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  1. #1
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    Default Does the Kingpin count as a major Spider-Man villain?

    So looking through this thread and I just saw a post claiming Kingpin doesn't count as Spider-Man villain.
    Kingpin?!
    What reality can you possibly exist in for Kingpin not to count as a Spider-Man villain?
    You can make an argument that he's a bigger Daredevil villain but to say he doesn't count as a Spidey villain at all is just plain delusional.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dicer View Post
    So looking through this thread and I just saw a post claiming Kingpin doesn't count as Spider-Man villain.
    Kingpin?!
    What reality can you possibly exist in for Kingpin not to count as a Spider-Man villain?
    You can make an argument that he's a bigger Daredevil villain but to say he doesn't count as a Spidey villain at all is just plain delusional.
    Until Frank Miller's Daredevil, Kingpin was a minor discount godfather in Spider-Man's stories. To quote Alan Moore (then a comic critic):

    "In 171 we watch the gargantuan Kingpin of Crime, dragging himself, bruised and bloodied, from a tangle of collapsed girders in the wake of an explosion that has apparently claimed the life of his wife, Vanessa. We close in implacably upon his barely-conscious face, blood dribbling from nose and lips, as inch by inch he hauls himself from the rubble. Suddenly his eyes open and we see the look of dumb disbelief dawning in them as the realization of his wife's death floods into his battered consciousness. His face fills the frame, those awful stricken eyes making it look suddenly lost and childlike as he whispers her name. In the five brief panels that make up this sequence the Kingpin is transformed in Miller's capable hands from the podgy, pompous buffoon of the early Spiderman appearances into a man who has buried his humanity under a mountain of iron resolve as vast as his physical body..."

    The version of Kingpin most people have in later adaptations, including Spider-Man, is Miller's Daredevil. Not the one before. And Stan Lee himself said that Kingpin was a far better Daredevil villain then he ever was in Spider-Man.

    In ASM, the flagship title, Kingpin didn't have many significant appearances in Spider-Man or major storylines since his time as a supporting player in the Black Cat romance days and the Hobgoblin mystery. The biggest story he was involved in was Back in Black, and that story is entirely about how Peter Parker can waste Fisk like so much trash any time he wishes and that every other time Spider-Man and Kingpin have a "physical" fight is just pure jobbing. His other big appearance was in Bendis' USM but thats an AU.

  3. #3

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    In the Silver and Bronze ages, Kingpin was a major bad guy. His first appearance is one of the best-regarded silver age Marvel comics. He was the big bad in the Tablet of Time arc. His final appearance pre-Miller was a two-parter in the Burglar saga, which widely rates among the best Spider-Man stories.

    He was the main villain in four multi-part stories during the Stan Lee run, which is pretty impressive considering his late start (Green Goblin had two two-parters published well before ASM 50.)

  4. #4

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    Incidentally, Stan Lee apparently tried to pitch a version of Kingpin to Ditko but the Sturdy One kept turning him down because he didn't see any potential in a Sydney Greenstreet knockoff bad-guy. Lee was fascinated with the Kingpin, and he had him be a combination of Greenstreet and a bond villain, so you have him using a cane with gas and so on. I always thought that it was Lee's major petty move to have Frederick Foswell, one of Ditko's best characters, die in a fight with Kingpin.

    Gerry Conway got bored and created Hammerhead, inspired by Ditko's crime master, and Dick Tracy comics. And Hammerhead got in a gang war with Dr. Octopus, and to him is owed Peter's eternal debt of gratitude for crashing the wedding of Otto and Aunt May. Granted Hammerhead is not used as much.

    Incidentally, Kingpin's most important and consequential appearance was in the Newspaper Strip. In one comic, Kingin attached a tracking device on Spider-Man, and a Judge used that strip as an inspiration to devise the electronic bracelet. You know the device used on Scott Lang in Ant Man and the Wasp in the movie. (https://www.cbr.com/comic-book-urban...s-revealed-38/)


    But anyway...my point is to the extent people consider Kingpin one of the greatest comics villains it's for his appearances in Daredevil. Ask people for best Kingpin stories, it will be the Frank Miller Daredevil stories, The Man Without Fair, Born Again, that Bill Sinkiewicz comic, and many others after that. The best version of Kingpin is D'onofrio in the Netflix Daredevil series.

