INTERVIEW: Marvel's Devil's Reign Unleashes Fisk on NYC, Daredevil & More – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Chip Zdarsky Discusses Devil’s Reign, a Marvel Comics event, showcasing former Kingpin turned mayor, Wilson Fisk, going to war with NYC’s heroes.
As the villainous Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk used his human might and incalculable cunning to make life miserable for the Marvel heroes that battle street-level crime in New York City. Marvel’s heroes that operate on a larger scale — facing cosmic level threats — have less to do with Fisk. After Fisk seemingly gave up crime to become the mayor of the Big Apple, those heroes, like the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, felt that Fisk was no longer a threat.
This December, they’ll find out just how wrong they were. Building off Daredevil‘s recent issues, writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto unleash Devil’s Reign, a major Marvel event series, complete with tie-ins that explore Fisk’s sinister plan for NYC. The main Devil’s Reign mini-series will, of course, include Fisk’s regular adversaries like New York City’s two current Daredevils — Matt Murdock and his ex-lover Elektra Natchios. It will also include a whole host of New York city-based heroes who find themselves in Fisk’s crosshairs and an army of supervillains that Fisk has empowered to wreak havoc.
CBR spoke with Zdarsky about the major villainous and heroic players in the Devil’s Reign cast. Zdarsky also discussed the nature of the war Wilson Fisk is waging against Marvel’s heroes and where his long-form Daredevil story is headed after Devil’s Reign. Also included with this interview is an exclusive first look at Fisk’s new army of Thunderbolts, drawn by Checchetto, and a sneak peek at Devil’s Reign #2’s variant cover by artist InHyuk Lee.
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CBR: Devil’s Reign is a story about Wilson Fisk pitting all his power and cunning against the heroes of Marvel New York. What made you want to tell this story with Fisk? And what would you like new readers to know about the arc that the former Kingpin and current mayor has been on over in Daredevil?
Chip Zdarsky: We’ve been working toward this point from the beginning of our Daredevil run. Fisk has struggled with his ambitions during our story and has finally settled into a sense of contentment being mayor of NYC. Which means it’s time to pull the rug out from under him. Nothing lasts forever and he now finds himself on a rampage against Daredevil and the heroes of the city.
And, yeah, while I obviously highly recommend that readers catch up on our Daredevil story — because I’m super proud of it –, we definitely make sure to get all readers on the same page in our issue one!
How does it feel to be telling such a big story with your Daredevil collaborator, Marco Checchetto?
A little surreal! The story kept growing and growing as we moved toward it, but Marco is destined for Marvel events. He’s so damn good.
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While Devil’s Reign is a story about New York and street crime, it’s also a major Marvel event that the heroes who call NYC home are swept up in. Does the book have a core cast of heroes that get the most spotlight? And who are some of the heroes you’ve especially enjoyed writing?
Besides the Daredevils, we have a strong focus on Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, as they’re two of the characters I most strongly associate with NYC. The FF play a role, as do Captain America and Miles Morales. Honestly, I love writing all of them. But Cap is probably my favorite, just because of his strong sense of right and wrong.
The Amazing Spider-Man is sort of the premier hero of New York City, but in his book, he’s undergone a dramatic status quo change with Ben Reilly now in the suit and backed by the Beyond Corporation. Will that be reflected in Devil’s Reign? And if so, what’s it like writing Ben in this sort of situation?
Yeah! It’s been fun writing Ben! Here he finds himself thrown into situations designed for Peter, so he has to navigate that. I’ve been loving the Beyond storyline over in Amazing, so it’s a treat to help fill out Ben’s world a bit.
Devil’s Reign is also a story about the army of villains that Fisk mobilizes to deal with the heroes of New York. Which of these bad guys has proven the most fun to write?
Taskmaster is a delight, but the one that I’m really enjoying is Doc Ock. I never really had a chance to write him during my time on Spectacular, so digging into his scheming, next-level brain has been a lot of fun.
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How big a role do Marvel New York institutions and personalities like J Jonah Jameson and the cast of the Daily Bugle play in Devil’s Reign?
Not a ton in the main event series as we’re pretty jam-packed focusing on the Marvel heroes and civilians! There are some classic Marvel NYC locations that pop up, but I don’t want to give too much away!
What can you tell us about the nature of the war that erupts in Devil’s Reign?
Wilson Fisk erupts in this series. In a way that he’s never done before, where he’s willing to go scorched-earth on the city in order to hold onto it. Things ramp up super quickly with Fisk outlawing heroes and using his files on all the heroes to crush any resistance. If you have a secret, so does Wilson Fisk.
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What do you want readers to know about the tie-in issues and mini-series for Devil’s Reign?
They’re fun! Again, I don’t want to give too much away, but the scripts I’ve seen have been action-packed with great emotional stakes. Also, Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto doing old-school Elektra and Emma Frost is (chef’s kiss)!
Finally, this may be a Marvel event that’s accessible to new readers, but it also feels like a major payoff to the story you’ve been telling over in Daredevil. Does Devil’s Reign wrap up that story? Or is there still more to come after?
It definitely wraps elements of our story. But it also breaks things open wide for the next act of Daredevil, which Marco and I are super excited to get to! We’re really happy that Marvel has given us the space to tell this part as big as possible, but Daredevil is our heart and we intend to keep that train going.
KEEP READING: Marvel’s New Thunderbolts Target Daredevil & Friends in Devil’s Reign Event
When Dave Richards was a young boy his mother bought him several comics as a way of encouraging a love of reading. She was successful in her endeavor, but she also created a lifelong comics fan. In the early 2000s he began writing about comics for CBR shortly after earning his journalism degree from the University of Michigan’s Dearbon campus, and in 2005 he took over the site’s Marvel Comics beat and continues to write about their books to this day. He also frequently writes about horror and tabletop gaming. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Richards and check out all his recent writing here


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