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Characters / Marvel Comics: The Kingpin
aka: The Kingpin

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Alter Ego: Wilson Fisk

Notable Aliases: The Brainwasher, The White King

First Appearance: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #50 (July, 1967)

Norman Osborn: Something occurs to me — either Spider-Man is destroyed, or you get Oscorp. Whatever happens, you win.
Kingpin: That's why I'm the Kingpin.

Wilson Fisk, otherwise known as the Kingpin, is a fictional crime boss, supervillain, and Arch-Enemy of Daredevil, while also an antagonist to Spider-Man and The Punisher. His over-sized appearance and personality are based on Sydney Greenstreet, a Hollywood actor famous for his roles as criminal masterminds in films such as The Maltese Falcon. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr., he made his debut in The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967). His nickname, Kingpin, is a reference to the title of crime boss in mafia slang nomenclature. He ranked tenth on IGN's list of top one hundred comic book villains in 2009.

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. Kingpin enjoyed a long tenure in his new position, but 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.

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.

The first actor to play him was Tom Harvey, who voiced him in the Spider-Man (1967) series. He was played by John Rhys-Davies, in his first live-action appearance in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, a sequel telefilm to The Incredible Hulk (1977). He was voiced by Roscoe Lee Brown in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where he was a recurring villain almost to the level of Big Bad. He was portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan in the 2003 Daredevil film, and reprised the role in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series. In 2015, he entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the main villain of Daredevil (2015), where he is portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio. In 2018, he made his animated film debut in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, voiced by Liev Schreiber. He also made an appearance in Spider-Man (PS4), voiced by Travis Willingham.

The Kingpin provides examples of:

  • Acrofatic: Subverted technically, played straight visually. Kingpin is big and wide, yet is agile enough to fight Spider-Man and Daredevil hand to hand. However, Kingpin himself said that very little of his body mass is actually fat, so we can assume he's replaced all the fat he used to have with muscle. Confirmed by Daredevil who compared hitting Kingpin to hitting a brick wall (some sources say that his bulk is only 2% fat, even though that's impossible).
  • Adaptational Badass: Normally he's portrayed as a Badass Normal with the kind of Charles Atlas Superpower which can take on superhuman foes like Spider-Man. But in certain incarnations, he is portrayed as being much more explicitly superhuman to the point where he's much more powerful than Spider-Man and takes greater precedence as the Big Bad than Peter's more iconic rogues like Green Goblin or Dr. Octopus, most notably in Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
  • Adipose Rex: He's the King of New York Crime and he's bulky (some would say fat... but they'd be wrong).
  • Affably Evil: He's usually polite and somewhat soft-spoken.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Daredevil; one of two with Bullseye, though between the two the war between Fisk and Murdock is a closer example of this trope. He actually began as one of Spider-Man's worst enemies, but this changed in the 70's, when Frank Miller identified him as a useful Big Bad in Daredevil stories. In the Punisher MAX continuity, he is arch enemy to The Punisher.
  • Anti-Climactic Unmasking: In an early issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, Peter is unmasked by the Kingpin and his thugs, but his face means nothing to them. When Spidey starts fighting smarter and proves he's an actual threat, this comes back to bite them - all they have to go on is "white teenage boy".
  • Arsenal Attire: One weapon he occasionally uses is a diamond stickpin in his tie that can squirt tear gas/knockout gas into the face of an enemy that he's grappling with.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: He became a gang leader by bullying the other tough guys at his school which led to him being noticed by the local mafia.
  • Ax-Crazy: He hides it well most of the time, but he's still a brutal thug at heart who enjoys killing people with his bare hands.
  • Badass Boast: Fisk drops this gem towards the end of "Deadly Foes of Spider-Man" #4:
    "These so-called super-criminals think so much of themselves, with their powers and weaponry. But they are fools. For the greatest power of all is that of the human mind. And when it comes to that power- there is no one who is a match for The Kingpin."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He is almost always dressed in a white suit (which is sometimes secretly armored). It might be black in some versions.
  • Badass Normal: The Kingpin has no superhuman powers. However, he is incredibly strong and durable, possessing remarkable strength concealed by his Fat Bastard appearance. He is a master of jujitsu, hapkido, and unsurprisingly, sumo wrestling. He has been shown to be strong enough to hurl people across a room, rip limbs from people (demonstrated under a handshake), crush a man's skull with his bare hands, leave imprints in concrete walls after punching them and even crush one of Spider-Man's web shooters without making any great effort. One Daredevil comic also showed that the door to his private vault doesn't have a lock. It's just so damn heavy that no other non-powered person could move it. He's basically the heavyweight champion of normals in the Marvel Universe, and one of the premier heavyweights period, able to take on a lot of other tough fighters in hand-to-hand combat, from Spidey to Daredevil to Captain America. It should be noted however that the only reason he can hold his own with Spider-Man is that Spidey normally holds back to avoid seriously injuring or killing normal humans. When Spider-Man doesn't do this, he absolutely curb stomps Fisk (in the Back in Black arc) and makes clear how easily he could kill him if he ever felt like it (this, after Fisk had publicly made a big deal out of how he was untouchable and how he could face down, say, Spider-Man), or kills him with a single punch (in a What If? alternate reality).
  • Bad Boss: Fisk has a tendency to execute henchmen who have screwed up or slighted him in some way, or are even just forced to die so that he looks more fearful to the survivors.
  • Bald of Evil: He's a ruthless crime lord whose head is as bald and shiny as a cue ball.
  • Bald Head of Toughness: He's bald and one of the strongest Badass Normal characters in the entire series, being 400 pounds of raw muscle and having the Charles Atlas Superpowers of being nearly unkillable and Super-Strength, as well as a master Manipulator.
  • Bastard Understudy: To Don Rigoletto. Fisk learned a lot from the old crime boss, served as his lieutenant and then killed him and took over his criminal empire.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Do not threaten his wife Vanessa. Depending on Fisk's mood, even mentioning her in his earshot might be enough to earn you a beating.
      • To give an example, The Punisher once had Fisk dead to rights and at gunpoint. Then Vanessa walked into the room and he decided to take her hostage for good measure. The story skips what happened next to show Spiderman, Cloak, and Dagger arriving and finding the Punisher beaten into unconsciousness and Fisk declaring him Not Worth Killing.
