Devil’s Reign #6 is the final part of the event published by Marvel Comics and written by Chip Zdarsky, with art by Marco Checchetto, colours by Marcio Menyz, and letters by Clayton Cowles. In the previous issue, the Kingpin unleashed a mob of people, Octavius’ men and his Thunderbolts, on Time Square, all possessed by the Purple Man, who is being controlled himself. Kingpin also hunted down and killed Matt Murdock, although this was actually his brother Mike. In this last part, New York’s heroes try to calm the enraged crowd while Daredevil discovers his brother’s murder, leading him to attack the Mayor.
A truly epic conclusion represents the culmination of this event. Travelling at full throttle from the first page, this has the perfect blend of what we have come to expect from a Zdarsky comic. There are tremendous fight scenes in numerous locations, both reaching an emotional and satisfying peak and some brilliant story beats. As the series wraps up, many of those features that have been brewing under the surface finally make their presence known. What Zdarsky also does well is the epilogue, and this is where the genuine surprise comes in. There is a direction that appears to insinuate a further chapter or a particular direction for this part of the Marvel Universe. Instead, this plan is subverted, and the book ends in a much more complete tone.
Even if the story itself has not always been the most original, the characters and the dialogue within them shine. Although there are other members of New York’s hero community involved, Daredevil’s corner has been the most important to the plot and the soul of the comic. Daredevil has been struggling to control his anger and his guilt. In Devil’s Reign #6, his struggle has only increased after his brother died due to being mistaken for Daredevil. Matt Murdock is one of the most frightening figures to come across when he is enraged.
But this story has only ever truly had one main character, Kingpin. Things start to crumble around him as his plans have been exposed and his minions battle. He does not escape his usurping unphased. There is so much depth given to his personality in just one issue; one moment, you sympathize with him, the next, you utterly hate him. The last part of the issue is almost exclusively about Wilson, showing that he has genuinely been the primary figure of the event. While the villain of a crossover like this has taken center stage before, I don’t think they have ever been quite this personal.
Checchetto has taken the responsibility of drawing a blockbuster event on his shoulder and absolutely succeeded. The carnage of the Time Square brawl is fantastic with its balance between coherence and chaos. There is a feeling of great scale as many characters are added to the panels, but the action is also up close and personal, creating a sense of intimacy. And then the comic moves to a quieter moment, and it genuinely does seem more peaceful. This switch in tone and mood is captured brilliantly by Checchetto. There are these glimmers of peace, and then the violence erupts out of nowhere. The sudden brutality is both shocking and well-illustrated.
The colours are stunning. Menyz using vibrant shades adds to the gravitas of the situation. However, the persistent purple seen in the battle is unnerving and a constant reminder of what is controlling the mob, like a haze. At times the artist ignored the details at the edges of panels to focus on detailing what is essential. But Menyz covers for this by adding fog or a smoke-like texture, and it is influential to the atmosphere of the comic. Cowles’ lettering has a house style for Daredevil-related comics and is both recognizable and easy to read.
Devil’s Reign #6 brings multiple brilliant stories to a close. It isn’t just the six-issue event comic that has concluded, but this Zdarsky’s Daredevil run era. The other New York heroes have been a welcome and integral part of this event, just as they had in the series leading up to the start, but it has essentially been Daredevil and Kingpin driving it. The battle is epic, and Matt and Wilson’s showdown was worth waiting for. Devil’s Reign has been a good event, filled with fantastic drama and intense action. But it works even better if you consider it the final act of Zdarsky’s Daredevil run.
Devil’s Reign #6 is available where comics are sold.
Devil’s Reign #6
Devil’s Reign #6 brings multiple brilliant stories to a close…The battle is epic, and Matt and Wilson’s showdown was worth waiting for. Devil’s Reign has been a good event, filled with fantastic drama and intense action.