Quote1 The underworld will now be run like a Business.. and the Chairman of the Board will be .. The Kingpin! Quote2
-- Wilson Fisk src

Early life

Very little is known about the Kingpin before he first took command of the East Coast mobs. He has described himself, however as having been "an unpopular, blubbery child" before he began his lifelong pursuit of bodybuilding. Wilson Fisk was impoverished as a child and committed his first murder when he was twelve. From the start, Fisk was determined to be the best in whatever he did, and he believed physical strength to be a major factor in building power in the underworld. Hence, he fanatically trained himself in various methods of bodybuilding and personal combat, finally concentrating on the Japanese art of sumo. His sumo training probably led to his interest in the Orient, which would manifest itself in other ways. In addition to his devotion to physical strength, Fisk realized the importance of intelligence. Being from a poor family, Fisk's formal education was limited. He became self-taught, acquiring or borrowing (or sometimes outright shoplifting) books from libraries or bookstores in whatever he could find. Although Fisk learned a great deal in sciences and arts, he became particularly fascinated by political science. He decided that another key to success would be in using political techniques in organizing and directing groups of criminals.[citation needed]


It was his adoption of these techniques that caused him to be thought of as a political "kingpin of crime," a description which became his nom de crime. Although Fisk has always taken pleasure in physical combat with his enemies, he has always recognized the necessity never to place himself in a situation in which the law can prove his responsibility for crimes. As a result, it is believed Fisk has never once been convicted. Even when he inexplicably broke his own rule and was jailed for personally stealing an ancient tablet from Empire State University,[7] charges had to be dropped for lack of evidence.[citation needed]
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Wilson Fisk: the Kingpin

Fisk thus never worked as any criminal's henchman but formed his own small gang right from the start. Fisk's gang rapidly grew in size, influence, power and wealth, thanks to his organizational skills and, when necessary, his prowess in hand-to-hand combat. Fisk was careful to invest his illegal gains in legitimate businesses. The first company which he owned completely was one dealing in spices from the Far East. Today, even though Fisk has built a vast legitimate business empire in various fields, he still professes in public to being merely a "humble dealer in spices."[citation needed]

After about a decade of being a criminal leader, Fisk had also achieved enough success in legitimate business to become a prominent member of New York society. It is at this point that he met and soon married Vanessa (maiden name unknown), a beautiful woman not yet 20 years old, and whose love, the Kingpin has stated, gave him the peace he sought after his constant struggle for power. Whether or not Vanessa knew of his criminal activities when she married him is unclear; she did know afterward. Their son, Richard, was born within a year after their marriage.[citation needed]

Spider-Man's Retirement

About two decades later, Fisk, now known as the Kingpin, had become one of the most powerful criminal leaders in both the New York and Las Vegas areas and had won the respect of many of the other crime bosses. When the costumed crimefighter 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 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
Peter Parker and Wilson Fisk (Earth-616) from Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 163 0001
confrontation with the again active Spider-Man. Moreover, the Kingpin's attempt to silence Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson backfired when Spider-Man rescued Jameson, who then publicly exposed Fisk as the Kingpin, which caused the crime coalition to fall apart.[8]

In the following years the Kingpin suffered a number of reversals. He tried using the brainwashing techniques of Dr. Winkler to cause police chief George Stacy to steal important documents, but he was once again foiled by Spider-Man and Stacy was cleared of all charges.[9] He was then opposed by the Schemer, who turned out to be his own son Richard.[10]


He was offered an opportunity to fully achieve his ambitions for political power when he was recruited to serve as the behind the scenes leader of the Las Vegas area faction of the now fragmented Hydra. His son, Richard, acted under him as Supreme Hydra of this 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.[11] Ever since, the Kingpin has pursued more realistic goals than Hydra's.

He hired several goons, including the Sandman to prevent the completion of the Worldwide Habitual Offender Computer[12] and had the Tinkerer rebuild the Spider-Mobile.[13]

Retirement to Japan

Eventually, Vanessa, sickened by the Kingpin's life of crime, demanded that Fisk abandon it or else she would desert him. Unwilling to lose Vanessa, Fisk 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.[citation needed]

Criminal Comeback

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 crimefighter Daredevil, now with the motive of ridding himself of any rivals. The ploy worked: as a result 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 dealing in conventional crimes. The Kingpin's organization is now stronger than any single Maggia "family" in the New York area.[citation needed]


The Kingpin again turned his attention to his political goals, and his puppet candidate Councilman Randolph 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 from severe mental problems. Daredevil told the Kingpin he would return Vanessa to him if the Kingpin ordered Cherryh to decline to accept the mayoralty. The Kingpin agreed, and the bargain was carried out. Vanessa was returned to the Kingpin's custody as promised. While 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.[citation needed]

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. Already psychologically troubled, Murdock 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.[citation needed]

Kingpin continued to send super-thugs, such as Typhoid Mary, on attacks against Daredevil, but Murdock, after a long while, 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. The broken Fisk seemed to have come full circle from his squalid upbringing.[citation needed]


Under circumstances to be fully revealed, 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/geography. He eventually came up against the X-Men and their erstwhile 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 get rich off it.[citation needed]

Fisk used his position at Stark-Fujikawa to re-establish his empire in New York.

