Warning! This article contains spoilers for Echo.


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Summary

  • Echo re-introduces Kingpin as a compelling villain and sets up a street-level MCU saga that is more exciting than the Multiverse storyline.
  • The street-level heroes of the MCU, like Echo and Daredevil, have been successful in building a clear and solid narrative, unlike the multiverse story.
  • The post-credits scene in Echo hints at Kingpin becoming the mayor of NYC, which could spice up the hero/villain relationship and potentially lead to his appearance in Spider-Man 4.

The MCU has struggled to pull together a cohesive story and direction for its Multiverse Saga, but Echo has made it clear that Kang isn’t the most exciting overarching villain currently being built up by Marvel Studios. After Marvel stuck the landing of the Infinity Saga with the double-whammy of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, attention turned to what could possibly follow in its footsteps. Given Endgame‘s focus on time travel, it initially made sense to move towards the Marvel multiverse. However, the movies since have proven that to be easier said than done.

Despite some multiverse-centric hits like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Loki seasons one and two, the MCU has failed to build a clear and solid narrative around the multiverse. In the meantime, though, the street-level heroes of the MCU have been doing just fine. Kang may threaten the multiverse, but Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is back in Echo and is already well on his way to a compelling story across several MCU TV shows. Set to star in the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again, Kingpin’s street-level saga seems to be the most exciting long-form narrative the MCU has right now.

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Hawkeye’s MCU spinoff, Echo, relased as part of Phase 5, seeing the return of Maya Lopez as well as several new Marvel Studios characters.


How Echo Sets Up A Real Street-Level MCU Saga

Vincent D'Onofrio As Kingpin In Bloody White Suit in Echo

Marvel’s Echo

Release Date
January 9, 2024

Cast
Chaske Spencer , Zahn McClarnon , Graham Greene , Alaqua Cox , Cody Lightning , Charlie Cox , Tantoo Cardinal , Devery Jacobs , Vincent D’Onofrio

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+ , Hulu

Though Netflix’s Daredevil and the related shows remain in canon limbo to a degree, Kingpin has already begun to build an exciting street-level story wholly within the MCU. In Hawkeye, Kingpin plays only a small role and could have reasonably been any other high-level Marvel criminal. However, Echo builds on this re-introduction and creates much more tangible plot threads with clear potential to continue in other upcoming MCU movies and shows. Echo shows the extent to which Fisks legitimate business empire and illegitimate criminal influence stretch, building him up as a true kingpin of both business and crime.

While Vincent D’Onofrio, Charlie Cox, and Jon Bernthal all have or will be reprising their roles from Netflix’s Defenders saga in the MCU, the Marvel Studios has hitherto avoided fully committing to those shows’ canon status. Worth noting is that none are represented in the official MCU timeline book released in 2023.

Moreover, it’s Echo‘s post-credits scene that truly sets the stage for what could be to come with Kingpin. The scene features Fisk speaking to his associate aboard his private jet, where he claims he wants “a meeting with the remaining heads” to “stabilize the situation before it spirals out of control.” Then, Kingpin notices a news program discussing how there’s no clear front-runner in the upcoming NYC mayoral election. Moreover, one news personality says that “a bare-knuckle brawler would do well in this race,” someone willing to get their hands dirty to solve NYC’s problems. Fisk certainly fits that bill, teasing his evolution into a more dangerous threat.

In Marvel Comics, Kingpin does indeed become the mayor of NYC and uses the position to both legitimize his illegitimate dealings and levy the political power at his disposal to demonize and combat New York’s street-level heroes. This will surely be carried out in Daredevil: Born Again, and Mayor Fisk is a brilliant way to spice up a hero/villain relationship that’s already been explored for three seasons of TV. Moreover, if Marvel Studios so chooses, it’d be the perfect way to bring Kingpin to the big screen in a project like the upcoming Spider-Man 4.

Why The MCU Street Level Saga Is Already Better Than The Multiverse

Despite the MCU phases 4-6 being collectively labeled “The Multiverse Saga,” Kang has only appeared in two projects. He shows up as a few different variants in Loki seasons 1 and 2, and he’s the central antagonist of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Throughout that time, there’s been no continuity between multiverse movies, with each handling the subject in a completely different and unrelated way. The MCU’s street-level projects, on the other hand, are already building on each other nicely. Hawkeye re-established an already-beloved character, Echo fleshed him out for new viewers, and Daredevil: Born Again seems positioned to take him in a new direction.

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Kingpin’s MCU Future: Every MCU Project He Could Show Up In Next

Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was a highlight of the Marvel Netflix era. Now that he’s appeared in Hawkeye, here’s where he might show up next.

Most excitingly, though, is that a Kingpin Saga spanning movies and TV shows will inherently avoid several common criticisms aimed at the modern MCU. While early MCU Phase 1 movies like Iron Man and Thor were certainly fantastical, those elements were placed on a relatively grounded backdrop that made the stories easy to relate to and approachable for general audiences. That’s been lost, to a degree, but Kingpin waging war on street-level heroes wouldn’t need to rely on massive CGI battles or hard sci-fi and fantasy (though, as Echo proves, there’s still room for mysticism in grounded stories).

Every Street Level Hero Who Could Battle Kingpin

At this point, the MCU has already set up several heroes with a reason to battle Kingpin as he amasses political power. Most obviously, he’s most recently had run-ins with Maya Lopez, aka Echo, and he’s previously fought Kate Bishop in New York. Moreover, Kingpin is set to return in Daredevil: Born Again, so Matt Murdock clearly has a role to play, and Jon Bernthal is also reprising his role as the Punisher. With a few heroes from the Defenders Saga returning, it also wouldn’t be a surprise to see Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and the Iron Fisk back in action as well.

However, there’s also the potential for Kingpin to be a primary or secondary antagonist in Spider-Man 4 if Marvel Studios wants to unify its street-level heroes on the big and small screen. With Peter Parker more alone than ever following the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, he may be in the perfect position to seek a partnership with someone like Daredevil. Regardless of who is ultimately involved, Kingpin seems more set than ever after his time on Echo to become the MCU star he deserves to be.

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