Issue(s): Daredevil #299, Daredevil #300
She's not interested at first, but when he saves her from an unrelated assassination attempt, she's more inclined to listen. And the information on the Kingpin is pretty solid. In return, Daredevil asks Malper to try to expedite the process of getting Matt Murdock reinstated to the bar.
Meanwhile, the Kinpin has his men track down and kidnap Garotte, the Hydra agent that was posing as the main backer of the Kingpin's news network. But Garotte has the last laugh. He tells the Kingpin that Hydra has wiped out his funds, the results of a backdoor installed when they wired him the funds for the network.
And the Kingpin's building is shot up by a Hydra gunboat.
On top of that, all of the Kingpin's holdings in New York are being destroyed. Note that Hydra has been kind enough to evacuate the people first.
I like the idea that the Kingpin is "only a criminal", much less a player than the revived Hydra.
The Kingpin is devastated by all of this.
And Daredevil tries not to gloat.
It does make you wonder how Daredevil might have tried to take the Kingpin down if the Kingpin hadn't accidentally gotten mixed up with Hydra, though. It's Hydra that destroys all of the Kingpin's holdings (politely without killing anyone, so that Daredevil isn't sullied any more than he already is)(why they would bother to do that is a whole different question), and the information that Daredevil gave to the prosecutor is from SHIELD, who was only holding back on the Kingpin to go after Hydra.
But it's not Daredevil's fault that he was dealt a good hand, i guess. Issue #300 opens with him at the Daily Bugle, convincing (successfully!) J. Jonah Jameson to run an expose on the Kingpin. We then see the Kingpin at his office, where repairs have not yet begun because he no longer has the connections or money to have a construction crew at his beck and call. He reviews his losses with his assistant, Maltese, and gets increasingly frustrated. Then Kathy Malper shows up with a warrant to search his premises.
For all his sophistication, the Kingpin doesn't seem to understand the legal process very well.
To be fair, he is flashing back to his childhood. We see a scene where he first got into crime, agreeing to cause an explosion to convince workers at a factory to join a union.
After the hearing, Matt Murdock apparently can't help show up to gloat.
This reminded me of the scene in Born Again when the Kingpin blew up Murdock's apartment, which caused Murdock to realize that all the seeming coincidences that had been causing him back luck were in fact orchestrated by the Kingpin. However, i don't think that's intentional, since this is not a turning point for the Kingpin the way it was for Daredevil in Born Again. If anything, this sequence cements his downfall.
Kingpin is not actually under arrest yet (since he hasn't been charged, hence the grand jury). So he goes back to the Tavern on the Green. Maltese tells him that a state senator is willing to pull some strings for him if he can deliver "justice" for a cab driver whose murder is unsolved.
This is a murder that the Kingpin pre-emptively framed Matt Murdock for during Born Again. He's stored the "evidence" away for a rainy day.
Before leaving the restaurant, though, he's hit with a bill for all of his past meals. This is a callback to his treatment of the waiter from issue #298.
When the Kingpin goes to retrieve the evidence, he's confronted by Daredevil.
And it also turns out that he doesn't have the funds to pay for the locker storage where the evidence was being kept.
So this gives Daredevil an opportunity to fight the Kingpin.
And it turns out the story about the state senator was a lie.
We're reminded that Daredevil bringing out the portrait of Vanessa in the first part of this storyline is what started all of this.
As Daredevil continues to fight the Kingpin, Peter Parker and a secret girlfriend that he is pretending is Mary Jane observe.
Daredevil defeats the Kingpin and destroys his "evidence". He also tells the Kingpin that he "forgives" him.
The next page has the Kingpin out on bail already. But the Kingpin's rescuer is Jerry 'The Whale' Sabini.
Random bit of continuity clean-up in that scene above. In The Whale's first appearance, he was called Jimmy, not Jerry. The sign on his door shows that his middle name is James. Jimmy can be short for James.
As you can see, The Whale intends to lord it over the Kingpin. But the Kingpin isn't having any of that.
Now look who's Born Again.
The issue ends with the Kingpin on the run and Matt getting reinstated to the bar.
