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Cover of Web of Spider-Man #30 (Sep. 1987). Art by Steve Geiger.
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #83 (April 1970)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
John Romita, Sr.
|Alter ego||Richard Fisk|
|Notable aliases||The Schemer, The Rose, The Blood Rose|
Expert in the use of firearms and in hand-to-hand combat
Richard Fisk is a fictional character, a criminal in the Marvel Comics Universe, featured in the comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the son of the Kingpin and his wife Vanessa Fisk. Although he was originally a villain, he became an antihero.
The character Richard Fisk first appears as The Schemer in The Amazing Spider-Man #83 (April 1970), and was created by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr. He first appeared as The Rose in The Amazing Spider-Man #253 (June 1984), but was not revealed as the Rose until The Amazing Spider-Man #286 (March 1987).
Fictional character biography
Richard Fisk grew up as a child of privilege, believing that his father Wilson Fisk was a respectable and honorable businessman. Wilson was sometimes abusive to Richard, but Richard still loved him. At one point he and his childhood friend, Sammy Silke saw Wilson roughing up someone. It was when he was attending a prestigious college in Switzerland that he discovered that his father was, in reality, the Kingpin of Crime. Realizing the luxuries of his youth had been financed by a criminal empire, Richard was distraught and vowed to make atonement for his father's crimes. When his parents received word that Richard had perished in a skiing accident, they suspected that it was really a suicide after Richard learned the truth of his father's identity. Heartbroken and furious that his son could have acted so spinelessly, the Kingpin sunk into a spell of depression.[volume & issue needed]
Not long afterward, a new gang emerged in New York, led by a mysterious figure calling himself the Schemer. Unlike most gangs in New York, the Schemer's organization seemed bent solely on dismantling the Kingpin's empire. After a series of confrontations, the Kingpin and the Schemer finally met face to face. It was then that the Schemer revealed that his face was really a mask, and that his true face was that of Richard Fisk. Richard explained that he had faked his death in the Alps and was striking back at his father using his own money. This final shock was too much for the Kingpin to bear, and he collapsed into catatonia. This finally made Richard realize how much he had hurt his father, and he set off to find a way to cure his comatose state. Richard joined the international terrorist group HYDRA, becoming a leader of the Nevada fragment of HYDRA and eventually rising to the rank of Supreme Hydra. Now with HYDRA's expansive medical resources at his disposal, Richard was able to return his father to full health. The Kingpin, reconciled with his son, proved that he was back to normal by clandestinely taking over as ruler of HYDRA. However, it was soon revealed that the true leader of HYDRA was the Nazi supervillain the Red Skull, and the Fisks had to team up with Captain America and the Falcon to stop the mad dictator. Richard was critically wounded in the final battle, and the Kingpin had his son placed in suspended animation, finally curing him by siphoning some life force from Spider-Man.
Several years later, Richard joined his father's organization, calling himself the Rose, a crime lord under the Kingpin's control. However, this was all a ruse to undermine the Kingpin's empire from within. Aiding Richard in this scheme were his good friend Alfredo Morelli and Ned Leeds, who was brainwashed to act as the supervillain the Hobgoblin. However, the Rose's subterfuge resulted in an explosive gang war that tore New York City apart. During a shoot-out Richard shot and killed a police officer, an act that became a turning point for him - no longer could he consider himself morally superior to his father. After Leeds' death and the end of the gang war, Richard resigned himself to his birthright and rejoined the Kingpin's organization as himself. However, the desire to overthrow his father once again arose, and Richard and Alfredo plotted to make the Kingpin think that Richard was ready to inherit his father's position. Alfredo had plastic surgery to make himself look just like Richard (since he had more combat experience), and slowly began climbing the ladder of power. However, when the Kingpin was overthrown by the combined forces of Daredevil and HYDRA, Alfredo betrayed his old friend by maintaining that he was truly Richard, and took over as the new Kingpin. Richard then became Blood Rose, a Punisher-like vigilante, and began gunning down criminals in a bloody purge of the city. The Blood Rose even shot and wounded Alfredo, who later returned under the alias of Gauntlet, although he was ultimately defeated by NightWatch and incarcerated. Finally caught by Spider-Man and arrested, Richard entered the Witness Protection Program.[volume & issue needed]
Years later, Wilson Fisk once again regained the mantle of the Kingpin, and Richard re-emerged to public life and rejoined the Kingpin's organization, once again vowing to never again attempt to overthrow his father. However, upon meeting his old childhood friend, the ambitious enforcer Silke, Richard thought that he at last had found the perfect way to make his father pay for his crimes. Silke's assassination attempt nearly did succeed, stabbing and seriously wounding the Kingpin (already blinded from an earlier attempt on his life). However, Richard did not count on the tenacity of his mother, Vanessa. Vanessa quickly made a startling counter-strike, eliminating the rebellion and selling her husband's territory so he could travel to Europe and recover. Richard cornered her, insisting that by getting rid of the Kingpin they could be free to have a new life, but Vanessa coldly shot her son dead, eliminating him as a threat once and for all.
