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50 Greatest Daredevil Stories: #20-11

13. "Underboss" (Daredevil Vol.2 #26-31)

The beginning of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev's epic Daredevil run begins with a simple question, asked by one of Wilson Fisk's underbosses, "Why are we putting up with the Kingpin's weird obsession with Daredevil?" Bendis has a good time throughout the arc (which is filled with flashbacks) dealing with a "normal" gangster's reaction to how Wilson Fisk does things in this rather abnormal world of superheroes and blind guys fighting crime...

Silke forms a coup against the Kingpin, and they seemingly murder him, which leads to a whole new set of circumstances for Daredevil, who had become so accustomed to dealing with the Kingpin that a different approach was throwing him for a loop. Essentially it is a matter of the devil you know versus the devil you don't. The devil you don't know can pull crazy stuff like sending Nitro to kill you while you're in open court. The story does not end well for Silke, but it really doesn't end well for Daredevil, whose entire existence is now thrown out of whack.

12. "In Mortal Combat With...Sub-Mariner" (Daredevil Vol.1 #7)

This epic Wally Wood and Stan Lee joint sees Namor, the Sub-Mariner, decide to sue the human race for their treatment of Namor's people. Namor is arrested as soon as he shows himself, but Matt agrees to represent him and has Namor agree to stay in prison while the case is being settled. However, the evil Attuma is using Namor's absence to take over control of Atlantis. So Namor can't stick around. The United States military tries to keep him in New York City, but that is not going to go well. Daredevil figures that only he can prevent a massive battle in New York City will only hurt innocents, so he decides that the only way to save lives is for him to fight Namor and force Namor to retreat away from the city. Sadly for Daredevil, this is Namor we're talking about here and not an entire team of X-Men, so he has no chance of defeating him. But in classic Marvel underdog fashion, Daredevil keeps at it, earning Namor's respect...

What an amazing sequence.

11. "The Typhoid Mary Saga" (Daredevil #254-257, 259-263)

In the Typhoid Mary saga, writer Ann Nocenti (along with artists John Romita Jr. and Al Williamson) does an interesting job of tearing down Matt Murdock's life, only this time, unlike Born Again, it is Matt himself who contributes to his downfall. Typhoid Mary is a mutant with pyrokinesis, but she also has a split personality. So in her sweet, innocent personality, she falls in love with Matt Murdock and he is drawn to her, as well, even though he is in a relationship with Karen Page.

In the more dominant, evil persona, Typhoid Mary is hired by Kingpin to destroy Daredevil, and she does so, both physically and mentally.

Typhoid Mary was a fascinating addition to the Daredevil mythos by Nocenti, Romita and Williamson. The action scenes (where Typhoid Mary sets a group of villains after Daredevil) are handled really well but the most devastating thing is how Matt's own actions destroy what he had built with Karen. Rough stuff.

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