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Kingpin drawn by David Mazzucchelli
|First appearance||The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
John Romita, Sr.
|Alter ego||Wilson Fisk|
Emissaries of Evil
|Notable aliases||The Brainwasher
Harold Howard[volume & issue needed]
|Abilities||Master armed/unarmed combatant and tactician
Highly skilled planner and organizer
Peak-level strength and durability
Wears Kevlar armor
Use of a laser gun-equipped walking stick and ornamental diamond stick-pin
The character is portrayed as one of the most feared and powerful crime lords in the Marvel Universe, typically holding the position of New York City's crime overlord. The Kingpin first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #50. Initially an adversary of Spider-Man, the character later became the archenemy of Daredevil, and a recurring foe of the Punisher. IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains Of All Time List ranked The Kingpin as number 10.
The Kingpin's signature look is his extraordinarily heavyset appearance, with most of his mass consisting of muscle. He usually wears a white suit jacket and carries a walking stick, which he tips with diamonds or other hard substances as necessary to aid his physical combat. The name "Kingpin" is a reference to the title crime lord in mafia slang nomenclature. Wilson Fisk is played by Michael Clarke Duncan in the 2003 film Daredevil, and by Vincent D'Onofrio in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Skills, abilities and equipment
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Kingpin first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr, who based his physical appearance on actor Sydney Greenstreet.
In his debut story arc in The Amazing Spider-Man #50–52, the Kingpin is portrayed purely as a mob boss, albeit one who tends to be unusually hands-on in his criminal dealings. In his subsequent appearances in the series, also written by Lee, he is developed into more of a typical supervillain, employing fantastic devices to further his criminal capers. In the early 1980s the character took a sharp turn in his characterization. A series of appearances in Daredevil by writer/penciler Frank Miller depicted the Kingpin as a scheming, cold-blooded crime lord who consistently stays beyond the reach of the law. This take on the character would remain the dominant one for decades, and the Kingpin became widely regarded as Daredevil's archenemy. He continues to be a recurring opponent of Spider-Man, Daredevil, and the Punisher.
Fictional character biography
Wilson Fisk began his life as a poor child in New York City, bullied by his classmates due to his obesity. Fisk began training himself in physical combat, using his new-found strength to intimidate the bullies into joining his gang. He was eventually discovered by crime lord Don Rigoletto. Fisk became Don Rigoletto's bodyguard and right-hand man. Eventually, Fisk killed Don Rigoletto and took control of his criminal empire, immediately becoming one of the most powerful figures in New York's underworld.[volume & issue needed]
While the Kingpin enjoyed a long tenure in his new position, he had made enemies such as the Maggia crime syndicate and the terrorist group HYDRA. The two groups teamed together to oppose Fisk, causing him to flee to Japan. There, he started a spice business in order to regain his wealth. After earning enough money, Fisk returned to New York and started gang wars, in an attempt to bring down the Maggia. With the criminal world in chaos, Fisk was able to step in and take back control.[volume & issue needed]
Fisk attempted a coalition of the New York mobs after hearing that Spider-Man had apparently gone out of action, and ordered the abduction of J. Jonah Jameson, but was foiled by Spider-Man in his first confrontation with the web-slinger.
While Fisk was a powerful crime lord, he posed as a legitimate businessman, one who made donations to charities, and seemed like a generous, wealthy man. He eventually met and then married a woman named Vanessa, with whom he had a son, Richard Fisk. Vanessa did not know that Fisk was a criminal when she married him, and when she found out, she threatened to leave him if he did not give up his life of crime. He retired from crime, and the family moved back to Japan.
Richard Fisk did not find out that his father was a criminal until he was in college. After graduating, Richard told his parents he would travel through Europe. Only months after he left, they received news that Richard, who was angry after learning the truth about his father, had died in a skiing accident. However, this was not what really happened. It turned out that Richard Fisk was still alive, and was masquerading as a rival crime lord known as the Schemer, intent on toppling his father as the kingpin of crime.
Fisk contended against his rival gang-leader, the Schemer, who proved to be Richard in disguise, and battled Spider-Man in this encounter.
At one point, he became the manager and director of the Las Vegas faction of HYDRA.
At his wife's behest, Fisk later divested himself of his criminal empire. He unsuccessfully attempted to kill Spider-Man once more before retiring from crime.
To complete his reformation, the Kingpin agreed to turn over his files to the authorities incriminating his former lieutenants. His wife Vanessa was then kidnapped by said lieutenants, who put out a contract on his life. After he witnessed the apparent death of Vanessa, he returned to a life of crime. He regained control of the New York mobs because he had built them up in the first place and knew how to damage them; promises to keep the East Coast stable kept Midwestern crime lords happy and allowed him room to move. The Kingpin also gained Bullseye's loyalty by promising steady work. The files were taken by Daredevil; Kingpin encouraged him to turn them over to the police as that would allow him to replace the arrested crime lords that much swifter. Daredevil did not turn them over because this would slow down the Kingpin's plans. Kingpin maneuvered Daredevil into battling the Hand. He secretly promoted mayoral candidate Randolph Cherryh. He then hired Elektra as his assassin. Daredevil found Vanessa alive but amnesiac and returned her to him in exchange for his abandoning the Cherryh scheme. As retribution for this, he sent Elektra to kill Foggy Nelson, Daredevil's friend. Elektra failed and was killed by Bullseye.
