ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Devil’s Reign,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Devil’s Reign #4

Devil’s Reign #4 is part of the event comic by Marvel Comics, written by Chip Zdarsky, art by Marco Checchetto, colors by Marcio Menyz, and letters by Clayton Cowles. In it, Kingpin declared being a superhero illegal in New York, arresting several of those opposing the law. The heroes have gone underground whilst others are in jail. In addition, Mayor fisk stole the powers of the Purple Man to win the next election. Luke Cage decides to run against him for Mayor of New York. In retaliation for speaking out, Foggy Nelson was badly beaten by hired thugs. Doc Ock and his new team attacked the gathered heroes, scattering them.

In this issue, Daredevil is now alone. Drones patrol the city hunting for anyone that steps out of line. Matt visits his wounded friend. Kingpin isn’t totally in control however as Doc Ock declares victory over him, whilst his son Butch is sent to prison. And in the jail where the Richards are held, a breakout is planned.

One of the lingering words that appear to manifest throughout this issue is consequences. The opening part deals with the ramifications of Daredevil’s rash decisions in the previous chapter. Brazenly stepping onto Fisk’s territory in multiple forms led to pain and failure. Switching between the locations Zdarsky structures the comic brilliantly. It allows for different emotions to be felt as the issue progresses. It starts slow before a glimmer of hope surfaces in the middle of the book. The action is explosive and gritty. The second part of Devil’s Reign #4 contains some fantastic surprises. As characters switch sides it drives them towards more conflict. And the final page is a story shattering revelation that fills the reader with fear.

The script and the characters continue to be stunning. One of Zdarsky’s biggest strengths as a writer is the ability to instill heavy, powerful emotion into the dialogue. The feeling of failure is so palpable in the first scenes, for both the main protagonist and antagonist. Daredevil’s licking his wounds because that catholic guilt inside him is burning due to what happened the last issue. And Kingpin standing there as Octavius gloats in his face is an expertly crafted piece of dialogue. It does not feel like a period of success for Fisk in this issue, and that is never a good thing for other people. For when he is hurt he turns that into fury. There is still calculation in his actions, but it is much more impulsive. 

The first half of the issue has the air of a traditional part of a traditional Daredevil story, enclosing predominantly characters from that book and even before. But as the pace of Devil’s Reign #4 increases the other figures get involved again. Reed and Sue Richards have been presented as these hidden pieces on the board, locked away whilst New York is torn apart. But they may serve as some of the most powerful assets the heroes have, along with additional prisoners inside the prison. More cameos are exciting and some of the villains serve to be crucial to the direction of the storyline.

The art is gorgeous. Checchetto is just as capable as Zdarsky in regards to displaying precise and powerful emotions. This can be seen best in the meeting between Doc Ock’s team and Kingpin. There is a beautiful combination of nasty snarls, triumphant smirks and menacing glowers as two powerhouses strut their egos. The artist’s details are so intimate that you can see the characters gritting their teeth. The designs of the heroes and villains are fantastic, especially as some are having to improvise with their costumes.

One of the most eye-catching within this issue is how Rhino is illustrated. The suit is presented so he is especially monstrous, with lumps and ripples and chips in the armor. The fight scenes are intense and superbly choreographed. We are very close to the action and the claustrophobia is high within the confined quarters of the combat. The final two pages have some of the best artwork of the event so far.

The colors are also incredible. The shades fit the gloomy nature of the comic, but they are still awesome. The reader can get lost examining the sheer variety of red just on Daredevil’s costume. Brighter yellows and oranges are toned down so as not to be overpowering. Menyz’s colors in the last pages are influential towards making it so epic.

The letters are easy to read and fantastic. A clever tactic by Cowles is that when Purple Man’s powers are used by Kingpin, the text turns the same color as the character’s name. This puts the reader on alert.

Devil’s Reign #4 is one of the best issues yet. The script is phenomenal, packed with pure emotion and drama. The emphasis placed on Kingpin makes the comic so inviting to read. It is a story that leans on and explores themes whilst also depicting an awesome crossover event. Whilst there are many heroes involved, this storyline does make Fisk the main character. Like a gangster movie, he is at the top of the tower and it is up to the outsiders to bring him down. He has been blessed with so much depth and character development. The heroes are awesome as well, with Checchetto and Menyz providing some outstanding artistic displays.

Devil’s Reign #4 is available where comics are sold.


Devil’s Reign #4
5

TL;DR

Devil’s Reign #4 is one of the best issues yet. The script is phenomenal, packed with pure emotion and drama. The emphasis placed on Kingpin makes the comic so inviting to read.