I read issues #297-300 as a trade and never thought to get the surrounding issues until this project. And that always made this story feel self-contained, but in fact the Kingpin will continue to appear in D.G. Chichester's run, appearing again as soon as issue #307. And that really makes a difference in how you interpret things. If you read this in isolation, or as suggested by the copy of my trade, as a follow-up to Born Again, it feels like we're getting closure here. Matt Murdock is a lawyer again, and the Kingpin is defeated. In reality, while this is certainly a major shake-up, the Kingpin is still out there, and in the long run he'll be the big boss again. I don't mean this in a positive or negative way, its just interesting how the perspective changes whether you're looking at this as a standalone story or part of an ongoing storyline where in the long run things are likely to snap back to their classic status quos.
Regardless, this is a very enjoyable and significant feeling storyline. I don't think it's quite the successor to Born Again that it wants to be, but it's a well executed thriller.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: See the considerations for Web of Spider-Man #87. Web of Spider-Man #88-89 must take place during Daredevil #300, concluding in time for Peter Parker and Mary Jane to show up during issue #300 here.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Fall of the Kingpin TPB
Inbound References (6): show
Some people might like this story but I think it was horribly contrived and helped destroy the Kingpin's sense of menace.
Posted by: Michael | November 22, 2015 1:02 PM
I love the fact that the Kingpin is so important, that this storyline unofficially crosses over to Spider-Man and Ghost Rider books. This is exactly why I prefer Marvel over DC. The shared universe works out much better at Marvel. That's just my opinion, of course.
Posted by: clyde | November 22, 2015 1:34 PM
One other issue with this storyline- was the disgraced general on the videotape supposed to be Haywerth? Was Chichester unaware that he was appearing regularly as a member of the Commission?
Posted by: Michael | November 22, 2015 2:06 PM
I think Matt mocking the Kingpin was a very intentional callback to "Born Again."
"This reminded me of the scene in Born Again when the Kingpin blew up Murdock's apartment, which caused Murdock to realize that all the seeming coincidences that had been causing him back luck were in fact orchestrated by the Kingpin. However, i don't think that's intentional, since this is not a turning point for the Kingpin the way it was for Daredevil in Born Again. If anything, this sequence cements his downfall."
Which basically what happened to Matt when he realized the Kingpin was behind everything. Not with Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's level of ability, but a very fun story. I had stopped reading "Daredevil" years before, except for the Mutant crossovers, but grabbed this up as a sequel to "Born Again" and wasn't really disappointed.
Don't look at it as a believable story in and of itself, and instead see it as a crimeboss realizing after a very long time that he lives in a superhero world, and is being outmatched by a superhero. HYDRA and SHIELD are part and parcel of living in that world, and my favorite scene was Peter Parker taking pictures in the background, yelling 'go gettim, hornhead!'
Posted by: ChrisW | November 22, 2015 4:42 PM
Agree with Michael. It was jarring to see how quickly Kingpin fell and made no sense that he went from riches to rags in one issue. While I liked seeing Daredevil smile finally after scores of miserable issues I did not like seeing Kingpin brought down so low.
Posted by: Grom | November 22, 2015 7:19 PM
IMO, Maltese is probably not a direct reference to the Maltese Falcon, but to Corto Maltese, the Italian comic that Frank Miller name-dropped in the Dark Knight.
Posted by: Andrew | November 22, 2015 8:33 PM
Hi Fnord, is there a panel of the Kingpin when he was young in this book? If so, and it's not too much trouble, could you scan it, please? It would be interesting to see how the Kingpin looked at a young age.
Posted by: JSfan | November 23, 2015 2:14 AM
Odd how things can be subjective sometimes.
I found Born Again rather unappealling a read. Yet I enjoyed Last Rites considerably.
I guess Frank Miller is not a writer to my taste.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | November 23, 2015 3:02 AM
JSFan, i've added a scan.
Posted by: fnord12 | November 23, 2015 7:53 AM
Thanks, fnord. D.G. Chichester, sure like to go on about the Kingpin's weight. Poor kid. :)
Posted by: JSfan | November 23, 2015 11:18 AM
In that last scan, the word balloon beginning with " Now I feel..." looks like it was relettered or somehow changed.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 23, 2015 11:24 AM
All in all, a decent follow-up to Born Again that provides some closure. But what's interesting is how damn long it took to get to this. All that Nocenti babbling for years. I read this just last year for the first time and wouldn't have thought there was a five year gap between the two storylines.
Also, kudos to the DA for having the guts to wear her Sox cap while working in Manhattan.
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 11, 2016 11:54 AM
Comments are now closed.
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