Thursday, March 12, 2009

Daredevil #116

Overall- This issue was the first part of the storyline, "Return of the King". Although this comic is titled "Daredevil", DD doesn't make a single, solitary appearance between the pages of this comic book. Nope, this issue was purely all about the former Kingpin of crime, Wilson Fisk. First a bit of back story. After being released from prison, Kingpin was told he was banned from stepping foot on U.S. soil ever again, as per the terms of his release. So, Kingpin travels first to Switzerland, but can't bear remaining there, due to the fact that his beloved wife Vanessa is buried there. Kingpin winds up settling down in a small town in Spain, somewhere he feels his deceased wife would have liked to retire to.

Although Kingpin came to this town out of respect for his wife, he finds that being there just makes him miserable. All Kingpin can do is stare out at the sea and think about all he's lost and all of the battles with the likes of Spider-Man and of course, Daredevil. One day, while reminiscing near the ocean, a kindly woman lends Kingpin her umbrella, since he was so engrossed in his thoughts, he was unaware it had begun to rain. Eventually, Kingpin lets his guard down a bit and begins to date this woman, Marta. The Kingpin begins to slowly fade away, and Wilson Fisk begins to build a real life. Wilson moves in with Marta and her two young children, and even after Wilson tries to tell Marta about why he left the U.S., she still accepts and loves him, regardless.

However, in the back of his mind, Wilson always fears that his bloody past life will catch up with him, and he can never quite shake the feeling that one day, he'll return home to find Marta and her children dead at the hands of the various enemies he'd made as the Kingpin. After months of happiness and finally letting go of all of the anger that had plagued him, Wilson returns home and finds Marta and her two children dead and surrounded by a small army of Hand ninjas.

Upon seeing this grisly sight, Wilson Fisk goes away and the Kingpin returns with a vengeance. Kingpin charges through the sword wielding ninjas, killing several of them before their sheer numbers and weapons wear him down and bring him to his knees, literally, right in front of Marta's body, with two swords sticking out of his back. As Kingpin kneels there and asks why, Lady Bullseye emerges from the shadows and basically tells him the reasons why are too numerous to list, but the cause was Daredevil. She then leaves, telling Kingpin when he sees Daredevil, tell DD that Lady Bullseye sent him. As Kingpin drags himself out of Marta's house, and presumably back to America, he realizes that he will never know true happiness, thanks to all of the blood on his hands.

To be honest, I never really cared all that much about the Kingpin. He just didn't ever appeal to me. Ed Brubaker(writer)did a good job in making me care about Wilson Fisk. This was a very well done comic, it didn't blow me away, but it was a very good start to the "Return of the King" storyline. By the end of this issue it would be difficult not to feel some sympathy towards Fisk. It seemed like he had finally gotten his anger issues under control and his life in order, and it was all snatched away from him. Reading this comic made me think of that famous line from the Godfather Part 3(?), "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.". That line really sums up this comic best. Wilson Fisk may have thought/hoped that he could get away from the Kingpin's life, but he'll always be sucked back into that ugly world of crime. For a score, I'm going to give this comic a 8 1/2 out of 10. I really enjoyed this comic, but as stupid as this might sound, I actually would have preferred it if Wilson Fisk would have gotten that happy ending. The death of Fisk's loved ones, although heavily foreshadowed through most of this comic, really sucked. I actually wound up feeling badly for the Kingpin! I never thought I'd ever say that...

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