    • He also does not take it well whenever anyone reminds him, inadvertently or otherwise, of his humble origins or lack of a formal education.
    • It's also really not a good idea to mock or insult him and definitely don't gloat to him if you value your life.
    • Giving him bad news or failing him is also very much not advised. Those unfortunate enough to do so rarely live to tell the tale.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Spider-Man, Daredevil, and even the Punisher are usually hesitant to take out Fisk permanently. They know that there'll just be a power vacuum and chaos in the underworld without him. In fact, in one story, the Kingpin was legitimately out of the crime business, but he was asked back to New York City in order to help calm the chaos of myriad gang wars.
  • Big Bad:
    • One of the top villains of the Marvel Universe, and has served as the Big Bad for many arcs across multiple comics, particularly Daredevil's series. While he's nothing compared to the likes of, say, Thanos, Doctor Doom, Ultron, Magneto, Red Skull, or Norman Osborn, he's the classic Big Bad for "street level" superheroes like Daredevil and Punisher.
    • The 90's Spider-Man cartoon version could easily qualify as well, being directly involved in nearly every major threat to Spider-Man (the creations of both Hobgoblin and Green Goblin, the Spider-Slayers, Insidious Six, Rhino, Shocker, his attack on the crashed shuttle being the catalyst for bringing the symbiote in Spidey's life, etc.) and continued to be a major obstacle to Spidey until the final season.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: How he became The Kingpin of Crime in the first place — by betraying the don he was supposed to be bodyguarding and usurping his position.
  • Bright Is Not Good: Traditionally wears a light-colored wardrobe, and isn't a good guy in the slightest. Some adaptations forgo this in favor of black clothes.
  • Bullying a Dragon:
    • Fisk hired an assassin from prison to kill Spider-Man after he'd unmasked himself. The assassin hit Aunt May by accident, and when Spider-Man came looking for him Fisk mocked him to his face. Spider-Man responded by effortlessly beating Fisk to within an inch of his life.
      • To elaborate, when Fisk got in an unarmed fight with Spider-Man in "Back In Black”, and Peter made it plain that for once, he wasn't pulling his super-powered punches, he effortlessly dodges every blow that Fisk throws at him, then almost kills him with two punches, only barely leaving him alive - and promising to come back and finish the job if Aunt May died.
    • Fisk also made the mistake of picking a fight with Hydra as if they were a rival criminal organization. They're actually a highly vindictive global terrorist organization. They completely wipe out his bank accounts, destroy many of his front businesses across New York, and blow up his office.
  • Cane Fu: Has regularly used his walking stick as a weapon, which given his mastery of hapkido, a Korean martial art that features cane fighting as one of its techniques, shouldn't be surprising.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Despite what he looks like, Fisk is NOT obese; his body is nearly pure muscle, and his strength is as close to human perfection as you can get without the Super Soldier Serum. He even has a vault that only he can open, because it doesn't have a combination lock, the door is just so heavy that no unpowered human can budge it. As Back in Black demonstrates, however, this has limits.
  • The Chessmaster: He's always this, but in his prime in particular he controlled nearly all organized crime on the East Coast and even had a general in his pocket.
  • Classic Villain: As Spider-Man's nemesis. Who better to counteract a short, skinny teenager than a towering, middle-aged body builder at least in terms of optics, if not logic (After all, a 15 year old Peter had enough super-strength to beat Crusher Hogan, a man of similar build as Fisk's). This still works in many ways with Matt, as a blind athletic lawyer who isn't really that handicapped is opposed by a sighted but grotesquely fat gangster who isn't nearly as out of shape as he looks.
  • Composite Character: In Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Ultimate Marvel, he takes on Roscoe "The Fixer" Sweeney's role as the gangster who has Matt Murdock's father Jack murdered. the 2003 Daredevil film, he is combined with Slade as the henchman who personally kills Jack.
  • Contemplative Boss: He's prone to doing this in his various forms when in his penthouse.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: He's a mob boss hiding behind the mask of a legitimate businessman and owns several companies.
  • Corrupt Politician: Becomes Mayor of New York after the events of Civil War II, and stays that way until his removal in Devil's Reign.
  • Criminal Craves Legitimacy: The Kingpin has retired or endeavoured to go legitimate on occasion, either as a way up from the underworld or under the influence of his wife Vanessa. It doesn’t tend to stick, but he finds ways to bounce back from his defeats.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: He's been on both the giving and receiving ends of this trope:
    • Kingpin has always assumed that since he usually has fought near-equally with Spider-Man, that he was capable of eventually taking the web-head down. He gets a major reality check with Back in Black, where he was stupid enough to have Spider-Man's aunt shot "as a message." Spider-Man invaded the prison where Fisk was living like a king at the top of the status pyramid and confronted the Kingpin. After sitting through the Kingpin's "The Reason You Suck" Speech, Spider-Man proceeded to effortlessly and brutally kick the ever-living shit out of the Fat Man. The Kingpin never laid a finger on Spider-Man, and Spidey made it crystal clear to everyone watching the fight that the Kingpin never had a chance at all of doing so.
      Spider-Man: The moment my Aunt May dies, I'm coming back for you, and we're going to finish what we started. And as of right now, you know—you know that there is nothing you can do to stop me. I will come to you, and I will count: One...two...three. And then you'll be dead. I swear to you, on my life, on her soul, on everything I hold dear, you'll be dead. Meanwhile, you'll live with the memory of this moment, the humiliation of this moment, and the message of this moment, which is directed at the rest of you, and everyone you know. Put the word out: If anyone comes near me or my family again, if anyone even touches them or anyone else who matters to me--you will experience firsthand what happened here today.
    • Once dished one of these out to the Red Skull. Red Skull was in a clone of Captain America's body so he expected an easy victory with his Super-Soldier physique. Kingpin proceeded to either block or No-Sell every attack Red Skull landed on him and by the end had him begging for his life.
    • He’s dished some of these out to Daredevil, usually partly by ensuring that he’s at a psychological advantage somehow — but he’s at least Daredevil’s equal in a straight fight.
    • The Punisher trying to take Kingpin on never ends well for Frank.
      • Frank once had Fisk dead to rights, but subverting Talking Is a Free Action, Fisk literally yanked the rug out from under Frank before knocking his gun out of his hands by throwing a couch at him. Frank pulled out another gun as Vanessa entered the room and used her as a human shield. note  Exactly what happened after that is unknown, but when Spider Man and Cloak and Dagger came across the room, Frank had been beaten unconscious, Kingpin considering him Not Worth Killing. Whatever happened, the hint is that Kingpin hit Frank with a hell of a beating, even though he had guns.
