- We do not say his name.
- --James Wesley
Wesley was hired as the personal assistant of Wilson Fisk, dealing with many of his criminal plans. Over the years of working together, the two developed a strong friendship, with Fisk often calling on Wesley for personal advice and guidance.
When a secretary named Karen Page at Union Allied Construction discovered their money laundering schemes, Wesley was sent to inform Officer Clyde Farnum that his daughter was being observed by his assassin Rance and could be killed at anytime if he refused to cooperate with the orders given. Wesley told Farnum that his debt to the retired Don Rigoletto was small and forgivable compared to his position as a member of the New York City Police Department which was usable; Farnum was tasked with killing Karen Page in her cell, but making it appear as a suicide.
Wesley then went to a meeting with Nobu, Madame Gao, Leland Owlsley, Anatoly and Vladimir Ranskahov. He was not received well since they were expecting another, but Wesley told them that he was too busy to attend. The Ranskahov brothers called Wesley a lapdog and decided to leave until he asked them to explain why their payment was short. They explained that a masked man had beat up their subordinates and had freed the girls they had captured. Wesley was the only one who understood Gao's question when she jokingly asked in Chinese if the man took the girls for himself. The brothers expressed displeasure in being questioned, so they questioned how the Union Allied Construction case was being handled; Wesley assured them that it was being handled.
The next morning, Wesley rode with his employer in their limousine as he read in the Daily Bugle about the embezzlement scandal of Union Allied Construction Company. Wesley assured him that all loose ends would be tied and no one would associate him with anything. He was told to start a file on Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock, two lawyers who Wesley called "ambulance chasers", for future reference. Wesley remained true to his word and insured that all those involved with the scandal, including Clyde Farnum, were killed before the end of the day.
Nelson and Murdock
- I'm curious about your clientele. Do they all work for you when you get them off for murder or just the pretty ones?
- --James Wesley
Wesley went to the law office of Nelson and Murdock and thanked Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson for starting a law practice in Hell's Kitchen. Though he was asked his name, he never revealed it; he said that the only information that was important was that he worked for a large conglomerate which wanted them to work for it. He revealed that he had researched the lawyers because he knew that they had graduated numbers one and two in their class. When Wesley asked if they hired all their former clients who had been accused of murder, Karen Page felt embarrassed. After she was excused, Murdock asked him how he knew something that was not in the newspapers. Once again, Wesley revealed that the only thing that was important was the check he offered, which was substantially large. He told them to go to the police precinct to meet their client, John Healy.
To ensure that John Healy could not be directly linked to the crime of murdering the crime boss Prohaszka in cold blood, Wesley travelled to Whitestone Lanes bowling alley where the murder had taken place. With his knowledge of where Healy had planted his gun, Wesley went to the pinball machine where the gun was hidden, only to find two young men playing on the game already, Wesley placed a coin on the pinball machine and claimed to be waiting to play the next game. Once the two young men had gone Wesley took the gun and casually made his escape.
After he left the Nelson and Murdock offices, Wesley got into the car of Wilson Fisk, told him that the lawyers were hired, and left. A few days later Wesley entered the courtroom during Healy's trial and observed. When the woman in the jury Wesley's men had bribed left the courtroom, Wesley threatened a second juryman to ensure the trial went exactly the way he wanted. When the jury returned to give their verdict, Wesley returned again to the courtroom to observe. The jury announced that the decision was a hung jury, meaning Healy was able to go free.
After the trial, Wesley met with Leland Owlsley; he wanted to know why Wilson Fisk was bothering with the lawyers when Owlsley could have gotten others. Wesley explained that Murdock and Nelson had an outstanding reputation, something his lawyers did not have. Owlsley asked why Fisk did not just have Healy killed; Wesley explained that a trail of bodies has already begun which is not wise. Owlsley asked a third question: what was keeping Fisk so preoccupied that he would not meet with him in person, Wesley retorted that Fisk was into art.
Dealing with the Russians
- Madame Gao and Mr. Nobu have expressed their concerns."
"We have not heard of this."
"Hm, that's because we've been talking behind your back.