The Kingpin learns Daredevil's secret identity through information passed on from his ex-girlfriend Karen Page, who was now a pornographic film actress. The Kingpin uses his influence to destroy Murdock's civilian and professional life. Enamored with the results of his own scheme, he became increasingly obsessed with Daredevil. This leads to, among other events, brutalizing the reporter Ben Urich, having his employees assault multiple policemen and sending the homicidal patriot Nuke into Hell's Kitchen. The last incident results in dozens of deaths, for which Kingpin is implicated. Though he avoids prison, his reputation is destroyed.
Kingpin is sought out by the Black Cat, who at the time was dating Spider-Man, and feared her lack of powers would make her a liability to him. She pays Fisk to have scientists provide her with defensive bad luck powers that cause mishap to befall anyone who attempt to harm the Cat in combat, but also negatively affect anyone who stayed in close proximity to her for an extended time, eventually causing death. The Kingpin hoped this would lead to Spider-Man's death, but Spider-Man and the Black Cat ultimately break up instead. Shortly after, Fisk is attacked by an enraged Spider-Man. Fisk's scientists also create the supervillains the Answer and the Spot to battle Spider-Man and the Black Cat.[volume & issue needed]
Later, Fisk rehires Bullseye to investigate a New York drug war, and survives an assassination attempt by Crossbones. In retaliation, he sends Bullseye to assassinate Crossbones' employer, the Red Skull. The attempt fails, and the Kingpin instead defeats the Red Skull in personal combat.
Fisk subsequently begins his own cable television station, partnering with an apparent Texas millionaire the Kingpin thinks can be easily manipulated. However, the millionaire was actually bait planted by HYDRA. Learning of this from Nick Fury, Daredevil spread the word through the underworld that the Kingpin had become a HYDRA stooge, weakening his power. HYDRA steals the vast majority of his assets, bombs his businesses across New York City, and sends a helicopter gunship to attack his skyscraper offices. With his empire crumbling, the Kingpin is indicted on a federal charges, and Daredevil tricks him into committing assault and battery at Manhattan's Port Authority Bus Terminal. Bailed out of jail by a rival who intends to use him as an errand boy, Fisk loses what remains of his sanity, murders his rival, and becomes a fugitive.
He spends time in Japan rebuilding his empire and fighting the X-Men before returning to New York.[volume & issue needed] While there he manipulates Maya Lopez (Echo) into thinking that Daredevil killed her father (although Fisk was actually responsible) in order to incite her to kill Daredevil. However, his plan backfires when Daredevil convinces her of the truth, and she shoots Kingpin in the eyes in retaliation, rendering him blind. Fisk eventually loses his criminal empire to one of his employees, Samuel Silke, who works with Fisk's son Richard, in a bloody assassination bid, using the Kingpins' new status as a blind man to rally supporters. In the aftermath, Vanessa kills Richard and flees the country with Fisk's remaining wealth while the Kingpin recuperates in an unnamed eastern-European country, broken and alone. He is given an eye transplant which restores his eyesight.
He eventually confronts Silke and fatally crushes his head, almost manages to regain his empire through sheer will, but is defeated by Daredevil, who declares himself the new Kingpin. Fisk is imprisoned as a result.
He later hatches a scheme to be freed and regain his wealth by giving the FBI proof in the form of the nonexistent "Murdock Papers" that Matt Murdock is Daredevil. Having made so many enemies in prison, Fisk is constantly under attack from the Hand, HYDRA, and any number of criminal organizations with which he had had dealings. The U.S. Government is hard pressed to get rid of this expensive, dangerous, legally clean master criminal, and Fisk succeeds in manipulating the FBI into gravely wounding Daredevil and providing them a sample of Daredevil's DNA.[volume & issue needed] He tells Ben Urich to give the federal government the location of the Night Nurse, the only medic for injured superheroes, or go to jail.
Kingpin finally succeeds in getting Matt Murdock arrested, but the FBI betrays him at the last minute and arrests him as well, placing him in the same jail as Murdock in the hopes that the two will kill each other.[volume & issue needed] Instead, the two enemies team up in order to survive a prison riot directed at them. Finally, Murdock sacrifices the deal, refusing to let Bullseye, who was also incarcerated, leave the prison as Kingpin had planned. The fight ends with the Kingpin shot point-blank in the knee by gunfire from Bullseye intended for Murdock, while Murdock escapes.
Fisk appears in the Civil War War Crimes one-shot, in which he offers information about Captain America's Resistance base to Iron Man, the leader of the pro-Registration forces in exchange for a reduced sentence. However, as his status in prison is threatened for collaborating with Stark, he betrays him.[volume & issue needed] He then puts out a hit on Spider-Man and his loved ones after Iron Man convinced Spider-Man to publicly reveal his identity as a means of demonstrating his support for the Superhuman Registration Act. This results Spider-Man's Aunt May gravely wounded by a sniper's attempt to kill Spider-Man. After tracing the event back to Kingpin, Spider-Man confronts Kingpin in prison and badly beats him in front of his fellow inmates. He decides to let the Kingpin live with the humiliation of his defeat, news of which will quickly spread through the Underworld. He vows, however, to kill the Kingpin if May dies.
