Written by Zeke Perez Jr.
I typically tend to review a comic series after it is released in its entirety, rather than on an issue-by-issue basis. But every now and then, an issue or story arc comes along and I just can’t wait. I want to tell the world about it right off the bat. Enter the ‘Mayor Fisk’ arc in the current Daredevil run (beginning with Marvel Legacy’s Daredevil #595).
Recent Daredevil comics have been grounded in reality-driven storylines, as the lives of superheroes intertwine with human politics. The preceding - and equally wonderful - ‘Supreme’ arc follows Matt Murdock as he argues a Supreme Court case that legitimizes the role of superheroes in the legal system, allowing them to act as more than vigilantes by granting them the ability to appear and testify in court. In ‘Supreme’, ‘The Kingpin’ Wilson Fisk attempts to have Murdock taken down in court by a competing lawyer and out of court by an assassin. Now, the ‘Mayor Fisk’ arc builds on that as Fisk attempts to turn the entire system against Daredevil.
The shift to Fisk as Mayor is sudden. In fact, you learn that Fisk was elected within the first couple pages of the issue. Murdock suspects foul play and corruption, immediately going to work to challenge the election results and to preserve the legal winnings he achieved in ‘Supreme’. Meanwhile, Fisk has turned the city’s police force against Daredevil and seeks to turn the populace against him too. Fisk claims that he and the people of New York want to take a stand against Daredevil and the other heroes that are ‘invading their lives, destroying their property, bringing chaos and terror’. The issue concludes as the two face off with Fisk promising to use everything in his power as mayor to stop Daredevil, and Daredevil hoping to take that very power away.
Heroes vs. civilians has risen as a central theme in plenty of media. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War and the Civil War comics, and many others touch on it. I would argue that few have presented this battle better than writer Charles Soule has in both ‘Supreme’ and the first issue of ‘Mayor Fisk’. Soule leans on real-life issues to create gritty stories that feel genuine, interesting, and exciting. While court cases and municipal elections might not immediately come to mind when thinking of a superhero story, Soule’s writing produces deep and riveting plots that rival any action-centric comic.
Artist Stefano Landini and color artist Matt Milla do a fantastic job illustrating the comic. Daredevil and the Hell’s Kitchen landscape both have a very classic feel to them. Additionally, they’ve done an exceptional job portraying Fisk himself. In other depictions, Fisk has looked bulky or abnormally big. The Kingpin of the ‘Mayor Fisk’ arc looks powerful yet human, his facial expressions giving him a chilling edge. It is one of the best depictions of Kingpin that I’ve seen.
Daredevil #596 - the second issue of the ‘Mayor Fisk’ arc - comes out today. It’s not too late to jump into this storyline. The arc will run for five issues total, concluding in February. If you want catch Fisk’s mayoral term on the front-end, head to your local comic book shop today. Happy New Comic Book Day!