Created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr., Marvel Comics villain Wilson Fisk, the “Kingpin of Crime”, was introduced to readers in Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967). Since then, the character has become a popular villain, challenging Spider-Man, Daredevil, and The Punisher over the years. The villain’s appearance was inspired by a real-life actor.
According to author John Wells in American Comic Book Chronicles: 1965 – 1969: “Artist John Romita, Sr. modeled the Kingpin on oversized actor Robert Middleton. Romita gave the the Kingpin a white suit, a cigarette holder and a walking stick.”
As an actor, Middleton was noted for his girth and thick eyebrows, two traits that he shares with the Kingpin character. Middleton died in 1977.
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