However, after Matt Murdock returns to the United States with his name cleared, he completes Vanessa Fisk's last wish and takes on Fisk's case, getting all charges dropped in exchange for Fisk leaving the country and giving up his American citizenship, and his agreement to end his vendetta with Daredevil. Although the charges were dropped due to the evidence being deemed inadmissible in court, Murdock delays the case enough so Fisk is unable to attend his wife's funeral. A mournful Fisk is later seen visiting his wife's grave, before temporarily returning to New York to resolves some loose ends.
In the series Runaways, Fisk meets with the Runaways, revealing he knew all about their parents, since they ruled Los Angeles with efficiency and vision; he never tried to take their territory nor did they invade his. He makes a deal with the Runaways to secure a mysterious object for him in exchange for protection from the government. He and his army of ninjas are defeated when the Runaways refuse to give it to him after stealing it, discovering that it was a device invented by the Pride. It is later revealed that Fisk was hired by an elderly woman named Lillie McGurty, who orchestrated the events so the Runaways can travel back to 1907 and ensure that she would come back to the present with them, which her past self declined.
Informed of May's survival by the demon Mephisto (who at the time is disguised as a nurse at the hospital), he decides to send a masked hitman after Anna Watson, the aunt of Peter Parker's wife, Mary Jane Watson, but the assassination is foiled by Spider-Man and Mary Jane.[volume & issue needed] During the course of the "One More Day" storyline, which ends with the undoing from history of Peter and Mary-Jane's marriage and Spider-Man's public revelation of his real identity, all memories on the part of the public that Spider-Man is Peter Parker are removed, including Kingpin's.[volume & issue needed]
Return of the King
In the Daredevil arc, Return of the King, it is revealed that Kingpin has spent the past year living a normal life in a small Spanish fishing village. There he meets and falls in love with Marta, a young mother of two. He finds himself trying to overcome his former life as a crime boss, only to later find Marta and her kids murdered by Lady Bullseye, and the Hand, who then brutally attack him, stabbing him through the shoulders with two katanas. When he asks why, Lady Bullseye replies, "The reasons are far too numerous, but if you want a specific cause, ask Daredevil." In his revenge against the Hand, Kingpin frees and recruits the Owl to help him with it. Fisk begins experiencing hallucinations of his dead wife Vanessa, who taunts him. It turns out that Fisk's actual plan to is to take the leadership of the Hand, after killing Hiroshi, the ninja-lord who ordered the family's assassinations. However, he is thwarted by Daredevil, who takes the leadership for himself.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Kingpin forms an alliance with Lady Bullseye to destroy Daredevil. He orders Lady Bullseye to disguise herself as a member of the Hand and kill two corrupt cops and a judge, making it seem that Daredevil ordered it and prompting Norman Osborn (who has been given wide authority by the U.S. government as the leader of the espionage and law enforcement organization H.A.M.M.E.R.) to send Bullseye in retaliation. Though Daredevil survives the fight with Bullseye, The Kingpin is undeterred and states that he has Daredevil "where he wants him". The Kingpin has also targeted Daredevil's friends to frame Norman Osborn for their recent misfortunes to further his attempts on manipulating Daredevil's actions. He has Foggy Nelson disbarred as an attorney for standing up to a judge on his payroll for an unfair ruling of overturning a jury's verdict. He also causes Dakota North to lose her private investigator's license.
During the Shadowland storyline, Kingpin approaches Iron Fist and Luke Cage telling them that they will need to take down Daredevil soon. Kingpin and Lady Bullseye later perform a ritual that brings back Ghost Rider to attack the Hand. After Daredevil is dethroned from Shadowland, Kingpin takes both Shadowland, and the Hand, under his rule, officially taking his place back as the crime lord of New York City.
During the Spider-Island storyline, it is revealed that Fisk has gained spider powers, as demonstrated by heightened reflexes and the ability to crawl on walls. Like all other New Yorkers, he lost those powers when the situation was resolved.[volume & issue needed]
As part of the 2012 Marvel NOW! initiative, Kingpin hears about how Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Spider-Man's body) has been using brutal methods to take down the local crime families which would leave a vacuum to fill. Kingpin's hideout Shadowland is attacked by Superior Spider-Man and Kingpin claims that this Spider-Man is much different than the Spider-Man he fought. While escaping, Kingpin kills his doppelgänger Smedley Kornfeld (who was hired for events like this) in order to fool Superior Spider-Man.
During the Secret Wars storyline, Kingpin hosts a viewing party for the incursion between Earth-616 and Earth-1610 where his guests include Absorbing Man, Bullseye, Norman Osborn, Sandman, and Scorpion. Festivities are interrupted by the arrival of Punisher who reveals that since he can't take them with him, he's going to have to put his large supply of bullets somewhere.
All-New, All-Different Marvel
As part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel, Wilson Fisk represented Fisk Industries when he attended a meeting at the Universal Bank with Tiberius Stone of Alchemax, Sebastian Shaw of Shaw Industries, Darren Cross of Cross Technological Enterprises, Zeke Stane of Stane International, Shingen Harada of the Yashida Corporation, Frr'dox of Shi'ar Solutions Consolidated, and Wilhelmina Kensington of Kilgore Arms where they discussed with Dario Agger about his and Roxxon Energy Corporation's plans to exploit the Ten Realms of Asgard. Wilson Fisk also saw the arrival of Exterminatrix of the Midas Foundation who knocked out Dario and declared herself a new member of their assembly.
