WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Devils Reign #1, available now from Marvel.
Daredevil’s longrunning war with the former Kingpin of Crime has always been a bloody one, but Devils Reign has just seen it spill over into the streets of New York City like never before. Thanks to his position as mayor, Wilson Fisk has had no problem sending his own superpowered police force to tackle the city’s heroes. Unfortunately, not all of Fisk’s agents are as loyal as they might seem, as one of them is also working for Marvel’s other scariest politician ahead of their very own run for president.
Despite all of his other recent accomplishments, his loss of the secret identity of his nemesis has driven Wilson Fisk into an insatiable fury. No longer content to carry on battling one masked vigilante, the former Kingpin has set loose his dogs of war in the form of brand new Thunderbolt Units. As seen in Devils Reign #1 by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz, and VC’s Clayton Cowles, these new paramilitary police squads are backed up by the superpowered threats of the Thunderbolts themselves. While many of the Thunderbolts formed during Knull’s invasion have returned to action, there are a few new additions to the team, including one who stands out among the rest of the villainous crowd. Agony might fit in with the rest of the Thunderbolts on the surface, but it doesn’t take much digging to understand why her presence is truly unsettling.
First introduced back in 1993’s Venom: Lethal Protector #4 by David Michelinie and Ron Lim, Agony was one of the five symbiotes forcefully birthed from Venom by the Life Foundation. In the years since then, Agony, like the rest of her siblings, has become a terrifying force in her own right, yet it is her connection to Carnage that currently presents such a big problem.
Following the events of King in Black, Carnage was forced to claw its way back up the food chain, eventually finding himself hiding away in the host body of Arthur Krane. This was the son of the same Senator Krane who was using Knull’s attack as the foundation of his anti-alien platform. When the elder Krane was brutally murdered during Carnage’s assault on one of his rallies, Agony was there alongside the rest of her evil Life Foundation brethren, sewing death and wanton destruction.
Now in the wake of that attack, the serial killer symbiote is riding another wave of mass panic, carrying on his host’s father’s legacy in public while leveraging that position to ensure his more personal machinations aren’t interrupted. It’s an impressive play for power, not to mention one that puts Carnage in the same sphere as Wilson Fisk in more than one way. Considering the latter’s impending presidential bid, it could see the two villains going to war both openly and in the shadows.
The optics of having a violent symbiote on his personal police force is certainly of some concern, but it is what Agony is doing away from the action that should be far more threatening to Fisk. Even with his incredible connections and intel, it’s unlikely he is aware of the symbiote’s role in recent events, though it would appear that matters far less to the former Kingpin than ensuring his victory over the heroes of NYC. Whether it’s a blind spot on Fisk’s part or a calculated risk, there is no doubt that all of this is headed nowhere good, even if it is exciting to watch.
from Ultimate Comic Blog