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Marvel crossover pits Kingpin against Luke Cage in New York mayor election

When big comic book crossover events come around, the heroes often have to come up with a cunning plan to save the day. Usually, that plan involves punching, or magic, or hopping through dimensions, or at the very least a one-of-a-kind science device. So in Devil’s Reign, the Marvel crossover currently spinning out of Daredevil from Chip Zdarsky and Marco Checchetto, the plan is really weird.

The Kingpin’s dastardly evil scheme in Devil’s Reign is a tried and true one: Use his power as an elected representative to criminalize any superheroes he doesn’t like. And so far his mandates have the support of New Yorkers, so removing a duly elected mayor by force of superpowers is a no-go. But after a recording of Luke Cage speaking out against Fisk goes viral, well …

Our heroes have a cunning plan to run Luke Cage as an opposing candidate against incumbent Wilson Fisk in the upcoming election for mayor of New York City.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)


Image: Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto/Marvel Comics

I think the coolest thing about this is that the group of characters discussion the plan have pretty much exactly the right civilian expertise to get this done. Luke has the public persona and charism, Daredevil is a lawyer, Iron Man has the bankroll, and Captain America the celebrity endorsement.

Huntress reels from a vision of a woman from the perspective of her attacker, and then dashes off to save her in Dectective Comics #1046 (2021).

Image: Mariko Tamaki, Dan Mora/DC Comics

I find myself more interested in Mariko Tamaki’s Detective Comics than just about anything else in the core Batman stable these days. Now that she’s winding up for the big swing of a 12-part weekly series, the web of supporting characters she’s been weaving is coming clear. In the case of Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress, this whole “having real-time visions from behind the eyes of killers as they assault their victims somewhere in Gotham” is a recent addition to the character, but fun, chilling, and fitting. I hope it sticks around.

Kang the Conqueror views a kaleidoscope of images hinting at upcoming events in Marvel Comics in Timeless #1 (2021).

Image: Jed MacKay, Kev Walker, Greg Land, Jay Leisten, Mark Bagley, Andrew Hennessy/Marvel Comics

The final page reveal of Timeless was that Marvel will be doing its own continuation of influential work created by Alan Moore in the 1980s, but the issue offered this double page spread of hints at upcoming plotlines. Let’s see … left to right, that looks like a new Young Avengers, Ben Reilly/Spider-Man moving to Hollywood, something about the new Thunderbolts, the new Punisher series, stuff about the moon and the future is probably something to do with the X-Men, we should be worried about Bucky killing Captain America, women will step into the roles of Spider-Man (probably Mary Jane) and Black Panther, and commenters can feel free to tell me who the “new god” and the “heart once thought lost” are in reference to.

Black Adam and Superman banter about the stolen Fortress of Solitude in Justice League #70 (2021). “I thought your fortress was in the Arctic.” “I moved it.” “If this happened to me, I’d be very upset.” “Adam ... I promise you, I am very upset.”

Image: Brian Michael Bendis, Phil Hester/DC Comics

I’m a little sleepy on Brian Michael Bendis’ Justice League, but I admit that this week’s issue, the first in its arc, really charmed me. It’s a heist story about the Royal Flush Gang (of all people) stealing the Fortress of Solitude.

“Even if we had won today,” says a bruised and shirtless Superman, “it would have been up to the Warzoons to free themselves in the end [...] We’re going to help them take their freedom,” in Action Comics #1038 (2021).

Image: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Miguel Mendonça/DC Comics

People say that the perennial problem with Superman is finding him a challenge he can’t just punch his way out of — in reality, comics writers do this all the time. But I appreciate Phillip Kennedy Johnson’s own twist on it in his Warworld arc. Superman can’t liberate a people who have been manipulated into seeing their bondage as strength by bonking their leader on the head. He’ll have to rely on his most mundane skill instead: being a force of inspiration.

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Polygon

Polygon is an American video game website that publishes blogs, reviews, guides, videos, and news. At its October 2012 launch as Vox Media's third property, Polygon sought to distinguish itself from competitors by focusing on the stories of the people behind the games instead of the games themselves.

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