Hawkeye May Be About To Introduce Major Marvel Villain

All those allusions to Echo’s uncle have to be building to something.

by Kadin Burnett
Alaqua Cox as Echo in 'Hawkeye'
Marvel Studios

Following the reveal of Maya Lopez, aka Echo (Alaqua Cox), at the end of Episode 2, Hawkeye Episode 3 sheds more light on her backstory. Introduced as the daughter of a local gang leader, we learn that – as a deaf person – she’s taught herself how to read the body language of her opponents like one might read lips. There are also multiple references to her uncle, which may seem innocuous to the casual viewer, but should pique the ears of seasoned Marvel fans. Echo’s uncle is none other than Wilson Fisk — aka Kingpin.

In the comics, Kingpin is the big bad of New York, overseeing most of the street-level crime that Marvel’s heroes have had to contend with over the years. First appearing in issue #50 of The Amazing Spider-Man in 1967, he’s portrayed as a calculating and cold-blooded crime lord who’s had run-ins with Spiderman, Captain America, and the Punisher, though he’s most widely known as the archenemy of Daredevil.

Like many of Marvel’s villains and anti-heroes, Kingpin has a sympathetic backstory. Growing up in New York City, he was bullied mercilessly about his weight. Lacking physical agility, he learned how to uncover and exploit others’ weaknesses. But eventually, he realized that strength was just as key to building power as brains and began training in combat. He committed his first murder at 12 years old, and formed a gang of teens who gave him the nickname the “Kingpin of Crime” when he was 15.

Like Hawkeye, Kingpin has no superpowers, but he’s an exceedingly strong, enormous man with endless connections, protection, and resources. He’s described by Marvel as a “genius planner and strategist” who’s able to control a vast number of lackeys, criminals, scientists, and authority figures. Even supervillains like the Hobgoblin, Sandman, Typhoid Mary, and Mysterio have pledged their loyalty to him, and both his extensive charitable donations and airtight team of lawyers have made him legally untouchable.

Marvel Studios

In addition to his strength and intelligence, Kingpin has been known to wear a diamond-studded tie that can spray a concentrated dose of sleeping gas and carry a walking stick that can fire a laser pulse powerful enough to disintegrate a handgun. He’s also used a brainwashing machine and a Vita-Drain, which can transfer life force from one person into another. Suffice it to say, he’s a formidable opponent who could spell big trouble for Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) and Clint (Jeremy Renner) if he shows up on Hawkeye.

As for his connection to Echo, in the comics Kingpin took her in and raised her as his own after murdering her father. However, Echo didn’t learn until later that Kingpin was behind her dad’s death. Instead, he told her Daredevil was responsible, and she grew up vowing to enact revenge.

Kingpin has previously been portrayed onscreen by John Rhys-Davies in the 1989 film The Trial of the Incredible Hulk, Michael Clarke Duncan in the 2003 film Daredevil, and most recently, Vincent D'Onofrio in the Netflix series Daredevil. Liev Schreiber also voiced the character in the 2018 animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

The last time viewers saw the character was in the 2018 series finale of Daredevil, where he was beaten senselessly by Daredevil before being whisked off to jail by the NYPD. It’s unclear if Hawkeye will pick up where his story left off or somewhere else in the timeline, but given Kingpin’s comprehensive control of New York’s underworld, it wouldn’t take much to break him out of jail.