|“||I'm not here because I want to be here. I am here because I am needed.||„|
|~ James Wesley|
|“||But you won't be the first to die, Miss Page. No I think Mr. Urich will have that honor, 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 threatening Karen Page|
|“||Maybe if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer that would explain why you keep getting your asses handed to you.||„|
|~ James Wesley|
James Wesley is the secondary antagonist of the 2015 Marvel TV series Daredevil's first season. He is the right-hand man, confidant and close friend of crime lord Wilson Fisk.
He was portrayed by Toby Leonard Moore.
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.
He first appears 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 went to a meeting with the members of Confederated Global Investments. Wesley was not received well since they were expecting Wilson Fisk, but Wesley told them that Fisk was currently too busy to attend. Vladimir and Anatoly Ranskahov rudely called Wesley a lapdog and decided to leave until he asked them to explain why their payment was short on their shipment of prostitutes while Nobu Yoshioka listened silently.
They explained that a masked man had beat up Turk Barrett and their subordinates and had then freed the girls they had captured. Taking a lighter tone, Leland Owlsley claimed to be glad of another vigilante as the Avengers were responsible for their current opportunities. Wesley was the only one who understood Madame Gao's question when she jokingly asked in Chinese if this man took the girls for himself. The brothers expressed displeasure in being questioned, instead asking how the Union Allied Construction case was being handled; Wesley assured them that it was being handled currently. The next morning, Wesley rode with his employer in their limousine as he read in the New York Bulletin 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. Wesley went to the law office of Nelson and Murdock and thanked Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson for starting a law practice in New York City. Though he was asked his name by the lawyers, he never revealed it to them; he said instead that the only information that was important for them to know right now was that he worked for a large conglomerate which wanted them to now work for them as lawyers.
Wesley revealed he had researched them as he knew that they had graduated numbers one and two in their class and had been interns at Landman and Zack where they turned down job offers. Murdock remained skeptical and questioned who Wesley's employer was, but Wesley continued to not name Wilson Fisk, insisting that his employer wanted them to continue their work honestly, offering them a check for their hard work which Nelson agreed although Murdock remained unsure. When Wesley asked if they hired all their former clients who had been accused of murder, Karen Page felt embarrassed. To calm the tense situation Page was politely asked to step outside, at which point Murdock asked Wesley how he knew something that was not in the New York Bulletin. 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 New York City Police Department precinct to meet their client, John Healy. Once he had left the Nelson and Murdock Law Office, Wesley walked down the street and met with Wilson Fisk inside his limo to update him on the situation, assuring him that the situation was taken care of. To ensure that John Healy could not be directly linked to the crime of murdering the crime boss Prohaszka in cold blood, Wesley traveled 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 walked out of the ally with the gun, without being stopped.
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 without any charges against him. 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 obviously 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 what was keeping Fisk so preoccupied that he would not meet with him in person, Wesley retorted that Fisk finishing his penthouse and collecting some art to decorate. When 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 which had just been finalized by Leland Owlsley. He began to mock the brothers for their failures to stop the masked man, claiming that Anatoly should try ducking from the masked man and insultingly claiming that maybe if the man had an Iron Suit or a magic hammer then their failures could be explained.
Wesley told the brothers that the man had managed to weaken their organization, causing issues for Madame Gao's distribution of heroin, and instead offered them a chance to allow Wilson Fisk to buy out their interest in the organization; although Anatoly showed interest in the idea, Vladimir considered it to be an insult and furiously refused. Wesley made it clear to the pair that this was merely an offer and not an order, but that they should be concerned of the repercussions of refusing it would be, recommending that the brothers discuss it in length before Wesley left the warehouse.
As the situation was still tense, Wesley met with Fisk in his car and they discussed how to approach taking over the Russian's territory peacefully, with Wesley noting that Anatoly would likely be the best way as he seemed much less insulted compared to Vladimir. When Wesley asked what was to be done about the masked man, Fisk promised that if the Russians proved they could not handle him he would find another solution. Their car pulled up outside the Scene Contempo Gallery and Fisk ordered Wesley to stay behind so he could speak with Vanessa Marianna on his own. That night, while Wilson Fisk was having a quiet romantic dinner with his date, Vanessa Marianna, Wesley was caught off guard and unable to stop the furious Anatoly Ranskahov from charging in to tell Fisk that he and his brother had now changed their minds and accepted his offer to buy out their organization. Fisk stormed out from the restaurant with a confused Marianna and angrily ordered Wesley to put Ranskahov in the car for him to personally deal with later.
