Why 'Spider-Verse' Kingpin Is So Different From the Netflix Villain

Explaining Wilson Fisk's primary goal, and what made him different from the 'Daredevil' villain.

Pour one out for Daredevil. Fans of the expiring Marvel/Netflix franchise have the closest thing to a crossover in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In the movie, Wilson Fisk (Liev Schreiber) tries to open up the multiverse, threatening the fabric of reality — and he does it all for a very personal reason.

Because Into the Spider-Verse, directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, runs at a breathless hundred miles a minute, it can be a bit hard to grasp what Wilson Fisk was trying to accomplish. But if you know Fisk, be it from the comics or shows like Daredevil, you know that family is one of the most important things to him, and he’ll stop at nothing to protect them.

Spoilers for the ending of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse ahead.

In Spider-Verse, we learn that Wilson Fisk lost his family, including his wife Vanessa and his son, in an accident. Fisk wants them back.

Unlike the TV series, where Fisk was just a crime boss in New York, Spider-Verse’s Fisk is a billionaire magnate (and crime boss) with a number of conglomerates under his control. He also has a laboratory that created and houses the “Super Collider,” the source of all the film’s multiverse ruckus and realities collapsing inward.

Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
Liev Schreiber, the voice of Wilson Fisk in 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.'

But Fisks’s goal isn’t to rule the multiverse. All Fisk wants is to find a reality where his wife and son are still alive, and basically kidnap them to live with him. It’s a tremendously dark and personal goal for a superhero movie villain to have, but Spider-Verse is unlike any other superhero movie.

Fisk’s dedication to his family is a familiar one. While D’Onofrio had a more baroque portrayal of Fisk (no doubt afforded by getting to physically play the part) than Schreiber’s cartoon character, you still believed Netflix Fisk was painfully protective of whatever family he had left. And he was always a breath away from ripping off Matt Murdock’s arms if it meant protecting them.

Does Fisk succeed? Naturally, you have to see Into the Spider-Verse to find out.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is in theaters on December 14.


Spoiler alert: Here’s what happens in the post-credits scene.

Media via Sony Pictures