Skills, abilities and equipment
While the Kingpin has no superhuman powers, he is incredibly strong and significantly durable above the average human, possessing remarkable strength concealed by his extremely corpulent appearance. Most of his body mass is actually muscle that has been built to extraordinary size, much like a Super Heavyweight sumo wrestler or some Olympic weightlifters and powerlifters but at greater strength levels. He has been shown to be strong enough to hurl large men across a room,[volume & issue needed] rip limbs from people (demonstrated under a handshake),[volume & issue needed] crush a man's skull with his bare hands, and leave imprints in concrete walls after punching them.[volume & issue needed] Defying his size, the Kingpin is a master of many forms of armed and unarmed combat, especially sumo wrestling. His signature move is the bear hug. He has fought Captain America to a standstill in hand-to-hand combat. His daily workout typically consists of simultaneously overcoming five or more trained martial artists with his hands; he stores his valuables in a safe which has no lock, only a door which is so heavy that only the Kingpin is strong enough to open it.
He typically wears Kevlar armor under his clothing. Fisk sometimes carries a walking stick that conceals a laser beam weapon capable of firing a blast of concussive force sufficient for vaporizing a handgun (or a person's head) at close range; this is also known as his "obliterator cane". He typically wears an ornamental diamond stick-pin that conceals a chamber of highly compressed sleeping gas that is effective if sprayed at close range directly into his victim's face. Due to his wealth and intellectual industry, Kingpin could use far more advanced paraphernalia, but he prefers to use such things as a last resort. As Fisk became less Spider-Man's nemesis than Daredevil's, he became more of a naturalistic mafioso than a comic-book criminal mastermind, and depended less on science fiction-like weaponry.
The United States government is aware of the Kingpin's crimes, but has never been able to prove his involvement. Members of the government have worked with him when necessary (even while describing him as "the Devil"), such as when they needed his help to dispose of a Manhattan office building that the Beyonder turned into gold. The Kingpin is intellectually formidable and is a master tactician and a highly skilled planner and organizer. He is self-educated to university graduate level in the field of political science. He is extremely skilled and knowledgeable in the organization and management of criminal and legal business operations.
In the Marvel 1602 universe, Wilson Fisk is a pirate captain of the HMS Vanessa, known as the King's Pin, who attacks the ship taking Peter Parquarh and Sir Norman Osborne back to England.[volume & issue needed] However, although his attack injures Osborne, he is able to take the ship when Peter deflects the cannonballs by using his webbing to throw them back at the Vanessa. Fisk is thrown into the sea when he confronts the captain directly, even rejecting Fisk's 'offer' to explain how he got his name.[volume & issue needed]
Age of Apocalypse
In the Age of Apocalypse storyline, Wilson Fisk is known as Dirigible, a wealthy businessman who bought his way into the Marauders, a human terrorist group serving Apocalypse that makes up for their lack of mutant powers using technology which allows them to fly and emit explosive blasts.[volume & issue needed] Dirigible is clearly the leader of the group, as he is seen giving orders to his three teammates. Alongside Red (Norman Osborn), the Owl, and Arcade, he attacks the human refugee camps of Wakanda. However, Dirigible is killed by Gwen Stacy.[volume & issue needed]
Old Man Logan
In the 2008 - 2009 Old Man Logan storyline, a future Kingpin appears in a possible future timeline in which the United States has been carved up between the various supervillains. This version is described as a "man of the people" who fought his way to the top, gaining control of the Mountain States and killing the domain's former master Magneto. This version is an African-American male, and he is eventually killed and has his territory taken over by Ashley Barton, Hawkeye's daughter and the current Spider-Girl.
House of M
The Kingpin appears in Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness #2 with his underlings, willing to work with the Punisher to try and save humanity from the zombie attack. The Punisher kills the group instead.
He appears in Marvel Zombies 3 as a leader of the zombie horde, planning to invade Earth-616. He keeps his wife in hiding, satisfying his hunger (and those of other infected characters) by cloning uninfected humans as a source of food.[volume & issue needed] Eventually, he eats her when his plan is defeated.
Marvel Zombies Return
An alternate version of Kingpin appears in Marvel Zombies Return, where he summons the Sinister Six to steal a sacred tablet from the college where Peter Parker attends. But when the zombified Spider-Man is transported to their world, he kills and devours five of the members. An infuriated Kingpin decides to confront Spider-Man but is quickly dispatched and devoured by Spider-Man, leaving his men to run for their lives.
Kingpin appears in a storyarc in the Max version of The Punisher, starting with the first issue of Punisher MAX #1, with Bullseye as his main henchman. Like the mainstream version he is incredibly strong, able to squeeze someone's head until their eyes pop out. He is a highly formidable hand-to-hand combatant, cunning and utterly ruthless. This version of Fisk is also married to Vanessa and has a son, Richard, who is depicted as a young child.[volume & issue needed]
Punisher MAX gives several additional elements to Fisk's background. He is said in this version to be of Irish ethnicity. As a child, Fisk, who comes from Hell's Kitchen, was regularly beaten and abused by his father. After killing a stray dog that Fisk had adopted, Fisk drugged his father and watched him get eaten alive by starving rats. At some point in his criminal career, Fisk was convicted and sent to Attica. There he was badly beaten and gang raped by five men, the leader of whom was "Big Lucky". When he was released, Fisk arranged for Big Lucky's wife to be gang-raped by a dozen drug-addicts and winos. He took photographs of the rape and mailed them to Big Lucky, who broke out of jail. When he arrived home, his wife was dead, and Fisk was waiting for him and tortured him for one whole night before killing him, establishing his reputation in the criminal world.
