'Hardcore' marks the conclusion to the first half of Bendis' run. Bendis took a brief break after this to let his friend David Mack do a guest arc and when he returned the series took a different approach.
#46 opens with Mary Walker starring in a soap opera. Under the pretense of being an interviewer from Soap Opera Digest, Wilson Fisk schedules an interview with her and asks if she knows about hypnosis.
Later Kingpin decides to pay a visit to his old consigliere (from 'Underboss'). Seems he's not happy about him letting Vanessa kill his son and dismantle his empire.
Later, Milla pays a visit to Matt and the two walk outside, only to see...
#47 starts two days earlier. We see some of Kingpin's old men trying to get by, when a Yakuza named Sano and his men attempt to take over the area.
The next night, Kingpin is visited by FBI Special Agent Harold Driver. Fisk gives Driver a surveillance videotape of the Owl in meetings with known drug dealers.
That's Turk, who's going to make a name for himself to whack the Kingpin. He doesn't get very far and he's arrested.
#48 picks up from where #46 left off, with Matt being lit aflame by Mary.
Luke Cage, with the help of Jessica Jones, take down Mary.
While Matt is meditating to cope with the burns, Agent Driver pays him a visit to tell him about the Kingpin. Later on, Milla asks him about the many scars Matt has.
As you probably know, this was the look of Bullseye in the Daredevil movie. During this time Marvel had an annoying tendency to make characters look like their movie counterparts. Yeah, I guess the blue/white spandex isn't 'realistic' but it's an iconic look for the character. Thankfully Warren Ellis returned the classic costume in his Thunderbolts run.
Matt tells Milla he has to get the Kingpin. Typhoid Mary was a distraction to help get his house in order. Matt tells her that he would like to take her on a proper date once this is done with and goes to leave.
Matt tells Milla to call the police and tell them anything she wants.
So Daredevil and Bullseye have a bit of a fight. Daredevil tells Bullseye he knows everything about him.
Now remember when I mentioned in the Out post that Kevin Smith intervened with Bendis's story and prevented him from using Bullseye? And then he wrote one issue of a miniseries and never finished it? Well from what I've heard, when Bendis wanted to use Bullseye, he had to include this scene that referenced the events of Smith's miniseries so the two would align. Amusingly enough, there was later a Bullseye origin miniseries which gave him a completely different origin, one that had him living with his brother and abusive father. So I guess Bullseye is like the Joker from The Dark Knight with a different origin story every time he opens his mouth.
Daredevil gives Bullseye to the FBI agents and then goes back to Milla. She hugs him and tells him that he saved her, but Matt's eyes look grim.
So Kingpin is planning on retaking control of his territories, but his former men tell him that he had his chance and he blew it. He says that if Kingpin doesn't leave the country by the end of the week, someone's going to whack him. Then Daredevil arrives.
Now one of the highlights of this issue was there was a special section of the issue where numerous guest artists from past Daredevil tenures came in and illustrated half a page of the battle. I decided to post the ones that had Gene Colan and John Romita Sr.
Bottom half is from Joe Quesada, by the way.
So the fight continues on but Daredevil wins.