Hawkeye featured many interesting characters across the MCU, but one of the most highly-anticipated returns was Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk a.k.a. Kingpin. The Marvel villain first made his presence felt during the three seasons of Daredevil from Netflix, going up against Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock. After seemingly being defeated in the Netflix show, Kingpin made his triumphant comeback in Hawkeye to spell trouble for Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop.
D'Onofrio's arrival in Hawkeye was long rumored, but many fans were still surprised by his appearance. As a result, Kingpin served as the main subject of discussion among Marvel fans on social media.
One of the questions surrounding Kingpin's return is his connections to the larger MCU and ties to Netflix's Daredevil. D'Onofrio clarified the confusion by saying that he believes that it's the same character, but there are some "dots that can't be connected" in regards to the two versions of the villain being the same person.
That said, this essentially opens up a conversation about Kingpin's reaction toward big MCU events such as Thanos' arrival on Earth in Avengers: Infinity War and the Avengers' victory during Avengers: Endgame. Now, a new interview has emerged to shed some light on the subject.
Infinity War's Impact on Kingpin
Kingpin actor Vincent D'Onofrio sat down with Comicbook to talk about the impact of Avengers: Infinity War on his Marvel character's return.
D'onofrio first noted that his empire likely "fell" due to the "otherworldly stuff" that happened during Infinity War:
"I think he lost his power. I think that his empire fell because all this otherworldly stuff was going on. Given the opportunity, he might have been able to even grow his empire during that stage, but he wasn't given that opportunity."
The Daredevil actor continued by discussing his sudden arrival in Hawkeye, describing his arc as someone who is "on his way back, to grabbing back what is his:"
"So I think, as far as Hawkeye goes, he's on his way back, to grabbing back what is his. It's clear, I think, from the scene with Vera [Farmiga] and the scene with [Alaqua Cox's] Maya, all the scenes with Maya, that his mind is set on being the king so that's what he's gonna be."
The actor's latest comments echoed his previous remark about the MCU's Blip. Back in December 2021, D'Onofrio shared that “the Blip” was the event that caused him to “[lose] the power he had in Daredevil, and he wants it back.”
Kingpin's Slow Rise to the Top
D'Onofrio's latest comments clearly suggest that Kingpin's empire is no more, but it seems that the character is dedicated to bringing his glory back by doing any means necessary. In many ways, this is dangerous for the rest of MCU's heroes.
Daredevil cemented Kingpin's brutal dominance over Hell's Kitchen, as well as his established connections in and out of the city.
While it seems that Thanos' snap in Infinity War might've created a domino effect that led to the fall of Kingpin's so-called empire, many would agree that Fisk has the means of climbing his way to the top, and Hawkeye managed to showcase a preview of his eagerness.
It's worth mentioning that when a villain's back is against the wall, it makes him more dangerous. Kingpin already knows the feeling of reaching the pinnacle of success, meaning that he is aware of the looming threats that could take it away from him.
That said, this spells bad news for characters like Matt Murdock, Echo, and even Clint Barton, since they will all be on Kingpin's radar during his slow yet inevitable rise back to the top.
There's a good chance that Kingpin was not aware of otherworldly threats before Infinity War. This could hint that the Marvel villain could have unearthed information about Thanos' arrival and intel about off-world threats and allies, thus making him more dangerous than ever before.
While Hawkeye gave a vague ending about Kingpin's fate after being shot by Echo, it's reasonable to assume that Fisk will come back with a vengeance and he is only getting started.
All episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.