Wow, Marvel’s Daredevil was a refreshing change from the blockbuster fireworks of the big screen’s [The Avengers: Age Of Ultron](tag:293035) and wall-to-wall action of small screen superheroes like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow and The Flash.
Daredevil has its action set pieces, but it takes its time to develop complex characters and unveil a story painted from corner-to-corner with moral gray areas (you didn’t think Fisk’s painting was something other than a metaphor for the entire series, did you?).
One of those characters, however, seemed very familiar: James Wesley, Wilson’s Fisk’s man Friday. Sure, there’s a very minor character in the Marvel Universe with this same name and affiliation. But he’s not as rounded as our MCU Wesley.
It might be because Wesley is really The Simpsons’ Waylon Smithers in disguise. Here are five articles of evidence to prove this true:
Both are the brains and brawn behind ruthless men
Smithers is the strong right arm of Charles Montgomery Burns, the Kingpin of Springfield. He manages Mr. Burns personal and professional schedule, conducts business as a proxy for Mr. Burns, and counsels Mr. Burns on important decisions. Mr. Burns is reliant on Smithers, to a fault. Wesley acts in the same capacity for Wilson Fisk, protecting his client from the slings and arrows of public opinion and criminal reprisal.
Each speaks softly, but carries a big stick
If you encountered either Smithers or Wesley in a dark alley, you would most likely knock shoulders with the guy before you laughed your way out of the dark. Wesley’s a relatively big guy, but he doesn’t inspire fear. Smithers is much the same, though slightly easier to blow over in a microburst. You would, of course, be foolhardy to make either your enemy. Smithers is known to destroy the lives of those who oppose his employer (he revealed Sideshow Bob’s criminal past). And Wesley can, you know, have you killed.
Both have refined tastes
There is a moment in Daredevil when Fisk, hopeless when it comes to the dating game because of, you know, murdering, admits to his gal-pal that Wesley was the one who chose the wine with which he tries to woo her. Perfectly coiffed Wesley is of course a sommelier. He even takes the time to wipe the splattered blood of a Fisk victim from his glasses. It’s not a stretch to assume Wesley also collects Malibu Stacy, the Tiffany’s of girls’ fashion dolls and the passion of one Waylon Smithers. Smithers is the private owner of the world’s largest collection of the doll brand, authors a regular newsletter (blog?) about Malibu Stacy, her adventures and the MS industry, and is the creator of a stage play based on Stacy’s life.
You can’t trust either with firearms
After Mr. Burns fires Smithers for Mr. Burns reasons, Smithers spirals into a miserable depression. He drowns his sorrows in alcohol. So much so that after Mr. Burns is shot, Smithers believes he may be the shooter. Which is to say that if he had a gun, Smithers’ decision to pop a cap in Burns’ bald pate would take nothing more than too many Duff beers. Wesley is just as reckless. When he has Karen Page kidnapped, Wesley chooses to expose his deadly intentions by tossing a handgun on the table between them. You know, within reach of Miss Page. I don’t want to spoil it for folks, but let’s call this a really bad decision.
They love their bosses, and their bosses love them
There’s a whole lot of bromance going on between Fisk and Wesley. Whenever one speaks of the other, you can feel the heat rise in the room. Wesley holds Fisk in such high regard that he refuses to allow anyone to say his name. When one of Fisk’s associates, Nobu, a leader among The Hand, we presume, insults Fisk, Wesley volunteers to dispatch the creep. Fisk sweetly settles him down. Similarly, Smithers’ love of Mr. Burns is well-documented. It’s less obvious that Mr. Burns loves Smithers. But after Smithers takes a turn and is near death after Burns cancels employee health benefits, Burns storms Canada (via helicopter with Homer) in an effort to gain access to the drug that will save Smithers’ life.