In Devil’s Reign #4, on sale now, the Kingpin remembers Daredevil’s secret identity, and flips the script on the classic story Born Again.
Warning: contains spoilers for Devil’s Reign #4!
Thanks to the Kingpin, one of Daredevil’s most iconic moments is about to get the ultimate twist. Throughout the Devil’s Reign event, the Kingpin has inflicted terror on the city of New York, all because Daredevil refused to reveal his secret identity and now in issue four, Kingpin has learned it once again—and flips the script on a scene in the classic Daredevil story Born Again.
Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin, was elected Mayor of New York City. As a public official, Kingpin was forced to tolerate the actions of Daredevil, Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and others. Kingpin recently pressed Daredevil for his secret identity, and when he refused to disclose that information, Kingpin launched a crusade of terror against the heroes, using his office and clout to sway public opinion against them. Assisting Fisk has been both Doctor Octopus and Killgrave aka the Purple Man; the latter is using his mind-control powers to control the thoughts of the citizens of New York City. Numerous heroes, from Mister Fantastic to Moon Knight, have been imprisoned, and Kingpin has reestablished the super powered villain team the Thunderbolts, using them to enforce his law. But now, Kingpin’s goal of learning Daredevil’s secret identity is in his grasp—and it gives the ultimate twist to a classic Daredevil story: Born Again. Devil’s Reign #4 is written by Chip Zdarsky, illustrated by Marco Checchetto, colored by Marcio Menyz and lettered by Clayton Cowles.
As mentioned earlier, Kingpin is using Killgrave’s mental manipulation abilities to sway the average citizen, and Kingpin focuses the power through a special wand. Kingpin realizes he can use the wand to make people remember events and people that had been wiped from their memory. Armed with this knowledge, Kingpin runs out into the rain, willing himself to remember Daredevil’s secret identity. As Kingpin’s memories come flooding back, as the weight lifts from him, he likens it to being “consumed” like a phoenix, only to be “born again.” The look on Kingpin’s face at the end is one of sheer anger and sheer determination, leaving the reader with an impression that matters are about to get worse before they get better.
The issue’s final scene also takes one of Daredevil’s most iconic stories, Born Again, and gives it the ultimate twist. In that story, Daily Bugle reporter Ben Urich was terrorized by the Kingpin and his goons; Urich was investigating the Kingpin and his attempts to squash Matt Murdoch. Kingpin’s goons threatened to break one of Urich’s fingers every time he uttered Murdoch’s name. However, Urich resists and says the name. In time, Murdoch was able to clear his name, thanks to Urich’s efforts; Urich was also able to help bring down the Kingpin.
The final page of Devil’s Reign #4 flips this on its head. In Born Again, Urich bravely uttered “Matt Murdoch” in the snow, and here Kingpin says it in the rain; the intent, however, is different. When Urich said the name, it was from a place of defiance, but Kingpin is enraged, angry over having his memories wiped. But now, with his memories restored, Kingpin has truly been “born again,” and is ready to inflict even more pain and suffering on the heroes.
Devil’s Reign has been one of the best Daredevil stories in recent years, stretching the character to his limits, and it is only fitting that another classic Daredevil story, Born Again, be referenced along the way. Devil’s Reign #4 is on sale now in print and digital.
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