Daredevil’s “Brother” Mike is Why The Kingpin Has Gone So Far

Devil’s Reign reveals that the Kingpin’s crusade against the heroes of the Marvel Universe may have been caused by an unlikely figure.

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Devil’s Reign # 5, available now from Marvel Comics.

Wilson Fisk has initiated a violent campaign against the superheroes of New York, due in part to the former Kingpin’s undying hatred for Daredevil. However, the Man Without Fear is not the only concern that has plagued Fisk lately, and one particular figure may be responsible for his recent actions against the heroes of the Marvel Universe.

Apart from setting his new team of Thunderbolts loose to round up the city’s heroes, Wilson Fisk has been desperately trying to mend his personal relationships. This has included giving his son Butch a free pass in regards to his criminal activity, even though this has done little to alleviate the pain Fisk has caused his son. As seen in Devil’s Reign # 5 (by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Marcio Menyz, and VC’s Clayton Cowles), Butch has gone so far as to start planning his own father’s murder in hopes of reclaiming the ground he lost during Mayor Fisk’s crusade. However, Butch’s childhood friend (and brother of Daredevil) Michael Murdock is trying to guide the younger Fisk down a less violent path. When his friend refuses to be dissuaded by simple words, Mike resorts to the more desperate ploy of offering Butch the power of a mystical Norn Stone to make things right. Unfortunately, Butch dismisses Mike’s offer as sheer nonsense, despite it being the reason for their very existences.

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For years, Mike Murdock was the fictional twin brother that Matt Murdock created when he needed to go undercover or keep his alter-ego safe. In 2018’s Daredevil # 606 (by Charles Soule and Phil Noto), the Inhuman known as the Reader inadvertently brought a piece of that personality to life. Unlike his heroic “brother,” Mike became embroiled in the city’s criminal underworld. After helping the Hood acquire a Norn Stone, Mike used that same Asgardian artifact to make himself into a full-fledged person, complete with a history and backstory.

As a result of his newfound existence, Mike and Butch became lifelong friends. In fact, it was Mike’s influence that led Butch to attempt to follow in the footsteps of his father. Although the loss of Daredevil’s secret identity appears to be what finally broke Wilson Fisk, the endless list of personal failures and disappointments were also major factors that contributed to his current vendetta. The attempts of Fisk’s recently resurrected son, the Rose, striking out against him is a bitter tragedy, but Butch’s attempts to usurp his empire have dealt a much more personal blow. Now that Butch is seriously considering crossing an irredeemable line, the once imaginary Mike is prepared to literally take reality into his own hands in order to save him, assuming it isn’t already too late to do so.

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If Mike decides to give up his place in history, he may very well undo much of the damage that has been brought about during Devil’s Reign. Additionally, he may be able to successfully send Butch down a different path that will not lead to him conspiring to kill his own father.

Considering how much Fisk has tried to piece back together his broken family, a life where at least one son does not hate him might be enough to prevent the former Kingpin from waging war against his own city. However, the cost of Mike granting the Fisk family a reset may come at the tremendous cost of sacrificing his very existence.

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