Published February 9, 2017

Kingpin: Exploring the Past

Matthew Rosenberg sends Wilson Fisk down memory lane!

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Students of psychodynamic psychotherapy have long held that the solution to the problems of now lie in discovering the wounds of the past. For Wilson Fisk, that theory will be tested on March 8 in KINGPIN #2.

We spoke to the man sharping the #2 pencils for the exam, writer Matthew Rosenberg, about the importance of revisiting the past in preparation for the future. KINGPIN #2 is oriented around you beginning to explore Wilson Fisk’s past. As a writer, what is important about delving into this material? Creatively, how do you find it fulfilling?

Matthew Rosenberg: I think the true joy of working on Marvel Comics is that you get to rely so much on these amazing stories that came before you. We don’t have to keep telling origin stories. We don’t have to keep explaining certain aspects of the characters. It’s already been told way better than I ever could.

And for a character like Kingpin, who has been a favorite of mine since I first learned to read, I think it’s nice to go back and nod to that history. Kingpin is so rarely the lead that we really get a chance to explore who he is, who he was, and who he wants to be in a big way with this series. This is just a chance to spend a little more time with everyone’s favorite giant gangster. When the solicits promise to explore his past, how far back into Fisk’s life are you planning to go?

Matthew Rosenberg: Kingpin is trying to move forward in New York’s elite social circles. In order to do that, he has to confront some of his past. He wants to get out ahead of it. He wants to control the narrative on who he was and what he did.

In order to do that he is going to have to address some dirty deeds. But it’s filtered through his perspective. So we are going to revisit some dirty deeds throughout the series, but maybe not the way readers have [seen] them before. And pretty much anything is fair game. If he was old enough to remember doing it, it might come up. Without spoiling things, can you give readers an idea of where an exploration of Fisk’s past might take them on the globe? What kind of people—or recognizable characters—might he be encountering and interacting with?

Matthew Rosenberg: Well, we are staying in New York City for the most part.

Fisk has big plans and he wants to make sure NYC is at the heart of them all. But this book that is being written about him will dig up some dirt that he prefers would stay buried. Going forward Fisk is going to have to come face to face with people he’d rather be done with on both sides of his past: Tombstone, The Owl, Hammerhead, and maybe even a horned hero. And figuring out how to beat these demons from his past once and for all is the major driving force for Fisk now.

Kingpin #2

Kingpin #2 How does Ben Torres’ art help realize the worlds that Wilson moved in and through in his past? How does it enhance you script from creating the atmosphere you are striving for?

Matthew Rosenberg: Ben is amazing. His art reminds me of the feeling I had when I first discovered Frank Miller, John Romita Jr., or Eduardo Risso. It is just so cool to look at that you lose yourself in the page.

But I think the key for making the book work is feeling the menace that isn’t necessarily in the dialogue or the action. Fisk, Daredevil, Tombstone—these men are barely contained violence walking around in fancy suits. So while Fisk plays nice with others, we need to know that there is always danger just below the surface. And I think Ben captures that perfectly. His Kingpin is scary even when he is eating cereal in the morning. And watching characters like Sarah, who feel real and human, get sucked up into that world is the real thrill. If you had to give fans one bit of information re: Wilson Fisk’s past you think would grab their attention immediately, what would it be?

Matthew Rosenberg: I think the one thing I would say is that Fisk is confronting his past so that he can move forward. This isn’t just a fun nostalgia trip for him. Where he is going and where he came from are very related. And if his plans work, if he can move forward, the whole Marvel universe is going to take notice.

Take a journey through the past of Wilson Fisk on March 8 with KINGPIN #2 by Matthew Rosenberg and Ben Torres!


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