In Marvel Comics, the capital of America isn’t Washington DC, but New York City. The isle of Manhattan is home to most of the heroes of that omniverse, a hub of action and intrigue where you can find Avengers Mansion or the Baxter Building of the Fantastic Four protecting the populace from all manner of threats. Like a regularly scheduled Tuesday attack by the Mole Man and his subterranean hordes.
But beneath the surface of the Big Apple? That’s a territory which happens to be under the control of Wilson Fisk once again. The last couple of years haven’t been easy for the so-called Kingpin of crime, as he found himself blinded, exiled and on the run from numerous other crime-lords who sought control of the very lucrative underworld of New York.
But Fisk is back, having reclaimed some of his kingdom in the process. But some isn’t enough, as the Kingpin wants his entire criminal empire returned to him. And he’ll be seeking to do just that next year in a new series from writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Ben Torres. “Kingpin is a bit of unique book for Marvel. Books about the bad guys are pretty rare,” Rosenberg said to CBR.
I’ve actually had a lot of fans reach out to me worried we were making Wilson Fisk an anti-hero of sorts. I just want to be clear that we aren’t doing that. At all. The Kingpin everyone loves will be front and center in the book, but we are trying to explore some other sides of the man, too. I love him because he isn’t a handwringing monster, he’s something else entirely.
As for what it’s like to write the book? It’s amazing and intimidating. Fisk is an important character to the larger world of the Marvel Universe. And yeah, he can have a very profound impact on everything. I can’t say if this is the book where we see Fisk succeed at all his grand schemes, but it should be a fun journey to find out. In the same way I think people don’t pick up an Avengers book to see the Avengers lose, I hope people are picking up “Kingpin” to see Kingpin finally win some. He deserves a win or two. And it’s OK to root for the bad guys — sometimes.
So how will Fisk win back the keys to the Marvel underworld? Not with brute force but by relying on his intellect instead as he sets up a dangerous game without any rules in his quest to return to his former glory. “When “Kingpin” #1 launches, Fisk is pretty secure. He’s not untouchable by the other crime bosses like he used to be, but he is a force to be reckoned with in the city for sure,” Rosenberg explained.
Kingpin got to be Kingpin by always being smarter and staying ahead of his peers. And this book really explores that.
In the past, Wilson Fisk has approached the crime in the city like he was playing chess while all the other gangsters were playing checkers. With what he has been through, and having to claw his way back up from nothing, Fisk isn’t playing chess with them anymore. He’s taking a flamethrower to the whole board. So don’t expect to see Fisk playing the game the way we have even seen him play it before.
Well, we’re trying to do something a little different with Kingpin, here. A lot of my favourite Kingpin stories, stuff by Frank Miller, [Brian Michael] Bendis and [Alex] Maleev, [Ed] Brubaker and [Michael] Lark, have been about Kingpin going to war. There are lots of stories about Fisk being pushed to the limit and striking back. We are doing it a little different.
This is a Wilson Fisk people will be surprised by. This is the calm, smart, patient Wilson Fisk carefully making his moves. The comparison I made early on is that people are used to “Scarface” and we want to give them “The Godfather.” We also are trying to show a little more of who Kingpin is behind the crime. We want to see his compassionate side, find out why he does what he does, what he cares about. He’s still a bad man, but he’s not *just *a bad man. So that is sort of the basis of what we are doing, but like any good story about bad men things won’t work out perfectly.
The first issue of Kingpin arrives next year. WIIIIIILSON!
Last Updated: December 2, 2016