Monday, December 27, 2021

Character Spotlight: Kingpin

The first time I remember seeing Kingpin was when watching a Spider-Man cartoon growing up. I didn’t know until recent years that he was also an archenemy of Daredevil and Hawkeye. But as he was revealed to be the head of the Tracksuits in Hawkeye episode 5, I wanted to flashback to when we last saw him in Daredevil. No spoilers for the Hawkeye season finale, just in case you haven’t seen it yet.

Now we don’t have any distinct confirmation that this Kingpin is the same as the Wilson Fisk in Netflix’s Daredevil series. It could be the same actor, but different version of the character. We are about to delve into a multiverse of madness after all. But until otherwise proven wrong, I’m going to assume this is the same MCU version of Fisk that Matt Murdock fought for three seasons. And since Daredevil was rated TV-MA, many of our readers might not know who he is leading into Hawkeye. So here’s what you need to know about Kingpin. 

Once upon a time, Wilson Fisk may have actually been a sweet kid. But his abusive father taught him to gain respect through violence. As this abuse involved beating Wilson’s mother, it was during one of her beatings that WIlson finally stood up for himself and his mother… and killed his dad. And then his mom helped him hide the body… in pieces… yeah, dark.

All this taught him that you have to make hard decisions to make the world a better place. So in wanting to rebuild New York after the Avengers fought the Chitauri… even if he has to hurt countless people to make it happen. Meanwhile, Matt Murdock (aka Daredevil) has taken the case of Karen Page, who was framed for murder. And as he digs into her case… he finds Fisk. After Kingpin kills Karen’s reporter friend, Daredevil takes on Fisk in the season finale battle (both figuratively in court and literally in blood).

While a power vacuum has gangs in a frenzy in Hell’s Kitchen, Fisk ascends into powerful positions in the prison. Once Frank Castle (who was fighting those gangs as the Punisher) is sent to prison, a temporary alliance is made between Punisher and Kingpin. And that’s the last of Kingpin… until after the Defenders fight the Hand.

After that point, Kingpin makes a deal to get out of prison (and finds out Daredevil’s secret identity along the way). Naturally, Fisk uses this to his advantage and frames Matt, while he himself goes free. In the end, things come to fists again as Daredevil fights Kingpin (in front of Fisk’s new wife). After this fight, and as new evidence comes to light, Kingpin is taken into custody again. With that taken care of, Matt is finally able to be Daredevil again and a friendly neighborhood lawyer-man.

As I mentioned before, we don't know exactly how or if Daredevil's Kingpin connects with what we saw in the Hawkeye episode 5 cliffhanger. However, we can assume he survived Thanos's Snap. And if he's the same Kingpin, we can also assume he got out of prison sometime after Daredevil and before the snap. But to explain why would go into some episode 6 spoilers.

With no particular superpowers in the comics (just some great strength and kevlar armor), his powers come from being a mob lord. Working his criminal connections and betraying those who might betray him first, he’s able to keep the upper hand. Even when he was an unknown man in season 1, he’s always one step ahead. 

If you want to learn more in depth about Kingpin’s MCU history, check out the YouTube videos at the bottom of this post, They’re the ones I used to refresh my memory for this post. Honestly, I’m just excited we’ve started reintroducing Netflix characters. This opens the door for more heroes to return. Maybe a Heroes for Hire Disney Plus show? Or Chloe Bennet returning as Quake in Secret Invasion? Or inhumans coming up in Ms. Marvel? Honestly, with the multiverse, anything is possible.

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