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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
 

Daily Bugle

Ben Urich was a chain-smoking, tough-as-nails investigative journalist for the New York City newspaper The Daily Bugle. Urich had determined that Matt Murdock was the sightless adventurer Daredevil. When Urich confronted Murdock, Matt recounted 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 continued to be Daredevil. After recounting his story, Matt told Ben that if he published his story, he could no longer be Daredevil. After some reflection, Ben burned his papers. Deciding that Matt Murdock's secret identity would remain so.[5]

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.[6]

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.[7]

He aided Kat Farrell in her investigation of the The Judge (Michael Hart) by giving her the first push to the case, albeit without her knowing 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.[8][9]

Later, Ben was approached by the Kingpin to act as a 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 (having written an article on her), and he was forced to give that information to the FBI, thanks to the manipulation of the Kingpin.

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.[10]

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 began 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.[7] Osborn was later unmasked and savagely beaten by Luke Cage before being sent to jail.[11] Although the Green Goblin was currently at large again, he could no longer walk around free like he was before.

Soon after, Luke Cage was attacked and badly injured for his role in Nick Fury's Secret War. After a visit from Fury at the hospital, the comatose Cage went missing, leaving a bewildered Jessica Jones looking for clues. Urich found Jones sleeping in the wreckage of her and Cage's apartment and agreed to help her find her missing boyfriend.[12] After being misdirected by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Al Mackenzie to a bar upstate where they found Wolverine instead of Cage, Urich realized where Cage was being kept. They travelled back to the city, heading to a "night medical center" in Chinatown which was the front for the Night Nurses clinic for injured superheroes which Urich knew about from his relationship with Daredevil. Inside they found Daniel Rand and Misty Knight guarding a now conscious Luke Cage.[13]

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 discovered that this hero was none other than Dennis Dunphy, known as D-Man, a C-list superhero who was once a member of the Avengers but who now found himself living in the sewers.[14] More investigation leads Urich to discover that D-Man had recently been arrested for vagrancy and had been pocketing pieces of jewelry from the stores that he saved from being robbed.[15] He went down into the sewers after learning that one of the shop-owners had frequently seen D-Man coming out of a manhole in front of his store. After talking to Dunphy for a short time, Urich realized that the man was suffering from mental illness, possibly some form of schizophrenia as he believed that he was told by the Gamesmaster to acquire the Infinity Gems, which was why he had been robbing the stores that he initially saved. Urich contacted Daredevil about Dunphy's situation and the hero went to the sewers, telling D-Man that his quest was over before the two exited the sewers together.[16]

Front Line

Ben covered Iron Man's side as an embedded journalist during the Civil War. His neutrality was called into question after a confrontation with the Green Goblin, who was supposed to be in prison at the time but had been secretly released as part of one of Iron Man's plans and who had him questioning which side he believed in. After insisting to J. Jonah Jameson that it was him, Ben was fired and then quickly rehired. Despite getting his job back Ben decided that he couldn't run the stories he wanted to at the Bugle and instead formed the online newspaper Frontlines.com with Sally Floyd.[17] They later formed the print newspaper Front Line.

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.[18]

When the Skrulls invaded Earth as part of their Secret Invasion, 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 climactic battle against the Skrulls in Central Park.

After the end of 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 Osborn 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".[19]

Punisher

Urich was forced by gang members to write about Bullseye's funeral. He managed to leave his notebook in Essex County Morgue. Daredevil found it and led a rescue mission. The funeral service was interrupted by Daredevil and the Hand, as a massive fight broke out, almost killing Urich.[20] Urich later got involved with the return of the Punisher. After attempting to write an article on the Punisher's recent string of killings, Norah Winters met with Ben Urich in the Lion's Head Pub hoping to get some advice. Three hours earlier, Norah drove the Punisher to his safehouse in Queens, despite her insistence that he go to a hospital. After bringing him there, he ordered her to leave. When she recounted her story, she did not tell Urich who it was about but said that there was a big story in it. He told 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.[21]

Hobgoblin

Learning of his nephew's identity as the new Hobgoblin, Ben Urich attempted to arrange a meeting to talk Phil down and convince him to accept a cure for the Goblin Formula, but when Robbie Robertson was discovered in the area, Phil believed that Ben had been trying to set a trap and delivered a serious injury to Robbie before Superior Spider-Man (Doctor Octopus' mind in Peter Parker's body) appeared. Phil was able to get away when Ben convinced Spider-Man to take Robbie to the hospital, but Ben made it clear that he had no interest in protecting Phil and was simply trying to help Robbie while he could still be saved, accepting that Phil liked what he had become and was uninterested in redemption or help.[22]

Jessica Drew

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

From Spider-Woman Vol 5 #6.

With the Daily Bugle on its deathbed, Ben approached Jessica Drew, and convinced her to assist him with investigating potential stories and cases, both local and nationwide.[23] The two were later joined by Porcupine.[24] The three later become a close-knit team handing super-villain confrontations, with Porcupine handling the main battling work.[25] Drew then became sidelined with the pregnancy of her son Gerry Drew.[26]



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