Marvel’s Spider-Man never delves into Kingpin’s backstory, but a small Easter egg in Black Cat’s hideout does hint at the villain’s tragic history.
The open world of Marvel's Spider-Man contains many Marvel Comics Easter eggs, and one detail serves as a reference to Kingpin's tragic backstory. Insomniac Games' wall-crawling adventure sees Peter Parker fight to protect New York from various supervillains, including criminal mastermind Wilson Fisk and genius inventor Doctor Octopus. The title's open-world New York City is packed with lore details and references, including landmarks taken from the pages of Marvel Comics. While Marvel's Spider-Man never details Kingpin's backstory, a specific item in Black Cat's hideout does hint at a tragedy in his past.
As players swing through New York in Marvel's Spider-Man they will come across a huge collection of Marvel Easter eggs. This includes references to Spider-Man villains that never actually appear in the game like Mysterio, Sandman, and The Lizard. Other iconic superheroes and groups are also mentioned, hinting at a robust Marvel universe outside the web-swinging hero himself. Avengers Tower is a prominent landmark, and players can find other familiar locations like Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum and a Wakandan Embassy that references Black Panther. There are also a number of Daredevil Easter eggs in Marvel's Spider-Man, with players able to find a Nelson and Murdock business card and visit the office of the esteemed lawyers.
Related: Marvel's Spider-Man's Best Easter Egg Is A Raimi Game Callback
The very first mission in Marvel's Spider-Man sees the arachnid adventurer take down Wilson Fisk, the mob boss known as Kingpin. Fisk is behind bars for the rest of the game, but his absence has a huge impact on the plot once the villainous Inner Demons rise up to fill the power vacuum. The game's Black Cat side mission also sheds light on Fisk's backstory once players enter the thieving anti-hero's hideout. Black Cat has used the hideout to stash loot stolen from New York's criminals, and Wilson Fisk is among the cat burglar's victims. In her hideout players can find a lavish painting depicting Fisk's wife Vanessa, identifiable thanks to her iconic streaks of white hair, which hints at a tragic backstory for Kingpin in Marvel's Spider-Man.
First appearing in Marvel Comics back in 1969, Kingpin's beloved wife Vanessa has become well-known thanks to the Daredevil Netflix series and the animated film Into the Spider-Verse. Vanessa originally disapproved of her husband's criminal lifestyle and motivated a brief retirement to Japan, which is also referenced in Marvel's Spider-Man thanks to Fisk's Japanese art gallery. However, in a 1981 issue of Daredevil Wilson Fisk returned to life as the Kingpin following Vanessa's apparent death. Into the Spider-Verse gives Fisk a similar somber backstory, with the villain attempting to cross into a parallel universe to save Vanessa and their son after their untimely deaths. A traumatic death for Fisk's wife is likewise suggested by the Vanessa Easter egg in Marvel's Spider-Man since she is never seen or mentioned in-game, and her death presumably pushed Insomniac's version of Kingpin deeper into his life of crime.
While Vanessa Fisk is never seen or mentioned in Marvel's Spider-Man, the painting in Black Cat's hideout clearly portrays this popular character. This means that Vanessa probably died before the game's events, which explains Kingpin's unshakable focus on his criminal enterprise. While Vanessa's death doesn't excuse Kingpin's crimes, it does add a tragic piece of humanity to Marvel's Spider-Man and its version of Fisk.
Thomas McNulty is an avid reader, writer, game player and movie watcher from New Jersey. Movies, TV shows, video games, books and pop culture are personal passions, and he is thrilled to be writing about those topics that are so near and dear. If someone has a story to tell, they should be able to tell it. He is committed to delivering accuracy with every article and staying true to his voice.


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