After an Episode 3 tease, the closing moments of Episode 5 of Hawkeye officially introduced Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin into the series as an acquaintance of Eleanor Bishop. Called by name by Clint Barton, Kingpin is the big boss behind the Tracksuits and the “Uncle” of Maya Lopez. Kingpin, as it turns out, is a lot of things but the one thing he is not is the same character from the three seasons of Netflix’s Daredevil.
When he was first introduced in Season 1 of Daredevil in 2015, Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, was already a major player in the organized crime scene of New York City. Season 1 ended with Fisk in prison from where he began to suspect that Matt Murdock and Daredevil where one in the same. Fisk worked over agent Nadeem, found his way out of Ryker’s and was eventually freed and reunited with is love, Vanessa. The series wrapped following a major fight between Murdock and Fisk that ended with Fisk on his way to prison, again, his organization dismantled and Murdock having enough evidence to make sure Fisk would never see the light of day again, much less regain his status as Kingpin.
The events of Daredevil Season 3 took place in 2018, shortly before the events of Avengers: Infinity War. We know this Fisk wasn’t Blipped and that at some point between 2018 and 2023, he was a big deal in organized crime in New York and known as Kingpin. While a reasonable argument could be made that Fisk was broken out of prison during that time, him moving around in the open in 2024 and continuing to operate as Kingpin would represent a complete and utter failure on the part of Matt Murdock. By the time Hawkeye takes place in 2024, even if Murdock had been Blipped, he surely could have brought forth enough evidence to get Fisk back behind bars. More to the point, if following the Blip, Fisk was still actively running crime in New York where the one man who could bury him was around (we don’t know if Murdock was Blipped, but we know he’s around at the same time) he’d be a pretty incompetent Kingpin of crime. If this Kingpin is the Netflix Kingpin, the MCU Daredevil is already a moron…and so is the MCU Kingpin.
Of course fans of the Netflix character came out in droves today to point out just how much this Kingpin looks like the version who rocked the white suits in Daredevil. That version of the character was more of an all-white suit type of guy and, though it’s potato cam quality, that’s not they style of this all-new, all-different version of the character; the version we kind of saw today seemed to be more of an ascot-sporting, cane-wielding and quite possibly shade-of-purple pants wearing type of guy, much like the classic comic book version of the character. I’m not going to go back and rewatch all 39 episodes to make sure, but I don’t recall that Fisk being a fan of neckwear, which he certainly has as part of his ensemble here.
On the topic of style, Daredevil’s Wilson Fisk was a big cuff link guy. As seen below, he owned two dozen or so pairs of the handy accessories but, as you might remember, fancied one particular pair that he picked off the corpse of his dead father.
The first tease of this all-new, all-different version of Kingpin came in Episode 3 and, funny enough, they made sure to give us a look at this version’s cuff links.
And, as it turns out, not only was he not wearing his favorite pair (who doesn’t love wearing stuff that reminds them of the day they murdered their dad with a hammer?), he wasn’t wearing any of those in his possession last time we saw him. If the creators of Hawkeye wanted to send a VERY clear message to the fans of the Netflix Daredevil series, those cuff links would have been on FULL display in that tease. They weren’t because this isn’t that guy.
What Hawkeye has introduced is (as Loki taught us) a Variant of the character fans met in Daredevil. From what’s been revealed, Fisk didn’t seem to be returning to the “throne” during the Blip; it seems much more likely that he used that time to establish himself as the Kingpin by eliminating the remaining competition, including his best, good friend Willie Lopez. It’s important to note that it only benefits Marvel Studios to continue to obfuscate whether or not this Fisk and the Murdock that appears in Spider-Man: No Way Home are the same characters from the Netflix series. The hype, the discussion and debate only fan the flames of fandom. Maybe next week will deliver a clear answer, but don’t be surprised if the truth isn’t revealed until She-Hulk, or Echo, or never. But for now, there’s certainly enough evidence to rationally argue that Hawkeye has introduced a new version of a classic comic book character whose story is JUST getting started.