Wesley and Ranskahov were then driven to a secluded area on the outskirts of New York City; as they traveled, Ranskahov tried to explain that he did not mean to cause Fisk embarrassment, he had only wanted to make peace, although Wesley recommended that a phone call would have been better before discussing the concepts of the past and how it could never be forgotten. 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 true meaning of the phone 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's 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. The next day Wesley visited the office of Vladimir Ranskahov, who was still trying to get ahold of his brother, unaware of his violent death the night before. Wesley arrived and pretended to know nothing about the whereabouts of Anatoly, claiming that he had spoken to him and Wilson Fisk, accepted their offer and left in high spirits. Wesley asked Vladimir is his brother would likely be celebrating with a young girl or boy but Vladimir claimed to not know this.
Before their conversation could continue, they were interrupted by the arrival of Vladimir's soldier, Sergei who brought in Anatoly's headless corpse. Wesley stood beside Dmitry while Ranskahov searched his beloved brother's mutilated corpse until he found the masked man's mask in the jacket pocket, which Wesley had had planted there the night before. Wesley was then able to convince Ranskahov that the masked man was the one to blame for his brother's brutal murder, taking all the blame away from himself and Fisk.
Wesley then joined Wilson Fisk to a meeting with the Confederated Global Investments members where they announced the Russians were no longer a part of their organization since Anatoly's murder. Wesley worked as translator as he assured the group that Ranskahov was convinced the masked man was responsible. Fisk outlined his plans for their organization where they would allow Vladimir to move Madame Gao's heroin until Fisk could take over. All parties accepted the proposal. Wesley translated for Gao as Fisk walked her to her car, where she asked if Fisk wanted something from her.
With the rest of the organization seemingly on their side, Wesley and Fisk had a private meeting to discuss their next move in this war. Wesley assured Fisk that Christian Blake and Carl Hoffman were giving statements over the shooting of Piotr, who had threatened to expose Fisk's empire. Although Fisk was shaken by this close call, Wesley assured him that soon Vladimir would have no move allies to help him to expose Fisk. As they arrived outside the Press Lounge Restaurant, Wesley recommended a wine for Fisk to chose during his date with Vanessa Marianna, who was meeting him there. 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 organized for his entire army to gather in his warehouses ready to attack Fisk's organization, 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 Ranskahov could be.
Once his date with Vanessa Marianna was completed, Fisk joined Wesley in their limo to continue their work. Wesley received a phone call from one of the police officers under their pay who informed him that although the Russian's bases had been successfully destroyed in the Bombing of Hell's Kitchen, 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 and taken refuse in an abandoned building now surrounded by the police.
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 while also comparing their ideologies about protecting New York City. 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, however the bullet instead hit Christian Blake who was badly wounded. Despite their best efforts, the man escaped out of the building, while Ranskahov was shot and killed when he refused to surrender to the SWAT teams sent by Fisk and Wesley.
Wesley joined Wilson Fisk for a meeting with Nobu Yoshioka, 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 Yoshioka insulted Fisk's organization as he believed that Fisk had failed with his promises to him. Although Fisk defended his actions, Yoshioka reminded him of his organization's reputation and Fisk quickly apologized to him in fear. Yoshioka left after threatening Fisk in Japanese, Wesley suggested that Fisk should teach Yoshioka a lesson in respect as he felt Yoshioka did not show him enough respect while also questioning that the Hand did not contribute anything to their organization, while Leland Owlsley and Madame Gao's contributions were clear as well as the Russians before they were absorbed in the wake of the Bombing of Hell's Kitchen. Fisk however told Wesley they should leave it alone as he claimed that the Hand were a necessary evil for their organization to continue to be moving forward. Wesley learned through his contacts inside the police department that Christian Blake had just woken up in the hospital after being shot by Wilson 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 old friends and he doubted Hoffman would be willing to murder his friend.
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 35 years. Although he was initially reluctant, suspicious, and questionable, they eventually managed to convince Hoffman to murder his former partner after offering him a substantial amount of money.