- --James Wesley to the Ranskahov brothers
Vladimir and Anatoly Ranskahov's warehouse was attacked by the masked man; Wesley was sent to find out what happened from them, and to give them the assets of Prohaszka. He began to mock the brothers for their failures to stop the masked man. Wesley offered them a chance to allow Wilson Fisk to buy out their interest in the organisation; although Anatoly showed interest in the idea, Vladimir considered it to be an insult and refused.
Later that night, while Fisk was having dinner with Vanessa Marianna, Wesley was unable to stop Anatoly Ranskahov from charging in to tell Fisk that he and his brother had changed their minds and accepted his offer. Fisk stormed from the restaurant with a confused Vanessa and ordered Wesley to put Ranskahov in the car for him to deal with later. Wesley and Ranskahov were driven to a secluded area; as they travelled, Ranskahov tried to explain that he did not mean to cause Fisk embarrassment. Eventually Fisk phoned Wesley, asking which side of the car Ranskahov was sitting, to which Wesley answered the passenger side, although he refused to tell Ranskahov the meaning of the call.
Fisk proceeded to pull Ranskahov from the car and brutally beat him, with Wesley calmly ignoring Ranskahov's pleads for help. Eventually Fisk crushed his skull with the car door, leaving Ranskahov as nothing more than a bloody headless corpse lying in the dirt, with his brains splattered across the car. Wesley watched and offered Fisk a handkerchief to clean Ranskahov's blood from his face. Wesley told Fisk that this action would result in a war with the Russians, to which Fisk calmly replied that he was counting on it.
Starting a War
The next day Wesley visited the office of Vladimir Ranskahov, who was still trying to get ahold of his brother. Wesley arrived and pretended to know nothing about the whereabouts of Anatoly, claiming that he had spoken to him and Fisk, accepted their offer and left in high spirits. Before their conversation could continue, they were interrupted by one of Ranskahov's men who brought in Anatoly's headless body. When Ranskahov searched the body, he found the masked man's mask in the jacket pocket, which Wesley had had planted there. Wesley was able to convince Ranskahov that the masked man was the one to blame for his brother's murder.
Wesley then joined Wilson Fisk to a meeting with Madame Gao, Nobu and Leland Owlsley where they announced that the Russians were no longer a part of their organization since Anatoly's murder by Fisk's hand. Wesley worked as translator as he assured the group that Ranskahov was now convinced that the masked man was responsible for Anatoly's death. Fisk outlined his plans for their organization which included continuing to allow Vladimir to move Gao's heroin until Fisk could take over. All parties accepted the proposal and departed. Wesley translated for Madame Gao as Fisk walked her to her car, where she asked if Fisk wanted something from her.
Finishing off the Ranskahovs
- Why all that with planting the mask, why not blow him up from the start if that's what you were gonna do?"
"It takes time to arrange something like this and help from friends. We needed to keep Vladimir off balance until everything was in place.
- --Turk Barrett and James Wesley
In an attempt to throw Vladimir Ranskahov off balance emotionally, Wesley hired Turk Barrett to speak to him and claim that Wilson Fisk was working with the man in black. This action made Ranskahov furious and he organised for his entire army to gather in his warehouses ready to attack Fisk's organisation, allowing Fisk to arrange for bombs to be sent to the warehouses and kill them all. Barrett met with Wesley in the limo to be paid for his part in the plan and the two discussed how predictable Ranshahov was, when fed the right information.
After his date with Vanessa Marianna, Wilson Fisk joined Wesley in their limo. Wesley received a phonecall from one of the police officers under their pay who informed him that although the Russian's strongholds had been succesfully destroyed, Vladimir Ranskahov had escaped with the help of the man in the mask. Wesley was later called by Detective Christian Blake who informed him that the man in the mask had seemingly taken a young police officer hostage. Wesley listened closely as Fisk spoke to the man in the mask over a police radio; Fisk offered the man a chance to escape in exchange for the death of Ranskahov. The man refused and Wesley sent an order for Ben Urich to be shot and footage of the man in the mask attacking police officers.
Keeping the Business Running
- What do Nobu and his men bring to the table, what are they in all of this?"
