Marvel's Daredevil premiered this Friday, and no superhero is complete without a nemesis. However, as the first few episodes of the Netflix series unfold, it's unclear as to how many adversaries Matt Murdock has. Who are all the villains on Daredevil? Many factions all lead back to one big bad, played by Vincent D'Onofrio: Kingpin, also known as Wilson Fisk.
But beyond knowing who's who, the motives of these antagonists are also confusing. These baddies are involved in drugs, corporate espionage, and prostitution rings — a virtual grab bag of evil deeds. Why aren't these people all just separate entities? It really feels a lot more like DC Comics than Marvel to me; I'm especially reminded of the new Fox series Gotham. (It's also difficult to tell people apart when they are fighting. Maybe the series about a blind superhero is trying to teach me a lessons, but when they all wear black and fight in the dark, it's hard to keep track of who's who.)
Thankfully, this villainous miscellany all comes together when we learn that they are working for Fisk. (However, you didn't hear that from me.) The Kingpin has a strong Voldemort vibe — he doesn't want his lackeys speaking his name. They refer to him instead as "their employer," which gets annoying until you understand how dangerous his name is.
But Fisk isn't just a threatening name. He also enjoys art and isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. To boot, he's very fond of the little fish pins that he wears on his suits. But despite the fact that he's running the game, we don't see Wilson Fisk for a while on Daredevil — to the point that it's hard to tell who we're supposed to root against other than "everyone who's not Daredevil & Friends." But fear not: here is a quick breakdown of the villains we do see often and early on, for your reference.
The Russian Brothers
These gangsters are lead by the ambitious brothers Anatoly and Vladimir. They're the muscle of the operation. Before long, their interactions with Matt Murdock get them in trouble with the group.
The Drug Dealers
Lead by Madame Gao, their main concern is pushing their branded product. Their employees have been blinded by acid burns, just like Murdock's. This group also includes a mysterious Japanese character with expansion plans named Nobu, played by Peter Shinkoda.
This older, well-dressed gentleman, is actually a comic book character known as "The Owl." He is allegedly their white collar connection and works most closely with the Japanese. Maybe it is best to diversify when building a criminal empire.
Wesley & Turk Barrett
As for the rest, Wesley is Fisk's baby-faced right hand man. He publicly represents and distributes the Kingpin's orders.
Turk, on the other hand, is one of the first baddies that we see on the series. He's loading girls into a truck that are to be sold into prostitution. Besides that, we don't know much about Turk or his plans. He seems like a lower level link between these major groups. This could come in handy if he ever gets ambitious.
Images: Barry Wetcher/Netflix (2)