|Cover Art:||Alex Saviuk|
As for Kingpin? Well, the big man is in trouble. He's been fighting with Hydra and The Feds, and he hasn't come out on top this time. It all ties in with the events of DareDevil #300. Wilson Fisk has left town in a hurry, and Richard Fisk has occupied his father's former stronghold - Fisk Tower.
Richard has brought Hobgoblin, The Praetorian Guard, and a trussed up Spidey with him, to sift through the ruins of his father's empire. Richard is putting on weight panel by panel, and he now looks not too dissimilar to his father. He is staring out the window as a helicopter gunship hovers into view. He is hit in the head, but it's just a scratch. Bwahahah! A 50-cal chain gun hits you in the head and it's just a scratch? The kind of scratch that leaves the cleaners mopping your brains off the ceiling!
Spidey takes the opportunity to make his move, but he doesn't quite make it, and he's knocked unconscious again. Man, think of all that brain damage! Robbie Robertson discovers that the photo which bore Peter's name was actually Nick's photo. Sargeant Blume shows up at the Daily Bugle, but then has to run away when his beeper calls him.
Richard Fisk just has a scratch, he's recouperating at his apartment surrounded by goons. Rebecca his fiance says that the hair might not grow back over the scar, maybe he will have to shave his head! Hah! As ham-fisted plot-devices go, this one sure smells of bacon. Some more goons show up, and one of them threatens Richard's wife-to-be. This pushes him over the edge. He murders the guy, and you can see now that he has decided to be the new Kingpin of Crime. Of course, the fact that the last one was completely destroyed that morning doesn't put him off. Obviously he, starting from nothing, can succeed where is father failed. Not.
Right, stay with me here. All of the bad guys now turn up at the winter chalet up in the Catskills where MJ and Aunt May are staying. They cut the phone and kill the car, and then move into the house. But Spidey is there! How did he get there, he doesn't have a car? If he piggybacked a ride with the baddies, why did he wait so long to attack them? This and other questions will never be answered.
There's a big scrap, and The Rose joins sides with Spidey, since Richard has gone over the edge. Spidey gets zapped, and Richard shoots The Rose. The Rose is revealed to be... Sargeant Blume! What a surprise. His dying words... 'It wasn't supposed to happen this way. We were going to clean up the city. The Kingpin... He was responsible for my brother's death... Billy was a good copy.. wouldn't take a bribe... so the kingpin had him...'. Move over Shakespear, this is the real stuff.
So, The Rose (II) is dead. But somebody else is there in the same white suit and gloves, and picks up The Rose's purple face mask, saying 'Someone has to pay. Richard Fisk is going to pay for Blume's death. And The Rose (III) is going to make sure he does'.
So who is the third Rose. What was he doing up in the Catskill mountains in a Rose Costume, minus a mask. Didn't it seem strange to anybody during the car ride up there that there were two Rose's... one with a mask and one without. Why did he bring everything except a mask? And why did he bother going out in sub-zero temperatures in the fancy Rose outfit, when nobody but Spider-Man is going to see him, and in the next issue he is going to change his costume and become Blood Rose. More to the point, why did he bother dressing up to be the next Rose, unless he knew that The Rose (II) was going to die. And if he know he was going to die, then why didn't he just save him, instead of avenging him?
These and other questions are just a small sample of the giant gaping wounds in the logic of this crass and boorish storyline. But hold in there, good reader, there's just one more issue left!
Oh, and in the last page, Richard has shaved off all his hair. He's obviously a fast healer. He has a giant scar on his head, showing that he was hit fair and square with a 50-cal round. It left a four inch scar, but didn't give him concussion. And less than a day later it doesn't even need a plaster!
Half a torn, mangled and dirty web. Dirty... like I feel after reading this comic.