      • Punisher once attacked Fisk with a knife. Kingpin caught the knife, forced him to drop it, took the other knife Frank tried to use. Kingpin proceeded to beat Frank, comparing him to a terrier attacking a lion, and would have killed him if Frank was on his own.
      • Another time Frank was attacking with him a gun, but Kingpin closed the gap while using a table as a makeshift shield. Punisher stabbed him with a knife and boasted that Fisk would die if he pulled the knife out. Fisk responded by ripping the table in half and grabbing Frank by the neck.
  • Deadly Sparring: Anyone who trains with the Kingpin is at risk of a Deadly Spar. Fisk hates being made to look bad and will kill a sparring partner if they are too good of a fighter. Similarly, if a sparring partner is too easy, he'll still kill them because he sees them as a waste of his time and money.
  • Debt Detester: If there is a group of people that Fisk hates almost as much as folks who have slighted him, it is people to whom he owes a favor. Fisk is usually pretty quick to find a way out of the debt, even on a good day. On a bad day, however, the creditor might find himself worse off than before.
  • Depending on the Writer: He has been the subject of flip-flops of epic proportions: either he thinks drug dealing is rock bottom, or he's single-handedly keeping about half the world's drug barons in business. Also his super-strength, where writers use a lot of explanations and hand wave to make him work as a villain for Spider-Man and Captain America. note 
  • Deuteragonist: After Matt himself, nobody is more important to Daredevil and its ongoing story arcs than Wilson Fisk. We've seen him build, run, lose, and rebuild his empire, have witnessed the messy details of his personal life, and have experienced his triumphs and failures with him. When he's not a part of the story, it frequently feels as though something is missing.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: He occasionally lurches into this archetype, particularly in the Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: During the Inferno storyline, a bunch of demons invaded Fisk Tower and his goons were having trouble dealing with them. Annoyed with their failure, he showed them how it was done by slugging one in the face, forcing it and the others to run.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Fisk takes personal slights to a new degree. When a rookie waiter at his favorite restaurant handed him a check (unaware Fisk is never charged for his meals), the Kingpin tells an underling to hunt the guy down and make sure the hand that held the check is wrecked beyond repair.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Well, he never seems to use a gun personally, which is odd for a mobster, preferring to kill people with his bare hands (or, if the person has to be shot, have someone else do it). He is known to have a laser blaster concealed in his cane that he has used in a few stories, but this was phased out as he moved on to being Daredevil's enemy mainly.
  • The Don: He's one of the top crime lords of the Marvel Universe, but he actually deconstructs this trope: His wife Vanessa truly loves him, but she and his son had tried to kill Fisk. Fisk is not The Patriarch but a curse on their loved ones.
  • The Dreaded: Everyone is frightened of Fisk and with very good reason given his intelligence, influence and sheer ruthlessness.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • He and Daredevil have allied several times, against other organisations like The Hand, against gangsters like The Owl, and in order to escape prison. These alliances almost inevitably end in a betrayal by one or both parties. A notable — non-canon — example was the inter-company crossover where he apparently sided with Ra's al Ghul against Spidey and Batman to save Vanessa. The heroes didn't know it at first, but Fisk was actually helping them, proving to be even more of a Chessmaster than Ra's, only revealing his true loyalties in the end.
    • Joins forces with the X-Men and Avengers during Fall of X to bring down Orchis since they targeted him and his mutant wife. None of them are exactly happy working with him but Fisk’s underworld connections and status as a human witness to Orchis’ crimes make his help too valuable to refuse.
  • Entitled Bastard: He has a lot of this in his character and will pull Disproportionate Retribution on people who deny him his way. The Ultimate version was arguably worse, ordering Spider-Man's school blown up while class was in session after Daredevil threatened to kill his wife, even though it was Spider-Man who talked Daredevil down and saved Vanessa's life. And during the threat, he kept pleading with Daredevil that he had done nothing wrong because it "wasn't personal".
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He loves his wife and son, despite the fact that both tried to kill him on at least one occasion. Sadly, both came to tragic ends. He eventually found peace again with a woman in Spain whom he married and adopted her children as his own, only for them to be murdered by The Hand, leading to the Kingpin returning to crime.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • When the Red Skull offers the Kingpin an alliance to bring a deadly drug to the streets, the Kingpin refuses to have anything to do with the Nazi. He then defeats the Skull in hand-to-hand combat, sparing his life only if the Skull promises to never come near the Kingpin's territory again. Whatever else, Fisk is an American and despises the Skull and what he stands for as much as anyone.
    • During the "Death of Jean DeWolff" storyline, Spider-Man visits The Kingpin in his skyscraper office, seeking information that would lead to the capture of The Sin-Eater, a serial killer responsible for the murders of several people, including Spider-Man's friend, the police captain Jean DeWolff, and a judge. Fisk has no information to impart, and merely comments that he did not care for DeWolff, or for Judge Rosenthal for that matter, as they were both honest people, "and honest people bore me," as Fisk put it. But Fisk did express his regret at the murder of a priest, as killing men of the cloth seriously upsets the populace, making cities harder to control, and his manner suggested that that sort of thing repulsed even The Kingpin on a personal level.
    • Fisk is usually as pragmatic as possible and typically only goes as far as he needs to when it comes to accomplishing his goals. He doesn't like and often won't tolerate people who work for him going too far, constantly carrying the villain ball, or committing atrocities simply for pleasure— partially because it messes with his operation and partially because, while Fisk can be a sadist, he's only cruel to people he has a personal score with and takes no satisfaction on people being hurt or killed needlessly. Depending on the situation, he can even be repulsed by the act, as with the aforementioned example of the murdered priest.
    • When he brought Micah Sinn into his organization he knew of his barbaric history with women and forbade him from harming them. When Sinn nonetheless violated this command by targeting Foggy Nelson's wife, Fisk intervened when it seemed like Sinn was going to beat Daredevil and ensured Daredevil's victory.
    • Orchis has made the fatal mistake of apprehending of Mary Walker-Fisk a.k.a. Typhoid Mary. Now the Kingpin has them on the very top of his shit list.
  • Evil Gloating: His love of this is almost always what undoes him in the end, up to and including in a game of Poker.
