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Is Daredevil’s Ending Still Canon? How It Sets Up Kingpin’s MCU Return

Warning! SPOILERS for Marvel’s Hawkeye episode 3, Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Daredevil season 3

With Kingpin’s return to the MCU being set up, is Daredevil’s season 3 ending still canon? While Marvel’s Netflix shows were all cancelled in 2018, it seems as though Marvel Studios is looking to reintegrate some of the characters into Disney+’s new series and upcoming films, starting with Wilson Fisk, Daredevil‘s Kingpin of Crime in New York City. However, with a character like Kingpin making a return, is his past the same as what was seen in Daredevil, or has his history been retconned?

In the MCU’s Hawkeye series, episode 3 reveals the childhood of Maya Lopez, also known as Echo (played by Alaqua Cox). Featured in flashbacks, Maya’s father was seen working for the Tracksuit Mafia to help make ends meet, and at one point he told Maya that her “uncle” would be driving her home after a karate class. While his face was kept off-screen, the build, black suit, and laugh heard by Maya’s uncle seem to imply that he’s none other than Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin who was Echo’s adopted father in the comics and who had a major and iconic role in Marvel’s Daredevil (played by Vincent D’Onofrio).


Related: How All Of Netflix’s Marvel Shows Ended (& What Would Have Happened Next)

That being said, when and if Kingpin makes his full debut in Hawkeye and grander return to the MCU, will he be exactly the same villain from Netflix’s Daredevil? Since all the Netflix Marvel shows were cancelled, it’s been unknown whether the events that took place are still canonical, despite the shows all taking place in the MCU. As a result, Kingpin’s full return can answer a lot of questions, and Daredevil could certainly set up where he might be in a post-Avengers: Endgame New York.

What Happened To Kingpin In Daredevil’s Ending

Daredevil season 3 finale Kingpin

Despite being cancelled like all the other Marvel Netflix shows, Daredevil season 3 actually had an ending that arguably provided a more satisfying conclusion, as opposed to others that featured major cliffhangers that may never get resolved (such as Luke Cage or Iron Fist). In the unintentional series finale, Matt Murdock was extremely set on killing Wilson Fisk once and for all, seeking to end his life on the night of Kingpin’s wedding to his love Vanessa Marianna.

After using Bullseye and manipulating him to turn against Fisk, Matt Murdock’s Daredevil followed in the wake of the assassin’s chaos, allowing him to get close to Kingpin. After defeating Bullseye, Daredevil was free to go after Fisk directly, having already turned the city against Kingpin for his role in the murder of FBI Special Agent Ray Nadeem who had been working with Murdock to bring him down. While Daredevil brutally beat Kingpin and was seconds from snapping his neck, Murdock decided at the last moment to let Fisk live.

Knowing that he was going to be arrested instead, Fisk threatened to hunt down and kill Matt’s friends Foggy Nelson and Karen Page while also promising to expose Murdock’s identity as Daredevil to the entire world. However, Daredevil had finally gained leverage over Fisk, forcing his compliance to keep his friends and secret safe, promising to implicate his new wife Vanessa if he didn’t as she was the one who gave the order to kill Nadeem. As a result, Daredevil ended with the Kingpin imprisoned after this uneasy ceasefire with Matt Murdock.

Related: Everything We Know About Daredevil Season 4

Is Daredevil’s Ending Still Part Of MCU Canon?

Daredevil's season three promo art

Given Netflix’s surprising cancellation of their Marvel shows, a move that caught the writing and production teams at Marvel Television off guard, it’s hard to say where the series would have gone next or even if the events are still canonical to the MCU. Having released in 2018, there’s now been at least a seven-year gap between the events of the season finale and those taking place in Hawkeye as the Disney+ series seemingly takes place around two years after the five-year Blip caused by Thanos’ snapping his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War.

Exactly how Marvel Studios views the canonical status of the past Netflix shows remains unknown. According to Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn, the Marvel television shows before Disney+ are no longer canon, making WandaVision the first canonical MCU series. However, the reemergence of Wilson Fisk’s Kingpin has reignited hopes that at least Daredevil may still be a part of the official MCU timeline.