In the opening story arc, Kingpin works as a bodyguard for mob boss Rigoletto. In order to finally kill the Punisher, Fisk creates a figurehead "Kingpin of crime" who would be a target for the Punisher in order to flush him out. Rigoletto and the other mafia bosses approve of Fisk's plan. Fisk eventually kills Rigoletto and the other bosses, taking over the mob and actually becoming the "Kingpin" he was originally supposed to impersonate. However, during his final confrontation with Fisk, 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. Because of this, Vanessa grows to hate Fisk and vows to have him killed.
The Kingpin becomes the Punisher's target and tries to have Bullseye and Elektra kill him. At the end of the series, the Kingpin manages to ambush and seriously wound The Punisher at a confrontation at the Punisher's old family home. During the fight, Kingpin is fatally shot in the back of the head by the Punisher. Vanessa Fisk has her ex-husband cremated, and flushes his ashes down the toilet. Nick Fury cuts power to the city soon afterwards, and shoots Vanessa in the back of the head.
In the alternate future portrayed in the MC2 comics, Fisk has finally succeeded in killing Daredevil, although he made the mistake of betraying Kaine in the process.[volume & issue needed] Kaine attempted to revive Daredevil with sorcery, but ended up bonding him with the demon Zarathos and Reilly Tyne (son of Ben Reilly, the Scarlet Spider), creating the superhero Darkdevil.
At some point, Fisk was sent to prison, although he is still able to manage his criminal empire from within the prison, often with the assistance of bribed guards, and lives in luxury within his cell, feasting on gourmet cooking. Fisk and his lawyer, Foggy Nelson, were on their way to court for his latest appeal when Kaine attacked Fisk. Spider-Girl intervened and saved Fisk. He continues to use costumed villains as agents and assassins including Spider-Girl foes Mr. Nobody and Crazy Eight.[volume & issue needed]
When Kaine was being taken away by the police, Kaine asked Nelson why he represented the man who murdered his partner, Matt Murdock. Nelson had been unaware of this (it is not stated how much Nelson knew about Murdock's alter ego Daredevil or the circumstances of his death), and refused to represent Fisk further. This causes Fisk to lose the appeal in question.
When a gang war started, Fisk is slain by a bomb while still in prison. While dying he has a vision of his wife and son, who show the unrepentant criminal his dark past. The two spirits tell him that he can only come to the "light" if he renounces his criminal past. It is left ambiguous as to what he decided.
Fisk appears in a vegetative state in the first part of Spider-Man: Reign. He is seen with Mayor Waters, who is saying that he has not eaten solid food in ten years. This is part of the oppressive regime imposed by the mayor's secret master, his assistant.
In What If Karen Page had Lived?, where Bullseye did not kill Karen Page as part of Mysterio's final scheme, the fear of losing Karen drove Daredevil to attack the Kingpin for his role in the scheme, beating him to death.[volume & issue needed]
In the Ultimate Marvel continuity, Kingpin remained mostly unchanged. He is still a heavyset bald man who usually wears a white suit and carries a cane. He is the head of New York corporate crime, a ruthless murderer and notorious for bribing his way out of any prosecution. He has a reputation for simply owning many parts of New York, such as the McDonalds in Times Square. His employees include Electro, Elektra, and the Enforcers. In the universe, his wife Vanessa Fisk also exists but is in a comatose state. The Kingpin is trying to remedy this with an ancient tablet that he had stolen. Unfortunately for the Kingpin, it was stolen and lost by the Black Cat as revenge. It is unclear why Vanessa is in a coma. He also finds competition in another crime lord called Hammerhead, and manages to play his enemy against Spider-Man, Black Cat, Moon Knight, Iron Fist, and Shang-Chi.
In his first appearance, his employee Electro manages to knock out Spider-Man with electricity, and he, Kingpin, and The Enforcers manage to unmask him, revealing him to be a teenager. They then throw him out a window. From then on, The Kingpin knows Spider-Man to be a teenager, and tortures him with this knowledge many times.
Captain Jeanne De Wolfe was secretly working for the crime lord before being killed by the Punisher. The Kingpin was seen mourning her death in Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #2, possibly indicating an affair. Her death came at the end of a play for territory by another crime boss, the Kangaroo, who was taken into custody.
The Kingpin purchases the holding firm GG Enterprises, which owns the company that carries the licensing rights of the Spider-Man movie franchise. By purchasing the GG, Kingpin now technically owns Spider-Man's likeness. After Iron Fist betrayed the Ultimate Knights team's intentions to him, he had Spider-Man captured. He ties him to a stool, unmasks him, and tortures and humiliates him with this information, citing it as the only reason he would allow Spider-Man to continue to roam free. At the same time, he has Moon Knight assaulted and taken away, and torches Daredevil's offices. In retaliation, a crazed Daredevil breaks into Fisk's offices and threatens to murder his comatose wife by snapping her neck. As Kingpin pleads with Daredevil not to turn something that he only saw as 'business' into something personal, Spider-Man and the rest of the Knights persuade Daredevil to let her go on the condition that Fisk leaves the country. Daredevil grudgingly agrees.
