Comics : Kingpin #6
This review was first published on: 2004.
Wilson Fisk continues to play all the angles in his quest for power: kidnapping the son of his puppet mayoral candidate's primary opponent, stringing Spider-Man along (and, more importantly, keeping him out of the way), etc. But when Rocko--the former lieutenant he betrayed--and his puppet candidate's ex-wife threw in with one of the five dons, it seemed like Kingpin's time was up. Rocko got his revenge and Wilson Fisk died in a hail of bullets. Or so it seemed.
But when Wilson Fisk is concerned, NOTHING is what it seems....
Jan 2004 : SM Guest
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Lou Rocko has done it. He killed Wilson Fisk, and is taking pictures as proof for Jimmy Sanguino, who is uncle to the murdered Carlo Sanguino (who died in Fisk's bid for power), patron of Anthony Bianco (whose son Gradon was kidnapped by Fisk, who is the chief political opponent to Myles Clennon, who is in turn Fisk's puppet candidate and ex-husband to Portia Clennon, Rocko's current paramour with a serious grudge against her ex), and is Rocko's employer for the moment. (Please pay attention as there may be a quiz later.) One problem: Fisk isn't dead.
"How'd you know my gun held blanks?" "Portia's gun, Lou! The lady and I have been in concert for some time now." Fisk tells Lou that the hit on him was business, not personal, and sends him back to Sanguino with a promise that he will bring Sanguino down the next day at 10 AM with Lou's help. "In church, of course!"
While this is going on, Spider-Man is doing everything he can to combat the upswing in gang violence. During a fight, one of the thugs mention's Fisk's name. Spidey threatens him and he tells the web-slinger about a "major smack shipment" at dock 17 the next day at 10 AM. Spider-Man swings off and one of the thugs pulls out a cell phone. "He swallowed the bait."
Back at the Sanguino estate, Portia has snuck out the back as Rocko arrives with "proof" of Fisk's death. Sanguino pulls a gun on him (Rocko did kill his nephew Carlo back in issue #1) but Rocko surprises him with the truth: Fisk is alive and planning at strike in church at 10 AM the following morning. Sanguino warns the other four Dons as well as Anthony Bianco.
The next morning, the Dons and their henchmen arrive in church, ready for anything. As the service begins, Rocko is sent up to the balcony with Bianco. Fisk strikes from below, sneaking into the basement and taking out one of the guards. Rocko and Bianco go to investigate, and Bianco pistol whips him. He turns to Fisk. "How's Gradon?" "Detoxing, but fine." "How'd Sanguino know you took my son?" "He didn't. He wanted you to THINK I did."
As the service ends, the Dons discover that the church doors are locked. Fisk has sprung his trap. "Staying for the late service?"
Okay, so now Wilson Fisk not only knew that Rocko was coming with an empty gun, he's also working with Anthony Bianco now? This is a bit too contrived. Sure, we know that Fisk absolutely delights in pulling strings, but he doesn't have enough fingers for all the strings he's pulling now. Next issue's climax should be interesting, but to paraphrase John Edathil's review of issue #5, there's too much order and not enough chaos. Unless Spidey sees through the ruse and comes bursting into the church in the nick of time.
Bruce Jones' labyrinthian plot has had some interesting twists and turns over the first six issues of Kingpin, but plot threads should be coming together in the storyline's penultimate issue, not becoming even more complicated than they were already. Jones, it seems, has lost control of his story. Bad sign.
A good finale could still save this story, but issue six on its own is worth only two webs.