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When Daredevil Told Spider-Man You Can't Re-Hide Your Secret Identity

This is Past Was Close Behind, a feature that spotlights moments, exchanges, etc. from older comics that take on a brand new light when read in concert with later comic books or events. Basically, stuff that looks hilarious in hindsight.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Ruben R., we look at an amusing comment that Daredevil made to Spider-Man regarding how important secret identities are and why you are screwed when they are released to the world.

The famous "Death of Jean DeWolff" storyline by Peter David, Rich Buckler and Brett Breeding is famous for the, well, you know, death of Jean DeWolff and the introduction of the Sin-Eater (as the Sin-Eater's botched reveal later led to Eddie Brock losing his job and hating Spider-Man, which was key for when he merged with the alien symbiote to become Venom) but it also had another major milestone - Daredevil and Spider-Man discovered each other's identity! This was still a relatively novel thing at the time.

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In Spectacular Spider-Man #107, Matt Murdock is defending some youths who attacked one of Aunt May's elderly boarders and he gets them off and Peter Parker goes nuts about it and in the process, reveals his identity to Daredevil, who can identify Peter by his unique heartbeat...

Later, the Sin-Eater almost murders Betty Brant before Spider-Man and Daredevil track him down. Spider-Man is so angry that the Sin-Eater almost murdered another one of Spider-Man's friends (Spidey is also reeling from his discovery after her death that Jean DeWolff had been carrying a torch for him, so he was especially out of it) that he almost beats Sin-Eater to death and Daredevil has to fight him to save the criminal's life...

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When the Sin-Eater is being transported from police custody to prison, Daredevil and Spider-Man are both there. Spider-Man is there debating whether he wants to pull a Jack Ruby on Sin-Eater while Daredevil is there to make sure the riotous crowd doesn't lynch the Sin-Eater. When the crowd begins to attack, Daredevil is overwhelmed and he is forced to play his trump card, asking Spider-Man for help by name!

Now that Spider-Man has sort of snapped out of it, he and Daredevil get together and Daredevil reveals his secret identity to Spider-Man...

Okay, in the years since, Daredevil's identity was revealed to the world by the FBI. He sort of kind of got the world to at least doubt the believability of the charges, but once it is out there, it is out there, ya know?

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Spider-Man, on the other hand, revealed his secret identity to the world in Civil War and then, when everything went to hell for him and his family, Reed Richard, Iron Man and Doctor Strange put Spider-Man's secret identity genie back into the bottle.

When Spider-Man asked Daredevil for help in Amazing Spider-Man #566 (by Marc Guggenheim, Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning), we got the confirmation that Daredevil no longer knew Spider-Man's secret identity (part of the protections that Doctor Strange put on the spell is that even people with superhuman senses can't tell who Spider-Man is using those senses, so Daredevil and Wolverine would be stumped)...

However, part of Spider-Man's new hidden secret identity had the caveat that Spider-Man could reveal his identity to people and they would remember that they knew it before. He tried to do that with Daredevil in Amazing Spider-Man #600 (by Dan Slott, John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna), but Daredevil explains why he shouldn't do it...

Speaking of the genie not going back into the bottle...

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