"I just, I don't like the way he speaks to you, that's all. Especially now when everythings going our way.
- --James Wesley and Wilson Fisk
Wesley joined Wilson Fisk for a meeting with Nobu, who was furious as his shipment of a weapon called Black Sky had been ruined by the man in the mask and another man. Wesley worked as the translator as Nobu insulted Fisk's organisation as he believed that Fisk had failed with his promises to him. Nobu left after threatening Fisk, Wesley suggested that Fisk should teach Nobu a lesson in respect as he felt Nobu did not contribute anything to their organisation, Fisk however told him they should leave it along.
Wesley learned through his contacts in the police that Detective Christian Blake had woken up in the hospital after being shot by Fisk's men, Wesley phoned Fisk immediately to discuss what should be done. As Blake's hospital room was being guarded by many police officers who were not under Fisk's pay, Fisk suggested that they hire Blake's partner Carl Hoffman to assassinate Blake, although Wesley noted that the two were long standing friends and he doubted Hoffman would be willing to murder his friend. Fisk told him to set up a meeting nonetheless so Fisk could speak to him in person.
Wesley was later present when Fisk had a meeting with Carl Hoffman where they discussed the shooting of Detective Christian Blake, when Hoffman insisted that Blake had every right to be angry because they had shot him, Wesley argued that technically they had just paid someone else to shoot him. Hoffman continued to try and get out of killing his friend and partner, explaining that he and Blake had been friends for over thirty five years. Although he was initially reluctant, they eventually managed to convince Hoffman to murder his former partner after offering him a substantial amount of money.
Wesley later met with Wilson Fisk and Leland Owlsley at Melvin Potter's Workshop, where Owlsley was being fitted with a new armoured suit, to inform them that although Christian Blake had been successfully assassinated by Carl Hoffman, the man in the mask had been able to question him beforehand and had likely gained valuable information about their operation. Owlsley mocked the pair for their continued failures; Wesley explained that Hoffman was able to spin the story and had told the police that he had been assaulted by the man in the mask who had come to finish what he had started with murdering Blake.
Saving Wilson Fisk
- If I needed you I would have asked."
"I don't think that's always true sir.
- --Wilson Fisk and James Wesley
Madame Gao later arrived at Wilson Fisk's penthouse to discuss recent events, Wesley was called in to once again work as translator. Although he translated Gao's conversation for a short while, before long Gao revealed that Fisk was able to speak Chinese and Japanese and therefore did not need a translator, much to Wesley's irritation. Without any need for him, Fisk ordered Wesley to wait outside. After a few minutes, Gao left and Wesley heard Fisk roar and a loud crash, when he ran inside he found Fisk had overturned his table in a rage. Wesley asked if he could do anything for him but Fisk instead ordered him to get out.
Wesley returned to Wilson Fisk's Penthouse a few hours later only to discover Fisk in the same spot starring out at the city landscape. Fisk initally showed anger towards Wesley, ordering him to leave until he was actually called for. Wesley however insisted that sometimes Fisk did not know when he needed his hope, to prove this he presented Vanessa Marianna, who he had brought as he knew she was the one person Fisk would be willing to speak to and would be able to comfort him. Although Fisk was still furious, he accepted Marianna's company and Wesley left the couple alone.
Wesley joined Fisk the next day at a press conference where Fisk revealed his identity and his plans to the world's media.
Dealing with Nobu
- He doesn't care for the accommodations."
"Misspeak my words again, and I will have your tongue.
- --James Wesley and Nobu
With Wilson Fisk now a public figure, Wesley met him to discuss the opinion poles which were still rising in his favor, Wesley informed him of the positive outlook and that Senator Randolph Cherryh was looking to meet him. Fisk asked about Carl Hoffman and Wesley informed him that he had gone missing but they were looking for him. They were interrupted by the arrival of Nobu, who attempted to break Francis' hand upon entry. When Wesley attempted to translate for Nobu, Nobu threatened to rip out his tongue as he knew Fisk could understand him. Nobu insisted that Fisk had not fulfilled his side of their deal by not supplying him with the city block he had promised. They convinced Nobu to assist them in the hunt for the man in the mask in exchanged for their work.
