We joke about Donald Trump being a comics supervillain brought to life, but he isn’t at all the calculated sort of mastermind one has to be to take on superheroes. That doesn’t mean, though, that proper superavillains such as the Kingpin couldn’t stand to learn a thing or two from Trump.
Donald Trump and Wilson Fisk are both powerful men with deep roots in New York City who’ve recently come into significant political power. But while President Trump is still struggling to get a handle on the most basic parts of being Commander-in-Chief, Fisk’s been playing political chess in Charles Sole’s Daredevil, and he secured himself an almost Trumpian-like win in NYC’s mayoral race that nobody saw coming.
Ever since Daredevil successfully argued to the Supreme Court that superheroes should be allowed to testify in criminal cases without revealing their secret identities, Fisk has been on the warpath. In Marvel’s comics, a big part of why criminals apprehended by heroes end up going free is because often the only witnesses to the crimes are the heroes themselves. The testimonies provided by heroes in a court of law have the potential to fundamentally change the way the world’s legal system works (read: Supervillains would be incredibly screwed).
Fisk tried to fight Daredevil in court with his own super lawyer and tried to simply kill him by hiring an assassin, but in Daredevil‘s newest arc, which begins this week, Fisk’s taking Matt Murdock on by becoming part of the establishment. Issue #595 (it’s a Legacy numbering thing) opens with a dumbstruck Matt and Foggy Nelson standing in Times Square as thousands of people cheer for their newly-elected Mayor Fisk.
The weirdness and surreality of it all are almost too much for Matt to process and Foggy explains that everything just… kind of happened, like a drive-by shooting. Fisk entered into the race incredibly late and then ran a campaign that emphasised how wildly different he was than any of his career-politician competition. By bankrolling his entire campaign with his own money, Fisk was able to sell the public on the idea that he could not be bought, and convince them that he could be the change they so desperately wanted for New York.
Never mind that Fisk’s a known villain who clashes with Spider-Man and Daredevil on the regular. In his way, Fisk is a rich and powerful star and when you’re a star, they let you do it.
No matter how many times New York beats Matt Murdock’s arse, he always comes back for more because he truly loves his city, and this latest development doesn’t change that. Matt springs into action and begins thinking of ways that he can expose whatever election fraud Fisk employed to win the race. But his boss at the District Attorney’s office reminds him that as open a secret as Fisk’s corruption is, there’s a certain degree of protocol that has to be followed before a proper investigation can be opened.
Fisk may be dirty, but going after him requires ample evidence that the DA’s office simply doesn’t have yet. What’s more, the Mayor’s Office has work for Matt that takes precedence. In one of his first actions as mayor, Fisk orders the DA to begin building cases against a number of New York City-based superheroes. Cracking down on super vigilantism (the same sort that’s kept him in check for so long) was the central pillar of Fisk’s campaign, and he intends to give the public what they voted for.
Daredevil knows that Fisk’s plan has less to do with his desire to make NYC a better place and more to do with his quest for power and domination, but he can’t quite work out what the shape of the new mayor’s scheme is. While Daredevil’s out on a routine patrol to clear his mind, he comes across a person being mugged and when he attempts to intervene, the gravity of Fisk’s newfound power becomes clear.
The mugging is staged and the people involved are all NYPD officers – seemingly non-crooked ones, at that – who are all simply following orders from the mayor’s office. Daredevil’s escorted to Fisk’s office in uptown Manhattan and he realises how much more dangerous the Kingpin is now.
Even if Fisk is bending the rules to entrap masked heroes such as Daredevil, he accurately points out that the resentment the public (understandably) has for heroes, and the collateral damage they cause will make it easier for him to enact his vision for the city. Fisk’s constituents want a fast-tracked solution to the downsides of living in a city filled with superheroes and villains, and he’s all too ready to give them what they want.
Knowing Fisk, his path to fulfilling his campaign promises will only lead to more trouble and suffering for those around him – including those who voted for him. That’s what always made him such a great villain in the past, and what’ll make him into the most dangerous mayor Marvel’s New York City has ever had.