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It may be good to be the king, but it’s even better to be the Kingpin! If organised crime was too organised, then there’s a good reason for that, as only one man had the skill, talent and muscle to ensure that all of New York City would fall into his massive hands. Wilson Fisk may be a legitimate businessman to the outside world, but those who know him best know that behind his philanthropic exterior there lies the most cunning criminal mind to ever exist.
In fact, Wilson Fisk may just be a mask because the real man who controls New York City is none other than…The Kingpin!
If crime needed an iron fist to rule it, Wilson Fisk was the man who would prove his worth as the criminal underworld’s uncontested authority figure. Rising from poverty in the rough streets of New York City, Fisk soon realised that an unfair world would not grant him any breaks in life. To that end, the overweight youngster began honing his mind and body, reshaping himself into a feared enforcer for mafia boss Don Rigoletto.
Realising that brawn was nothing without brains, Fisk’s journey to the top of the crime food chain saw the future leader voraciously devour any knowledge that he could obtain, be it by legal or illegal means. Discovering a knack for politics, Fisk used these techniques to form and control his own gang once he had decided to rid himself of Rigoletto.
Knowing that his rise to power would need to be legitimised, Fisk funnelled all of his profits into legal business ventures, beginning a supposedly transparent career as a ”humble dealer in spices.”
Beneath the veneer of a rags to riches businessman however, Fisk would cement his hold on his growing underground empire. Rivals were murdered, territory was claimed and alliances were formed, eventually culminating in Fisk creating a crime monopoly following the brief retirement of Spider-Man. Fisk would soon fall from glory however, as his ambitions met stiff resistance from the likes of Spider-Man, Daredevil and the X-Men.
Fisk’s tenacity however, would always ensure that while he was beaten, he was never defeated. Notable examples of Fisk’s revenge include the dismantling of Matt Murdock’s life once the Kingpin discovered that he was Daredevil, assuming control of the supernatural ninja cult known as The Hand and eventually becoming mayor of New York City.
Powers and abilities
Often mistaken for being overweight, the Kingpin is actually an individual who possesses peak human strength. His large frame is packed with well-developed muscle, hidden by a miniscule layer of fat. Thanks in part to his formidable size as well, the Kingpin is more than capable of taking heavy blows from superhuman threats and shrugging off the effects, utilising his brutal bulk to inflict massive damage back at his opponents.
Master Martial Artist
Having earned a black belt from the school of hard knocks, Fisk’s experienced hands are also capable of utilising more exotic forms of attack when he finds himself pressed into a corner. Fluent in Judo, Hapkido and Sumo wrestling, Fisk studied martial arts techniques that would best suit his unique physique, emphasising power, speed and brutality to stay ahead of the competition. Fisk has numerous victories under his belt, having even bested Nazi super-soldier the Red Skull in hand to hand combat.
Fisk’s greatest weapon may be his mind, as his cunning for crime has allowed him to not only amass a fortune through his various underground empires, but to always reclaim them when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. A strategist who thinks several moves ahead, Fisk has also shown that he is more than willing to adapt to the time and place he finds himself in, evolving his operations to meet the nefarious demands of tomorrow
Using not only his fists but his wit and charisma as well, Fisk rules either through fear or respect. A trait that has earned him loyal footsoldiers, captains and has even seen supervillains pledge their skills to his cause. Most impressively, Fisk’s reputation eventually led to him assuming command of the ancient ninja sect The Hand, promising them a new dawn and usurping control of an army of shinobi soldiers from a corrupted Daredevil.
Single-minded and hell-bent on creating a legacy that will outlive him, not even the Purple Man’s mind control was capable of bending Fisk’s will.
Daredevil #227-233 -Born Again
The legendary Daredevil story that redefined the man without fear and his greatest nemesis, Born Again is a dirty and gritty tale of revenge that involves the Kingpin systematically breaking Daredevil’s life and leaving him for dead. A tale of a brute attempting to blend into high society, this is the Kingpin at his most vicious, systematically dismantling a man who has crossed him too many times and establishing a crime empire the likes of which the world has never seen before.
Spider-Man: Tangled Web #4 – Severance Package
Work hard for the Kingpin, and you might just find that ill-gotten money can buy you happiness. Screw up, and you’ll find that the Kingpin does not easily forgive or forget the mistakes of his underlings, as this tense tale demonstrates the consequences of failing Wilson Fisk. Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this story isn’t even just how much might the Kingpin wields, but rather the fact that merely the threat of his power is enough to guarantee him results.
Daredevil vol. 2 #46-50 – Hardcore
With a storied rivalry, the war between Daredevil and the Kingpin would reach dangerous new heights of brutality when the Kingpin returned to Hell’s Kitchen. Determined to sweet the board clean and restart his life as the number one criminal mastermind of New York City, the Kingpin’s attempts to assassinate Daredevil leads to a fight for survival that ends with a bang and ramifications that lasted for years in the Big Apple
PunisherMAX #1-5 – Kingpin
A retelling of the origin of the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk’s rise to power is built on deceit, lies and blood as he rises to the top of the crime food chain. Even with the Punisher gunning for him, Fisk is more dangerous than ever before as his Machiavellian deals with the devil result in something that is rarely seen in comic books…A villain triumphant.
Last Updated: August 28, 2018
August 28, 2018 at 16:18
Vincent D’Onofrio played him so well in daredevil