Kingpin finally made his debut in the season finale of Hawkeye after Vincent D'Onofrio's crime boss made a surprise cameo at the end of Episode 5. Returning from Netflix's Daredevil, Wilson Fisk appeared to give Clint Barton and Kate Bishop a fair bit of trouble on Christmas Eve. Fisk was also originally supposed to receive a bit more play in Episode 6, with one Kingpin-related scene reportedly being cut from the final episode.
While some wondered whether this Fisk was the very same seen previously in Charlie Cox's Daredevil series, some evidence suggested that this Kingpin was a new depiction of the classic comic book character. One of these signifiers was the presence of Kingpin's classic diamond-topped cane from the graphic pages.
The actor behind Kingpin, Vincent D'Onofrio, recently confirmed that he approached the villain as "the same character" as the one from Daredevil. However, he also acknowledged that there were a few key differences to the incarnation viewers have previously been accustomed to. So what are some of the main updates to the NYC nemesis?
Kingpin Has Changed (His Clothes)
Warning - the rest of this article contains plot-specific spoilers for the season finale of Hawkeye.
The most striking change to the MCU's Kingpin is his wardrobe, treating fans to several snappy numbers across Hawkeye's finale. Audiences are treated to a fine purple pant leg upon Wilson Fisk's arrival in the show, a departure from the Netflix design that dressed Kingpin in black trousers to accompany his white suit in Season 3. This brings Marvel Studios' version closer to the character's early days in the comics, where Fisk frequently wore violet trousers in tandem with his white suit jacket.
That isn't the only outfit Kingpin has in store though, as he is later seen wearing a loud white and red Hawaiian shirt with his suit and a white fedora to match. Never has the Kingpin been so flamboyant.
This is another snazzy look ripped straight from the comics, originating from a Spider-Man storyline named "Family Business." Could this be a roundabout way of teasing that Spidey will cross paths with the criminal mastermind later down the line?
While the Netflix Kingpin had some iconic looks, this Wilson Fisk is willing to be a bit more stylish to match his status and exuberant lifestyle. To top it all off, this time, Wilson Fisk has brought his weapon of choice from the comics: his trusty cane. While not making use of it in the show other than for stunting on his underlings, it's more than likely that Kingpin will find a way to fit his walking stick with a couple of new tricks for next time.
Stronger than Daredevil?
Wilson Fisk showed a great deal of strength ferocity in Daredevil, smashing people through furniture and decapitating heads in car doors. But he's never been stronger than in Hawkeye.
When going toe-to-toe with Kate Bishop, Kingpin displayed an almost superhuman level of strength by chucking the young archer around like she was nothing. He even managed to survive being run over by a car and taking the brunt of a small explosion. While some may think this points to Marvel Studios' Wilson Fisk being a metahuman, it's likely that the MCU is simply doubling down on how strong this version Kingpin is.
In the comics, Wilson Fisk is all muscle, which aids in the fact that he is a master combatant against others. Combine that with a Kevlar vest that he wears at all times (teased when Kate shoots an arrow in his chest) and you've got a man who's damn near indestructible.
Despite his increased strength and agility, he does seem to be less violent in his fighting tactics. Perhaps that's because this is an MCU affair, so he won't be beating anyone bloody here.
A New Voice
While Kingpin's strength has gotten somewhat of an upgrade, his voice has become a bit more reserved this time around. The Netflix version's voice is much more confident, lower, and louder, likely to reflect how he is more in the public eye and needs to be able to appease a crowd.
This Wilson Fisk operates more in the shadows though, so a raspier and quieter tone of speaking is much more in line with the MCU's portrayal of the character.
There are glimpses of Netflix's voice still in there though, particularly when D'Onofrio is able to let loose as Kingpin laments Eleanor Bishop's attempt to leave the life of crime. Perhaps the MCU will capitalize on this in the future by pushing Kingpin into the limelight, allowing him to employ his spokesman skills.
His Winning Personality
Voice aside, a lot of Kingpin's personality is largely the same as his Netflix version, afforded by returning actor Vincent D'Onofrio's winning performance. One key difference, though, is how Kingpin deals with his anger issues, which can be clearly seen in his fight against Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop.
After punching and throwing the archer around and withstanding Bishop's numerous attacks, Fisk tells Kate that “You’re starting to annoy me.” Not even an expletive! This Kingpin’s certainly got some restraint. Of course, part of that restraint is the MCU’s more family-friendly nature, but it appears that this Wilson Fisk is willing to put up with a lot more before being pushed to full-blown rage.
That rage isn't gone though. Looking closely at Kingpin's conversation with Eleanor Bishop in the show's opening moments reveals that Fisk's left eye is continuously twitching. This facial tick grows across his face when Eleanor leaves, demonstrating that Kingpin's kettle is bubbling at all times -- he just chooses carefully when to let it boil over.
Another potential difference is his care for others, which comes across quite false in the Hawkeye finale when he is confronted by Maya:
"Maya, you and I...we're family. Family...Sometimes family doesn't see...eye-to-eye."
Kingpin seems to be trying to manipulate Maya without putting any of the effort to show that he cares. Perhaps this Fisk has lost his Vanessa in the MCU, leading to him being cold through and through. Then again, Fisk has learned to sign just for Maya and endearingly refers to her as "my Maya," so maybe Kingpin does still have a heart in there somewhere.
All episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.