Wesley met with Wilson Fisk and Leland Owlsley at Melvin Potter's Workshop, where Owlsley was being fitted with a new armored 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.The next morning, Wesley was contacted by Madame Gao who had requested a meeting with Wilson Fisk regarding the recent chaotic events involving Vladimir and Anatoly Ranskahov and how this would affect their organization. Fisk ordered Wesley to bring the car to him so he could meet her, Wesley let him know that Gao was instead coming to him and would be there shortly. Unsure about how to deal with Gao, Fisk asked Wesley to be with him before she arrived and Wesley reassured him that he was already on his way. Gao soon arrived at Wilson Fisk's Penthouse to discuss the recent events and Fisk provided her with the tea he had collected from his last visit to Asia as a sign of respect to her and Wesley confirmed that she did approve of the choice. Although Wesley translated Gao and Fisk'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. Gao questioned if Nobu Yoshioka knew that Fisk spoke Japanese as well but Fisk told her that he did not believe Yoshioka had figured it out yet. Without any need for him, Fisk ordered Wesley to wait outside while he continued his meeting with Gao in private. After a few minutes, Gao left having noted how under happy she was and threatened to continue working with Yoshioka and Leland Owlsley without Fisk if he proved that he could not control their organisation. Once Gao had gone, 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 furiously ordered him to get out of his penthouse and leave him alone immediately. Wesley returned to Wilson Fisk's Penthouse a few hours later only to discover Wilson Fisk in the same spot starring out at the New York City landscape contemplating what Madame Gao had threatened him with. Fisk initially showed his 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 help and 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 to work out his issues. Wesley's plan was successful and Marianna was able to instill in him a new bout of confidence and drive to complete his plans. As a result, Wesley joined Fisk the next day at a press conference for WHiH World News and others alongside Marianna and Leland Owlsley where Fisk revealed his identity and his plans to the world's media. The response was universal praise as he condemned the actions of the masked man and promised to aid New York City in rebuilding itself.
With Wilson Fisk now a public figure, Wesley met with him at the Pier 81 Warehouse to discuss the opinion poles which were still rising in his favour, Wesley informed him of the positive outlook and that Senator Randolph Cherryh was looking to meet him at a charity fundraiser. Fisk asked about Carl Hoffman and Wesley informed him that he had gone missing since killing Christian Blake but they were looking for him. When Fisk questioned what would happen if Hoffman had left New York City, Wesley remained confident that he would still be found. They were interrupted by the arrival of Nobu Yoshioka, who attempted to break Francis' hand upon entry and a clear sign of power. When Wesley attempted to translate, Yoshioka threatened to rip out his tongue as he knew Wesley was mistranslating him. Yoshioka insisted that Fisk had not fulfilled his side of their deal by not supplying him with the city block he had promised, but Fisk explained that there was a tenant, Elena Cardenas, who had proven difficult to evict. They convinced Yoshioka to assist them in the hunt for the man in the mask in exchanged for their work with evicting Cardenas.
Wesley and Fisk put steps in place for Nobu Yoshioka to confront the masked man, after a prolonged fight, the masked man was mortally wounded and Yoshioka was burnt to death. Fisk, Wesley and Francis confronted the masked man while Yoshioka's corpse burned, and Fisk thanked him for taking Yoshioka 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. While Wilson Fisk and Leland Owlsley prepared for a benefit for Fisk's organization, Wesley assisted by tying Fisk's bowtie for him. Owlsley demanded to know why Fisk had burned Nobu Yoshioka to death, but Fisk insisted that he never laid a hand on Yoshioka. 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 currently on their way to her.
At Fisk's benefit, Wesley watched Fisk's speech 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 champagne which only Vanessa Marianna accepted. While Fisk was speaking to Randolph Cherryh, Wesley stayed with Marianna and Owlsley and they spoke about Cherryh. Without warning, several of the guests began to collapse drinking the champagne. Fisk ordered Wesley to get the car just as Marianna collapsed into Fisk's arms from the poison.
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 Yoshioka'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. Knowing the danger that such personal information they could have gained possessed, Wesley decided to go after the pair himself. Not wishing to worry Wilson Fisk during this tense time 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 so he could begin interrogating her. Once Page did wake, he greeted her kindly and ensured she was able to talk. He explained to her that after the events with Union Allied Construction he had considered having her killed but it was decided that she could do no 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 New York City, despite his own distaste for it, before explaining that it was Fisk's mother who had informed him of her 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 new 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 finally killed her as well. At this moment Wilson Fisk attempted to call Wesley from Metro-General Hospital to learn his location. The second Wesley's phone went off and he glanced down at his jacket pocket, Karen Page used the momentary distraction to launch forward and steal his gun from the table, aiming it directly at her kidnapper. Remaining calm, Wesley attempted to bluff his way out of this situation by claiming the gun was not loaded, mocking her as he claimed she must be foolish to think he would have put a loaded gun on the table. Page however cocked the gun and asked him if he really believed that she had never shot anyone before. Unsure of what to do next but remaining controlled, Wesley slowly stood up from his chair and went to speak to Page, but when he attempted to move closer, Page shot him in the shoulder, leaving Wesley in a state of shock at not only his own foolish mistake but his misjudgement of Page's will to live. Before Wesley could move away or protect himself, Page fired a further six more shots into Wesley's chest and heart, killing him and leaving his bleeding body behind while she stole his gun.
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.