    If we want to consider Kingpin a great Spider-man villain we need to consider his appearances in Spider-Man alone and judge accordingly.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    If we want to consider Kingpin a great Spider-man villain we need to consider his appearances in Spider-Man alone and judge accordingly.
    He'd still be a great Spider-Man villain. He's had more than enough appearances to rate as an A-lister.

    He's still showing up in the book today and, I would think, he'll get a big storyline as the main antagonist in a Spider title again.

    I bet that's something Spencer would have a great time with.

  6. #6
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    I still remember Kingpin being one of Spidey's main nemesis' in the 90's Spider-Man cartoon, voiced superbly by Roscoe Lee Browne (who I still read the Kingpin's voice in to this day).

    Heck, Spectacular was going to use Kingpin before moving on to Tombstone because of right issues, but it all worked out for the best in the end .

  7. #7
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    Also concerning Kingpin, he's also been a featured villain in Spidey animation for decades, making appearances in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, being a major antagonist in the 1990s animated series, appearing in the MTV cartoon as well and - most recently and most famously - as the main villain in Into the Spider-Verse.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Incidentally, Stan Lee apparently tried to pitch a version of Kingpin to Ditko but the Sturdy One kept turning him down because he didn't see any potential in a Sydney Greenstreet knockoff bad-guy. Lee was fascinated with the Kingpin, and he had him be a combination of Greenstreet and a bond villain, so you have him using a cane with gas and so on. I always thought that it was Lee's major petty move to have Frederick Foswell, one of Ditko's best characters, die in a fight with Kingpin.

    Gerry Conway got bored and created Hammerhead, inspired by Ditko's crime master, and Dick Tracy comics. And Hammerhead got in a gang war with Dr. Octopus, and to him is owed Peter's eternal debt of gratitude for crashing the wedding of Otto and Aunt May. Granted Hammerhead is not used as much.

    Incidentally, Kingpin's most important and consequential appearance was in the Newspaper Strip. In one comic, Kingin attached a tracking device on Spider-Man, and a Judge used that strip as an inspiration to devise the electronic bracelet. You know the device used on Scott Lang in Ant Man and the Wasp in the movie. (https://www.cbr.com/comic-book-urban...s-revealed-38/)


    But anyway...my point is to the extent people consider Kingpin one of the greatest comics villains it's for his appearances in Daredevil. Ask people for best Kingpin stories, it will be the Frank Miller Daredevil stories, The Man Without Fair, Born Again, that Bill Sinkiewicz comic, and many others after that. The best version of Kingpin is D'onofrio in the Netflix Daredevil series.

    If we want to consider Kingpin a great Spider-man villain we need to consider his appearances in Spider-Man alone and judge accordingly.
    Based on Daredevil Kingpin is arguably one of the top comic book villains.

    But you could still make a case for him as a top ten Spider-Man foe based purely on the Spider-Man comics.


    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Also concerning Kingpin, he's also been a featured villain in Spidey animation for decades, making appearances in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, being a major antagonist in the 1990s animated series, appearing in the MTV cartoon as well and - most recently and most famously - as the main villain in Into the Spider-Verse.
    Plus, he was the final boss in the 90s video game.

  9. #9
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    Also concerning Kingpin, he's also been a featured villain in Spidey animation for decades, making appearances in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, being a major antagonist in the 1990s animated series, appearing in the MTV cartoon as well and - most recently and most famously - as the main villain in Into the Spider-Verse.
    And, again, they were going to use him in Spectacular before rights issues made them use Tombstone, although I think that actually worked out fairly well.

    (He was also one of the overarching villains of the ASM2 tie-in game, but we don't really talk about that one).

