How did one version of Kingpin use his knowledge of Daredevil’s identity to break him in the most horrifying way possible?
The Kingpin is one of the most versatile villains in the Marvel Universe, alternating from a gritty street-crime level threat to the likes of the Punisher to occasionally bedeviling more fantastical figures like Spider-Man. But his greatest foe is Daredevil, the defender of Hell’s Kitchen who survives everything thrown his way. But in the Marvel Multiverse, there’s a world where Fisk won their war in the most terrifying way possible. In one reality, Kingpin decided to take a more proactive plan towards breaking Daredevil — and it’s a genuinely brilliant (and horrible) way to bring down the Man without Fear.
For years, Wilson Fisk has been aware of Matt Murdock’s secret identity as Daredevil. The Kingpin has used this to his advantage multiple times, making Daredevil’s life increasingly difficult at times and even arranging for others to use it to their advantage as well. However, in one reality Fisk was able to use this knowledge to fully break Daredevil, as revealed in the Avengers Halloween Special anthology. In the story “They Eyes Have It” by Rob Fee, Eoin Marron, and Mike Spicer, Matt Murdock is convinced by his long-time friend and law partner Foggy Nelson to be accepted for eye surgery. Foggy tells Matt that Doctor Jackson is the perfect person to finally help him actually see the world with new eyes. And at first, the surgery seems to have been a rousing success.
Matt is sent home, and Foggy eventually helps remove the bandages. Matt is able to see clearly for a few moments, and heals up quicker than expected — but that’s when Daredevil sees Bullseye sneak into the room and move to attack Foggy. Trying to defend his friend, Matt throws a pair of scissors at the villain — only for the blades to pass through Bullseye and strike Foggy in the chest, killing him. Seeing the vision of Bullseye taunting him, Matt strikes forward with a knife — killing the newly arrived Karen Page. Soon, Matt is faced with visions of a demonic Karen surrounded by his dead loved ones — with his cross turned upside down and a giant red eye glaring through the walls.
Calling Doctor Jackson, Murdock discovers that the Kingpin kidnapped the doctor’s children and held them hostage in exchange for his compliance. During the surgery, Jackson was forced to fill Murdock’s tear ducts with a powerful hallucinogenic, which is what’s causing the severe visions and hallucinations — with Jackson sadly revealing the effect is permanent.
Murdock will always be hallucinating. Jackson can barely warn Murdock that “he’s” coming for the hero before a maddened Daredevil is forced to claw out his own eyes to prevent the visions. But as a result, Matt is rendered not only blind once more, but deprived of his powers as well. This is when Kingpin arrives in his apartment — brandishing a barb-wire wrapped baseball bat and walking into the room to find shivering and beaten Daredevil.
“The Eyes Have It” is a good reminder of just how lucky Matt Murdock is that Kingpin didn’t just decide to destroy him. Instead, the core-Marvel Universe Kingpin much prefers breaking the spirits of people like Daredevil. This long and drawn out torture of the hero gave him the chance to come back and defeat Kingpin, becoming a stronger man as a result. But in this reality, Kingpin decided to just break the man physically and be done with it, even giving himself the chance to enact an act of likely grisly revenge on the man who’d foiled so many of his plans over the years. This version of Kingpin was able to achieve at least one ultimate victory over Daredevil, even destroying the hero’s loved ones along the way. It’s a horrifying reminder of what the Kingpin can really be capable of.
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