Powers and abilities
Richard Fisk has no superhuman powers, however he is trained in the use of guns and has some martial arts training. He is highly intelligent and also has a number of criminal contacts. As the Rose he wears a suit which is bulletproof. He always carries a handgun and often carries a variety of mini-grenades
Another version of Richard Fisk appeared in PunisherMAX,'s 1st story arc called "Kingpin". Here, he is depicted as an eight-year old child rather than a young adult, and his death is caused by his father's takeover of the mob. During his final confrontation with Fisk, mob boss Rigoletto takes Richard hostage and threatens to kill him but Fisk, showing no concern for his son's fate, stands idly by as Rigoletto slits the boy's throat. Fisk later reflects that he had always thought that he was trying to advance his criminal career for his son's sake, while in reality it was only for himself. Richard's fate causes Vanessa Fisk to plot the downfall of her estranged husband.
In other media
- Richard Fisk appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series voiced by Nick Jameson. In this continuity, Richard is loyal to his father and heads a front company called Fisktronics. In the two-part episode "Framed" and "The Man Without Fear," Wilson Fisk hires Peter Parker to work for Fisktronics under Richard Fisk. Richard frames Peter Parker for selling government secrets with the help of the Chameleon. When Peter Parker was abducted by Chameleon in the form of Spider-Man following the first half of his trial, he is brought to Richard Fisk who revealed to have used Peter Parker as his pawn. After Richard Fisk has Peter Parker locked up, Daredevil arrives and frees Peter Parker. Spider-Man teams with Daredevil in an attempt to clear his name. They capture Richard Fisk who is then arrested. Thus, Peter was cleared of all charges. At the courthouse, Richard Fisk alongside Chameleon and rogue Federal Agent Susan Choi are found guilty and sent to prison for their crimes. Kingpin was sitting behind Richard as he tells him "sacrifices must be made" when the judge offers the defendants the names of any other accomplices in the crime. In "Guilty," Richard teams up with Tombstone (who was incarcerated in the same prison two episodes after Richard) and agrees to frame Robbie Robertson. They have him kidnapped by men on the outside, put a gun in his hand while he was unconscious, and was sent to trial for a crime he didn't mean to commit. He was originally supposed to go to New York State Penitentiary. Due to Kingpin having hacked the computers that was to choose the prison locations for the inmates, Robbie was reassigned to Ryker's Island where Richard and Tombstone laid incarcerated and would be there for the next fifteen years. Robbie ended up as a cellmate of Richard Fisk and Tombstone who revealed how they got him in trouble with the law. While J. Jonah Jameson was doing his own detective work, Spider-Man apparently figured out about Richard and Tombstone's plan and busted into Ryker's Island to save Robbie. Just when Richard and Tombstone would take off with their valuable cellmate in a helicopter, Spider-Man accidentally has the helicopter and saves Robbie and the pilot while Richard and Tombstone fall back to Ryker's Island ironically where they are apprehended by the guards. Richard made his last appearance in "The Prowler" in a flashback appearance when he was saved by Hobie Brown from getting killed by bags of powder from another incarcerated criminal. Richard told his father of the news and got Hobie out of prison with the help of a hot shot lawyer. Producer John Semper explained that if the series were to continue with a sixth season, there would have been a storyline where Richard Fisk would frame Ned Leeds.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #286
- Daredevil #29
- The Amazing Spider-Man #83
- Daredevil Vol. 2 #31
- PunisherMax #1-6
- Richard Fisk at the Marvel Universe wiki