|So, as someone once said, --- Up --- Up --- and AWAY! - Peter Parker
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|Full Name:||Wilson Fisk|
|First Appearance:||The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967)|
|Created by:||Stan Lee; John Romita, Sr.|
|Place of Birth:||Somewhere in New York City|
|Base:||A penthouse in New York City; formerly Fisk Tower in New York City, a mansion in Westchester County, Las Vegas.|
|Affiliations:||Leader of The Hand, leader of a coalition of East Coast non-Maggia criminal organizations; former director of Las Vegas HYDRA faction.|
|Height:||6' 7" (2.01 m)|
|Weight:||450 lbs (205 kg)|
"The underworld will now be run lika a Business.. and the Chairman of the Board will be .. The Kingpin!"
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
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.
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 super villains the Answer and the Spot to battle Spider-Man and the Black Cat.
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.
About two decades later, Fisk is now known as the Kingpin, one of the most powerful criminal leaders in both the New York and Las Vegas, and had won the respect of many of the other crime bosses. When Spider-Man briefly retired, the Kingpin decided the time had come to fulfill his master plan. For years various major criminals dreamed of forming a coalition of criminal gangs in order to compete with the Maggia, which virtually monopolized organized crime throughout the country, The Big Man (the late Frederick Foswell) had only temporarily succeeded in uniting the independent gangs; others who have tried included the Crime-Master, Doctor Octopus, the first and third Green Goblins, the Mad Thinker, the Owl, Hammerhead, and Silvermane. With Spider-Man apparently gone, the Kingpin now proposed that such a coalition be formed under his leadership, and met with nearly unanimous acceptance. The Kingpin then directed a major crime wave in New York City which came to an end with his first confrontation with Spider-Man began to be active again. The Kingpin's attempt to silence the Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, backfired when Spider-Man rescued Jameson, who then publicly exposed Fisk as the Kingpin, the crime coalition apparently fell apart.
In the following years, the Kingpin suffered a number of reversals. During this time he was offered an opportunity to fully achieve his ambitions for political power when he was recruited to serve as the leader of the Las Vegas area faction of the now fragmented Hydra. His son, Richard, acted under him as Supreme Hydra of the group. Through Hydra the Kingpin planned to overthrow the United States government and even achieve world domination, but he turned against Hydra upon learning that the Las Vegas contingent was actually controlled not by him but by the infamous Nazi war criminal, the Red Skull. The Kingpin had pursued more realistic goals than HYDRA's.
Eventually, Vanessa was sickened by the Kingpin's life of crime, demanded that Fisk abandon it or else she would desert him. Fisk was unwilling to lose Vanessa and agreed to her terms, and the two retired to Japan. Vanessa even persuaded the reluctant Fisk to turn over his files on the activities of other leaders of organized crime to American legal authorities. To prevent this, the new leaders of the Kingpin's crime syndicate kidnapped Vanessa, who was then apparently killed by a Kingpin aide who correctly saw her as the only obstacle preventing Fisk from returning to crime.
The enraged Fisk indeed made a comeback, not only did he resume leadership of his former organization, but he also turned over his files on other criminal leaders to the law through the costumed crime-fighter Daredevil, with the motive of ridding himself of any rivals. The ploy resulted into revealing of the evidence in the files, many criminal leaders, both inside and outside the Maggia, were convicted. In the ensuing power vacuum, the Kingpin rebuilt his coalition, stronger than before. Today he controls the great majority of non-Maggia East Coast gangs dealings in conventional areas. The Kingpin's organization is now stronger than any single Maggia "family" in New York.
The Kingpin again turned his attention to his political goals, and his puppet candidate Randolph Winston Cherryh actually won a New York mayoralty election. However, Daredevil, now the Kingpin's principal opponent among the city's costumed adventurers, found Vanessa alive, though suffering with severe mental problems. Daredevil told the Kingpin he would return Vanessa to him if the Kingpin ordered Cherryh to decline accepting the mayoralty. The Kingpin agreed, and the bargain was carried out. Vanessa was returned to the Kingpin's custody as promised. The Kingpin attempted to get revenge for this disgrace by having Elektra assassinate Matt Murdock's legal partner Foggy Nelson, it ended in failure when Bullseye killed Elektra.
The Kingpin was angered by Daredevil's various successful attempts at subverting his plans. Finally, Karen Page, Daredevil's former lover who had become a heroin addict, sold the information that Daredevil was lawyer Matthew Murdock to a drug dealer. The information came into the Kingpin's hands, and he seized the opportunity for vengeance. He arranged for Murdock to be rendered virtually penniless and had him framed for bribing a witness to perjure himself. Murdock lost his license to practice law. Murdock was sank into severe paranoia. He confronted the Kingpin, who savagely beat him and had him trapped. Unconscious, within a car at the bottom of a New York river so Murdock's death would seem an accident but Murdock managed to escape.
Kingpin continued to send thugs, such as Typhoid Mary, on attacks against Daredevil, but after a long while, Murdock got back at Fisk. Exposing the Kingpin for who he was, rendering him penniless and taking the recovering Vanessa into hiding in Europe was the ultimate revenge on him. Fisk seemed to have come full circle from his squalid upbringing.
Fisk became a part of the Stark-Fujikawa corporate empire, surfacing in an East Asian branch, and wielding power and influence as he had before, although not quite on the same scale. He eventually came up against the X-Men and their companion, Shang-Chi. The heroes were hot on the trail of the Elixir Vitae which they thought could be used as a cure for the Legacy Virus. Unfortunately, the information about the Elixir was in the hands of the Kingpin, who wanted to give it up only for its ultimate monetary value. Storm ended up destroying the Elixir rather than to let Fisk make money off it. Fisk used his position at Stark-Fujikawa to re-establish his empire in New York.
Wilson Fisk eventually lost his criminal empire to one of his employees, Samuel Silke, who was working with his son Richard, in a bloody Caesar-like assassination bid. In the aftermath, Vanessa killed Richard and fled the country with Fisk's remaining wealth while the Fisk recuperated in an eastern-European country.
He returned, and after getting revenge on Silke by crushing his head, almost managing to regain his empire through sheer will, but was defeated by Daredevil. Fisk was then put in jail.
He hatched a scheme to be freed and regain his wealth by giving the F.B.I. proof in the form of the nonexistent "Murdock Papers" that Matt Murdock is Daredevil. Having made so many enemies who were in prison, Fisk was constantly under attack from the Hand, Hydra, or any number of criminal organizations with which he had intimate contact. The U.S. Government was hard pressed to get rid of this expensive, dangerous, legally clean master criminal, and Fisk succeeded in manipulating the F.B.I. into wounding Daredevil and directing them to his D.N.A. He told Ben Urich to give the feds the location of the Night Nurse, the only medic for injured superheroes, or go to jail.
He succeeded in getting Matt Murdock finally arrested, but the F.B.I. betrayed him at the last minute and arrested him as well, placing him in the same jail as Murdock with hopes that the two would kill each other. While in jail he also managed to arrange the near-fatal stabbing of Foggy Nelson, Daredevil's longtime friend and fellow lawyer. Ironically, the enemies were forced to team up in order to survive a prison riot. Finally, Murdock sacrificed the deal, refusing to let Bullseye, who was also incarcerated, leave the prison as Kingpin had planned. The Kingpin shot point-blank in the knee by gunfire from Bullseye intended for Murdock, while Murdock escaped.
Return of the King
Leader of the Hand
Fall of Shadowland
Powers & Abilities
- Kingpin's real name (Wilson Fisk) was revealed in Daredevil issue #170.