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It doesn't matter how much power you amass — all of it can come tumbling down with a literal snap of someone's fingers. And that's exactly what happened to Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to the man who currently plays him: Vincent D'Onofrio. The bald-pated villain with a love of expensive suits and garish shirts from Netflix's Daredevil TV show made his triumphant return in the sixth and final episode of Hawkeye on Disney+ (after a small tease at the end of the penultimate chapter).
He's revealed to be in charge of the Tracksuit Mafia, but doesn't seem to be anywhere near as powerful as he was in the olden days before Thanos got his hands on all six Infinity Stones and the golden gauntlet that goes with them.
As if half the universe disappearing wasn't bad enough for business, Fisk then found his entire criminal operation thwarted time and again by the mysterious hooded vigilante known as Ronin (secretly a grieving and jaded Clint Barton), who brutally took out felons across the globe. By the time everything was returned to normal in Avengers: Endgame, Fisk must have found himself back at square one.
"I think he lost his power. I think that his empire fell because all this otherworldly stuff was going on," D'Onofrio, who previously tweeted that this is the same Kingpin from the Netflix continuity, told ComicBook.com. "Given the opportunity, he might have been able to even grow his empire during that stage, but he wasn't given that opportunity. So I think, as far as Hawkeye goes, he's on his way back, to grabbing back what is his. It's clear, I think, from the scene with Vera [Farmiga] and the scene with [Alaqua Cox's] Maya, all the scenes with Maya, that his mind is set on being the king so that's what he's gonna be."
The actor was one of two Daredevil alums to make their way over to the MCU proper in the same week. Just days after fans got their first look at D'Onofrio back in the role of New York's most feared felon, Charlie Cox showed up in Spider-Man: No Way Home as Matt Murdock (the Man with No Fear makes a brief appearance as Peter Parker's lawyer, defending the young hero against murder charges).
Both cameos stand as a shining testament to the cultural impact of the Netflix shows and their impeccable eye for casting people who went on to craft definitive onscreen depictions of iconic characters. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige probably knew that fans would riot had they discovered that D'Onofrio and Cox weren't at least approached about coming back.
Hawkeye ends with Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) shooting her uncle at point-blank range, but if Kingpin was able to survive the death of Marvel Television, then a single bullet probably won't be taking him out that easily. Plus, the shooting happens just off-screen — so you know that was done for a reason.
"In the comics, we never die," D'Onofrio continued during the ComicBook.com interview. "Only a few of the Marvel characters have lost their power, whether it be monetary or magical or superhero powers, but most of them get them back. That's the general canon of the MCU, of the comics, of Marvel Comics, so you can't expect an answer less than that from somebody who plays one of the characters."
All six episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+. Spider-Man: No Way Home is playing in theaters everywhere.