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Ben Urich (Earth-616)

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Quote1 My name is Ben Urich. I'm a reporter. I used to be a husband. A father figure. Now... all I am is a reporter. Quote2
-- Ben Urich src
 

Ben Urich is a chain-smoking, tough-as-nails investigative journalist for the New York City newspaper The Daily Bugle.

Urich has determined that Matt Murdock is the sightless adventurer Daredevil. When Urich confronts Murdock, Matt recounts his childhood, the accident which gave him his powers, the later death of his father at the hands of the Fixer, and why he became and continues to be Daredevil. After recounting his story, Matt tells Ben that if he publishes his story, he can no longer be Daredevil. After some reflection, Ben burns his papers. Matt Murdock's secret identity will remain so.[2]

Urich investigated Wilson Fisk, a businessman who was secretly the Kingpin, the head of the New York mafia. Urich was warned by the Kingpin's enforcer, Elektra to stop his investigation. When Urich continued on, she impaled the reporter and left him for dead. [3]

Later, Urich was also responsible for outing Norman Osborn as the Green Goblin in a book titled Legacy of Evil, although after Osborn's presumed death. When Norman returned from the dead (or rather, Europe) he was able to discredit Urich and the book, going through great effort to clear his name.

Deadline

He aided Kat Farrell in her investigation of the The Judge (Michael Hart) by giving her the first push to to the case, albeit without her knowledge it was him. He did this because he felt he saw a little of himself when he had just started in her and he felt the guy who had been given the assignment, Paul Swanson, wouldn't have been able to do it. He was proud of her for not publishing the story because of wanting to protect someone, just the same way he had done with Daredevil. [4] [5]

Later, Ben was approached by the Kingpin to act as journalist covering the Kingpin brokering a deal with the FBI for release and reinstatement of his wealth, in exchange for proof that Daredevil is in fact Matt Murdock. To Ben's horror, he was the one that was forced to lead the FBI to Daredevil's location.

Matt Murdock was recovering at the Night Nurse's clinic, of which Ben Urich knew the location (he had written an article on her), and he was forced to give that information to the FBI, thanks to the manipulation of the Kingpin.

Ben Urich (Earth-616) from The Spectacular Spider-Man Vol 1 255 page 10

The Pulse

During the period where Daredevil's identity was exposed in print, Ben refused to confirm it to J. Jonah Jameson on the principle of protecting his sources and his status at work suffered for it. However, Jameson was able to move beyond that argument when he assigned Ben to the new supplement meant to deal with the city's superhero population, The Pulse.[6]

When Bugle reporter Terri Kidder turned up dead in Central Park, Ben attempted to solve the mystery of her murder. After hearing an answering machine message left by Kidder's friend Sheryl Doser who works at Oscorp, Ben begins to suspect that Norman Osborn may have been behind her death.[7] He turned out to be right when he originally exposed the Green Goblin, as Osborn attacked him, super-powered Bugle employee Jessica Jones and a large force of NYPD officers dressed as the Goblin when they came to arrest him for Kidder's murder.[8] Osborn was later unmasked and savagely beaten by Luke Cage before being sent to jail.[9] Although the Green Goblin is currently at large again, he can no longer walk around free like he was before.

Soon after, Luke Cage is attacked and badly injured for his role in Nick Fury's Secret War. After a visit from Fury at the hospital, the comatose Cage goes missing, leaving a bewildered Jessica Jones looking for clues. Urich found Jones sleeping in the wreckage of her and Cage's apartment and agrees to help her find her missing boyfriend.[10] After being misdirected by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Al Mackenzie to a bar upstate where they find Wolverine instead of Cage, Urich realizes where Cage is being kept. They travel back to the city, heading to a "night medical center" in Chinatown which is the front for the Night Nurse's clinic for injured superheroes which Urich knew about from his relationship with Daredevil. Inside they find Daniel Rand and Misty Knight guarding a now conscious Luke Cage.[11]

