There are so many superhero series on TV right now that comic book villains seemingly outnumber every other character type out there. Going against the grain will be Steven S. DeKnight’s Daredevil, which will largely adhere to a single big bad, and he’s the biggest of them all. Let’s give a warm welcome to Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk, seen for the first time in full.
Even though he’s not doing anything particularly ruthless in the photo, D’Onofrio gives the character quite a bit of gravitas just by sitting there with a glare that could knock the mustard off of a hot dog bun. And he could feasibly be unfastening his cufflinks in order to smash that wine glass over his dinner companion’s head. But I’m guessing he’s too smart to pull that kind of a stunt in public. You don’t get to the top of the organized crime syndicate in Hell’s Kitchen through public displays of impulsive violence.
One of the things I love about Fisk is the fact that he doesn’t need an elaborate costume, face paint or any gadgets and gizmos in order to retain his throne. All he needs is his bald head and mountainous presence to rain intimidation down upon both criminal underlings and Hell’ Kitchen’s police force. Granted, D’Onofrio isn’t monster-sized like Fisk is in the comics, but I’m betting he’s filmed from beneath a lot and casts lots of shadows.
Another way D’Onofrio’s Fisk will stand out as a villain is that he has the same goals as Daredevil. He wants to do whatever it takes to save Hell’s Kitchen, although his tactics are going to be vastly different from how Matt Murdock wants to do things. As a lawyer, Murdock believes that the criminal element is the city’s blight, while Fisk has a more open mind about what works and what doesn’t, and his point of view will likely put him in favor with those who think a black-hooded vigilante is the opposite of what the city needs.
It’s perhaps telling that Netflix doesn’t appear to be using the Kingpin moniker in their marketing, as they might be trying to keep the character as humanized as possible. After all, it’s already been revealed that part of Fisk’s storyline involves his growing romance with wife Vanessa, and that audiences won’t just be seeing his ruthless side for the entire first season. He’s as smart as he is deadly, but his heart isn’t as black as the usual villains-of-the-week that other shows utilize.
Daredevil will premiere on Netflix on April 10. (Squeeee!) Head to the next page to check out the trailer.