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Vanessa was the wife of Wilson Fisk, also known as the Kingpin. She loved him deeply, but sometimes disagreed with his ways of crime. Together they had a son and named him Richard. At some point during the pregnancy she once took a sewing needle and pressed it against her belly in fear of bringing her baby into a world of violence and crime. When their son was older they sent him away to Switzerland for his education. Richard came back at one stage wanting to take over his father's empire as the Schemer and faced both his mother and father.
The Kingpin is quite possessive of his wife. However, she was lost in the sewers of New York and believed dead for some time. Daredevil rescued her from "The King" of the sewers and returned her to her husband for a price. The price was that the Kingpin had to remove his corrupt candidate, Randolph Cherryh from the ballot. Fisk readily agreed.
Perhaps as a result of this and other perceived threats, the Kingpin hired a minor actress to impersonate Vanessa so that she would not fall victim to kidnapping or future extortion from his adversaries. One particular impersonator, Heidi Devoto, died after she was kidnapped by Micah Synn.
Vanessa once split up with Wilson Fisk, but she returned to New York when she found out her son had tried to kill her husband. Richard had teamed up with an old friend of his Sammy Silke and others in order to assassinate his father Wilson. Furious, she started cleaning up the underworld, starting with the murder of a small time hood named Falzone. Then eventually she confronted her son Richard who after an exchange of words, she promptly killed. After this she took her husband away to recuperate. She was recuperating for a while in Switzerland but succumbed to her disease that developed from the pain of killing her son and died. Prior to that she was the ringleader of the operation that relating to Murdock and her husband's arrest by the F.B.I., as well as faking Foggy Nelson's murder, and hiring Iron Fist to pose as Daredevil in Hell's Kitchen and using Tombstone and Lily Lucca to lead Murdock on a journey throughout Europe. She did this out of revenge, blaming both Daredevil and Wilson for her current situation.
Sometime after her death, Murdock would honor her last wish and get the charges against the Kingpin dropped, under the condition that Wilson give up his U.S. citizenship.
Years later her body was recovered by the Hand and she was brought back to life with the purpose to kill her husband in order to test him if he still worthy leader for the Hand. The two battled, but Wilson didn't want to kill his wife and tried to reason with her, asking her if their was any trace of her oldself to show it to him so he can see to it that she is not harmed by anyone, and when it seem that it was useless the Kingpin break her back to kill her. However, much to his horror he discovered, too late, that she was aiming for an attacker behind him to save his life. Vanessa died her second death in the arms of her devastated husband who buried himself deeper in crime.
In Spider-Man: The Animated Series Vanessa was voiced by Caroline Goodall. In this series she was the wife of Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime. After being kidnapped by Tombstone for the Kingpin's archenemy Silvermane, Vanessa eventually became fed up of the fact that crime had taken over Wilson's life, and left him. So far this is only version of Vanessa Fisk that is not a villain.
Vanessa appears in the Daredevil Netflix series, portrayed by Israeli actress Ayelet Zurer. In the series, she is given the maiden name Marianna, and is shown to be a wealthy art dealer. She first encounters Fisk after he buys an expensive painting from her, and she ends up becoming his love interest throughout the duration of the series.
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