Wilson Grant Fisk (Kingpin)

KingpinLet’s alternate shows a bit: in the last pics from the upcoming Daredevil series, we got our first, proper look at the show’s main villain, The Kingpin, who’ll be portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio. The series will be an origin story for Kingpin as much as it is for Daredevil, so we’ll see the two of them struggling for the control of New York City‘s soul while making their first steps. Kingpin is an established character from the comics (and my personal favourite in the entire Marvel Universe), and he already had a couple of live action portrayals: the first one was in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, portrayed by John Rhys-Davies. In the tv movie, he was the true responsible of the crime David Banner was arrested for, and Matt Murdock accepted to defend Banner hoping to bring down Kingpin in the process (obviously, the mobster escaped capture as usual). The second one was in the Daredevil movie, with Michael Clarke Duncan giving an awesome portrayal of the character. Unfortunately, in the script he was little more than the average mob boss, so it all ended up with a fist fight. On the paper, D’Onofrio’s version will give justice to the character, exploring him more deeply in his many sides…but in the meanwhile, let’s see who he is in the comics.

Born in New York City, Wilson Fisk came from an extremely poor family, and was often bullied by his peers at school because of his obese constitution. Continuously put aside and mocked, Fisk grew up as a recluse, and when his parents died (it’s still unknown why or when), he was alone in a world in which everybody were “normal” and he was not. His resolution to become the absolutely best in whatever he did arrived around ten years old, and at twelve he had already killed his first victim. Beliving brute strength brought power, Fisk decided to use his body mass to his own advantage, and started learning martial arts on his own, finally finding in sumo the perfect way for himself: he kingpincomics1turned most of his bulk into pure muscle, gaining a remarkable strength, especially for a young boy. He even studied by himself, mainly stealing books from libraries: he got fascinated by Political Science, and nurturing his brain and knowledge just as much as he did his body, he gained a wide culture and a university graduate-level of instruction. When both body and mind were prepared, Fisk started his own climbing to power, and took over some gangs from the NY slums, organizing them like they were part of a business, and leading them with authority, charisma and brutality. Fisk organised his criminal career as a political one, and with his strategical ability he led his small gang to become one of the richest and most powerful in town. He obviously attracted the attention of other mob bosses, one of which, Dante Rigoletto, was quite impressed by the young man’s skills, and offered him to become his right-hand man; as a response, Fisk killed Rigoletto with his bare hands, and won his men by promising (and giving) better rewards than the late boss: Fisk’s gang, having absorbed Rigoletto’s, was now remarkably big, so big it was perceived as a menace by the Maggia (a powerful Italian American crime syndicate) and HYDRA (a terrorist, Nazi-inspired group). With both Maggia and HYDRA allying to take him down, Fisk left New York and went to Japan…but it wasn’t exactly a retreat.

In the Far East, Wilson Fisk (who now considered himself a Kingpin of Crime) widened his fortune starting a spice business, and gaining contacts with the local criminality (first of all The Hand). With his wealth back, he came back to the United States, and from the shadows he pulled the strings of a gang war that weakened his enemies, allowing him to take control. Presenting himself as a “humble dealer in spices”, Fisk was also able to step into New York’s society, becoming a renowned philanthropist and an admired businessman. Secretely, he strenghtened his grip over every single criminal activity in New York, becoming the Kingpin he had always wanted to be, always kingpincomics2careful not to leave any trace of himself behind, and avoiding direct involvement when possible. As a rich socialité, he met the love of his life, Vanessa, who became his wife and his only source of true happiness; together they got married and had a son, Richard, and Vanessa tried her best to keep Richard far from his father’s criminal activities, arriving to the point of sending him to Europe to study (Richard would have then faked his death in order to tie bonds with his family). While posing as a honest businessman, Fisk made himself known as Kingpin in the underworld, and expanded his empire from New York to Las Vegas, while all the other bosses paid him respect, both out of fear or convenience. After two decades, The Kingpin was the most powerful criminal in the entire United States, and only the growing number of “superheroes” posed a serious threat to his business. When one of the more annoying of them all, Spider-Man, apparently “retired”, Kingpin decided it was time for his ultimate take on the Maggia, who still had the virtual monopoly of the country’s criminality. Uniting a coalition under his leadership, Kingpin started a major crimewave directed towards New York City, both a demonstration of strength and an open war against his rivals in Maggia. A returned Spider-Man stopped his plan, but the undertaking was just postponed: nothing could prevent Wilson Fisk from getting what he wanted.

