Daredevil Month: The Kingpin is Daredevil?

Posted: March 28, 2015 in Reviews
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Image taken from comicvine.com

Welcome back to Daredevil Month everyone. Back in 2004, Marvel published a few issues set in their Marvel Knights 2099 continuity, one of which starred a member of the Fisk family as the future Daredevil. This idea already sounds like it should have been a goldmine for Marvel. The Man Without Fear, fighting crime in an even darker version of the 90s dystopian future? It could be super gritty, with just the right touch of dark humor thrown in for good measure. What could go wrong?

The Plot

Image taken from comicvine.com

The story focuses on Samuel Fisk, the grandson of the late Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin. Years before this story, Wilson fought and killed Matt Murdock’s Daredevil in battle, which inspired his son to speak highly of (and apparently in extreme detail) Wilson to Samuel. Feeling guilty over the blights his grandfather created during his lifetime, Samuel goes out at night in a high tech suit of armor, complete with a number of gadgets, as the futuristic version of Daredevil.

As it turns out, Samuel needs his suit and his gadgets, including sedative guns and his billy club. By his own admission, Samuel is horrible in a fight, as the reader sees during his run in with two criminals in an alley when he tries (and fails) to use his billy club.

After arriving at home, Samuel argues with his wife over his continued superheroics, causing her to leave. Initially unfazed, he follows his wife and discovers that she is actually having an affair. In a rage, Samuel beats a Sentinel to pieces with his bare hands before retreating.

Arriving at a bar, Samuel speaks with the bartender about his wife’s infidelity, with the former suggesting that Samuel simply kill her and move on. He refuses, suggesting that he has a more civilized approach in mind. He then gets a call from his men, leading him to his office in Fisk Towers, where the man his wife was having an affair with is bound to a chair and gagged.

After noting that he has two legacies to fulfill, Samuel holds a gun to the now sobbing man’s head and pulls the trigger.

My Thoughts

First off, I just want to say that, on paper, this idea sounds really cool. The Kingpin is also Daredevil? It has just the right amount of weird and interesting story elements to it that could have made this comic extremely interesting and an absolute must have. Instead, there’s not a whole lot of buildup and an unsatisfying conclusion.

We never see much of a conflict between Samuel’s Kingpin and Daredevil lives, which pretty much takes the punch out of this major plot point. Outside of his wife’s frustration, nothing ever really seems to happen. The man never grows a conscious about his Kingpin lifestyle thanks to his super hero life? The super hero life isn’t threatened to disappear with a growing emphasis on the Kingpin life?

We also never see a conclusion to the Sentinels chasing after him as Daredevil after he destroyed one of them. I guess they gave up after looking for him for two minutes?

Image taken from comicvine.com

Samuel himself also comes off as more than a little stupid at times, thanks to some horribly bad decisions he makes throughout the issue. I’m a little okay with having a rich Daredevil buy things that can help him during a fight (since that’s what Batman’s been doing this entire time), but Samuel never tries to make himself physically better. His suit does literally all of the work every time he fights.

The worst example is when he uses his billy club, misses, then chides himself about using it. Shouldn’t he take some time to learn how to throw if he’s going to carry it around?

All of this really boils down to the writing, and that’s where I see even more problems. The dialog is extremely awkward sometimes, depending on the character it’s coming from. With Samuel, he’s written with this kind of dark tone and an edgy feel to his words. That may work fine for the original Daredevil, but coming from Samuel, it just makes him sound like a rich and whiny kid. The man has no real motivation for being a superhero, so (in my opinion) he really shouldn’t try to sound like one.

The artwork is pretty solid throughout the issue though. My only complaint is that it seems extremely bright for a Daredevil book. If they darkened it up a lot, put a few more shadows into it, I wouldn’t complain.

All in all, it really isn’t the worst Daredevil comic I’ve ever read, but it does need some work. If you like the original 2099, I’d think twice about picking up a copy. The Marvel Knights version of the series is far different, and seasoned fans may not appreciate the MK version.

If you’re new to 2099 or Daredevil though, give it a try and see if you like it. It has just the right amount of that special something that I think could really bring in new readers and give ol’ Hornhead some new fans.

COMIC GRADE: 4.5/10

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