Wesley and Fisk put steps in place for Nobu to confront the masked man, after a prolonged fight, the masked man was mortally wounded and Nobu was burnt to death. Fisk, Wesley and Francis confronted the masked man while Nobu's corpse burned, and Fisk thanked him for taking Nobu out of the concern. Fisk engaged in a one-on-one fight with his enemy and easily beat the wounded man into submission. Wesley was ordered to shot the man but before he could fire, the man ran to the window and escaped, Fisk ordered Wesley to tell their men to hunt him down and kill him.
Time of Crisis
- Hm, You weren't particularly fond of Nobu, you thought he was unsettling if I recall."
"I think you're unsettling half the time.
- --James Wesley and Leland Owlsley
While Wilson Fisk and Leland Owlsley prepared for a benefit for Fisk's organisation, Wesley assisted by tying Fisk's bowtie for him. Owlsley demanded to know why Fisk had burned Nobu to death, but Fisk insisted that he never laid a hand on Nobu. Much to Wesley's amusement, Fisk sent Owlsley to meet with Madame Gao to discuss the recent events. Fisk then asked Wesley to bring the car around and inform Vanessa Marianna that they were on their way.
At Fisk's benefit, Wesley watched Fisk's speech to the guests before joining him as he made his way through the many guests wishing to speak to him. They spoke to Leland Owlsley who informed them that all was well with Madame Gao and offered them a glass of champagne which only Vanessa Marianna accepted. While Fisk was speaking to Senetor Randolph Cherryh, Wesley stayed with Marianna and Owlsley and they discussed Cherryh. Without warning, several of the guests began to collapse and vomit after drinking the champagne, seeing the danger, Fisk ordered Wesley to get the car just as Marianna lost consciousness and collapsed into Fisk's arms from the poison in her drink.
An Assistant and a Friend
- Thank you Wesley. I... Thank you.
- --Wilson Fisk to James Wesley
Wesley joined Fisk and Owlsley as they rushed Vanessa Marianna to the nearest hospital; Wesley contacted Doctor Rosenberg to come and assist in Marianna's surgery and she was taken away for emergency treatment. While they waited inside the hospital, Wesley spoke to Leland Owlsley, who expressed his concern about Wilson Fisk's ability to run the business in his current emotional state; they discussed how whoever was responsible for the assassination attempt was likely after Fisk, not Marianna, and would try again. Wesley asked Owlsley about his meeting with Madame Gao. Owlsley expressed his belief that the Japanese were responsible as an act of revenge in response to Nobu's death. Francis then informed him that three of the other poisoned guests had died. Wesley ordered Owlsley to speak to Gao to gain her support.
As they continued to wait for news, Wesley brought Fisk a cup of coffee. Fisk opened up to Wesley and expressed his fear of losing Marianna, but Wesley assured him that Rosenberg was taking care of her. As Wesley told him about their theories on who was responsible, Fisk told Wesley that Madame Gao had told him to choose a fate or it would be chosen for him. Fisk ordered Wesley to find whoever was responsible so he could look into their eyes as he killed them; Wesley tried to assure Fisk he was not responsible and Fisk ordered Wesley to arrange for Marianna to be moved out of the country to be safe. Fisk thanked Wesley personally before Rosenberg arrived to inform them that Marianna had survived.
When Fisk stepped out of Marianna's room for a moment, Wesley asked about her condition; Fisk asked him to return a call to Fisk's mother as he wished to focus his attention on Marianna. Owlsley interrupted them but Fisk returned to Marianna's room. Owlsley told Wesley that he had spoken to Madame Gao, but had not learnt much; Wesley tried to find out if Gao seemed suspect to him but Owlsley did not seem to think so. Owlsley told Wesley that Fisk needed to get back to business as soon as possible. Wesley ignored him and told him to go home. He then phoned Fisk's mother who informed him that Ben Urich and Karen Page had spoken to her.