  • Evil Is Bigger: All around this, as even putting aside the fact he's built like a sumo wrestler, he's frequently depicted as taller than both Spider-Man and Daredevil.
  • Evil Is Petty: He seems to really have it in for costumed crimefighters and can never simply try and "kill" them; he has to utterly humiliate them and ruin their lives first.
    • During his time as Mayor, he gives Spider-Man favorable treatment. Why? Because he knows it will make the other heroes think Spidey's in league with him.
  • Evil Power Vacuum: A common Handwave used by writers especially in cases where Kingpin tussles with the likes of the Punisher whose lack of a no-kill rule makes Kingpin's survival problematic, to justify his Joker Immunity:
    • Kingpin's evolution into this is pretty ironic when one sees his first appearance in ASM #50-52. Kingpin initially made his move to unite the mob and control organized crime because Peter went "Spider-Man No More!" and he cited Spider-Man's power vacuum as the perfect opportunity for him to move in and take over the mob, and also noting he would never have been able to come to power had Spider-Man still been active as a known threat. The underworld was fine and controllable before Fisk came around and Spider-Man was the one keeping things in line.
    • When Spider-Man or Daredevil help to take down Fisk, it almost immediately gets worse, as less refined, less humane and less subtle underbosses scramble to take the top spot Kingpin used to occupy. The Marvel superhero community has more or less accepted that they simply can't take down the Kingpin without causing a massive gang war that would keep the entire hero community occupied with trying to contain the damage. To put it in perspective, even The Punisher has no intention of killing the Kingpin because of the potential fallout.
    • The effects of the Kingpin's fall reverberate throughout Spider-Man (PS4). While initially both the police, New Yorkers and Spidey himself celebrate Fisk's arrest, Fisk (and an irate J. Jonah Jameson) point out that now that the top spot is empty, every two-bit hood or wanna-be gangsta will be out on the street trying to carve out their own territory. This does come to pass. Worse yet, at least two supervillains take advantage of Fisk's defeat to set their own much more destructive plans into action (they specifically go after Fisk's arms caches and intimidate several underworld gangs and figures into their service). By the mid-point of the game, even Spider-Man grimly notes that for all his evil, Fisk genuinely loved New York and would never have tolerated the heavy devastation inflicted on it. However, Mary Jane reminds him there was no way he could condone Kingpin "godfather-ing" his way around the city, and as bad as the fallout was, it's both manageable and survivable. note 
    • Discussed multiple times in Ultimate Spider-Man. Initially Robbie Robertson says this to a young Peter who wonders why no one has gone against him. Robertson explains the Bugle did and Fisk sued them and bought company stock. He then tells Peter, half-heartedly, that perhaps if not for Kingpin someone worse would come. In later issues, when Daredevil recruits Spider-Man to work in his team to outright assassinate Fisk, Spider-Man parrots Robertson's views but Daredevil points out that this isn't always the case since once Hitler died, so did the Third Reich. In any case, when Fisk "dies" Post-Ultimatum, it doesn't lead to the replacement of someone worse, though the likes of Scorpion and Prowler do intend to take his crown.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Sounded this way when Michael Clarke Duncan played him. Vincent D'Onofrio, Jim Cummings, and David Sobolov also provided gruff, gravelly voices for him.
  • Evil Vegetarian: Vegan and a monster.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He's waged war against the Maggia crime syndicate and the terrorist group Hydra.
  • Evil Virtues: The Kingpin could never have become the man he is without brains, courage, and determination. He can be generally counted on to keep his word; genuinely cares for his own family; sees his enemies in Worthy Opponent terms (sometimes) and will treat his underlings with respect so long as they don't fail or betray him.
  • Faster Than They Look: He's much quicker and more agile than you'd expect from a man his size and can easily keep up with the likes of Daredevil in combat.
  • Fatal Flaw: His sadism. He simply cannot resist torturing enemies when the opportunity presents itself or inflicting as much pain, psychological or otherwise, on them as possible before killing them. This almost always blows up in his face when they snap and go after him with everything they have and a few times, it even leads him to learn that he's been Bullying a Dragon all along.
  • Fat Bastard: He's an incredibly huge person, but depending on the writer this is because his muscles are so huge they make him look fat or that he's a greedy slob with no sense of control. Some split the difference and write that he's got incredibly powerful arm and leg muscles but is fat everywhere else because of overeating — ignoring the more medically likely explanation that, like sumo wrestlers, he is well-muscled everywhere, but eats enough to maintain a significant layer of padding on top of it.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's normally genuinely affable, but his more monstrous versions, such as his MAX counterpart and his Sega game iteration, come off as this instead, being much more smug and cold-hearted and lacking the main Kingpin's more noble traits.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: In his own words, he was "an unpopular, blubbery child" before taking up weightlifting, and his career as criminal began as nothing more than a legbreaker in Hell's Kitchen.
  • Foil: Not as on-the-nose as most other examples, but he's one for Matt. Both have experienced tragedy and loss, to the point that the very idea of being happy seems foreign to them, and they're both incredibly scared of losing what they love. When Matt loses these things, he picks himself up and tries to be the best man he can. When Fisk loses what he loves, he sinks further into crime.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Under Frank Miller and carried over to Spider-Man (PS4), Fisk has an interest in Japanese culture.
  • Genius Bruiser: A self-educated, self-made man who rose from humble beginnings to become the greatest criminal mastermind in the New York underworld, he is also a hulking, monstrous brute who is physically a match for Daredevil and even Spider-Man, on occasion.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Fisk started out with a cigarette holder, but switched to villainous cigars after they went out of style. Cubans, naturally.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: This happened in a rather memorable story. Spider-Man and several other New York super-heroes were having a poker game where the winner would promise to donate the winning pool to charity. Fisk crashed the party and asked to be dealt in, offering to add an incredibly large sum to the pool. His only condition was that, if he won, he be allowed to use their contributions to the pool to buy a Cuban cigar. Fisk's actual goal, as they quickly figured out, was to show them up and humiliate them; nonetheless, they agreed. By the end of the story, everyone except Spidey and Fisk had folded, and finally, Spidey won.
  • Greed: Matt puts it best: "He won't stop. He'll never stop. He'll just keep murdering. And hurting. And taking. And taking and taking and taking. He thinks he's entitled. He thinks he deserves everything he takes. And he will never stop."