Wilson Fisk is an extremely intelligent and cunning man, a master tactician and a skilled politician, with charm and charisma enough to convince anybody of his cover identity of a rich and generous philanthropist. Secretely, however, he is and has always been the Kingpin of Crime, leader of the non-Maggia East Coast criminality. Kingpin mantains his dominion with both his political and intellectual skills and his iron grip: he hires the best henchmen at disposal, including some psychos nobody wants to work with such as Bullseye and Typhoid Mary, and he often manipulates superheroes in taking down his enemies without them even realising it. Brain is not his only skill, as he excels even speaking of brawn: his apparently obese figure is actually composed entirely of muscles, and he’s just as strong as a normal human can be, capable of defeating in hand-to-hand combat even super-powered adversaries like Spider-Man, or some of the best combatants in the world, such as Captain America. He’s a master of sumo and of many other martial arts (judowrestling and hapkido among the others), and displays an unusual agility and speed for a man his size. A criminal genius, Kingpin leads the criminal world as a political business, and has organised it in a force to be reckoned with: even if from the shadows, never been convicted, Wilson Fisk is the one and true ruler of New York City…and everyone is well aware of it.

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38 Comments

  1. […] gifted with an incredible force of will (quite a rare phenomenon: so far, only Daredevil, the Kingpin and Dr. Doom proved to be strong enough to resist Killgrave’s powers, and the first one […]

  2. […] to his father’s mysterious job. His best friend as a young boy was Richard Fisk, son of Wilson Fisk, a friend of his father’s. Sammy and Richard grew up together, and eventually they discovered […]

  3. […] by Jonathan Walker. In the show, Cherryh is a corrupt US Senator who’s secretly on Wilson Fisk‘s payroll, providing the gangster with all the political support he needs for his activities […]

  4. […] episode, Shadows in the Glass. In this episode, Daredevil finds the man who designed and tailored Kingpin‘s body armors: Melvin Potter, portrayed by Matt Gerald. In the show, he’s a very […]

  5. […] and everything was just perfect…but for a small detail: Hughes was actually working for Wilson Fisk, the man Ben was investigating on trying to prove he was secretly the Kingpin, the city’s […]

  6. […] bar also became the stage for Daredevil’s statement, when he announced himself as the new Kingpin of Hell’s Kitchen after the arrest of Wilson Fisk. In a way or the other, she was always […]

  7. […] Acheson. In the tv movie, Turk was the not-so-willing informant of Daredevil, until he was paid by Kingpin to provide the hero false information, leading him into a trap. He was later arrested by the […]

  8. […] characters of the show: Leland Owlsey, portrayed by Bob Gunton. In the series, Owlsey will be Wilson Fisk‘s financial advisor, and he’ll be his ally in his plan to destroy and […]

  9. […] his life for the love of Matt. He won a match he was supposed to lose, so he got killed by a young Wilson Fisk, who was working for Fallon at the time. In the comics, his role is pretty much the same, but not […]

  10. […] by Ayelet Zurer. In the show, she’ll be an art dealer who becomes a love interest of Wilson Fisk, and who, judging by the little we saw in the trailer, will come to embrace Fisk’s vision of […]

  11. […] and came back to his mercenary life, selling his skills to the best offerer. He worked under the Kingpin as an assassin for a while, but then came back to Canada to look for help for his new mental and […]

  12. […] ethnicity swap: we should get used to it). In the show, we know Ben will investigate on the Kingpin, trying to expose his secret identity, much like as he did in the comics. He also appeared in […]

  13. […] show. Let’s start from Wesley, who’ll be portrayed by Toby Leonard: he’ll be Wilson Fisk‘s right-hand man, and nothing else is known about him for now. This is not his first live […]

  14. […] portrayed much more ambitious, to the point he’d have nothing against having a man such as Wilson Fisk as a client, not caring about the “only defend the innocents” rule that in the movie […]

  15. […] to a dealer. The dealer in question responded, as everyone else in the United States, to the Kingpin, Daredevil’s long-time nemesis, who used the information to utterly destroy his enemy’s […]

  16. […] was hired as David Banner‘s lawyer; eventually, Daredevil and Hulk team up to take down Kingpin, the one behind the crimes Hulk has been accused for. Ben Affleck portrayed the character in the […]

  17. […] as her only equal, and she tried to earn his trust: to do so, she stole a powerful explosive from The Kingpin, putting herself in a civil war between him, Doctor Octopus and The Owl. She gave Spider-Man […]

  18. […] house). Defeated by the real Wall-Crawler, Smythe, looking for fundings, allied himself with the Kingpin, building new Spider-Slayers for […]

  19. […] incriminate Octopus, and the case was closed. The same brainwashing device was later use by one of Kingpin‘s henchmen, Dr. Wrinkler, on Stacy himself, and this time it was Spider-Man’s turn to […]

  20. […] the appearances, Peter was in love with her. Father and daughter had a little misadventure when Kingpin brainwashed the captain and forced him to steal some documents he needed from the archives; Parke […]

  21. […] many other organizations, who discussed about how to divide among them the territory of the fallen Kingpin. The meeting was obviously a hard one, as every participant wanted the biggest slice of cake, and […]