The next story that Urich planned to write for "The Pulse" involved a series of attempted jewelry store and pawn shop robberies that were stopped by a hero wearing a costume reminiscent of Daredevil's old yellow one. After some digging, Urich discovers that this hero is none other than Dennis Dunphy, known as D-Man, a C-list superhero who was once a member of the Avengers who now finds himself living in the sewers.[12] More investigation leads Urich to discover that D-Man has recently been arrested for vagrancy and has been pocketing pieces of jewelry from the stores that he saved from being robbed.[13] He goes down into the sewers after his story after learning that one of the shop-owners has frequently seen D-Man coming out of a manhole in front of his store. After talking to Dunphy for a short time, Urich realizes that the man is suffering from mental illness, possibly some form of schizophrenia as he believes that he was told by the Gamesmaster to acquire the Infinity Gems, which is why he has been robbing the stores that he initially saves. Urich contacts Daredevil about Dunphy's situation and the hero goes to the sewers, telling D-Man that his quest is over before the two exit the sewers together.[14]

Civil War

Ben covered Iron Man's side as an embedded journalist during the Civil War and discovered some shocking revelations.

Ben Urich (Earth-616) from Spider-Woman Vol 5 6 001

World War Hulk

During the events of World War Hulk, Ben and journalist Sally Floyd, in their capacity as the new editorial staff of Front Line, were two of the few reporters who covered the alien invasion in close proximity. During the course of those events, Sally Floyd learned that Daily Bugle editor Jonah Jameson was the mysterious financial backer of the publication, a fact which they agreed to hide from Urich, lest it kill his spirit.[15]

Secret Invasion

When the Skrulls invaded Earth, Ben was covering a story in a local hospital, only to be trapped inside during the Skrull attacks. He survived, though a new-found nurse friend and all the others inside were killed by rampaging Skrulls. Ben and many other human refugees made their way to Stark Tower, though few were aware a human-hunting Skrull with a large body count hidden within. The Skrull perished via human trickery and Ben and one of the survivors wandered the city. The duo witnessed the climatic battle against the Skrulls in Central Park.

After the end of the the invasion, Urich learned that his wife had died, and hit both an incredible depression and writer's block. Later, Urich got word of Norman Osborn's rise to power, and confronted Osborn at the press conference where he announcing the control of the Thunderbolts Initiative over SHIELD and the Avengers. Urich confronted Obsorn about his past, only to get brushed off by Osborn. The crowd cheered for Osborn. This ultimately broke Urich's writers block, prompting him to write his return article: "Dark Reign: Norman Osborn Takes Control".[16][17][18][19][20]

Siege

Later on when Osborn was about to Invade Asgard, Urich decided to travel to Oklahoma with his old friend Will Stern and Volstagg.

Shadowland

Urich was forced by gang members to write about Bullseye's funeral. He manages to leave his notebook in Essex County Morgue. Daredevil finds it and leads a rescue mission. The funeral service is interrupted by Daredevil and the Hand, as a massive fight breaks out, almost killing Urich.[21] Urich later gets involved with the return of the Punisher. After attempting to write an article on the Punisher's recent string of killings, Norah Winters meets with Ben Urich in the Lion's Head Pub hoping to get some advice. Three hours earlier, Norah drives the Punisher to his safehouse Queens, despite her insistence that he go to a hospital. After bringing him there, he orders her to leave. When she recounts her story, she does not tell Urich who it was about but says that there is a big story in it. He says her that not every story needs to be told and tells her about a similar instance when he learned a secret about a superhero (possibly talking about Iron Man's plans during the Civil War). Had he written about it he would have been famous. Instead, he kept it a secret, thinking it would only help himself.[22] [23]




  • Urich was featured in the series The Pulse, about a titular weekly insert.
  • Nevertheless Ben Urich is also very human, and this is a big part of his charm. A rather romantic scene with his wife Doris Urich [3] is generally regarded as possibly "the most jarringly human in Marvel's history" (Sean Howe Marvel Comics: The Untold Story Harper/Collins 2012). Ben and Doris' househunting expedition in Westchester is truly charming and slightly surreal[24]

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