The Hawkeye series finally introduced none other than Kingpin at the very end of its penultimate episode, after quite some time teasing the villain’s introduction. While Kingpin did not play a particularly central role in the Matt Fraction and David Aja My Life as a Weapon comic, it’s clear that his role in both the comics and show has some major overlaps worth exploring. Is the Kingpin, better known as Wilson Fisk, just the man behind the curtain, or is he more involved than it seems?
In the comic he is heavily involved in three major areas of interest: (1) he’s at the top of the Tracksuit Mafia food chain; (2) he was at a black-market auction to buy incriminating evidence on Clint Barton; and (3) he was involved in hiring an assassin to kill Clint Barton. This article will explore each of these elements in turn and how they relate to the Hawkeye series.
The Guy Clint’s Been Worried About
One thing we know about Kingpin in every adaptation is that he is at the top of the New York City criminal organization pyramid. We know little so far from the Hawkeye series, but in the comics, Kingpin is a general presence that overshadows much of the crime syndicates below him. In both the series and the comic, Clint is hesitant to work with Kate or go about his general business, not because of the Tracksuit Mafia, but because of who they work for. In the series, Clint tells Kate that they do not want to get too involved, because they could run into the “Big Guy”. In the comics, Kingpin delivers a speech to a cohort of villains that “Clint Barton must die,” for interfering with their plans. The Tracksuit Mafia makes it pretty clear the Clint that they work for someone much more powerful. Later on, it’s obvious that Fisk is at least one of who they are referring to. As seen below, the comics make it much more explicit than the Disney+ series does.
Curiously, both the comics and the series feature a black market auction for Barton and Avengers-related items. In the series, of course, we see people bid on the Ronin sword, but the Tracksuit Mafia break into the event to grab the still-mysterious Avengers-related watch before it goes up for sale. While Clint tells Kate that the watch could blow the cover of his friend, in the comics a tape of Clint assassinating targets on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D. goes up for auction. Kate manages to buy the tape – in disguise as Madame Masque – and, you can guess, Kingpin is not too happy.
In the series, the first episode shows Jack and Armand Duquesne at the said auction that featured several items found from the destroyed Avengers compounds, including Ronin’s sword, suit, and the mysterious watch. While we did not see Kingpin physically at the auction, we know the Tracksuit Mafia—that he controls—broke in to steal the watch. As little as we know about the watch, it’s clear it might have the same effect on the owner and Clint’s tape in the comics did on him.
In the comics, Kingpin is one member of a group, including the Tracksuit Mafia, that decides to hire an assassin to kill Clint Barton. He hires Kazimierz Kazimierczak in the comics, who is otherwise known as the Clown. The Kazi in the series definitely strays from the Kazimierz in the comics, so we have not seen any elements of the “Clown” at this point. But in the series, Episode 5 tells us that Kate’s mother Eleanor hired Yelena Belova to kill Clint. Shortly after, we find out that Eleanor appears to be working with Kingpin, begging the question as to whether he was involved in the live-action scheme to take down Clint Barton.
While Kingpin’s introduction was fairly small in Hawkeye Episode 5, it’s worth noting the connections he has to the Fraction-Aja comics. We’ll find out more about Kingpin’s involvement in the Hawkeye finale on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, when it airs on Disney+.