Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kingpin

The Kingpin (Wilson Fisk) is a fictional character, a supervillain in the Marvel Comics Universe. Kingpin is one of the most feared and powerful crime lords in the Marvel Universe. The character is a major adversary of Daredevil, the Punisher, and Spider-Man. IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Villains Of All Time List ranked The Kingpin as #10.

The name 'Kingpin', is a reference to the title crime boss in mafia slang nomenclature.

Wilson Fisk began his life as a poor child, ridiculed by his classmates, as he was an unpopular overweight child. When he was repeatedly harassed by bullies, Fisk began training himself in physical combat. Using his new-found strength, he intimidated the bullies into joining his gang, and he started on the road towards being one of the most successful criminals in New York City. His first gang was a small one with only a few thugs. He eventually was found 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 gang, immediately becoming one of the most powerful criminals in the city.

The Kingpin remained the ruler of New York's criminal underground for a long time. However, he had made enemies with other gangs, specifically the Maggia and HYDRA, who teamed together to bring down Fisk and his gang. Fisk left for Japan, and started a spice business in order to become wealthy once more. 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 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. Frederick Foswell met the Kingpin and was captured. Spider-Man was knocked out by gas while fighting the Kingpin. He and Jameson were locked in a room which was filled with water. However Spider-Man made a web barrier filled with air, and when the door was opened he defeated the henchmen. Foswell was shot and killed while protecting Jameson.

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 a woman named Vanessa, whom he married and had a son with, 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 temporarily retired from crime, and the family moved back to Japan, until the existing New York gangs lured him back to New York in hopes of getting files he was known to have on the various high ranking individuals which contained "irrefutable evidence of various crimes" against them.

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 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.

At one point, he became the manager and director of the Las Vegas faction of HYDRA.
Cover to Daredevil #170, the Kingpin's first appearance in the title. Art by Frank Miller.

Under duress, the Kingpin agreed to turn over his files to the authorities incriminating his former lieutenants. His wife Vanessa was then kidnapped by crime lords who put out a contract on his life, and he witnessed the apparent "death" of Vanessa. He then returned to a life of crime, regained control of his New York mobs, and hired Bullseye as his assassin. He set Bullseye against Daredevil. He then turned over his files as he had agreed.He then maneuvered Daredevil into battling the Hand. He secretly promoted mayoral candidate Randolph Cherryh. He then hired Elektra as his assassin. He was forced to abandon his scheme to elect Cherryh mayor when Daredevil found Vanessa alive but amnesiac and returned her to him. Fisk then sent Elektra to kill Foggy Nelson. After Bullseye killed Elektra, Fisk set Bullseye against Daredevil again.

Some time later Kingpin learned Daredevil's secret identity when Murdock's ex-girlfriend Karen Page, who had become addicted to drugs, sold the information to a drug dealer in return for a fix. The drug dealer subsequently sold the information to Fisk, who then used his influence to destroy Murdock's civilian and professional life in the Daredevil: Born Again story arc.

Kingpin also provided superpowers to the Black Cat, who at the time was dating Spider-Man, and feared her lack of powers would make her a liability to him. Kingpin hired scientists to provide her with defensive bad luck powers that would cause mishap to befall anyone that attempted to harm the Cat in combat. However unknown to the Cat, Fisk had a surprise for her as a part of plan to get revenge on Spider-Man; her new powers would also negatively affect anyone who stayed in close proximity to her for an extended time, eventually causing death. This story arc contributed to the break-up of Spider-Man and the Black Cat, and climaxed with a physical battle between Fisk and an enraged Spider-Man in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #100. In addition, during the course of this storyline Fisk's scientists also created the supervillains the Answer and the Spot to battle Spidey and the Cat.

Later, Fisk rehired Bullseye to investigate a New York drug war. Kingpin survived an assassination attempt by Crossbones. In retaliation, he sent Bullseye to assassinate Crossbones' employer, the Red Skull. The attempt failed, and the Kingpin then defeated the Red Skull in personal combat.

