New York City is home to the majority of heroes in the Marvel Universe, with crime-fighters like Daredevil and Spider-Man considering it their personal duty to keep NYC safe. These heroes will do absolutely everything they can to protect their city from villains, and one of the extreme lengths Daredevil went to was literally becoming the new Kingpin of Crime in New York.

Daredevil has had many brutal villains over the years, characters like the Owl and Bullseye, but nothing comes close to Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin of Crime. Wilson Fisk is one of the most dangerous and intelligent men in comics, not because of his absurd strength, but because he’s a true criminal businessman. Even the FBI admits that Fisk is nearly impossible to arrest because he seamlessly weaves his criminal businesses into his legitimate ones, which in turn are woven into the fabric of the city. Wilson Fisk exists in every strata of New York City, and his presence overshadows everything from low-level drug deals to high-level politics. After realizing how extensive Kingpin’s hold over the city was, Daredevil realized that he couldn’t simply remove Wilson Fisk – he needed to replace him.

Related: Daredevil’s New York War Has Changed the Marvel Universe In One Huge Way

Daredevil Took Kingpin’s Place

daredevil becomes kingpin

This shocking character progression was shown in Daredevil #50 by Brian Michael Bendis, Alex Maleev, Matt Hollingsworth, and Cory Petit. Matt Murdock has been recently dealing with his secret identity as Daredevil being exposed. This naturally put a huge amount of pressure on Matt, and this was only made more difficult when Kingpin, trying to rebuild his empire, sent Bullseye after Daredevil’s current girlfriend. While it’s true Kingpin has known Matt’s identity for a long time, that information was only useful while few knew it. Now that everyone knows, the information is worthless, so Kingpin decides to clean house, rebuild his empire, and rid himself of Daredevil once and for all. Unfortunately, this confrontation doesn’t go as Kingpin expected, Bullseye is captured and defeated and Kingpin is beaten soon after, with Matt making a shocking declaration over his battered body: that he’s the new Kingpin of New York City.

Daredevil Is a Crime Lord AND a Hero

matt murdock new kingpin daredevil

Daredevil fully reveals his identity to Kingpin’s thugs and demands they either stop their criminal dealings or leave New York. He then reigns over the city’s underworld for a year, effectively acting as an anti-crime lord who stops the underworld from getting out of hand or being caught up in a power vacuum. While other Marvel heroes call Matt out for his new title, he insists it’s necessary, and fights against groups like the Yakuza to maintain control. Matt’s grip on the city is only broken when Wilson Fisk fully outs him to the public, leading him to be arrested for his crimes. While Matt isn’t evil during his time as Kingpin, he does take far more direct control of the city than superheroes traditionally attempt, and is perceived as a criminal leader by gangsters like Jigsaw. Interestingly, however, this isn’t the only time Matt Murdock became the Kingpin.

Daredevil Becomes Kingpin in Multiple Realities

daredevil kingpin spider-gwen

Over in Spider-Gwen’s universe of Earth-65, Daredevil has always been the Kingpin, ruling New York with an iron fist as a genuine force for evil. This shows that the idea echoes across the multiverse, and that Matt always has the potential to fill Wilson Fisk’s shoes. It would be fascinating to see the MCU’s Daredevil – defined by his rage and one-man-army approach to violence – go down the same path. Bendis and Maleev’s story saw Matt try to escape his battle with Wilson Fisk by replacing him, testing his morals and limits as the new Kingpin of New York. It’s a side to Matt MCU fans haven’t seen yet, and would be an interesting way to relaunch the character in the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again.

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