Maya Lopez

Maya Lopez, who he had adopted after killing her father Willie "Crazy Horse" Lincoln (a mob enforcer in his employment), was curious about her father's killer and he took advantage of this to convince her that it had been Daredevil. She confronted Daredevil after studying videos of him fighting to learn his weaknesses and would have killed him had she not recognized him as Matt Murdock due to the shape of a wound on his cheek that she had seen while they were on a date. On talking to him she realized that Fisk had in fact murdered her father himself and attacked him in revenge, temporarily blinding him.[1]

Son's Death

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 Kingpin recuperated in an unnamed eastern-European country, broken and alone.[citation needed]

Murdock Papers

He returned, and after getting revenge on Silke by crushing his head, almost managed to regain his empire through sheer will, but was defeated by Daredevil, who declared himself the new Kingpin. Fisk was put in jail.[citation needed]
Daredevil Vol 2 119 Textless

Return of the King

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 had intimate contact with. 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 gravely 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.[citation needed]

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 which was directed at them. Finally, Murdock sacrificed the deal, refusing to let Bullseye, who was also incarcerated, leave the prison as Kingpin had planned. The fight ended with the Kingpin shot point-blank in the knee by gunfire from Bullseye intended for Murdock, while Murdock escaped.[citation needed]

Civil War

During the Civil War he offered a deal to Iron Man — consideration on his sentence in exchange for information about Captain America's Resistance base. However, as his status in prison was threatened for collaborating with Stark, he betrayed him. He first set up Iron Man by revealing a gathering of supervillains by Hammerhead to create a new criminal empire, claiming it was a base of Captain America's, and gave information to the Secret Avengers instead.[citation needed]

He also put out a hit on Spider-Man and his loved ones. A sniper attempted to hit Spider-Man, only to hit one of the "secondary targets", Aunt May.[citation needed]


At some point later, after Matt Murdock returned to America with his name cleared, he completed Vanessa Fisk's last wish and took on Fisk's case, getting all charges dropped in exchange for Fisk leaving the country. Fisk visited his wife's grave.[citation needed]


However, Fisk returned to New York to settle some "old business" and met with the Runaways, who were on the run from S.H.I.E.L.D. He offered them protection from the government if they promised to steal a special artifact for him. After the teens ran into a winged monster and the Punisher, they decided not to give the artifact to Fisk but were attacked by his army of ninjas. They escaped by using the artifact, which took them back in time.[14]


During the time when Daredevil got control over The Hand, Fisk decided to meet with former Heroes for Hire, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, to discuss how they were going to deal with Daredevil. When they refused, Fisk used a scroll in order to summon the Ghost Rider.[citation needed]

After Daredevil's fallout, Kingpin became the new leader of the Hand, with Lady Bullseye, Typhoid Mary, Montana and Hobgoblin as his henchmen, using the group for his criminal purposes.[15]

Big Time

With the new Hobgoblin as his most recent incorporation to his organization, Fisk stole the experimental metal called Reverbium from Horizon Labs. The Reverbium was destroyed because of its instability by Spider-Man and Black Cat, leading to the destruction of the Fisk Tower and the death of Montana.[16]

Shadowland was eventually brought down by Otto Octavius acting as Spider-Man. Fisk arranged for a body double to be found in the rubble of Shadowland, faking his death until such a time as he could reform his empire.[17]


With his power over New York gone, Fisk set up shop in San Francisco, with the intention of rebuilding his empire there. However, the vigilante known as the Shroud acted first, taking control of the local gangs and kidnapped the Owl, who also relocated his operations to San Francisco. He transformed Owlsley into a super-computer capable of taking control of all wifi signals in order to locate his ex, Julia Carpenter.[18] During this time, Daredevil revealed his secret identity, taking a positive approach to it this time and moved to San Francisco to practice law and continue his superhero career.[19] Fisk began to make moves against both of his enemies, hiring the assassin Ikari to kidnap Foggy Nelson and Murdock's new girlfriend, Kirsten McDuffie, and having his men look for Julia to have leverage against the Shroud.[20]

However, the Shroud and Murdock came into conflict when Murdock and Jubua Pride, the Owl's daughter, attempted to free Owlsley. The Shroud then released all private information about Murdock's law practice's clients.[18] Murdock went to Fisk and offered him a deal, he would use his resources to fix his situation and assure Foggy and Kirsten are safe, and in exchange Murdock would fake his death and get a new identity only Fisk would know, giving Kingpin back the power to destroy Daredevil, which he lost when he went pubic.[21] However, Fisk went with his original plan instead and Ikari kidnapped Nelson and Kirsten. Meanwhile, the Shroud, Pride, and Murdock crashed when they attempted to get Julia at an airport, allowing Kingpin's goons to take her. Fisk presented his hostages when Murdock confronted him and had him fight Ikari to the death, with Fisk killing one of them if Murdock wins. The fight took them to the streets, where the Shroud saved Murdock and killed Ikari.[20] Improvising, Matt took Ikari's costume and claimed to have killed Daredevil while the Shroud had the Owl bring to light all of Fisk's operations in exchange for his freedom, ruining his criminal career. While Kingpin and Daredevil fought, the federals stormed his building. Daredevil beat down the Kingpin when he tried to flee and rescued the hostages, leaving him to be arrested.[22]