  • Had to Come to Prison to Be a Crook: In one storyline (an episode of the Spider-Man: The Animated Series), Fisk was originally sent to prison for larceny, after one of his dad's scams went south and his bulk prevented him from following his father up a fire escape. Once he comes out, he's got "connections" and uses what he's learned to begin building his criminal empire.
  • The Heavy: Kingpin tends to scheme every crime in Matt’s life and meddle in other street level superheroes in every storyline.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: You'd think he'd have learned not to piss off people who can bench press cars by now.
  • Honorary Uncle: To Marta's children, who dub him "Uncle Willie" during the prologue of "Return of the King".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Kingpin is one of the largest non-superhumans in the Marvelverse. His wife Vanessa, and his eventual girlfriend, Marta, are both tiny women.
  • Indispensable Scoundrel: He fills this niche in the Marvel universe. He's a ruthless villain who has all kinds of shady dealings to say the least and he fills that role of being the general Big Bad for street level heroes like Daredevil and Spider-Man. However, the reason no hero dares to seriously end him for good is because as bad as Fisk is, his presence manages to have a stabilizing effect on the criminal underworld; if he was out of the picture, the underworld would fall into such a state of chaos that more innocents would suffer than if he were still around and keeping crime at manageable and stable levels.
  • It's Cuban: His predilection for Cuban cigars shows that he is a very well-connected, powerful crime lord.
  • I Own This Town: He remained the ruler of New York's criminal underground for a very long time.
  • It's Personal: Both Fisk and Murdock can go to pretty extreme lengths to get at each other. Both have gone out of their way to ruin each other's businesses, several times. Fisk has set Matt up with girlfriends who were secretly assassins after Daredevil; Matt made Fisk miss his own wife's funeral; Fisk has Matt's friends beaten up; Matt beats up goes on. On at least two occasions Kingpin was on the verge of getting his old empire back, and Matt stopped him by taking it for himself. Both were What the Hell, Hero? moments — he did it mainly just to screw Fisk over.
  • Joker Immunity: Especially problematic after Frank Miller's redesign made him an iconic villain. Keeping him in Daredevil's corner of Marvel was the solution for the longest period of time, but writers would bring the redesigned Kingpin into Spider-Man's neck of the woods too and the Punisher's which made his efficacy and survival especially problematic and glaring issues in their stories.
  • Kevlard: He appears to be a monstrously obese man who appears to harness the power of Kevlard. However, once he actually takes off his shirt and starts fighting, it's apparent he is ripped as hell.
  • Kick the Dog: One of his favorite past times. It's never enough to simply kill heroes when he easily could. He has to completely break them first. This has come back to bite him hard when they aren't yet dead but feel they have nothing to lose or are simply pushed past breaking point by his actions.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the Ultimate Marvel universe, to Make Way for the New Villains in Ultimate Spider-Man.
  • Killer Bear Hug: A crushing bear hug is his signature move.
  • Kingpin in His Gym: The Kingpin may look fat, but he spends much of his time working out and training. He's also the Trope Namer.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The Kingpin is intelligent and ambitious, but he also knows his place. He's not going to pick a fight with truly global threats like Doctor Doom or Magneto, and for the most part is content to run the New York underworld rather than take over the world. His willingness to take on groups like Hydra and the Hand stems from him viewing them as rival criminal organisations and so something he can deal with (although he was sorely mistaken in the case of Hydra, who are a global threat). Someone with the raw destructive power of Doom, on the other hand, is not someone Fisk wants to take lightly.
  • Large and in Charge: He's 6'7 and while he weighs over 400lbs, it's more muscle than fat.
  • Left for Dead: Some of his underlings make the mistake of doing this to him.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Kingpin wears white and is a Villain with Good Publicity.
  • Lightning Bruiser: When Spidey, Daredevil and other heroes had their first fights with him, what surprised them most was how damn fast he was, especially considering how he looks like a Fat Bastard. He's also extremely agile for his size.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Every single time he is thrown in prison, no exceptions. Unlike most examples, he still hates being imprisoned and will do everything he can to get out.
  • Made of Iron: He's survived absolutely vicious beatings, explosions, and stabbings. One of the most notable exampels was when Smug Snake Sammy Silke enlisted almost a dozen of the Kingpin's lieutenants to help him be The Starscream. Despite being stabbed multiple times, the Kingpin survived and eventually recovered. His return was not a pleasant experience for Sammy.
  • The Man Behind the Man: There's a better than fifty percent chance that the supercriminal in a Spider-Man or Daredevil story is taking orders from or has ties to Fisk.
  • The Mafia: Even though he is actually part of the Maggia (a Captain Ersatz version of the organization) and isn't Italian, Kingpin comes close enough given that he shares specific aspects of the Cosa Nostra such as sharp suits and his position as a mob boss.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Yeah, he's good at this. To cut a long story short, he was a significant threat for Spider-Man, but he truly began to show how terrifyingly good at manipulating people he was once he became the main villain in the Daredevil comics. In the "Born Again" storyline by neo-noir comics master Frank Miller, the Kingpin finds out that Matt Murdock is Daredevil and begins a months-long plot to systematically destroy his life before finally trying to kill him, putting Daredevil through the trial of his life. He has his hands in every cookie jar, has a general in his pocket, and has spies everywhere. Even after he's jailed, he proves very savvy at manipulating people from behind bars.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Fisk only wears personally tailored designer suits. Of course, given his size, his suits would probably have to be custom made regardless of the quality.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: He is still fully capable of running a criminal enterprise from inside prison and once even tricked Iron Man into eliminating a competitor on the outside for him. He's able to do so because he still had enough information on the wider criminal underworld to make deals and manipulate the authorities. That said, he does still face limitations and can't physically intimidate people as he's used to doing and has to deal with much greater surveillance and he overall hates being in jail.
  • Mouth of Sauron: John Wesley is Fisk's most trusted minion, responsible for receiving his last-minute, and often most secret, orders. Considering this can include orders to kill people, Wesley is the second most feared man in the Kingpin's mob.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Often, but most notably at the end of Brubaker's run when the only way Matt can stop him from becoming leader of The Hand is by taking the job himself.
  • Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy: Fisk has, in the past, run The Hand. They are responsible for training Daredevil's girlfriend Elektra and his newer enemy Lady Bullseye up as assassins, and are a magical cult led by demons who worship another demonic creature called The Beast, who recruit members by killing them and resurrecting them as either undead ninja or, if they are named superheroes/villains, brainwashed killing machines. The Hand started off as politically motivated rebels before being taken over by a more evil cult called the Snakeroot, who generally form the Hand's elite.