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    I still remember Kingpin being one of Spidey's main nemesis' in the 90's Spider-Man cartoon, voiced superbly by Roscoe Lee Browne (who I still read the Kingpin's voice in to this day).
    Based again largely on Miller's Daredevil. Since a Daredevil cartoon is a harder sell than a Spider-Man one, and Kingpin originated as a Spider-Man nemesis, writers shoehorned those elements to make him a big deal even if most of the stuff that defined him as a Daredevil villain aren't there vis-a-vis Spider-Man. This is apparent in the episode where Daredevil cameos and goes against Fisk. And Fisk largely faded and appeared in later seasons.

    Matt Murdoch is a lawyer, Fisk is an entrepreneur and power broker so they are enemies in civilian and superhero/supervillain roles. And Murdoch being, essentially, a martial artists without super-strength makes them physical challenges. Whereas with Spider-Man you always have to do jobbing to make Fisk happen as is apparent in USM or even ITSV, where you have Goblin being a brute and an Ox-like substitute (!) and Dr. Octopus working for him as a lackey, when in the comics Norman Osborn and Dr. Octopus were always bigger deals. Like in The Owl/Octopus War, Fisk is basically, "packing my bags, clearing my office" when he hears about Dr. Octopus' plans to blow up the city with a Neutron bomb.

    In ASM, Back in Black kind of made it hard for later writers to make Fisk work anymore as a physical threat so thoroughly did Peter best him. And of course Paul Jenkins' poker story, where Peter again punk'd him and got Fisk to give him dough to buy flowers for the Mrs.

    And right now in Spider-Man, Mayor Fisk (which happened in a daredevil story or a non-Spider-Man story before crossing over to other street-level titles) is the pawn and sucker of the Centidemon or Spider-Hush as I call him/her, so even in current titles he's small bananas in the scheme of things as they might or might not unfold.

    Essentially, if not for Miller and Daredevil, Fisk would at best be a minor rogue in the scheme of things. As an example of Lee trying to insert a Blofeld-esque bond villain gangster into the scheme of things. Whereas Miller's Fisk is the most influential villain of the '80s, directly inspiring Lex Luthor's transition to the CEO version, or as Neil Gaiman called him "Skinny Kingpin", and he later inspired Norman Osborn's re-imagining after his resurrection. The whole period he owned the Daily Bugle and so on...which ended with The Pulse.

    Norman's resurrection is another reason why Fisk faded since now you had a natural surrogate to tell that kind of story and dynamic of Murdoch/Fisk with Peter Parker and who was also a credible physical threat to him moreover.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Based again largely on Miller's Daredevil. Since a Daredevil cartoon is a harder sell than a Spider-Man one, and Kingpin originated as a Spider-Man nemesis, writers shoehorned those elements to make him a big deal even if most of the stuff that defined him as a Daredevil villain aren't there vis-a-vis Spider-Man. This is apparent in the episode where Daredevil cameos and goes against Fisk. And Fisk largely faded and appeared in later seasons.

    And right now in Spider-Man, Mayor Fisk (which happened in a daredevil story or a non-Spider-Man story before crossing over to other street-level titles) is the pawn and sucker of the Centidemon or Spider-Hush as I call him/her, so even in current titles he's small bananas in the scheme of things as they might or might not unfold.

    Essentially, if not for Miller and Daredevil, Fisk would at best be a minor rogue in the scheme of things.
    You're talking about an alternate reality that doesn't exist.

    We have no way of knowing what Kingpin's status would or wouldn't be without Miller so it's useless to speculate about.

    But it's established that Kingpin is a major Spider-man villain, with many classic appearances to his name, a continuing presence in the book to this day and high profile appearances in other media, including an Oscar winning film.

    To try and argue against his status as a classic Spidey villain is just taking a contrarian view for its own sake.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prof. Warren View Post
    You're talking about an alternate reality that doesn't exist.

    We have no way of knowing what Kingpin's status would or wouldn't be without Miller so it's useless to speculate about.
    Almost every writer and critic of its time recognized that Miller had transformed Kingpin top-to-bottom. The prominent Spider-Man villains of the 80s was Black Cat, Hobgoblin, and then Venom by the end of the decade, and Carnage in the 90s. Kingpin had a minor behind-the-scenes role and more of a guy who interacts with other bad guys and so on then as a threat on his own in Spider-Man. In The Owl/Octopus War, Kingpin readily defers to Dr. Octopus' genius and insanity and tells Spider-Man he's scared of him.

