Characters : Kingpin
Very, very, solid build
Deceptively fast and effective in physical combat, an excellent strategist, ruthless in running his criminal empire
Totally obeisant to his wife
Very strong human
Kingpin of Crime
Many hired villains and thugs
Son (Richard Fisk), Wife (Vanessa Fisk)
Daredevil, Spider-Man, The Rose, Hammerhead, the Lobo Brothers, and other known crime bosses.
Wilson Fisk grew up poor and powerless, with a criminal father. He was picked on by other kids for being overweight, but learned to use his size to his advantage. He studied political science and became a ruthless organizer of New York's street gangs. He quickly climbed the criminal ranks, from drug pusher to assassin to Kingpin. Though he publicly claims to merely be the trader of Asian spices, his business is in the drug trade and Fisk runs the criminal underworld absolutely.
Although the Kingpin became Daredevil's personal enemy later on, his first appearance was in Amazing Spider-Man #50. He is a large man, who gives the illusion of being fat, until you get close and see that all the bulk is really solid muscle.
He dressed well, and originally carried a diamond-topped ray-projecting 'Obliterater Cane', although at some stage it seems to have been replaced with something less lethal - as its obliteration powers weren't seen much in later books. He was married to a strong-willed woman, Vanessa Fisk, who made several appearances. Kingpin and Spider-Man are well matched opponents. Kingpin was very strong, and deceptively quick in a battle. Fisk decisively beat Spider-Man while the two battled over Captain George Stacy. The police captain was brainwashed into letting Fisk's thugs steal official police documents from police headquarters. Kingpin was later captured by the police, and he insinuated that Spider-Man was his ally in the theft of the Tablet of Time. This was when he broke into the Empire State University exhibit hall where a student protest was underway, attended by Peter Parker and Randy Robertson.
If anything good can be said about Wilson Fisk, its that he keeps the gangs under control. Before his arrival but after the fall of the Big Man, the gang leaders (such as Lucky Lobo and the Crime Master) were constantly at war with each other, as Kingpin wannabe's battled to be at the top. This caused countless civilian casualties. However, he was still as ruthless and violent as any of the other mob heads, and he soon came into conflict with Spider-Man. He quickly defeated Spidey after one of their first battles, and nearly killed him, along with J. Jonah Jameson, after the newspaper owner refused to stop running stories about a New York crime wave.
His son, Richard Fisk, appears in a couple of early issues as The Schemer, and then again much later as The Rose, both of which were Richard's attempts to de-throne his father. Upon learning of the Schemer's identity, Fisk went into catatonic shock. Trying to earn his father's forgiveness, Richard joined the criminal cartel called Hydra. Fisk came back to his senses, and became very proud of his son for his part in Hyrda. However, he needed to come to Richard's rescue when he learned that he was being used by the Red Skull. He saved his son and stopped the Red Skull with the help of Captain America. Richard was badly hurt in the battle, but was saved by his father, who used a machine to transfer Spider-Man's life energy into Richard.
Fisk was later drawn into a spat between Doctor Octopus and Leland Owlsley (the Owl) over a neutron bomb. Owlsley wanted the bomb as blackmail and Ock just wanted to use it. Octavius attempted to steal a detonation device from Fisk after Kingpin refused to join him in his war against the Owl. Fisk outwitted him, as the device that Octopus stole was a fake. The Black Cat then stole the real activator for the bomb right out of Fisk's hands. After Ock kidnapped the Cat, Spider-Man went to the Kingpin for information. Fisk told him that he was going to evacuate his organization and himself from New York City before the bomb went off. If Spider-Man wanted to stop Octavius, he would most likely be found at the Owl's hideout.
In a somewhat odd moment, Fisk did a personal kindness for Spider-Man after the vigilante defeated the Vulturions in front of the Kingpin's building. The criminals, hearing that the Kingpin wanted new assassins, planned to make their case by killing Spider-Man in front of him. Fisk want happy about this, as the fight disturbed the sleep of his wife, who was very ill. After the Vulturions were defeated, Fisk had a helicopter get a hat that Spidey had dropped during the fight. (He had just bought it for Aunt May's birthday.) After Spidey took the hat back, he found a note in it from Fisk, telling him that they were even. More happened in this encounter than was first realized. Fisk had given the hat to Alistaire Smythe to be cleaned and fixed before he gave it back to Spider-Man. Smythe resented the task and spread a rumor afterward that Kingpin had gone soft on Spider-Man. Fisk fired him for the rumor, but Smythe had put a tracing device in the hat, to follow Spider-Man back to his home.