  • Necessarily Evil:
    • In the comics, the reason why no one has ever made any serious attempts to topple him for good is that Fisk is the definition of "too big to fail" in the criminal world. As the ruler of just about all of the East Coast's underbelly, he also keeps a whole lot of people in check. If anyone ever actually did kill him or ruined him to the point where he could never rebuild his empire to even a fraction of what it was, the resulting power vacuum would invite all of the small-time crime bosses that he kept under control to go to war with one another over his spot, which would create so much carnage that even SHIELD and the Avengers would probably have their hands full just trying to quell it. Fisk knows this, Spidey and Daredevil know this... hell, even the Punisher knows this, and none of them are about to disregard it for any reason.
    • Much of the conflict in Spider-Man (PS4) stems from Spidey and the police deciding Fisk is not, in fact, necessarily evil. As he's arrested and taken away, a furious Fisk warns that he helped keep order, and that soon the people of New York will wish he was still around. He's right, and for much of the game Spider-Man not only has to contend with ambitious members of Fisk's organization trying to gain some power and Fisk loyalists, but also with a new organization known simply as the Demons that take advantage of Fisk's fall to seize weapons and cause chaos. By the end of the game, even Spidey admits that maybe things would've been better with Fisk still in charge, because the guys now running around are nowhere near as restrained.
  • Neck Snap: Fisk made his final ascent to power when he snapped the neck of his boss, Don Rigoletto. In fact, this is usually his preferred method of killing someone when he does it personally, explaining why he seldom if ever uses firearms.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gave one to Daredevil in "Born Again" and was on the receiving end of one from him in Brian Michael Bendis' run (though that was after putting up a very good fight for most of the battle), and he's also been on the wrong end of several from a very pissed Spidey in Back in Black. Since then, Kingpin has not been portrayed as a physical threat to Peter. He also suffered an organizational one when he picked a fight with Hydra, who pretty much tore his entire criminal empire to pieces.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Fisk is undoubtedly very powerful, intimidating and influential and is one of the bigger threats many unpowered or mid-level street heroes face but he's ultimately just a very intelligent gangster in a world of superpowered beings, many of whom are so far above Fisk in power it's like comparing a fly to an elephant, and it's made clear that any of the superheroes and villains in question could stomp him to pieces if they were ever so inclined as seen with Fisk's hopelessly one-sided fight with an extremely pissed off Peter Parker. Fisk is a huge threat in the confines of a more grounded setting with street level heroes but he doesn't have a hope of competing above that as evidenced by the times when he gets on the wrong side of such heroes and villains like Hydra, who he treats like another rival criminal organization rather than the massive terrorist operation it is, and pays dearly for his arrogance as they utterly wipe out everything he has without breaking a sweat..
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: When Mr. Fear tries to frame Karen Page for murder, Matt proves her innocence. The jury is ready to vote her not guilty, but Mr. Fear has a backup plan. One of the jurors will release a vial of Mr. Fear's gas to make the other jurors find Karen guilty, but the treacherous juror has a heart attack before he can release the gas. The treacherous juror is replaced by an alternate, who joins with the rest of the jury in finding Karen not guilty. Later, Fisk meets Matt, explaining that he arranged for the treacherous juror to have a heart attack, and that he'll live, albeit with a pacemaker. Matt asks why he did it, and Fisk replies with this trope.
  • Pet the Dog: It's extremely rare to see, but Fisk does on rare occasions show this. The caveat is that he is still a murderous crime boss. For example, when one of this top lieutenants fails him, the story follows this doomed lieutenant as he goes about preparing for his meeting with Fisk, despite his wife begging him to go to the cops for protection. The lieutenant attends his meeting as scheduled, even killing another failed subordinate along the way because he realised Fisk wanted it done. His mask only drops when he asks the Kingpin to spare his family, and Fisk responds by ordering him to attack, thus letting him claim that the lieutenant's murder was self-defense. He then calls off the hit squad who were waiting to take out the man's family, ordering them to leave the family alone.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Shows this often, especially in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where he helps Spider-Man often when the alternative would be letting New York (or the world) be destroyed. As he tells Landon:
    Kingpin: There is no profit to be made in the destruction of the planet. It is very bad for business.
  • Pride: Easily his greatest flaw, outstripping even his greed. Fisk needs to be in control and to dominate those around him, and he can't take being slighted or thwarted in any way. He also can't resist gloating and torturing enemies to feel powerful, even when it could cause a problem for him.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: We once had a whole page of Daredevil punching him from all possible angles, with no visible effect. Next page, Kingpin starts the payback with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: As things crumble in #300, "Last Rites", his internal monologue insists New York City is "Still. My. City.", and later he roars while throwing out a mighty swing, "I'VE! DONE! NOTHING! WRONG!"
  • Race Lift: In the comics he was white but in the 2003 Daredevil film he's black, played by the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Duncan also voiced the Kingpin in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series, where he's again black. Notably, Stan Lee originally considered making the Kingpin a black man but was concerned about the racist connotations of Dark Is Evil played through skin tone.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Averted. He's as tough as they come and he's a vegan. Given who he is, no one is going to question his manliness if they value their lives.
  • Revenge Before Reason: In Born Again, his underlings kept calling him out on it — this was a mistake, but they were right and his revenge scheme blows his plans to move into legitimate business out of the water, as they result in him being publicly exposed as a crime lord. In Civil War, he has a sniper try to kill Spider-Man, but it is Peter's Aunt May who is accidentally shot. Spider-Man effortlessly and very publicly beats the snot out of him, lovingly describes how easily he can kill him, and then warns the prison crowd witnesses that if Fisk or anyone tries something that again (or if May dies), he'll come back and kill them.
  • Revenge by Proxy: He attacked Peter Parker by going after Aunt May after Peter unmasked as Spider-Man (that was a horrible mistake) and he's gone after Matt Murdock by attacking Foggy Nelson before.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Perhaps the most successful example of this trope. Started out as a rarely used Spider-Man villain, then was promoted to Daredevil's Arch-Enemy.
