KINGPIN

Real Name: Wilson Fisk
Occupation: Criminal organizer and mastermind, president and owner of legitimate businesses
Identity: Fisk is publicly known to be the Kingpin, but his dual identity has never been officially proved.
Legal Status: Citizen of the United States with no criminal record
Former Aliases: The Brainwasher, Harold Howard
Place of Birth: Unknown, probably in New York City area
Marital Status: Married
Known Relatives: Vanessa (wife), Richard (son)
Group Affiliation: Leader of a coalition of East Coast non-Maggia criminal organizations, former manager of Las Vegas HYDRA faction.
Base of Operations: New York City. The Kingpin conducts both his legal and illegal operations from a midtown Manhattan skyscraper that he owns. He lives in a mansion in New York State's Westchester County.
First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #50

History: 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. Fisk educated himself by stealing books from stores and libraries, and 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. 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, charges had to be dropped for lack of evidence.

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."

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 afterwards. Their son, Richard, was born within a year after their marriage.

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 theĀ 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 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, the crime coalition apparently then 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 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. Ever since, the Kingpin has pursued more realistic goals than HYDRA's.

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.

The enraged Fisk indeed made a comeback. Not only did he reassume 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.

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 from 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 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 escaped.

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.

Under circumstances to be fully revealed, Fisk became a part of the Stark/Fujikawa corporate empire, surfacing in an East Asian branch, and weilding 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.

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

Height: 6 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 450 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Bald

Strength Level: The Kingpin possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in intensive regular exercise. The Kingpin is virtually as strong as it is possible for a man of his age, height, and weight to be without having superhuman powers. His great bulk does not consist of fat but of muscles that have been developed to enormous size, as in a sumo wrestler. The Kingpin can lift (press) approximately 650 pounds.

Known Superhuman Powers: None

Abilities: The Kingpin has extraordinary skill in hand-to-hand combat. His fighting skills and unusual agility for a man of his size compensate for the great difference between his human level of strength and Spider-Man's superhuman strength when the two engage in unarmed combat, (Spider-Man also has inhibitions about using his full strength against an opponent without superhuman powers for fear of killing him or her.)

Weapons: 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.

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