Fisk, furious that the heroes had broken into his house and threatened his wife, orders their deaths, and that Spider-Man's school to be blown up while class is in session. Unfortunately for Fisk, the Moon Knight (whose assassination Fisk had ordered) escapes death from the Kingpin's men and turns himself in, saying the Kingpin ordered his kill. As such, Fisk is finally arrested as he tries to leave the country.
Following the events of Ultimatum, evidence implicating Fisk in his crimes were lost, and Fisk's lawyers were able to clear his name. Hoping to reinstate himself as the Kingpin, Fisk returns to New York. Instead, he is attacked by Mysterio, who throws him out a window. Fisk is later declared dead by the media.
Fisk's grandfather appears in Ultimate Origins attempting to loot a house with Nick Fury and James Howlett (Wolverine), while all three are serving during World War II. Military police arrive to arrest them, and all three are subdued. Fisk is grazed by a bullet, while Fury and Howlett, despite the latter's protests that he's Canadian, are shipped off to separate unknown locations.
On Earth-65, Kingpin is served by his lawyer Matt Murdock. Kingpin and Matt Murdock send the mercenary Aleksei Sytsevich to kill George Stacy. This was done as revenge for Fisk is currently imprisoned in solitary confinement, due to the efforts of Captain Stacy.
Secret Wars: Civil War
In a world where the superhero Civil War never officially ended, Fisk killed Doctor Octopus and grafted his arms onto himself, but the arms 'retaliated' by delivering a lethal electric shock that rendered him essentially brain-dead. Acting as the coordinator of the defense network for the Iron—Iron Man's nation after the War ended in a draw—Fisk retained enough independence to focus on attempting to kill Peter Parker when his old foe led a team into the Iron, but Fisk was killed by Clint Barton—now using the Venom symbiote—when he struck Fisk in the head with a discarded billy-club belonging to Elektra after the initial assault killed her.
Crossovers with DC Comics
- In Batman & Spider-Man: New Age Dawning crossover, Kingpin is forced to partner with Ra's al Ghul in a plan that would destroy New York City, in exchange for a cure to Vanessa's cancer. As it turned out, Ra's gave Vanessa her cancer to force Kingpin to aid him, but the Kingpin actually formed an alliance with Batman and Spider-Man to save the city. Ra's attempted to get his revenge by denying Fisk the cure for Vanessa's cancer, but Talia al Ghul, Ra's' daughter, provided the cure herself, recognizing in Vanessa a kindred spirit, as both of them loved men that society would regard as monsters.
- In the second crossover book, Batman/Daredevil: King of New York, Kingpin almost lost his entire criminal empire to the Scarecrow, who had tried to dismantle it merely as a distraction so that he could spread his fear toxin throughout New York. In this book, Kingpin is shown to be a formidable physical match for Batman.
- The Kingpin has a small role in Marvel vs. DC, when he purchases the Daily Planet, firing Perry White and replacing him with J. Jonah Jameson. He also bullies workers, especially Lois Lane, who threatens to expose him as the Kingpin. Eventually, he is confronted by his angry staff, but is defeated when Spider-Man and Superboy arrive before he can do any significant damage.
- The Amalgam Comics character The Big Question (Enigma Fisk) is a combination of the Riddler of DC Comics and Kingpin. He appears in the Marvel/DC Comics crossover comic, Assassins #1 (April 1996).
In other media
- Kingpin has appeared in the 1967 animated Spider-Man episodes "King Pinned" and "The Big Brainwasher", voiced by Tom Harvey. In the episode "King Pinned", Kingpin and his henchmen kidnap J. Jonah Jameson when his newspapers were exposing his drug counterfeiting business. Here, Foswell is a spy for the Kingpin. Spider-Man managed to save J. Jonah Jameson while Kingpin escaped. In the episode "The Big Brainwasher", Kingpin has opened a club that Mary Jane has gotten a job at where she takes pictures of city officials and the camera mesmerizes them to enter a room where Kingpin has them brainwashed. Spider-Man stops Kingpin's plot and he and his henchmen are handed over to the police.
- Kingpin appeared in the Spider-Woman episode "The Kingpin Strikes Again". In that episode, he was first seen trying to loot a bank with a band of capable henchmen. Though initially thwarted by the timely arrival of Spider-Woman, she herself was foiled when she left herself wide open to attack by sticking to a wall, and one of Kingpin's henchmen with a jackhammer used the contraption to shake the surface the heroine was sticking on, causing Spider-Woman to fall into a cell, holding her at bay. He later finds out Jessica Drew is the Spider-Woman and shares this knowledge with the world. In the end, she uses a robot to make everybody (including the Kingpin) think he made a mistake.
- Kingpin appeared in the 1981 Spider-Man TV series, voiced by Stanley Jones. In the episode "Wrath of the Sub-Mariner", Kingpin calls a truce with Silvermane, Hammerhead, and Caesar Cicero when his scientist Dr. Everett has developed a fluid that dissolves metal. In the episode "Return of the Kingpin", his henchman Hal Hunter sets Spider-Man up for a heist.