After that, Fisk began his own cable television station, partnering with an apparent Texas millionaire the Kingpin thought could be easily manipulated. However, for once, the Kingpin was the one being played as his "partners" were actually the terrorist group HYDRA. Learning of this from Nick Fury, Daredevil began to spread the word through the underworld that the Kingpin had become a HYDRA stooge, weakening his power. When the Kingpin tried to fight back, HYDRA stole the vast majority of his assets, bombed his businesses across the city and even sent a helicopter gunship to blast his skyscraper offices, telling Fisk that he was just a criminal "while we are conquerers." With his empire crumbling, the Kingpin was brought up on a federal indictment and Daredevil tricked him into getting into a fight at a bus depot. Broken and beaten, the Kingpin was given the ultimate humiliation: instead of killing him, Daredevil forgave him for what he had done.

Bailed out of jail by a rival, Fisk seemed set to be used as an errand boy by all his old employees but instead went on the run. He spent time in Japan rebuilding his empire and fighting the X-Men before he finally returned to take back New York. While there he manipulated Maya Lopez (also known as Echo) into thinking that Daredevil killed her father (although Fisk was actually responsible) to get her to kill Daredevil. However, his plan backfired when Daredevil convinced her of the truth, and she shot him in the eyes in retaliation, rendering the Kingpin blind.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, using the Kingpins' new status as a blind man to rally supporters. 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, and was given an eye transplant which restored his eyesight.

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.

He later hatched a scheme to be freed and regain his wealth by giving the FBI 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. The U.S. Government was hard pressed to get rid of this expensive, dangerous, legally clean master criminal, and Fisk succeeded in manipulating the FBI into gravely wounding Daredevil and providing them a sample of Daredevil's DNA. He tells Ben Urich to give the feds the location of the Night Nurse, the only medic for injured superheroes, or go to jail.

He finally succeeded in getting Matt Murdock arrested, but the FBI 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. 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.

Fisk also appeared in the Civil War War Crimes one-shot. 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 is threatened for collaborating with Stark, he betrays him; he first sets 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 gives information to the Secret Avengers instead.

He also put out a hit on Spider-Man and his loved ones after Iron Man convinced Spider-Man to unmask in public as a means of demonstrating his support for the Superhuman Registration Act. A sniper attempted to hit Spider-Man, only to hit the "secondary target" of Aunt May. Spider-Man tracked down the hit to Kingpin. He confronted the Kingpin in prison and badly beat the Kingpin in a fight in front of the prison's inmates. He decided to let the Kingpin live for a time under the humiliation of his defeat, news of which would quickly spread through the Underworld. Spider-Man vowed to return and kill the Kingpin the second his aunt died.

However, at some point later, after Matt Murdock returns to America with his name cleared, he completes Vanessa Fisk's last wish and takes on Fisk's case, getting all charges dropped in exchange for Fisk leaving the country and giving up his American citizenship. Murdock told Fisk they had to end their vendetta now as otherwise the Vanessa that the Kingpin had loved would be lost forever, as the woman she became got her last wish by having her husband and Daredevil constantly at war with each other all over again. Although the charges were dropped due to the evidence being too tainted to be brought to court, Murdock delayed the case enough so Fisk would not be able to attend his wife's funeral. Fisk is later seen visiting his wife's grave and mourning her death. Fisk later temporarily returned to New York to "[wrap] up some loose ends that he had to deal with."

In Runaways, Fisk meets with the Runaways, revealing he knew all about their parents, since they ruled Los Angeles with efficiency and vision; he never tried to take their territory nor did they invade his. He makes a deal with the Runaways to secure a mysterious object for him in exchange for protection from the government. He and his army of ninjas are defeated when the Runaways refuse to give it after they stole it, discovering that it was a device invented by the Pride. It is later revealed that Fisk was hired by an elderly woman named Lillie McGurty, who orchestrated the events so the Runaways can travel back to 1907 and ensure that she would come back to the present with them, which her past self declined.

Informed of May's survival by Mephisto as a nurse at the hospital, he decides to send a masked hitman after Anna Watson. Mary Jane goes to check on Anna, just in time to stop the hitman, who goes after her. Spider-Man saves Mary Jane and unmasks the hitman.During the course of the One More Day storyline, which ended with the removal of Peter and Mary-Jane's marriage from all memories, the situation changes so nobody (including Fisk and with the exception of Mary-Jane and Deadpool) knows Spider-Man's secret identity.

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