Civil War II Kingpin #2

by H├ęctor A on August 07, 2016

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Ricardo Lopez Ortiz
Color Artists: Mat Lopes with Matt Kuder
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: Marvel
 

**This review has spoilers**

While we waited for the third issue of 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, issue #2 of Matthew Rosenberg's first series at Marvel came out last Wednesday. I guess Marvel really liked this miniseries, as they will launch a new Kingpin ongoing (written by Rosenberg) for Marvel NOW! on November. I thought CW II Kingpin #1 was fantastic so I was looking forward to this.

 

The reaction to it has been mixed but the art by Lopez Ortiz is very good. Aside from the last panel in the penultimate page (a Kingpin close-up), nothing looks out-of-place, his jittery lines and his over-the-top facial expressions give the book a needed jolt. I especially love his take on Tombstone and that final page is fantastic. The books is a bit busy sometimes but the one use of negative space is really striking and the panels with nothing but Lopes' coloring and a small detail also work better than the ones with busier, more realistic backgrounds. I would like to see less elaborate panels that create greater contrast against Lopez Ortiz's lines in the future.

 

Mat Lopes' coloring isn't as distinct as it was on Kingpin #1, the middle part of this issue feels more opaque, it could use more of the solid colors from last issue but the whole art team still meshes well together. I praised him on my last review but it bears repeating how extraordinary Travis Lanham's work here is, while his lettering on something like the Spider-Family titles (he does Silk, Spider-Woman, and Spidey) is less unorthodox, here he adapts to Lopez Ortiz's lines infusing his lettering with the same frantic style giving the whole book a unified, distinct feel.

 

Wilson Fisk and Janus' relationship is given more nuance in this issue, as we follow Janus and Kingpin's takeover of the criminal underworld. Janus suffers an injury while him and Fisk escape a crime scene. The passage of time is very unclear during the montage of sorts that details Janus' recovery. I think it would've been better to have one issue deal with everything up to Janus' injury and another one dealing with his recovery, the latter is only 7 pages on this issue but that time could flesh out characters other than Kingpin and Janus and set the stage for the rest of the series, which seems like it will be something completely different.

 

At the end the safehouse where Janus is recovering from his wounds explodes. While I loved how that final page is drawn, it's a strange note to end the issue with. While Kingpin obviously cares for Janus, most of that is driven by how the abilities of the latter can benefit the former. And most of this issue is told from Fisk's perspective, making it harder to relate to him here as opposed to the back-up story from last issue. So that page isn't particularly affecting emotionally.

 

I guess the cast for these Marvel NY underworld stories is really well established, as apparently the Punisher will be introduced next issue. This irked me as there's been no previous indication of that happening (unless I missed it). We are already halfway through this mini and the story seems to abruptly change its course, which could be fine in the end but as of now it gives me pause.

 

This issue takes CW II: Kingpin on a different direction than what I expected, I think it suffers from being too unfocused plot-wise but I really enjoy the way the book looks from Lopez Ortiz's lines to Lopes' coloring and Lanham's letters.

Our Score:

8/10

A Look Inside