Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Art: Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz, Clayton Cowles, and Matthew Wilson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 29th, 2021
At first, I’d have to agree with my colleague who wrote the review for DEVIL’S REIGN #1, it felt a bit like a smaller scale CIVIL WAR. However, as Chip Zdarsky continues to iron out the plot, the level of intensity is rising while more and more players are making this event carry some serious weight. Ultimately, Fisk wants to be re-elected Mayor of NYC and wants to put a stop to vigilantes almost as if both of his agendas over the course of the character’s lifetime have coincided with this devilish plan set before us. Yet boiling under the surface, feels like a bit more is ready to explode possibly making Fisk an eventual minor character in his own event. Let’s dive into DEVIL’S REIGN #2 by Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto as we discover what’s on the horizon for this daring new event.
Zdarsky does a fantastic job giving almost every character a voice throughout the issue. With so many moving parts and pieces, sometimes the characters of these large event books get lost in the shuffle. However, that’s not the case in this week’s DEVIL’S REIGN #2. Danny Rand, Reed, Sue, Ben Reilly, Elektra, Doc Ock, Tony Stark, Captain America, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and so many more get their moment to shine. Plus, throwing around all these characters based in and around NYC helps amplify the premise of this event and gives it some serious weight.
Moreover, Fisk’s plan seems realistic. Well, as realistic as it could be within the confines of a comic. How does Fisk become so powerful? How could he somehow stop the AVENGERS and FF for Pete’s sake? It’s reasonably explained with a bit more detail throughout this issue of DEVIL’S REIGN. Oddly, the characters and focus with the least amount of attention happened to be Elektra and Matt Murdock, which felt weird considering the premise is centered around DAREDEVIL. However, as much as Zdarsky has been the DAREDEVIL writer, this event is feeling more and more like a larger scale event and less like a specific DAREDEVIL extenuation.
Furthermore, Zdarsky institutes some pretty clever plot threads that really hooked this reviewer. The Ben Reilly angle shows that Zdarsky pays attention to the current MARVEL COMICS landscape AND can play well with others. The Sue and Reed scene wasn’t “needed” but added some flare to the character dynamic. The tension building between Tony Stark and Luke Cage was also an intriguing aspect. Plus, I loved the leadership role Luke seemed to be taking. It’s tremendous growth and direction for the character that fits his personality beautifully. And lastly, as much as I absolutely loved SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN, it’s still incredibly nice to see Otto back to his old ways.
Now, the story and concept by Zdarsky have really started to turn upwards hooking this reviewer. But, it’s Marco Checchetto’s illustrations that truly drive this comic making the reader feel completely submerged into the comic. His rendering of Kingpin is extraordinary. He’s large, but not obnoxiously too large. He’s clean-cut and resembles more of a businessman and politician than ever before. Yet, it’s almost as if the power that exudes off of him is that of someone with ties running deep. It’s actually pretty funny considering all the conspiracy theories now surrounding politicians and their control of business and the world. It’s Checchetto’s rendering that makes Fisk seem powerful, however, powerful in the way our current society deems powerful.
Moreover, the fight scenes between Ben Reilly SPIDER-MAN and Taskmaster were vivid, action-packed, and relentless cluttered with loads of detail and design. Furthermore, the panel progression and layout of the fight scene added so much suspense and awe making it one of my favorite depicted Spidey scenes in quite some time. And if that wasn’t enough, Checchetto’s Doc Ock looks strong, confident, and not someone to mess with especially on that last page!
DEVIL’S REIGN is more than just a DAREDEVIL event. Sure, it parallels some similar tones towards CIVIL WAR and Charles Soule’s run. However, it feels like it’s setting up something bigger that hasn’t been uncovered yet while also updating the whole “registration of vigilantes” angle. Because let’s be real, registration isn’t even an option after unpacking DEVIL’S REIGN #2. And yes, the underlying societal issues are most certainly squeaking through the cracks.
Nevertheless, DEVIL’S REIGN #2 is so much more. This is a legit event that encompasses AVENGERS, DEFENDERS, SPIDER-MAN, and even the FF in which Zdarsky gives almost all of them their fair shake. Moreover, the how and why has already been addressed after only two issues into six which is so unlike current event books. Therefore with four issues still to go, who the heck knows what else is on the horizon. And lastly, Checchetto is incredible. His illustrations are sharp, clear, and striking while providing a fantastic blend of action, panel progression, tension, and discussion that will certainly captivate the reader until the very end. After being only two issues through DEVIL’S REIGN, I’m all in right now and can’t wait to dig into some of the tie-ins as well. Let me know what you think, God Bless, and Happy New Year!