- Kingpin appeared in the Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends episode "Pawns of the Kingpin", voiced by Walker Edmiston. In that episode, he brainwashes Captain America, who then tricks Iceman so both heroes would steal a secret weapon for him. The scientist who developed the brainwashing technique betrays the Kingpin by brainwashing him but the Kingpin eventually reveals that he had already taken precautions and had just pretended to be brainwashed waiting for a chance to capture the scientist. He's eventually captured by the heroes and arrested by the police.
- In 1989 John Rhys Davies played the Kingpin in a tv film entitled Trial of the Incredible Hulk.
- Kingpin appears in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, voiced by Roscoe Lee Browne.
- Kingpin appears in the Spider-Man: The New Animated Series episode "Royal Scam", voiced by Michael Clarke Duncan. In this series, the Kingpin is depicted as an African-American and uses a red diamond-studded cane capable of shooting lasers. Here, the Kingpin manipulated Spider-Man into thinking he worked for the FBI and assigned the superhero to steal a chip from the mob (they were actually innocent scientists). Spider-Man soon realized he was scammed (evidenced when he learned that the first FBI agent he met is just a movie actor). With the help of Harry Osborn and the real FBI, Spider-Man had the Kingpin behind bars after a confrontation in one of the Kingpin's helicopters. When the copter crashed, both of them successfully escaped and due to Kingpin's weight, he fell from Spider-Man's hand. However, the superhero saved him and had him trapped behind a crate long enough for the FBI to arrest him.
- In the Netflix TV series Daredevil, Wilson Fisk is portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio. He is portrayed in childhood flashbacks by Cole Jensen. As a young boy, Fisk grew up in Hell's Kitchen, the son of Bill Fisk, an abusive, cruel and driven man trying to make a name for himself and his wife Marlene Vistain. One night, Bill got inebriated and attacked Marlene, which provoked Wilson to kill his father by striking him repeatedly over the back of the head with a hammer. Wilson and his mother dismembered Bill's body and dumped pieces of it into the river every night, followed by Fisk going to live with some relatives for a while with Fisk keeping his father's cuff links as a reminder to never to be like his father. In the 2010s, Fisk has become a criminal businessman with corrupt ties to multiple people, helping carefully build a criminal enterprise by recruiting branches of the Triad, the Yakuza, and the Russian mob, his number two James Wesley, financial expert Leland Owlsley, mob enforcer Turk Barrett, Parish Landman of the law firm Landman & Zack LLP, Senator Randolph Cherryh, lead editor Mitchell Ellison's secretary Caldwell at the New York Bulletin, several cops from the New York City Police Department's 15th Precinct, and Melvin Potter. This has brought him into conflict with Daredevil. Fisk's network collapses when Detective Carl Hoffman, one of the corrupt cops on Fisk's payroll, is saved by Daredevil and turns state's evidence, leading to the FBI arresting most of the conspirators in Fisk's enterprise. Intent on reuniting with his girlfriend Vanessa Marianna, Fisk orchestrates an escape attempt from the police convoy transporting him to Rikers Island to await trial, but is stopped when Daredevil tracks him to an alleyway and fights him while wearing his new costume, armored to protect Daredevil from Fisk's punches, the fight ending when Daredevil knocks Fisk out. Fisk is subsequently arrested by Sergeant Brett Mahoney and transported to jail to await trial. While in prison, Fisk takes over control of the prison hierarchy from another inmate named Dutton, and uses Frank Castle to eliminate him. When Fisk fails to kill Castle, he comes to respect his abilities and arranges for him to be smuggled out of the prison disguised as a guard, although acknowledging that one of them will eventually kill the other. When district attorney Samantha Reyes is later killed, Matt Murdock visits Fisk to question him on his involvement in Castle's escape. When Fisk denies his involvement, Matt threatens to prevent Vanessa from ever seeing him again, causing Fisk to snap and repeatedly slam his head on the table, confirming Matt's suspicions that Fisk is controlling the prison and caused Frank's escape. Fisk threatens to go after both Matt and Foggy once he is released, and is last shown asking for information on Matt, hinting that he suspects that Matt is Daredevil.
- In the live action 1989 television movie The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, Wilson Fisk is portrayed by John Rhys-Davies. David Banner (Bill Bixby) is unjustly arrested after interrupting an assault on a New York City subway by two thugs in the employ of Fisk. Attorney Matt Murdock (Rex Smith) agrees to represent him, hoping to use information gleaned from Banner to bring down Fisk's organization. Banner and Murdock eventually learn about each other's secret lives as the Hulk and Daredevil, respectively. The pair is able to thwart Fisk's plans, but he escapes.