The Final Incursion

As Earth-616 was coming to its end in the final incursion, Fisk sent out an invitation for some of the villains he had associated with in his days to join him in a bar to watch the world end. Their revelries were interrupted by the Punisher, who was hoping to kill as many villains he could before the world ended. [23]

Confronting Dario Agger

Wilson Fisk (Earth-616) from Mighty Thor Vol 2 8 001

As president of Fisk Industries he represented the company at the Universal Bank where the richest people in the world met to discuss matters. In one such meeting, the heads of various companies came from across the globe to discuss Dario Agger's and Roxxon's operations in the Ten Realms. The true meeting for the meeting was revealed when Shingen attacked Dario and they were about to fight when Oubliette Midas, a.k.a. the Exterminatrix, of the Midas Foundation, arrived and knocked him out, declaring herself as the new member of the group afterwards.[24]




  • Peak Human Strength: Fisk is composed almost entirely of muscle that has been developed to enormous size, much like a sumo wrestler, and he possesses peak human strength with only the bare minimum actually being fat. His vast bulk shields him from many forms of injury, either providing padding or causing penetration wounds to only strike him relatively superficially.[25]
  • Master Martial Artist : Fisk has extraordinary skill in hand-to-hand combat, specializing in a number of martial arts, including sumo wrestling, judo, and hapkido. His fighting skills and unusual agility for a man of his size compensate for a great difference between his human level of strength and that of Spider-Man when the two engage in unarmed combat (Spider-Man also has severe inhibitions about using his strength against an opponent without superhuman powers for fear of killing him or her.) [25] The Kingpin was also capable of defeating 8 men from the finest martial arts schools in 17 seconds.[2]
  • Criminal Genius: Fisk is a criminal genius and a highly skilled planner and organizer. He employs numerous henchmen, scientists, and even superhumans, almost all of whom are fiercely loyal to him due to dedication, fear, or both.[25]
  • Indomitable Will: Fisk has a great willpower. He was able to resist psychic attacks from Zebediah Killgrave, the Purple Man.[26]
  • Multilingual: Fisk is fluent in English, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese, Russian and various others.[25]

Strength level

The Kingpin possesses the natural peak human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise.[2] Fisk is virtually as strong as it is possible for a man of his age, height, and weight to be without having superhuman strength. His great bulk does not consist of fat as it seems to be but of muscles that have been developed to enormous size, as in a sumo wrestler.[27] Fisk can press lift approximately 650 pounds.[27] Fisk has demonstrated strength sufficient enough to crush Spider-Man's webshooter without intent,[citation needed] casually fling open his large vault door with one arm; when others such as Daredevil have struggled to open it with two arms,[28] lift and use his heavy oak desk and a large sofa as weapons,[6] and crush people's skulls without effort.[29] His strength is nearly superhuman.


The Kingpin sometimes carries a walking stick which contains a concealed laser beam weapon that fires a short pulse of 300 watts, enough energy to vaporize a handgun. The walking stick can also be used to fire a concentrated spray of sleeping gas. The Kingpin's diamond stickpin also contains a small, highly compressed container of sleeping gas which is effective when fired directly into an opponent's face at close range. The Kingpin uses the stickpin gas as a last resort.

  • Kingpin's email was[23]
  • Kingpin's character design was based off of British actor Sydney Greenstreet, who was famous for playing criminal leaders in his films.

Discover and Discuss


  1. 1.0 1.1 Daredevil Vol 2 #15
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Daredevil #170
  3. Runaways Vol 2 #26
  4. Amazing Spider-Man #59
  5. Spider-Men II #3
  6. 6.0 6.1 Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #82
  7. Amazing Spider-Man #68-69
  8. Amazing Spider-Man #50-52
  9. Amazing Spider-Man #59-61
  10. Amazing Spider-Man #83-85
  11. Captain America #146-148
  12. Amazing Spider-Man #153-154
  13. Amazing Spider-Man #159
  14. Runaways Vol 2 #25
  15. Daredevil #512
  16. Amazing Spider-Man #648-650
  17. Superior Spider-Man #14
  18. 18.0 18.1 Daredevil Vol 4 #15
  19. Daredevil Vol 4 #1
  20. 20.0 20.1 Daredevil Vol 4 #17
  21. Daredevil Vol 4 #16
  22. Daredevil Vol 4 #18
  23. 23.0 23.1 Secret Wars #1
  24. Mighty Thor Vol 2 #8
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 4 #5
  26. Marvel Team-Up Annual #4
  27. 27.0 27.1 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Vol 2 #7
  28. Daredevil #171
  29. Savage Wolverine #6
  30. Scarlet Spider Vol 2 #19
  31. OHOTMU Daredevil 2004

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