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Comic Legends-Did a Marvel Misunderstanding Lead to a Daredevil Death?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Comic Legends-Did a Marvel Misunderstanding Lead to a Daredevil Death?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the six hundred and sixty-sixth week where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

Click here for Part 1 of this week’s legends. Click here for Part 2 of this week’s legends. You all get the theme this week, right?

COMIC LEGEND:

The Daredevil TV series killed off a character because they didn’t think that they were allowed to use the character more than one season.

STATUS:

I’m Going With False

SPOILERS FOR DAREDEVIL SEASON 1!

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In the first season of Daredevil, one of the coolest characters was Ben Urich, played by Vondie Curtis-Hall…

Ben was a washed-up investigative reporter, but he managed to find his integrity again and help Karen Page in her investigation into the criminal actions of Wilson Fisk.

Tragically, it does not work out well for Urich…

Ben Urich, of course, is a very famous STILL LIVING member of the Marvel Universe, so his death came as quite a shock.

Reader Frank P. wrote in to ask about a piece of trivia that he had read about Ben’s demise. Here’s the quote that Frank had seen on a couple of different sites (I think it originated on TV Tropes and other sites just copied it from there):

DeKnight has also stated that Ben Urich was only killed off because they were under the impression they would only be able to use the character for that one season, with the whole crew being in the dark about Marvel’s attempts at the deal. Had Ben not been killed in season 1, he would have been the one to mentor Karen on how to be a proper reporter during season 2. Because of Ben being killed off, that part was instead given to Mitchell Ellison.

Is that true?

I don’t believe it is. I’ve listened to DeKnight give a number of different interviews about the death of Ben Urich and he never mentioned it. Here he is discussing it from the Hollywood Reporter

I don’t think anyone saw Urich’s death coming. What was the decision behind killing such an iconic character from the comic books?

I’ve been known to kill off a character or two in my past (laughs). I wish I could take credit for this, but killing off Urich was decided before I signed on. I want to say it was Marvel’s idea. They really wanted to show that toward the end of the season because we knew we’d get some sympathy for Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), to have him do something truly terrible that would propel Matt into that final endgame in the confrontation with Fisk. And to let the audience know that the gloves were off: just because he was a beloved character in the comics, doesn’t mean he’s safe. It’s one interpretation. It’s like writers doing a new run of the comic. It felt right for the story. Much like episode four where Fisk kills Anatoly, not because he did something to cross him in the criminal world, but because he embarrassed him on a date. Urich gets murdered because he committed the unforgivable sin in Fisk’s mind: he went to Fisk’s mother. The last thing you want to do with Fisk is at all involve, insult, drag through the mud the women in his life he loves. That will be a serious trigger for him.

Now, is it possible that Marvel was influenced by some sort of issue with the rights? I don’t think it is likely, but it is possible. However, DeKnight makes it pretty darn clear here that Urich’s death was always part of the deal, so it was not as though they ever had an alternate plan for Season 2 with Urich alive, since it was part of the deal as soon as DeKnight joined the project. So I’m willing to go “false” here.


Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed – How was Amy Winehouse originally going to be featured in the Deadpool film?


OK, that’s it for this week!

Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for this week’s covers! And thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

Here’s my most recent book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).

batshark

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed on our Facebook page!). Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get some original content from me, as well!

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. — half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…

If you’d like to order it, you can use the following code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee…

Was Superman a Spy?: And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed

See you all next week!

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