  22. […] and even rekindling some aspects of their relation, she didn’t esitate for a moment when Kingpin hired her as his chief assassin, despite she knew perfectly well that this would have meant […]

  23. […] opposing to his government. During his time in Tierra Verde, Nuke attracted the attention of The Kingpin, the lord of East Coast criminality: manipulating some corrupted officers who owed him favours, […]

  24. […] of important and powerful businessmen…until he tried to do the same with the computer of Wilson Fisk, a respectable philanthropist who secretly was the Kingpin, the undisputed lord of the West […]

  25. […] Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin, had come back to regain control of the entire New York City criminality, and he was looking for henchmen: convinced by Turk, Grotto followed him, and entered Kingpin’s employment. Despite Grotto’s warning, Turk kept boasting around about his new employer, and eventually, while the two were together in their favourite bar, Josie’s (the owner, Josie, beat them as many times as Daredevil, but they still enjoyed the place, and often played poker there), Daredevil broke in, and interrogated them about Kingpin’s return. While Grotto took most of the beating, Turk had the time to have a smart idea (for once), and he informed Kingpin in time of the vigilante’s investigations, thus allowing him to plan his countermoves and to corner the hero. After this episode, Turk and Grotto received more attention from Fisk, who even entrusted them with his personal files, to be removed from their current location and hidden into a second vault (quite a responsibility task, considering that Fisk’s public image was the one of a perfectly honest businessman). When Sheldon, a smart and greedy kid, started blackmailing Randolph Cherry, the candidate for mayor Fisk had on his paybill, Grotto was ordered to kill him, and he followed Turk’s plan to eliminate the target during the Fifth Avenue Parade, exploiting the crowd…but as many other “brilliant” plans from Turk, that failed as well. Despite working for Kingpin, Turk still involved Grotto and others in “secondary jobs”, as old fashioned robberies; during one of those, while Turk was dividing the loot with Grotto and Zeke, Daredevil spotted them, and left them to be arrested. This time, not even Kingpin wanted to take them out of jail (while Zeke was freed soon after), so the duo was meant to spend quite a lot of time behind bars… But Turk, of course, had another brilliant plan to break out. This time, however, Grotto was sick and tired of his partner’s great ideas, and refused to follow him: maybe it was about time he stopped following people allegedly smarter than him, and he started thinking with his own head…well, the best he could, of course. […]

  26. […] Murray: Nesbitt is an Irish mobster who tries to take over the drug market after the arrest of The Kingpin. Unfortunately, he crosses roads with the city’s newest vigilante, who’s not exactly as […]

  27. […] the superhero Daredevil. When Daredevil entered an all-out war with his most dangerous enemy, The Kingpin, he barely escaped with his life after a direct confrontation with him: this was finally the time […]

  28. […] to enter the safe house, but was unable to crack the shelter’s code, and renounced; one of The Kingpin‘s men, George Wong, saw him from afar, and imitated him, managing to break into the safe […]

  29. […] of the cult to, another worthy warrior more than capable of leading so many men and resources: Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin. Lord Hirochi sent Lady Bullseye to Fisk, and started organizing the crime […]

  30. […] episode nine, Seven Minutes in Heaven, where we meet again a pretty familiar face from Season 1, Wilson Fisk. Fisk, of course, is now in jail, and we get to know his lawyer, a man going by the name Ben […]

  31. […] by Erick Avari in the Daredevil movie, where he got killed by Bullseye for refusing Wilson Fisk‘s offer. Nikolas appeared again in a flashback in Elektra, this time portrayed by Kurt Max […]

  32. […] appeared in the Daredevil movie portrayed by a way above the line Colin Farrell: he was hired by Kingpin to kill Nikolas Natchios when the Greek businessman tried to turn him down on some affair, and […]

  33. […] Mephisto: Zarathos had to corrupt Mephisto’s champion, Spider-Man, into letting his enemy Kingpin be killed, with the existence of the entire universe at stake. Despite his best efforts, Zarathos […]

  34. […] his columns and investigative reports, he even was attacked by some henchmen sent by the mysterious Kingpin, but not only he survived the encounter, he didn’t even get scared enough to interrupt his […]

  35. […] interest. Wanting to become the top boss in New York, for example, Kingsley needed to get rid of The Kingpin, so he brought Ned Leeds to forge an alliance with Kingpin’s son, Richard Fisk, designing for […]

  36. […] he was sent back to Earth. Following this, Nitro became one of the many muscles for hire around: Kingpin, Count Nefaria and others sent him against their enemies, and he always delivered, although he […]

  37. […] when facing some masked hero, Montana is nevertheless one of the first names people like Big Man, Kingpin or The Hood call when they need some old-fashioned street thug, a “job” he still […]

  38. […] teachings, Cloak and Dagger tried to kill two of the top mob bosses in New York, Silvermane and Kingpin, but they failed; as a result, Dagger embraced Spider-Man’s values, and tried to make Cloak […]


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