Devil's Reign #6
THIS IS IT! Devil's Reign comes crashing to an astounding conclusion, and Daredevil and Kingpin's war will never be the same again!
Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marco Menyz, and Clayton Cowles absolutely nail the landing of Devil’s Reign. If you’re a Daredevil fan, Zdarksy’s has been a pretty amazing ride – possibly even the greatest since Ed Brubaker’s fabled run – but this issue seals what can only be seen as the first leg of his journey with Marvel’s Man Without Fear. There’s loss on both sides of Kingpin and Daredevil’s war, regret, anger, and, yes, closure.
What Zdarsky does here better than few others is present a Kingpin who is not only fallible, but vulnerable and even sympathetic – despite the terrible things he does. That message has been a moving target throughout his run, and its throughline concludes here with stunning clarity. And if Wilson Fisk’s story concludes in a way that fans aren’t expecting, well, that’s the icing on the cake. But to be sure, Fisk has learned, grown, changed, and evolved throughout Zdarsky’s run, culminating in the final page of this issue in a way that completely resets the clock for what we know about New York’s ultimate crime boss.
That’s the mark of a truly gifted writer.
As for Matt Murdock himself, Devil’s Reign concludes with him finding a semblance of peace (which might sound disingenuous, considering how last issue ended) and forging forward himself, not for the first time, but definitely in a way that feels like the poor guy is at least catching a break.
As for everyone else concerned, it looks like New York City will have a pretty incredible new mayor soon, the Purple Kids finally get a little justice, the ersatz Thunderbolts are taken down a peg, and the Stromwyn siblings get exactly what they deserve. Heck, even Butch Fisk is given a gift that he may not want, but surely won’t be able to decline. The biggest dangling plot thread left unaddressed are the multiversal Doctors Octopus, though presumably, their fate is revealed in Superior Four. One minor glitch in the Matrix does not a weak series make.
Checchetto and Menyz conclude their shockingly strong artistic run with the same level of confidence, detail, and humanity they started it with. These aren’t the guys who deliver huge, widescreen action, but rather deliver the human moments in spades throughout. They might not have been the first choice for an event comic on a superficial level, but when talking about one that’s very much grounded on the streets like Devil’s Reign has been, they’re one of the smartest choices any editor could have made. I sincerely hope they continue to work together in the future, because they’re a fantastic combination.
The only real downside of Devil’s Reign, when taken as a whole, has been how swiftly it’s moved through its plot points, and the finale, though fulfilling, isn’t different. There’s a lot of plot shoved into these relatively scant few pages, and without proper room to meditate on the ramifications of everything, some readers might be left feeling unfulfilled; “Oh, okay, that’s over now.” There’s an epilogue issue next month that will hopefully tie everything up, though, so hopefully any lingering feelings of discontent will be quelled at that time.
Devil's Reign #6 is a little rapid-fire on the pacing, but ultimately brings a strong conclusion to a dynamite story.
Devil’s Reign #6: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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