Daredevil: Born Again Set Photos Confirm the MCU’s Next Villain

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For five long, aimless years, Marvel has been working through a villain problem of its own making. The studio spent ages building up the big bad that was Thanos, but when he was finally vanquished in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe was left without a focal point.

That power vacuum is one of a handful of issues plaguing the modern MCU, with Marvel’s most recent projects scrambling to introduce new adversaries and rebuild the Avengers at the same time. While the studio wrestles with figures like Kang and (potentially) Doctor Doom on the big screen, its streaming efforts finally seem to be paying off.

Daredevil: Born Again is the MCU’s most anticipated series in some time. As a revival of Netflix’s Daredevil, it comes with a loyal audience built in, and its attempt to reintroduce Marvel’s most underrated characters are already generating buzz. Born Again will pit Charlie Cox’s Daredevil against New York City’s kingpin, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) once more. Not a whole lot is known about the series, but with Fisk’s recent appearance in Echo — and some new photos from the Born Again set — Kingpin’s role in the MCU is finally clear.

After a tumultuous creative overhaul, Born Again is now shooting on location in New York City. Cox was seen filming in Daredevil’s native Hell’s Kitchen on January 26; while he’s yet to suit up, the photos suggest his latest battle will be fought out in the open.

Wilson Fisk is officially going straight. Formerly the proprietor of countless criminal enterprises, Fisk has apparently decided to cut ties with a life of crime and run for mayor. We saw this teased at the very end of Echo, with Fisk listening to a TV segment calling for fresh blood in New York’s mayoral race. The city supposedly needs an “outsider,” a “bare-knuckle brawler” that can cleanse crime from the inside out. Despite Fisk’s own affinity for crime, he seems to think he’s the guy, so by the time we catch up with him in Daredevil: Born Again, he’ll have made major headway in his campaign.

Born Again seems to be adapting key parts of the Daredevil comics’ “Mayor Fisk” storyline. As its title suggests, the arc sees Fisk run for office, and crack down on crime (and vigilantism) after winning his mayoral campaign. Obviously, this doesn’t bode well for Daredevil. The storyline actually had huge repercussions that rippled into other series: in “Devil’s Reign,” Daredevil teams up with allies like Spider-Man and Punisher to fight a newly-formed Thunderbolts team. If Born Again is truly adapting Charles Soule and Chip Zdarsky’s Daredevil comics, it could define Marvel’s future moves… and not just on the small screen.

With a Thunderbolts movie in development and a potential Spider-Man 4 in the works, Born Again is shaping up to be far more important than fans realize. Kingpin will find himself at the center of it all, making good on theories that position him as the MCU’s next Thanos. Depending on his role in Born Again, Kingpin may not be limited to the street-level bounds of Marvel’s new Spotlight banner. He’s one of Marvel’s most formidable villains, so he has more than enough juice to carry the MCU out of its latest slump.

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