Spider-Man briefly spoke with Fisk regarding the Jean DeWolff and Judge Rosenthal murders and the Sin Eater. Fisk had no sympathy for honest, law abiding cops and judges but did no business with priest killers. Murders of clergymen polarized the city and made them harder to control. Kingpin had nothing to tell his enemy.
Fisk ruled the criminal underworld like a king, except for occasional gang wars with the likes of the Hobgoblin (Roderick Kingsley). The Lobo Brothers War was a particularly bloody series of incidents. (Fisk tried to use the Persuader to force the Punisher to kill the brothers.) Hammerhead, Silvermane, Chameleon and the Black Tarantula have also made plays to take over Fisk's empire. Kingpin has also used mercenaries in his plans, such as Puma, Knight, Fogg, Shocker and the Foreigner. This last assassin killed Ned Leeds, which Fisk didn't appreciate as he assumed that Leeds had been the Hobgoblin and probably wanted to kill him himself. He resented that the Foreigner killed Leeds without asking his permission, a sign of disrespect to the mob boss. Later, Kingpin put word on the street that he wanted to meet with Spider-Man. Fisk had the pleasure of telling Spider-Man that Leeds had been the Hobgoblin and that Jason Macendale had taken his place. Spidey didn't take well to the news of his friend being a criminal.
While his main foe is Daredevil, Fisk has used every opportunity to strike at Spider-Man. While dating the Black Cat, Peter realized that her bad luck powers were really just elaborate traps that Felicia had set for her enemies. He refused to let her be his partner anymore, for fear that her lack of superhuman abilities would get her killed. Black Cat went to the Kingpin for help in gaining actual bad luck powers, but her new found abilities came with a price: they worked on Spider-Man. Spidey had Doctor Strange remove the Black Cat's powers, only to have her suffer a terrible beating. Spider-Man and the Black Cat also crashed one of Fisk's parties, causing him to force his scientists to re-create Cloak's dimensional powers. This experiment caused scientist Jonathan Ohn to accidentally become The Spot.
Fisk is one of the Marvel universes master manipulators, on par with Doctor Doom (whom he teamed with in the Acts of Vengeance storyline), Norman Osborn and Magneto. He keeps on eye on his enemies, and uses them for his own purposes. He "helped" Spider-Man defeat the Sinister Syndicate (Rhino, Boomerang, Hydro-Man, Beetle, Speed Demon,) once he realized that they were a threat to his organization. He also "helped" Spider-Man against the Hobgoblin and against the other mafia bosses. However, holding off the other mob bosses only worked for so long.
Losing his domain was no simple task. Overthrown by Daredevil, Hydra and many different crime lords, Wilson Fisk was beaten, but not broken. It took a while, but he pulled himself together and started rebuilding his empire from the bottom. Biding his time, he increased his power base until he was ready. His employed mercenaries, like Nitro and Ox, executed a carefully planned simultaneous attack on Don Fortunato (NY's biggest crime boss at the time) Hammerhead, Caesar Cicero, Silvermane, and many others, including the influential Norman Osborn, who also wanted to run New York's criminal gangs. When the dust settled, the Kingpin ruled once again.
Though he managed to recover from an assassination attempt, the Kingpin had little time to take the reigns of his empire. He was shot in the face by Echo, a woman who worked for him, and whose father he had killed. Irony of ironies, the man who spent a considerable amount of time trying to kill the blind Daredevil was now blind. Subsequently, one of his most ambitious employees, a man named Silke, overthrew the Kingpin once again with the help of Richard Fisk. Countering the coup, Vanessa Fisk stopped the insurgency by leading Kingpin's loyal men and killing all of Silke's, but not before Wilson was stabbed almost to death. He was only saved by Vanessa and his doctors' timely intervention. Vanessa then coldly killed her son, split her husband's empire and fled with him to Europe, taking him away to recuperate.
Wilson ended up in jail, finally taken down by Daredevil. This has in no way limited Wilson Fisk's power, as he has been able to sell the costume and weapons of Daniel Berkhart to Francis Klum, who became the third Mysterio. He has also managed to devastate Peter Parker after the vigilante unmasked to the public after the Superhuman Registration Act was passed. As revenge for years of Spider-Man interfering with his illegal activities, Kingpin hired a sniper to shoot Peter, Mary Jane and Aunt May in their low rent hotel apartment. (Peter had gone his separate ways from Tony Stark, and was thus on the run from the law.) Peter's spider sense warned him of the sniper and he pushed MJ out of the way, but couldn't stop the bullet from hitting his aunt. May was put on life support and Peter swore not rest until he made Fisk pay for what he did.
