DAREDEVIL #26-31 and ELEKTRA #6 (2002): Underboss

Before “Underboss” there had been lots of stories where Matt Murdock’s identity was discovered…But none of those delved into the idea with this kind of depth and complexity.

It starts with Sammy Silke, the son of a mob boss, stabbing Kingpin.

Meanwhile, Matt Murdock finds himself the target of an assassination plot–with Nitro attempting to kill him.

Through flashbacks, we find out that Silke’s dad wanted Murdock dead. Silke asked Kingpin to do it. Kingpin refused, so Silke stabbed him.

As Wilson Fisk lies comatose in a hospital dead, his estranged wife Vanessa arrives from Europe and installs their son, Richard Fisk, as the new head of Kingpin’s organization. It’s about this time that Matt is warned about the bounty on his head by both Elektra and Ben Urich.

Note: Issue #28 is the ‘Nuff Said issue. Shotgun and Boomerang silently try (and fail) to collect the bounty on Daredevil’s head.

I love how DD puts on the same smile as is in the photo handed out to the assassins. (It’s never explained why these characters don’t still know his identity in the future, but I’m guessing it’s that he scares the s#!t out of them when he beats them up.)

Bullseye, who has known’s Matt’s identity every since the Frank Miller run, is seen briefly–but he doesn’t attempt to kill Daredevil.

The ‘Nuff Said issue of Elektra also ties in, with her getting offered (and refusing) the bounty. It’s inessential. Bendis wrote it and Chuck Austen did the art.

At this point, we find out that Silke learned that Daredevil and Matt Murdock are the same person from Richard Fisk, whose dad has known Matt’s secret ever since Karen Page told him in Born Again. When he found out, Silke interpreted Wilson Fisk’s failure to kill Matt Murdock as a weakness–and hence, he stabbed him.

When Vanessa learns that her son betrayed his father, she orders a hit on her own son–and everyone who knows the secret.

That is cold blooded.

When people start dying, Silke turns State’s evidence and goes to the FBI for protection. The Feds are skeptical, but one of them sells the story…

That’s where we are at the end of issue #32.

I love how this just gets more and more complicated!

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