As we often say here at Newsarama, death in superhero comic books is only a temporary condition …
… but what about retirement?
Yeah, that's probably temporary too. Nevertheless, a major, high-profile Marvel Comics character surprisingly retired this week, and as you can see from the image above, sailed off into the sunset.
But for reals.
So who collected their Marvel gold watch and started deducting from their comic book 401k account?
Well, that would be spoiling the story, now wouldn't it?
Yes … it would.
Spoilers ahead for a new Marvel Comics April 6 release
Okay, still with us?
In a surprise move, Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin of Crime and Mayor of New York City has abdicated the throne and left his NYC criminal empire in the hands of his son, Butch, as well as was removed as Mayor. He then sailed off seeking happiness with his current love, fellow supervillain Typhoid Mary.
And he did this just days after nearly completing his plan to take over NYC using the Purple Man's mind-control power and outlawing all superheroes to operate in the city.
It all went down, of course, in April 6's Devil's Reign #6, the finale of the series.
We won't give you a blow-by-blow of the entire issue, but in the wake of Fisk murdering Matt Murdock's twin brother Mike Murdock thinking he was killing Matt/Daredevil (it's complicated), the Purple Man is defeated, and Daredevil and Fisk engage in yet another one-on-one fistfight.
Daredevil comes out on top but stops short of murdering Fisk as revenge for killing Mike.
Fisk is seemingly arrested and taken into police custody, but since this is the Kingpin, his arrest turns out to be a ruse orchestrated by his estranged son Butch, who has been learning the ropes of the criminal business from his dad.
Butch takes Fisk to the headquarters/home of the Stromwyns, the ultra-wealthy criminal backers who have been driving Fisk's political ambitions, who reveal their plan to set Fisk as the President of the United States, where they'll rule instead as his puppet masters.
Kingpin then does Kingpin things and murders them both along with their henchmen for thinking he'd ever serve them, showing Butch what the Fisk legacy is all about. Fisk then explains that he's leaving his criminal empire in Butch's hands as his birthright, telling him to claim that he killed his own father to assume power and to prove his mettle as the new Kingpin.
Fisk also reveals he killed Matt Murdock, but Butch, who is Mike's best friend and partner in crime, deduces Fisk killed Mike thinking he was Matt and breaks down crying, suggesting the new Kingpin might have the keys to the kingdom, but not the same disposition as his dad.
A week later Fisk and Mary climb aboard a sailboat at a dock in New York City. Mary suggests they could rebuild his empire and rule from the shadows, but Fisk asks to what end, saying the world has taken everything away from him but that he has her, that the world is all theirs and that they should go find their happiness as they sail away from New York.
Of course, Kingpin's retirement is probably only temporary, as most major status quo changes to prominent characters in comic books usually are.
But Fisk's public arrest (albeit fake) and subsequent escape and retirement do leave one practical matter – who will serve as Mayor of New York City?
Earlier in the issue, it's implied that Luke Cage, who in previous issues of Devil's Reign declared his candidacy to run against Fisk in the next election, will now run unopposed and will likely take office.
As to who will now serve as Daredevil's chief protagonist, well, that's a question for another day, and there's been a new wrinkle in Devil's Reign addressing that question too.
But that's another story.
Now that Devil's Reign has concluded, will it find a place among the best Daredevil stories of all time?