she was the audience?

His session also seemed to be a subtle form of intimidation despite his insistence neither I nor anyone I cared about was in danger. This was particularly evident when, as he left, he paused at the door to ask, “I respect that you are a man of principles who follows the rules of his craft regardless of personal risk That said, I trust there will be far less…phone calls that need to take place after this session?” His manner did not seem merely inquisitive.

In terms of therapeutic content, there was a shallowness to it. He spoke mostly of a desire to push back against his reputation, to find acceptance amongst the New York “elite,” and to help kids like him—raised in near poverty but still with too much income to access many city, state, and federal supports—improve their lives. He largely avoided discussions of his criminal activities beyond vaguely citing “cycles of violence” and absolutely rejected any discussion of the street vigilante Daredevil.

At the end of session, he did request further sessions. Given our prior relationship, I argued that it would most likely be counterproductive to continue to work with me. He accepted this recommendation and a referral to the offices of Doctors Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres on April 12 and May 10. Those referrals can be found in the KINGPIN #3 and KINGPIN #4 files, respectively.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who reminds you that just because he is a man of size with a shaved head does not mean he “looks exactly like that Kingpin guy.”

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Wilson Fisk takes advantage of a Spider-Man-less New York City in his first appearance!

Every Friday we use the powers of Marvel Unlimited to look back at the very first appearance of a major character, place or object that made waves this week.

Wilson Fisk might be trying to go straight in the first issue of his new series KINGPIN, which launched this week from Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres, but he certainly didn’t start out that way.

Though mostly associated with Daredevil, Kingpin actually debuted in the book of another New York-based vigilante: Spider-Man! And in a strange way, he actually convinced Peter Parker about his important as a hero. 1969’s AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50 not only marks the Kingpin’s first appearance as a major Marvel villain, but also the landmark story titled “Spider-Man No More!”

Written by Stan Lee and drawn by John Romita, the issue started off like many others with the Web Head taking on four would-be robbers. With the baddies firmly ensconced in a door, Spidey swung off to ruminate about how J. Jonah Jameson has completely ruined his reputation with Daily Bugle editorials.

Upon Pete returning home, his roommate Harry Osborn told him Aunt May has had another attack, so our hero rushed to her side. Once there, he wondered why he spends so much time helping people who fear him, especially when it takes him away from his loved ones. Fed up, Peter threw his Spider-Man costume in the trash, where it’s found by a kid and taken to JJJ who considered the act a victory. As the news went live, we then cut to a shot of Wilson Fisk overlooking the city telling an underling that he, The Kingpin, planned on taking over all crime in NYC!

With Kingpin taking over the mobs, crime ran wild. The man himself explained his plan: “The underworld will now be run like a business—and the chairman of the board will be – the Kingpin!”

Meanwhile, things moved along pretty nicely for Peter Parker. With Spider-Man out of his life he could focus on school, family and even dating his lady, Mary Jane Watson. Still, he heard about the crime wave and even stumbled upon an assault that he stopped. Remembering that his inaction led to the death of Uncle Ben, Peter pledged to continue fighting to help innocents. He then broke into JJJ’s office, got his old costume back and got back in on the super hero action.

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #50

The Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #50

  • Published: July 10, 1967
  • Added to Marvel Unlimited: November 13, 2007
  • Penciller: John Romita
What is Marvel Unlimited?

In the following issue, after waging a one-man war on crime against the Kingpin, Spider-Man finally met his new foe leading into a multi-page fight between the two. Not only did Fisk prove faster and stronger than he looked, but also well-equipped with items like a gas-shooting pendant. Kingpin followed that up in issue #52 by tying the unconscious Spider-Man to Jameson and putting them in an air-tight room filling with water. Spidey made a protective bubble out of webbing, knocked out the goons and made his way towards another altercation with Fisk.

Once again, Kingpin used a trick—this time a secret passageway in his office—to escape from Spider-Man, but the two would cross paths many times. Not one to make friends in the hero community, Kingpin also lists Daredevil and Punisher among of his more regular adversaries.

Flash Forward

Before launching KINGPIN, writer Matthew Rosenberg wrote Fisk in the series CIVIL WAR II: KINGPIN. Upon returning from San Francisco, Kingpin learned that a former minion named Janus Jardeesh exhibited an interesting Inhuman ability: he essentially became invisible to the future-seeing Ulysses at the center of Civil War II. As you might expect, Kingpin used this to commit all kinds of crimes. With all that success, though, he attracted ill will from criminals outside his organization and even dissent from within. Fisk fought tooth and nail to save everything he’d built in a four issue series that displayed Rosenberg’s deep understanding of the character!

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