While Spider-Man: No Way Home begins to premiere in select territories, Marvel's Hawkeye is still chugging away over on Disney+. With the Clint Barton-focused series fast approaching its epic conclusion, many have been left wondering whether Vincent D'Onofrio will rear his head as Daredevil's Kingpin, as rumors have suggested.
Rumblings about D'Onofrio's return in Hawkeye sparked fan excitement online, which was only further fueled by the actor cryptically teasing his possible involvement via social media.
Once the series' third episode finally debuted, many were quick to theorize that Maya Lopez's uncle was actually Wilson Fisk, judging by the off-screen character's recognizable chuckle. While the identity of Maya's uncle wasn't revealed, one of the directors behind Hawkeye teased that fans would be getting an explanation soon.
Episode 5 has answered now fan pleas and demands but has also raised a few more questions heading into Hawkeye's finale.
The Big Guy Finally Arrives in Hawkeye
Warning - This article contains spoilers for Episode 5 of Hawkeye.
In the final moments of Hawkeye's fifth episode, Kate Bishop received a suspicious string of texts from an unknown number. Going off of the scene that precedes this and the sender referring to Kate by her full name, it's clear that Florence Pugh's Yelena Belova is sending through the messages to spill on some secrets.
After Kate previously told Yelena to consider looking into the person that hired her, the Black Widow did just that and revealed that Eleanor Bishop was responsible for hiring the assassin:
Kate Bishop, I found out who hired me
Thought you deserved to know.
After dropping this bombshell on Kate, Yelena backed up her claim with some hard evidence: a video of Eleanor Bishop standing alongside none other than Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin.
Showing the video to Clint, Hawkeye confirms that Wilson Fisk is indeed the big guy that he's been alluding to all along. And if it wasn't clear enough already, Hawkeye managed to sneak Kingpin's silhouette into its end-credits graphic, which has only been reserved for Clint and Kate up to this point:
Is This Daredevil's Kingpin?
Wilson Fisk has finally arrived in the MCU, allowing Vincent D'Onofrio to continue his tenure as the character. So is this the same Kingpin from Netflix's Daredevil? The answer may be a bit murkier than we thought.
It is, of course, possible that D'Onofrio's situation is similar to how J. Jonah Jameson has been handled, where the actor has simply been brought in to play a new version of the character.
However, rather than going for Kingpin's classic comic look with the purple accents underneath his white suit, Marvel Studios has instead decided to use his white suit with a black undershirt appearance from Season 3 of Daredevil. While this is a valid fashion statement for the crime boss, it does raise questions as to whether the MCU's Kingpin and Netflix's Kingpin are one and the same.
If D'Onofrio was portraying a new version of Fisk, wouldn't Marvel want to visually distinguish the MCU's version of the character from the previous incarnation? The Multiverse doesn't help this, as it is possible that Fisk could have been plucked out of his original universe and thrown into the main MCU timeline to wreak havoc on New York City. Charlie Cox's Daredevil was confirmed to make the jump to Marvel Studios' universe, but it is still unclear whether his return will be a Multiversal scenario.
One accessory that may hold all the answers is present in Yelena's video though: Kingpin's cane.
The Netflix version of Wilson Fisk refrained from using the item, which is a typical part of Kingpin's look and arsenal in the comics. Marvel Studios has opted to give Kingpin his cane here, which may signal that this is indeed a different version of Fisk. While it is possible that Netflix's Kingpin could have suddenly decided to incorporate a walking stick into his day-to-day life, this small difference does seem to be a telling clue.
Adding to this, Kingpin is implied to have been in the MCU for a long time, since he was around when Maya Lopez was still young. As the Multiverse is a recent development judging from the timeline, it is likely that this Wilson Fisk was born and bred in the MCU.
Kingpin's Chain of Command Explained
Whether this Kingpin originates from the MCU or not, it's clear that he has big plans for the universe that he finds himself in. Those plans, however, are a bit complicated, looking at the chain of command. Let's break it down.
Yelena discovered who hired her to take out Clint, who was revealed to be Eleanor Bishop. However, viewers of Black Widow will know that Julia Louis-Dreyfus' Val tasked the assassin with hunting down Hawkeye. While this may seem like an inconsistency possibly born from the filmmakers not being aware of Black Widow's post-credits scene, it actually reveals a bit more of the operation that the Contessa is running.
Hawkeye seems to imply that Eleanor enlisted Valentina's organization to execute Clint Barton, leading Dreyfus' character to employ Yelena as her agent for the job. Therefore, Val seems to be acting as a gun-for-hire for superpowered targets, recruiting the likes of John Walker and Yelena Belova to be able to match the individuals her clients want disposal of.
Eleanor Bishop's Betrayal
So, Yelena is working for Val, who is working for Eleanor Bishop, who appears to be working with or for Kingpin. Eleanor looks to be standing next to a dinner table in her video with Fisk, possibly hinting that Kate's mother is part of Kingpin's inner circle. Vera Farmiga's character has a high status in New York City, operating over Bishop Security.
Her access to the information of countless individuals would undoubtedly be valuable for Fisk's criminal dealings, which may have gained her exclusive access to the big guy himself. Eleanor's villainous turn could possibly lead into her assuming the comic book mantle of Madame Masque, who has been rumored to appear in Hawkeye at some point.
But why did Eleanor want Clint killed? This may have been a personal request from Fisk, to cover up the fact that Ronin was hired to kill Maya's father. Then why did Fisk want Maya's father killed in the first place? Perhaps Fisk saw Maya's potential, so he executed her father so that he could have more control over her.
Kingpin's MCU Future
From the handling of his subordinates to his still mysterious origins, Kingpin's return has brought even more questions with him. Nevertheless, it's incredibly exciting to see Vincent D'Onofrio back in the suit, and it will only be a matter of time before viewers get to see the actor play the role in full force in the final episode.
Maya will certainly have a lot to sign to the head honcho of New York City's criminal underbelly, which could lead to her own Disney+ series, Echo. Kingpin is also a frequent adversary of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, so perhaps there will be an opportunity for the two to cross paths after Peter has wrapped up his Multiversal madness.
Fans will have to wait to find out just what Kingpin has been cooking up when Hawkeye returns for its finale on December 22, 2021.