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“Civil War II: Kingpin” Writer Says Wilson Fisk “Could Have Been a Hero”

by  in Comic News Comment
“Civil War II: Kingpin” Writer Says Wilson Fisk “Could Have Been a Hero”

Over the years, Wilson Fisk’s illicit activities as the Kingpin of the New York underworld has made him the target of many of the Marvel Universe‘s costumed defenders. Introduced as Spider-Man‘s foil, his chief arch enemy is Daredevil, twisted sides of the same coin as both often find themselves knocked down, both literally and metaphorically, only to inevitably rise again. In fact, it would seem the only way to keep the deviously cunning and massively muscled mobster down would be to kill the him outright.

RELATED: Investigating “Civil War II”: Which Hero Will Fall?

Fisk’s latest stumbling block came several months ago, when he once again found himself without his underworld crown. This is not the first time the Kingpin has found himself dethroned, and as he has in the past, the Kingpin’s resourceful mind is searching for the proper opportunity to retake what he has lost. One such moment arrives this July when writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Ricardo Lopez Ortiz kick off their four issue “Civil War II: Kingpin” series, which finds the popular villain looking to exploit the chaos of the event and reclaim the power he lost.

CBR News: What do you enjoy most about writing a character like the Kingpin? Which aspects of his personality are you especially interested in exploring?

Matthew Rosenberg: I mean, who doesn’t love Wilson Fisk? He’s one of those truly iconic figures in comics. He is a bad guy for sure, but he isn’t a hand-wringing sociopath. He has a very human side under all the tough exterior, and I think that is what makes him so compelling.

It’s easy to see where Fisk could have been a hero, or even just a normal guy, but his drive and determination overpower his moral compass and you end up with a monster. I think there is something so fun to explore in there. In the same way we can look for parts of ourselves in Daredevil or Spidey or Cap, we can see pieces of who we are in Fisk too. He is the reverse of the coin and there is something beautiful in that.

Fisk may be known by the moniker of the Kingpin, but that’s not a title he currently holds. How do you think that’s affected him and the way he views himself? Is he more or less dangerous now that he’s not at the top of the NYC underworld?

Wilson Fisk is a man who is always determined to be on top. He isn’t going to let anyone get in his way if he’s knocked down a peg or two. And when he’s at the bottom of the pecking order? Everyone is at risk. The Kingpin you meet in our book is crafty and driven in a way he hasn’t had to be in a while. And when the right opportunity comes along, he will take it for sure, consequences be damned.

I imagine to successfully exploit the opportunity that arises Fisk will need a network of capable and loyal associates. Does he have such a network when your story begins? Are you playing solely with established supporting characters, or are you introducing some new characters as well?

Trust is going to be a big theme in this book. Finding the right people to be by your side when you’re a man like Fisk is a hard proposition when you’re on top of the world. When you’re at the bottom fighting your way back up, it becomes almost impossible. We will definitely see some familiar faces hanging around, but some of the people closest to him, the people he needs the most, will be new.

What can you tell us about the inciting incident of your story? What draws Fisk into your larger narrative?

He sees an opportunity to get back on top. For a man like Fisk, that’s all it really takes. When he sees that window of opportunity, he will always go for it — and people will get hurt.

Kingpin as the businessman and opportunist is at the forefront of this story, so you will see scheming and plotting for sure, and Fisk always has people to do his dirty work for him. But it is possible things don’t always work out as planned and he will have to get his rather large hands dirty.

When you talk about the people Fisk is looking to hurt and those out to harm him, it’s a long list that includes established crime lords like the Black Cat and Tombstone, as well as a multitude of heroes.

I think the most fun thing about the Kingpin is that he can run afoul of anyone on any given day. He does what he wants, and that will piss off the good guys and the bad guys alike. So yeah, people are going to be lining up to take their shots. Heavy hitters and has-beens alike will be gunning for him, but that’s when he’s at his best.

I’m familiar with Ricardo Lopez Ortiz’s recent work on the Image Comics series “Wolf,” where he draws a strange underworld of crime and supernatural characters. It seems like he’d be a good fit for the Marvel Universe underworld of fantastic powers and super criminals.

Yeah, Ricardo is amazing. His stuff doesn’t look like anyone else right now. He is a truly unique voice, which is so refreshing. Usually for artists like that, style tends to overtake substance in some ways, but Ricardo is great at the subtle things. His characters are so human, his acting is so real, and his shots always so beautiful. I think his art is worth the price of the book alone. Hopefully I can keep up.

If the opportunity arises, would you be interested in telling more tales of Wilson Fisk, or to further explore the villainous underbelly of the Marvel Universe?

Of course! I grew up on Marvel villains, and they defined my love of comics as much as anything else. I think there is such great room to explore these fascinating archetypes and where they break the mold. Great heroes can’t exist without their great villains. I love Fisk because of the glimpses of humanity he offers, but I love them all. Any villain they want to throw my way, I would jump at the chance.

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