Daredevil #46-50/426-430 (2003): Hardcore

Kingpin was believed dead, but of course he’s alive. In these issues, he returns and starts reasserting his control over the underworld. One of his techniques is to give the cops evidence on The Owl.

I guess “snitches get stitches” isn’t one of his rules to live by.

Much of the story focuses on Wilson Fisk, but the parallel story has Matt Murdock falling in love with Milla Donovan. He’s been outed as Daredevil but has hired Luke Cage and Jessica Jones as Murdock’s bodyguards and is publicly denying that he’s Daredevil.

Of course, Kingpin knows it–and he hires Typhoid Mary to go after Matt.

Typhoid Mary’s mental instability is much clearer and overpowering in this story than it has been in her earlier appearances.

Matt does tell the truth to Milla–and she seems to get off on the fact that he lives a dangerous, super-hero life. Speaking of which, while Matt goes off to track down Kingpin, someone pays a visit to his home, while Milla is staying there…


Matt returns and beats him up…And I think this is the first time we learn that Bullseye’s real name is Lester:

Is that his first or last name? It’s unclear. Like Logan.

Anyway, Matt then goes after Kingpin and beats the snot out of him in Josie’s Bar. Then, in front of Kingpin’s lackeys, he takes off his cowl and reveals his identity…

This eliminates Kingpin’s advantage over him, and serves as the jump-off for the next arc, where Daredevil becomes king of the underworld.

With each arc, Bendis keeps upping the ante–his run on Daredevil is one of constant escalation.

These issues also introduce the new Ninja Clan called Orii, who are in the Mutant Growth Hormone business and will factor larger later.

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