Waiting for Parker at Ryker's Island, Fisk was surprised and irritated to find that his enemy wasn't the chatty, quipping clown he was used to. Instead he found a deadly, silent enemy that hammered away at him with an anger that Kingpin was stunned by. Despite Fisk's enormous physical size, he was thrown around like a rag doll. Every lunge and punch thrown by Fisk missed it's mark, while Parker easily humiliated him in front of the other inmates. As Fisk lay bleeding on the prison floor, Peter explained to him that the very moment that Aunt May dies, he will come to Ryker's Island and finish him off. And Fisk will know that he cant be stopped.
Fisk got lucky. Peter turned to the demon Mephisto (who had years earlier made a wager with the Beyonder that Spider-Man would save Fisk's life despite Kingpin's many crimes) to save his aunt's life and in the process, he lost his marriage and any memory that May had been shot. Kingpin was free to act as he pleased again. During the events of Shadowland, Kingpin was a free man and again at the top of the criminal world. He soon employed Roderick Kingsley, the long lost Hobgoblin, to steal a metal called reverbium. He shed no tears when his former enemy was seemingly killed by another lunatic, Phil Urich. Urich took over as the Hobgoblin and proved just as slippery as Kingsley. To gain the affections of Norah Winters, Urich let slip in the criminal underworld that Fisk was in possession of the stolen reverbium, which sent Spider-Man and the Black Cat after the Kingpin of Crime.
Kingpin's business front was destroyed in the battle, courtesy of the Hobgoblin's sonic laugh reacting with the reverbium. The Goblin managed to save Fisk's life, while allowing his lacky, Montana, to perish as the sky scraper collapsed. Fisk considered it an acceptable loss, as he was still in control of New York's crime. In gratitude for saving his life, Kingpin made Hobgoblin his new lieutenant. As the Kingpin's right hand man, Hobgoblin put the squeeze on uncooperative civilians and kidnapped Spider-Girl (Anya Sofia Corazon), to pressure her to join Fisk's organization.
Later, Fisk revealed to have an inside man at Horizon Labs, the same research company that employed Peter Parker. Tiberius Stone had promised to steal blueprint of spider sense jamming machines and sell them to Kingpin, to make his headquarters "Spider-Man proof." After the machines initially failed, Fisk gave Stone one last chance to redeem himself before his legs were broken. The spider sense jammers sent Peter's danger sense into over drive and he reacted to everything as a threat. This made his disoriented and easy prey for Urich's Hobgoblin. Kingpin was at first unimpressed with the kidnapping of Parker, until he learned that Peter was "Spider-Man's technician." A ransom was sent to Max Modell who brought a briefcase to Shadowland, containing Norman Osborn's Green Goblin and H.A.M.M.E.R. secrets.
The drop off was interrupted by Roderick Kingsley, who fought Urich over his "brand" of being the Hobgoblin. Peter and Max used the distraction to escape, until Fisk noticed and forced both Hobgoblins to find them. The Goblins failed to capture the two men and somehow Urich escaped Fisk's wrath with his life. (Amazing Spider-Man #697) In the meantime, Wilson had acquired a new Arranger and sent him to Houston, Texas, to deal with a branch of The Hand ninjas. Arranger arrived just in time to prevent the murder of Scarlet Spider III, who was investigating The Hands role in a series of murders. (Scarlet Spider #12.1)
Shadowland didn't last for long after that, however. It was destroyed in a battle between Fisk's ninjas and the para-military force assembled by Spider-Man (Octavius). This new Spider-Man made it clear that Fisk was going to die and the fat man killed his body double to cover up his escape. Hobgoblin was left to fend for himself after Kingpin escaped in a one man submarine. (Superior Spider-Man #14)
Quiz: Quick Quiz on Kingpin.
|Jul 1997||App: Flashback - Amazing Spider-Man #Minus 1|
|Jan 1996||App: Amazing Fantasy #17|
|Jul 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #50|
|Taking over New York's Crime Gangs|
|Aug 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #51|
|Sep 1967||App: Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #52|
Here is the Full Appearance List (237 Apps) for Kingpin.
This profile was completed with information used with permission from the Appendix of Marvel Universe website, mantained by Jeff Christiansen (Snood). If you want to find out about that odd-ball character you've only seen once, or even about that character you haven't ever seen, that's the site you're looking for. An impressive amount of obscure characters await you there!
The assistance of the Marvel Chronology Project is gratefully acknowledged.
Some of the above information is extracted from the various versions of the Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe and the more recent Marvel Encyclopaedias.