    • Before his appearance in Frank Miller's run of Daredevil, Fisk made just 18 appearances in Spider-Man, the majority being in Lee-Romita's run (betweem ASM #50 to ASM #85) after which he was Put on a Bus (making no more appearances until ASM #165). The vast majority of his overall appearances has been in Daredevil comics. Stan Lee noted that in retrospect he makes much more sense as a Daredevil villain. His rationale was that a villain whose facade is a businessman works better with a superhero who, as a day job, is a lawyer instead of a journalist. Furthermore it got to the point that in live action film licensing issues before Marvel got the rights back, Kingpin was officially a Daredevil character. Both of Kingpin's live-action appearances have seen him as an exclusively Daredevil villain and Marvel has been reluctant to have Spider-Man fight a non-powered rogue on the big screen (for the obvious fact that the need for spectacle, effects and budget, would be better served with Spider-Man fighting exclusively super-powered foes).
    • Strangely one can also see this reversed. On account of the fact that Spider-Man is more of an all-ages character than Daredevil (there has never been a single Daredevil cartoon or major video game), Kingpin often shows up as a Spider-Man villain but almost all his characterization and personality there draws from Miller's characterization of him in his Daredevil run. This is most apparent in the Sega videogame where Spider-Man fights all of Daredevil's villains (Bullseye, Typhoid Mary, and Kingpin in the final battle).
    • Being a street-level big bad, Kingpin has never quite lost his connection to Spider-Man and is still seen as a regular part of his rogue's gallery, unlike a lot of other examples of his trope, but the comics repeatedly make it clear that his beef with Daredevil is more personal.
    • He's also been a Punisher villain on occasion because his mafioso persona fits perfectly with Punisher realistic street criminal stories. The Punisher MAX is probably one of the most notable examples.
    • Interestingly, Kingpin was teased as the main villain of the iconic Hawkeye run by Matt Fraction at the beginning. Kingpin and the other mob bosses were robbed out of millions by both Hawkeyes so Kingpin asked all the bosses to start hunting the Hawkeyes. This plot point would never get revisited during the rest of the run, favoring instead a change of direction to feature a story with Kaziu and the Tracksuit Mafia as the main villains. It wasn't until The Stinger of the run where Kingpin would once again appear and ask all the mob bosses (including Kate's father, Derek Bishop) to help him kill the Hawkeyes. Sadly this stinger was never followed up on since Matt Fraction left the book and Jeff Lemire took over for the next volume with other ideas in mind. Eventually Kingpin would find his way into a story with the Hawkeyes by becoming the main villain on the Hawkeye MCU TV show.
  • Scary Black Man: As depicted by Michael Clarke Duncan in the 2003 Daredevil film and Spider-Man: The New Animated Series.
  • Secret-Keeper: For Matt, in a villainous example. He paid for it eventually.
  • Self-Made Man: He built himself up from a low-level street thug, to assassin, to the Big Bad behind most of the organized crime on the East Coast.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Several continuties had him killing his own father as revenge for being abandoned during a heist.
  • Shoot the Messenger: The Kingpin's goons are in mortal fear of reporting failure on a job as Fisk is infamous for killing the bearer of bad news.
    • Averted in one story where a goon reports an attempt on the Punisher failed and quickly says he wasn't involved but "I drew the short straw." The Kingpin finds "your candor refreshing" and lets the guy leave in relief.
  • Smokescreen Crime: The Kingpin sometimes has his men commit minor crimes like carjackings and purse-snatchings to draw Spider-Man away from a major crime he has underway. They don't mind being used as a diversion since the Kingpin can always bail them out and provide them with good lawyers.
  • The Spymaster: He has eyes and ears everywhere.
  • The Starscream: Fisk himself was a successful one, killing Don Rigoletto and taking over his criminal empire. He's had to deal with a few himself over the years; the biggest threat was probably his own son Richard, who assumed the identity of the Rose in an attempt to bring him down, but ultimately failed. The only person that has never tried this is Bullseye.
  • Start My Own: Once Fisk realized that if he couldn't force newspapers to run or not run the stories he wanted, he could just start his own media empire.
  • Stout Strength: Fisk looks like an obese man. And while he doesn't have any superpowers, he's physically strong enough to beat Daredevil and has even given Spider-Man a hard time once or twice. Although later stories have made it clear that he's only held his own against Spider-Man because Spider-Man did not go all out when fighting him. Spider-Man, under normal circumstances and against non-superpowered opponents, has very strong psychological inhibitions against using his full strength out of fear of killing someone. When Fisk hired an assassin to kill Peter following him outing himself as Spider-Man and the sniper shot Aunt May by accident, Peter put on his black suit, tracked Fisk down in prison, and brutally beat him to a pulp before promising to finish him off if May died.
    • He also has taken on Captain America before, and even the super soldier has trouble bringing him down - in their first fight, Steve Rogers had known about the Kingpin and how much trouble he was for Daredevil and Spidey, but he was still astonished by how he was such a tremendously tough foe, even requiring help from The Falcon to win the fight.
      Kingpin: One superhero's the same as any other when matched with the Kingpin!
      Kingpin: You dare mock me?! I assure you you'll live to regret it...starting now!
  • Strong and Skilled: He's incredibly strong as befitting for a man his size and he's incredibly skilled in multiple martial arts including Judo, Hapkido and Sumo Wrestling.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Given how he's an enemy to both a Badass Normal with heightened senses and a wall-crawler whose lifting feats can vary wildly between double digit tons to hundreds or even thousands of tons, this categorization was inevitable. Depending on the hero on duty, Kingpin's strength can range from being slightly stronger than Daredevil to being on the same level as Spider-Man. It's later explained - and demonstrated - that in Spidey's case, he was always holding back. Until the Kingpin finally hit his Rage Breaking Point. Cue Back in Black.
  • Super Mob Boss: The Kingpin is the best known example of a crime lord that actually can fight against superheroes toe-to-toe and remains a major threat, instead of being just another disposable villain.
  • Swapped Roles: The classic "Born Again" storyline involves Fisk ruining Daredevil's life, and Daredevil slowly clawing his way back. Several (real life) years later, the "Fall Of The Kingpin" storyline involves the Kingpin's life being ruined, with Daredevil playing a critical role in it. This storyline ends with Fisk being determined to claw his way back.
  • Swiss-Cheese Security: In the Ultimate Comics he subverts it when Spidey tries to intimidate the Kingpin by dropping in on him unexpectedly, only to realize that the Kingpin put in shatter-proof windows to get rid of such problems. Makes the web head lose his cool. Kingpin doesn't even blink at the sound of Spidey hitting his window.
