Head of Criminal Empire in The United States
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.3
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.4
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.5
Fisk contended against his rival gang-leader, the Schemer, who proved to be Richard in disguise, and battled Spider-Man in this encounter.5
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.6
At one point, he became the manager and director of the Las Vegas faction of HYDRA.7
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.8 He then maneuvered Daredevil into battling the Hand.9 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.11
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.
He has also brought back a near dead officer of the Interpol known as Ralph Containe back as Autopsy. He has had Autopsy look into defeating his rival the Hobgoblin.