    But it's established that Kingpin is a major Spider-man villain, with many classic appearances to his name, a continuing presence in the book to this day and high profile appearances in other media, including an Oscar winning film.
    That doesn't mean a great deal. In the case of ITSV this isn't Heath Ledger winning an Oscar for playing a comic book villain. That movie sold and won for Miles and the Spiders, and the whole point was using generic bad guys so that more time could be done with the heroes. And even then the villains people like from that was Aaron Davis Prowler and Liv Octopus.

    To try and argue against his status as a classic Spidey villain is just taking a contrarian view for its own sake.
    The argument is to try and see if Spider-Man villains are as good as villains from other rogues gallery. It's basically a subjective view and perspective. Kingpin is a unique example of a figure in two rogues gallery, occupying a much bigger role in Daredevil than in Spider-Man. And his popularity as a Daredevil villain weirdly raised his profile in Spider-Man.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    Almost every writer and critic of its time recognized that Miller had transformed Kingpin top-to-bottom. The prominent Spider-Man villains of the 80s was Black Cat, Hobgoblin, and then Venom by the end of the decade, and Carnage in the 90s. Kingpin had a minor behind-the-scenes role and more of a guy who interacts with other bad guys and so on then as a threat on his own in Spider-Man. In The Owl/Octopus War, Kingpin readily defers to Dr. Octopus' genius and insanity and tells Spider-Man he's scared of him.



    That doesn't mean a great deal. In the case of ITSV this isn't Heath Ledger winning an Oscar for playing a comic book villain. That movie sold and won for Miles and the Spiders, and the whole point was using generic bad guys so that more time could be done with the heroes. And even then the villains people like from that was Aaron Davis Prowler and Liv Octopus.



    The argument is to try and see if Spider-Man villains are as good as villains from other rogues gallery. It's basically a subjective view and perspective. Kingpin is a unique example of a figure in two rogues gallery, occupying a much bigger role in Daredevil than in Spider-Man. And his popularity as a Daredevil villain weirdly raised his profile in Spider-Man.
    1. Miller also essentially transformed DD himself from top to bottom. It doesn't mean that Daredevil wasn't already a great character, just that Miller shone a new light on him. Had Miller never touched either DD or Kingpin, they'd still be classic characters.

    2. Point being, the Kingpin is still the main villain in ITSV. It's a high profile appearance that further bolsters his status as a classic Spidey rogue. Trying to disavow it or diminish that by applying disclaimers and disqualifying conditions is a hollow, pointless game I don't think most would care to play.

    3. The whole argument is ridiculous from the start, especially if you want to bring in all kinds of arbitrary rules on how these characters can or should be judged that are entirely based on your own pre-set prejudices and biases.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    And, again, they were going to use him in Spectacular before rights issues made them use Tombstone, although I think that actually worked out fairly well.

    (He was also one of the overarching villains of the ASM2 tie-in game, but we don't really talk about that one).
    And also having a fairly big role in the Spider-Man PS4 game too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post
    That doesn't mean a great deal. In the case of ITSV this isn't Heath Ledger winning an Oscar for playing a comic book villain. That movie sold and won for Miles and the Spiders, and the whole point was using generic bad guys so that more time could be done with the heroes. And even then the villains people like from that was Aaron Davis Prowler and Liv Octopus.
    To say that NOBODY liked Kingpin in Into The Spider-Verse is just being incredibly disingenuous. Even just his design in the film has gotten huge amounts of praise (also thanks to Bill Sienkiewicz)
    Last edited by Inversed; 03-03-2019 at 02:18 PM.
    Current Reading List: Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, West Coast Avengers, Ms. Marvel, Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, Avengers, Sonic The Hedgehog

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inversed View Post
    And also having a fairly big role in the Spider-Man PS4 game too.
    He gets punked in the first 15 minutes, fights like any Brute archetype, and is imprisoned for the rest of the game and never gets out. That's not "a fairly big role". It's basically the opening of a Bond movie where 007 gets an early win to show how awesome he is.

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