How Fisk Could Return Again After Daredevil’s Ending

Kingpin and Echo Hawkeye

Assuming that the events of Daredevils ending are still MCU canon, how do they set up Kingpin’s return in Hawkeye? Despite having been sent to prison, there’s no telling what could have happened to Fisk or his love Vanessa during Thanos’ Decimation. Likewise, the chaos and disruption to the world during the Blip and after the planet’s restoration of the population could have likely served as a means for Kingpin to be released, allowing him the freedom to rebuild and maintain his criminal empire in New York.

Hawkeye also revealed that Clint Barton’s time as the Ronin resulted in him making enemies out of Hawkeye‘s Tracksuit Mafia, seeing as how he allegedly massacred several of their members during Thanos’ Decimation (including Maya’s father). The reveal that Echo’s “uncle” is the man in charge above Maya, it’s likely that Hawkeye has made an enemy out of the Kingpin as well. However, it’s doubtful Fisk would ignore Murdock completely.

Related: Kingpin Bought Avengers Tower: This Hawkeye Theory Makes So Much Sense

Kingpin’s Best MCU Future Is Fighting Spider-Man In Homecoming 4

Marvel Comics Spider-Man Kingpin

Kingpin and Spider-Man have fought each other many times before in the Marvel comics and the Spider-Man video game, so the best way to bring the villain back into the canon MCU is to have him fight Peter Parker in Spider-Man 4Spider-Man: No Way Home sets up the villain’s return when Parker moves to the city after Dr. Strange erases everyone’s memory of Parker’s identity. Spider-Man’s move means that the hero will be fighting smaller foes on the mean streets of New York City, and this could include the villain Kingpin. The same setting is used in Disney+’s Hawkeye series, and Kingpin was reintroduced and then promptly shot by Echo. Despite this, Kingpin’s appearance means that he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Kingpin is the most powerful figurehead of organized crime in the Marvel comics and Spider-Man’s best bet for a new villain. Based on the fact that he was more than a small-time villain in the Spider-Man comics, his best bet to return to the MCU would be a face-off with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker in the next installment of the Homecoming franchise.

How The Defenders Saga On Disney+ Can Change Kingpin’s Future

Daredevil Defender shows luke cage jessica jones parents guide how gory and violent

Fans of the Marvel Defenders series were reasonably upset when James Gunn remarked that any Marvel shows before Disney+ are no longer canon, forcing TV shows like Luke CageJessica Jonesand Daredevil out of the spotlight. Viewers were given hope that perhaps they could be slid into the MCU when Disney+ plucked the shows from Netflix and added them to their own streaming service. However, it’s unlikely that the Defenders series or Daredevil, in particular, will ltechnically become canon. Kingpin is the thread that ties the shows together, and his appearance on Hawkeye at least proves that the villain will be inducted into the MCU. With the Defenders series now on Disney+, the stories are likely to become even more relevant, especially with the rumored Daredevil movie/TV show. With more attention on the Defenders, it means there will also be more attention on Kingpin. And since the villain is a well-known presence in Marvel comics, there’s no doubt the MCU may try to fold him into the canon. That being said, it’s unclear what that would mean for the Defenders’ canonical future, other than Disney’s possible cherry-picking the previous series’ best elements to bring in Defenders’ storylines.

Given the hatred Daredevil and the Kingpin have for one another, it’s unlikely that their bargain would have continued for such as long duration of time without one of them making a move against the other. However, one or both of them could have been among the Vanished. Alternatively, had Vanessa disappeared due to Thanos, it’s possible that Kingpin’s war with the Man Without Fear might have resumed. While there are clearly a lot of question marks about what Kingpin’s MCU return will mean for Daredevil and its canonical status, fans no doubt have their fingers crossed that answers will be forthcoming either in future Hawkeye seasons or in the upcoming spin-off series Echo. In any case, Kingpin is one of Marvel’s most dynamic and powerful villains and his portrayal in Netflix’s Daredevil was iconic. It would be very exciting if the series somehow set up his return to the MCU.

Next: Spider-Man 4: Everything We Know & All Story Hints

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  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
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