For the most part Crime Lords seem to enjoy being Crime Lords. The Red Skull doesn’t spend a lot of time regretting the life he leads, nor do The Enforcers. That isn’t to say these characters are lacking in depth, but in almost every case they have made a concious decision to be a criminal, so there is little internal conflict.
Today’s Crime Lord is a much different story. Whereas most villains are motivated by greed or some self-imposed sense of righteousness, Vanessa Fisk acts out of love for her husband. In fact, if it weren’t for her marriage to The Kingpin she probably would have ended up living a happy, normal life.
Vanessa Fisk has been around nearly as long as The Kingpin himself. For years she was portrayed as a doting, if not saintly, wife who was eager for her husband to leave his life of crime. After Wilson Fisk’s numerous encounters with the law this all changed, and it became clear to Vanessa that the two would never be able to escape the empire that they had created for themselves.
She discovered that she was pregnant, and on at least one occasion she attempted to abort the child personally. Vanessa was terrified by the idea of raising a child in the criminal underworld, and eventually those fears would become fully realized when their son, Richard Fisk, would return to New York City after completing his education. Whereas Vanessa was more passive in her discontent, Richard grew up to openly despise his father. Wearing a mask and now calling himself ‘The Rose,’ Richard attempted to destroy The Kingpin and his empire from within.
By this time Vanessa had separated from Wilson, but returned to New York once she learned of her son’s plan. Richard was about to murder Wilson when she confronted her child. After a heated argument she shot her son to protect The Kingpin, killing him. Vanessa blamed both Daredevil and her husband for Richard’s death, and refused to take responsibility for her actions.
Several years later The Kingpin was once again defeated by Daredevil, and subsequently arrested. Vanessa orchestrated an elaborate plot to free her husband, resulting in both Daredevil’s arrest and his eventual escape from prison. Vanessa offered Daredevil a chance to clear his criminal record, but to do so he would be required to defend her husband in court. After losing her son, she could not allow her husbad to spend the rest of his life in prison, and knew that Matt Murdock was the one lawyer who could save him.
Daredevil refused Vanessa’s offer, but he soon learned that she had already set the chain of events in motion. Soon both Daredevil and The Kingpin would be free of their criminal charges, allowing the vicious cycle that had destroyed Vanessa’s life to continue. However, by the time Wilson Fisk was free Vanessa had already passed away from an unspecified illness. He has been in Japan ever since, still mourning the death of his lost love.
Vanessa has already made an appearance in UDE’s VS. System, and she stands out as one of the most underrated cards from her set. Her ability to give ail hidden characters you control +1 ATK can be devastating, especially with the proper abuse. She plays a prominent role in my MK/Crime deck, and no doubt I’ll be looking into finding some other interesting uses for her as the month progresses.
Given her prominence in recent Daredevil stories, it would make a lot of sense to see her in Marvel Universe. Here’s hoping that Vanessa will end up in card form once again.