Daredevil: Born Again’s Latest Casting Could Fix the Most Frustrating Character Death
Justice for Ben Urich.
As Daredevil: Born Again springs into production anew, there’s a sense that Marvel’s greatest sins will finally be washed away. The new series has already righted a few wrongs, including Marvel’s disregard for the Defenders universe it created in partnership with Netflix. That it’s bringing some of the franchise’s best characters into Marvel’s main continuity is another huge win, and it’s definitely been a long time coming. Born Again is shaping up to be Marvel’s most important upcoming series, less a cut-and-dry reboot of Netflix’s Daredevil as it is a continuation of its best narrative.
The series is also set to clean up a few of Daredevil’s own messes. Per Deadline, Born Again is adding a new player in actress Genneya Walton. Her role is still something of a mystery, but Walton will apparently be playing “a young journalist with connections to a character from the original series.” It’s not too difficult to connect the dots from there, as the original Daredevil did feature a prominent journalist in its early seasons — and his fate remains one of Marvel’s most frustrating turn of events.
Vondie Curtis-Hall portrayed Ben Urich in Daredevil’s very first season. An investigative journalist for the Daily Bugle, Ben was one of the first to attempt to expose Wilson Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) shady dealings in New York. He served as a mentor to Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), who was then a paralegal for Nelson & Murdock — but their partnership was pretty short-lived. The duo eventually got way too close to Fisk, and the Kingpin wasted no time in taking Ben off the board.
Ben’s death was one of Daredevil’s first, and most blindsiding, casualties. Given his prominence in the comics, few expected to lose the character so soon. He’s a huge ally to Daredevil, and the go-to reporter for some of the hugest stories in the universe. Superhero grudgematches, secret identities, and geopolitical conflicts are all part of his purview, so his brief arc in Daredevil really only scratched the surface of his potential.
That said, the series made the conscious choice to introduce Ben at the end of a prestigious career. It’s clear he’s lost his edge before he connects with Karen and finds his investigative spirit renewed, so his death at the hands of Fisk, while incredibly tragic, might have been in the cards all along.
Still, Ben’s death left something of a void in the Defenders-verse. Despite Karen’s own rise as a competent investigator, she’s not that great of a writer. As Marvel moves into its next phase, the MCU needs a Ben figure. That’s what makes the introduction of a new journalist — one with a possible connection to the character — so exciting. Whether Walton’s mystery character is Ben’s daughter, granddaughter, niece, or just a dedicated fan, she can continue his legacy in a fresh way.