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COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Kingpin: Born Against

You know when I started my surgical night shifts four days ago, I thought I’d have more time to write some reviews, however between running around like a maniac and trying to get sleep I only had time to sit down and read one novel. Having just read a novel from a smaller company, I was still feeling the desire to read something a little different. So when I saw this little one-off novel from Marvel about the Kingpin, I thought I’d go for it!

‘Born Against’ tells the story of Sarah Dewey, a struggling journalist in New York who has been covering stories about Orlando Perez, an upcoming boxer. Much to her surprise, she is approached by Wesley; an associate of Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. Fisk is interested in having Sarah write a book about his life and he offers her good money in order to give her time to consider. Fisk is adamant that he’s not completely the man that the city thinks he is and he’s willing to go to great lengths to prove it to Sarah. However, this association naturally brings Sarah the wrong sort of attention. Not only is she put into the crosshairs of previous business partners of Fisk’s, such as Tombstone and Hammerhead, but vigilantes including Daredevil begin to pester her with a mind into figuring out why she’s working for Fisk. All of these things lay doubt in Sarah’s psyche and she wonders if writing this book is the best option, but when she’s attacked and saved by Kingpin and he helps her gain partial custody of her children, she agrees to write his book for him. Things seem to go well initially, however, events begin to develop at a rapid pace which leave Sarah in a tough position. Can she trust that Wilson Fisk will go through with his promises? And can Wilson separate himself from his ‘Kingpin’ identity?

This isn’t the first novel that I’ve read which focuses on a villain and I have to say that it was largely in the same vein as those series. However, being a one-off suit the character I feel as Kingpin, although interesting, is largely one-dimensional. I also felt that the novel was quite predictable as it went on, which was disappointing, as the character development which was created in the first half is completely reversed by the end of the novel. I also wish that Daredevil would have featured more, perhaps having him viewed as the pseudo-villain would have improved the novel a little bit.

The artwork in the novel was fairly average. There were good panels and not-so-good panels. The covers on the other hand were not bad, but this variant was by far the best. Overall, this wasn’t a bad idea by Marvel, but certain aspects of the novel let it down in my opinion. Let’s hope the next one I read is much better!

Favourite Panel:

This snake.

Favourite Character:

Despite there being moments where I did consider Fisk, I think Sarah Dewey overall was a better character!


  • Story Arc: ★★★½

  • Character Development: ★★★½

  • Artwork: ★★½

  • Enjoyability: ★★½

  • Re-readability: ★★

Level: Beginner

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