A Fatal Mistake
- But you won't be the first to die, Miss Page. No I think Mr. Urich will have that honour, then we'll go to your place of employment, see to Mr. Nelson, Mr. Murdock. After that your friends, family, everyone you've ever cared about and when you have no tears left to shed then, then we'll come for you, Miss Page.
- --James Wesley to Karen Page
Knowing the danger that the information they could have gained possessed, Wesley decided to go after the pair. Not wishing to worry Wilson Fisk however, he discreetly took a gun and car keys from Francis and left without explaining why. He tracked down Karen Page and kidnapped her outside her apartment and took her to an abandoned warehouse and waited for her to awake.
Once Page did wake, he greeted her kindly and ensured she was feeling well enough to talk. He told her that after the events with Union Allied Construction he had considered having her killed but it was decided that she could do no more harm, and so they had given her the money to keep her quiet, but she had made a choice which had led her to her current situation. He then pulled out a gun and placed it on the table to gain her attention. He began talking about Wilson Fisk's love for the city, despite his own distaste for it, before explaining that it was Fisk's mother who had informed him of Page's involvement. He explained that Fisk would be highly disturbed to learn they had spoken to her so he wished to resolve the situation. When Page told him to kill her already, he explained he wanted to offer her a job.
Wesley explained he wanted Page to use her powers of persuasion to convince Ben Urich and everyone she had been speaking to that everything was okay and they should leave the story and Wilson Fisk alone. When Page told him she would rather die, he explained he would kill Urich, Foggy Nelson, Matt Murdock, her friends and her family before they killed her. The second Wesley's phone went off, Page used the momentary distraction to steal his gun. Wesley attempted to bluff his way out of the situation by claiming the gun was not loaded, but when he attempted to stand, Page shot him. She fired a further six more shots into Wesley's chest, killing him.
Finding His Body
- He's my friend. He's...My...Friend!
Wilson Fisk checked his messages, but nothing from Wesley came. Francis called to Fisk inside the room of Vanessa Marianna; when Fisk eventually exited, Francis told him that Wesley had been found. Fisk called Leland Owlsley to meet him at the location.
There, Fisk, Owlsley and Francis found the body. Fisk questioned Francis as to why he let Wesley go there alone; Francis said that he was ordered to stay with Fisk. Fisk then grabbed Francis and began beating him, screaming how Wesley was one of the few who was his friend.
Though viewed by others as his lapdog, subordinate, or servant, James Wesley viewed Wilson Fisk as his friend; Fisk also saw their relationship as one of friendship, describing Wesley as his friend to Vanessa Marianna. Wesley looked out for Fisk's well-being not only in business but also in personal and health matters. While others objected to the inclusion of Vanessa Marianna into Wilson's life, Wesley encouraged it, asking her to talk to Fisk during a time when he was upset. In the hospital, Wesley had one cup of coffee; he offered it to Fisk first before taking a sip. Wesley disliked whenever someone spoke disrespectful to his friend, such as Nobu, but Wesley knew his own place in the organization did not allow him to take unpermitted liberties.
As the "face" of Fisk's empire before Fisk became a publicly-known figure, Wesley stayed professional even when belittled or asked questions that would have insulted another. When the Ranskahov brothers insulted him, Wesley did not think of himself, but of the money that they owned Fisk. When Leland Owlsley had questions that were not within his parameters, Wesley answered them honestly, but without much revelation.
Wesley did act betrayed for a moment when Madame Gao revealed that Fisk had no need for a translator, but he kept his opinion to himself.
Ultimately, James Wesley viewed the actions of his life were done out of necessity instead of personal desire or ambition.
Powers and Abilities
Multilingual: Wesley can speak English and, at least, understand Chinese and Japanese.
Negotiation: Wesley is an expert communicator and is adept at facilitating trade negotiations between his employer and several major crime syndicates. His command of languages makes him an invaluable asset for dealing with foreign elements among New York City's criminal underworld.
Equipment: None known.
Transportation: None known.
Weapons: None known.
- No special notes.
- No trivia.
- Appearances of James Wesley (Earth-1010)
- Character Gallery: James Wesley (Earth-1010)
- Quotations by James Wesley (Earth-1010)
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