- In the 2003 feature film Daredevil, he is played by Michael Clarke Duncan. When Duncan was cast, he weighed 290 pounds. He was asked to gain 40 pounds for the role in order to fit the physique of Kingpin. In order to do this, he would lift weights for 30 minutes a day, and power-lifted, as well as eating whatever he wanted. Despite this, Duncan's biggest concern was that he is an African-American, while Kingpin had always been portrayed as European-American in the comics. He spoke on the fans' loyalty to the source material by saying "they watch movies to say, 'Hey, that's not like the comic book.' But I want them to get past that and just see the movie for what it is and see me for what I am—an actor." After he hires Bullseye to kill Nikolas Natchios, Natchios' daughter, Elektra, vows revenge on Daredevil, whom she incorrectly concludes was the killer. After she learns the truth, however, she herself is killed by Bullseye. After Bullseye is defeated by Daredevil, Daredevil confronts the Kingpin, who unmasks Daredevil. Daredevil then breaks Fisk's legs and leaves him for the police, secure in his belief that the Kingpin will not reveal Daredevil's identity to the public, knowing that it would damage his reputation in the underworld if it were known that he was beaten by a blind man. As the police close in on him, Kingpin swears that he will get out of prison and take his revenge.
- Kingpin appears as the final boss of The Punisher. The Game Boy adaptation of the game saw Jigsaw replacing the Kingpin as the final boss.
- In Spider-Man: The Video Game, the Kingpin was the last boss of stage 3.
- Kingpin is the final boss in the game The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin.
- In The Punisher, Kingpin is the final villain. If the player finishes the game, the Kingpin is seemingly killed, however the police never find his body.
- The Kingpin is the final boss in the Daredevil video game adaptation of the Daredevil movie for the Game Boy Advance. In the game, he puts out a warrant out for Daredevil's arrest to the criminal underworld (which is later revealed as a fraud). Daredevil interrogates the Kingpin at his penthouse, where it is revealed that Daredevil eliminated his competition when he was setting up his master plan. After Daredevil defeats him, the Kingpin tells him that although Daredevil knows his secret identity, Daredevil cannot reveal Wilson Fisk's secret to the police. At the end, Fisk lies to the reporters by saying that Daredevil's arrest was a "media distortion".
- The Kingpin is a boss in Spider-Man: Battle for New York, voiced by Stephen Stanton.
- The Kingpin is featured in the 2005 video game The Punisher, voiced by David Sobolov. Punisher had suspected him of being behind the attempts on his life and being allied with the Gnucchi's and the Russian Mob. Following Bullseye's defeat, the Kingpin confronts Punisher and tells him that his real enemy is a Japanese Yakuza group called the Eternal Sun. In the post-credits scene, the Kingpin is plotting his revenge against the Punisher for the embarrassment he caused him.
- The Kingpin appears in Spider-Man 3, voiced by Bob Joles. He is featured in his respective sidequest of the game. At a press conference, Peter sees Fisk and gets shots of him with some gang members of the Apocalypse Gang, the Arsenic Candy Gang, and the Dragon Tail Gang (all of whom had been previously defeated and arrested due to Spider-Man's actions in earlier side-quests). Fisk then tells the gang members to break out their bosses (who are being held present at the press conference). Spider-Man then goes to the Kingpin's penthouse and after defeating the gang members and their bosses, he fights the Kingpin. His strength and aggression amplified by the Venom symbiote, Spider-Man causes Kingpin to fall to his apparent death after throwing him through a window, although no body is found and Spider-Man wonders if he survived the fall.
- Kingpin appears as one of the primary characters in Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, voiced by Gregg Berger. He is owner of Wilson Fisk Industries. He establishes a crime spree by hiring Vulture to build high-tech armors and gliders for his minions and instigates a gang war between the Rolling Sevens Gang and the Park Avenue Gang, although the gang war can be averted by Spider-Man and Luke Cage. Due to the Symbiote invasion, Kingpin stays locked inside his heavily fortified office; however, Spider-Man manages to convince him to help with saving the city by providing the Tinkerer with the resources he needs to build a device to destroy the alien substance. If Spider-Man is dominated by the Black Suit, Kingpin allows Tinkerer and Black Widow to use his base to launch a new plan; they send Wolverine, who has gained control of a Symbiote, to bring back Spider-Man - dead or alive.
- Kingpin appears in Chun-Li's ending for Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, where Chun-Li arrests him after giving him a savage beating.
- Kingpin appears as a villain character in Marvel Heroes, voiced by Jim Cummings.
- Kingpin appears in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by John DiMaggio. In a bonus mission at Fisk Tower, Kingpin has taken a civilian hostage until the civilian is rescued by Captain America and Spider-Man. When Daredevil arrived, Kingpin unleashed his henchmen, Elektra, and Bullseye on them before engaging the heroes himself. Kingpin is defeated when it took Spider-Man bringing three chandeliers down upon Kingpin.
- Kingpin appears in the Facebook game Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
- Kingpin appears in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, voiced by J.B. Blanc. He initially appears as a philanthropist funding Oscorp's attempt to create the Enhanced Crime Task Force to cope with the rising gang war, but Spider-Man soon learns that Fisk is actually using the Enhanced Crime Task Force to eliminate his rivals to set himself up as the new head of crime in New York. Fisk creates a new serial killer to eliminate other killers and spread fear, and hires Kraven the Hunter to trick Spider-Man into eliminating more gangs. In the post-credits, Kingpin was on the phone with the Mayor of Manhattan where he tells him that he will continue funding the Enhanced Crime Task Force after what happened to Harry Osborn.
- Kingpin is a playable character in Marvel: Future Fight.
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Although he made his debut in the previous issue, it was in this [Stan] Lee and [John] Romita tale [The Amazing Spider-Man #51] that the Kingpin – real name Wilson Fisk – really left his mark on organized crime.
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