The Greatest Kingpin Stories Ever Told!
Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!
Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).
Today’s list is the Greatest Kingpin Stories Ever Told!
10. PunisherMax #1-5 “Kingpin”
Jason Aaron takes over the Punisher Max title with this storyline where he introduces the Max version of the Kingpin in a brutal story about the price to be paid for power. Steve Dillon did the artwork.
9. Daredevil (vol. 2) #26-31 “Underboss”
Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev begin their acclaimed Daredevil run with this story about a mutiny within Kingpin’s ranks, and the dramatic actions taken by Wilson Fisk’s estranged wife after the attempted assassination of Fisk.
8. Daredevil (Vol. 2) #76-81 “The Murdock Papers”
Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev conclude their acclaimed Daredevil run with this storyline involving a sort of cat and mouse game between the Kingpin, the United States government and Matt Murdock, with a nice callback to Kingpin’s debut in the pages of Daredevil (the Kingpin tells everyone he has a “file” on Murdock, and everyone then goes nuts to get said file).
7. Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #50-52 “Kingpin’s Debut”
Wilson Fisk arrives in New York to consolidate the crime families against outsiders like the Maggia. J. Jonah Jameson gets in his way, so the Kingpin wants him dealt with – Spider-Man luckily gets in the way. This storyline includes the famous issue where Spider-Man almost decides to quit being a superhero for good! The creative team is Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.
6. Ultimate Spider-Man #8-12 (with #13 as an epilogue not really having anything to do with the Kingpin) “Learning Curve”
Peter Parker gets a job at the Daily Bugle and decides to try to take down the Kingpin of Crime, but as a teenaged hero, is Spider-Man way out of his depth here? Can he survive the learning curve? Brian Michael Bendis wrote it and Mark Bagley drew it.
5. Daredevil #46-50 “Hardcore”
The Kingpin begins to solidify plans for a comeback after the events of Underboss, and Matt Murdock just cannot take the idea of the cycle just starting over again, so in a dramatic finale (filled with a pile of classic former Daredevil artists joining Alex Maleev on art), Matt decides to flip the whole Daredevil/Kingpin dynamic up on its ear. Brian Michael Bendis wrote it.
4. Spider-Man’s Tangled Web #4 “Severance Package”
In this one-shot issue by Greg Rucka and Eduardo Risso, we see the aftermath of what happens when Spider-Man foils one of Kingpin’s crime plots. We follow one of Kingpin’s top lieutenants who was in charge of the operation and see just what happens when you fail the Kingpin. Brilliant issue with amazingly evocative art by Risso.
3. Daredevil: Love and War
An original graphic novel by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz, this story sort of bridges the gap between Miller’s first Daredevil run and his second stint on the book, in a gripping tale of a psychologist who Kingpin tries to force to work on his wife by kidnapping the psychologist’s wife. Daredevil gets involved, naturally, in a moving tale rich with character moments.
2. Daredevil #170-172 “Gang War!”
Just when he thought he was out, they dragged him back in. Fearful of rumors of files he supposedly kept on all the major underworld figures, Wilson Fisk is dragged out of retirement through an attempt on the life of his wife, Vanessa. You really don’t want to anger Wilson Fisk, and in this three-parter, he returns to New York with a vengeance, hiring Bullseye as his personal assassin. Daredevil manages to stop Bullseye, but Kingpin continues to build his organization back up to full strength. Frank Miller wrote and drew this storyline.
1. Daredevil #227-233 “Born Again”
A runaway winner, Born Again is one of Frank Miller’s best stories, with beautiful artwork by David Mazzucchelli. Through Matt Murdock’s old girlfriend, Karen Page, the Kingpin learns Daredevil’s secret identity and then conspires to destroy his life before ending it. However, much to Kingpin’s dismay, when the end game seemed complete, there turned out to be “no corpse.” And he realized that a man without hope, well, that is a man without fear. So the second half of the story is Matt making his comeback to take the Kingpin down.
That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!
And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!