  • The Syndicate: He's the leader.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: Fisk was shot at point blank range by Echo, in revenge for killing her father. He lived through it but was rendered temporarily blind.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: His Michael Clarke Duncan version was a regular patron of "Happy Burger", a fast food burger chain with a clown mascot that was a Bland-Name Product stand-in for McDonalds.
  • Tranquil Fury: During Brubaker's run Daredevil notes that Fisk is a master at a variant of this — no matter how enraged he might appear on the surface, his pulse always remains steady and his adrenaline at a minimum.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Spider-Man, Daredevil and other heroes have made the mistake in their first encounters with the Kingpin in thinking this would be a slow and fat guy they could handle easily. They quickly realized the "fat" is muscle backed by expert martial arts.
    • Even Captain America, who had heard about Fisk's capabilities ahead of time and is an expert fighter in his own right, was taken off guard by how tough an opponent he is the first time they fought.
    • Many a super-villain has assumed that a man without powers can easily be beaten, not grasping Fisk's ruthlessness and Chess Master attitude runs circles around them.
    • The Kingpin actually fell into this himself when he treated a coming conflict with Hydra as if it was just another gang war... and in the span of five minutes, Hydra had emptied his bank accounts, destroyed most of his fronts across the city and sent a helicopter gunship to blow apart Fisk's office.
      Garrote: You are merely a criminal, Mr. Fisk while we...we are conquerors.
    • After Wilson Fisk failed to kill Peter Parker and instead near-fatally shot Aunt May, he was still unconcerned about any collateral damage. After all, Peter Parker is "a chump." It turns out rather badly for him when Spidey shows up and informs him he was deliberately holding back every single time they fought. Cue an utterly brutal beat-down, a loving description of how easily he could horribly kill Fisk with just his webbing, and a warning that if Aunt May died, he'd finish the job.
    • Fisk would be an obvious target for The Punisher, but on one of the few occasions they tangled Fisk utterly wiped the floor with him. Notably, Frank was armed to the teeth while Fisk was unarmed.
    • On the other side, Fisk once came to Vegas to try and stage a takeover and was confronted by casino security. He assumed that this would not be a problem, but was unaware that the bouncer he was dealing with was Joe Fixit...
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Gratitude is not one of Fisk's strong suits as he absolutely hates being in debt to anyone and he has no issue betraying, hurting or even murdering those who have helped him or saved his life in the past. The best you can hope for if you do him a favor is a begrudging return of the debt as quickly as possible.
  • Vetinari Job Security: Fisk is perceived as a need for New York City underground criminals. When he goes, there is the Evil Power Vacuum thing. This trope is the true enemy of Daredevil: Fisk is only a man, but the complacency of every criminal and hero tolerating Fisk because Better the Devil You Know is what sets Fisk as Kingpin. As he explains to an FBI Agent:
    The Kingpin: The reason you and your brethren in the Federal Bureau of Investigation are always and forever unsuccessful in your pursuits… is that you do not understand, or refuse to admit to yourselves, how badly a city like this needs men… like me. Not wants. Needs. This city was literally built by my people. Brick by blood soaked brick. And decade after decade the city tells you, screams at you, that it cannot function financially without men… just like me. The city is structured socially, politically, economically around us. Through us. Because of us. What I am telling you is that when you finally do understand this… your life will become a lot less stressful.
  • Villain in a White Suit: Usually wears a white blazer or business suit. It's used to reinforce his Villain with Good Publicity status in-universe.
  • Villainous Friendship: Spider-Men II reveals he was friends with Miles Morales's Earth-616 counterpart, who helped him in his rise as the Kingpin, and Fisk even helped Miles leave a life of crime.
  • Villainous Valour: Can be generally counted on to keep his word, genuinely cares for his own family, sees his enemies in Worthy Opponent terms (sometimes), and will treat his underlings with respect so long as they don't fail or betray him. There's also no denying his bravery or his willingness to confront heroes like Daredevil head-on.
    • Spider-Man: Tangled Web #4 has him praise his lieutenant Tom for always being a conscientious sort who took responsibility for himself, even admitting he liked these aspects. Alas, Tom still failed him, and the Kingpin cannot abide failure.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Used to have this, he posed as a legitimate businessman and made donations to charities but it got destroyed over the years.
  • Wicked Pretentious: While Fisk tries to pass himself off as a Self-Made Man with refined tastes as part of his Villain with Good Publicity image, but in reality, he's still a brutal thug at his heart.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Has been played this way at times, with his attempts at getting out of the criminal life inevitably failing, and seeing him hauled back in.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He has little issue ordering the deaths of people's children, either because they got in his way or because they failed him.
  • The Worf Effect: If Spider-Man is fighting seriously, the Kingpin is defeated easily to show how dangerous Spider-Man really is.
  • You Have Failed Me: It's impossible to count the number of gang mooks who entered the Kingpin's office after failing a job and never came out alive.
    • Spider-Man: Tangled Web issue 4 takes place from the point of view of a loyal subordinate who's worked for Fisk for over 20 years. However, Spider-Man helped foil a weapons sale, costing the Kingpin's organisation millions. Tom, the subordinate in question, quietly showers, shaves and puts on a crisp new Armani suit before another of Fisk's men, an 18-year old named Richie, picks him up. Tom observes that Richie screwed up a deal in Chinatown, but Richie says the Kingpin told him he was young and would get a second chance. Shortly after, Tom kills Richie, noting that when you work for the Kingpin, there are no second chances. He then reports to the Kingpin as ordered, requests his family be spared, and then attacks Fisk as ordered. As Fisk breaks his neck, he assures Tom his family will be looked after, calling off a hitman who'd been waiting outside Tom's house.
  • You Owe Me: In an early episode of Spider-Man: The Animated Series Spider-Man (in his civilian identity) saved the Kingpin from an assassination attempt by the Hobgoblin. Fisk didn't say anything about it at the time, but later he decided that he did owe Peter something and offered to pay for his wedding to Mary Jane.
  • Your Size May Vary: He's always drawn as huge and intimidating but some artists can get carried away with how much so, drawing him to look closer to eight feet tall than his official height of 6'7, and he can go from being just over a head taller than Matt and his subordinates to looking like a mountain next to them.

Alternative Title(s): The Kingpin