The New York mobs are run by Rigoletto. He refuses to “cater to unholy perversions” even though there is money to be made preying on children and dealing crack cocaine. He wants to stick to the old rackets, saying, “We may be criminals, but we are not monsters.” There is unrest among the lower bosses. Rigoletto has a silent, nameless body guard, a giant of a man. He is the only one Rigoletto trusts. After the meeting, the man massages Rigoletto’s temples, then quickly and efficiently snaps his neck. He quietly takes the rose from Rigoletto’s lapel and places it on his own to become the new Kingpin of crime.

Shortly after he has taken control, two junkies try to run a ransom scheme with a girl they abducted for the Kingpin’s child pornography ring. He sends his assassin, Larks, to make an example of them. By the end of the night, Larks is dead and rumors of a “Daredevil” reach the Kingpin’s ears, leaving him to wonder, “Who is he? And why does he worry me so?”

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Wait -- did I read this? When did this come out?

This was in the Daredevil: The Man Without Fear miniseries, October 1993 - February 1994. It's a retelling of Daredevil's origin. Of course, this being a modern series, it takes five issues to cover what Stan Lee and Bill Everett did in one. And since it's Frank Miller re-telling the story, it includes a lot of sordid touches that would never have entered Stan Lee's mind.

You must have read it. I know I did, but long enough ago that I've completely forgotten its contents. 

Oh right. Miller/Romita, some kind of fancy cover dress.

SPIDER-MAN #50-52:

The newly crowned Kingpin of Crime kept a low profile until Spider-Man inexplicably disappeared, then he took advantage of the opportunity to solidify his power base by launching a crime wave. J. Jonah Jameson had been running a series of anti-crime editorials and the Kingpin decided he must be stopped. Some of Kingpin’s men kidnap and blindfold Jameson and take him to Kingpin’s office.

Daily Bugle reporter Fredrick Foswell, who used to run the rackets as “The Big Man” but has since gone straight, confronts the Kingpin. Foswell is determined to take over what the Kingpin has begun and offers the Kingpin a position as one of his lieutenants. This offer does not sit well with the Kingpin, however, who has Foswell temporarily “put on ice.”

At just that time, Spider-Man returned and started putting the squeeze on the Kingpin’s men. As the Kingpin is conferring with Foswell, Big Turk bursts in complaining about Spider-Man. Big Turk challenges the Kingpin’s rule and the Kingpin deals with him himself. The kidnappers arrive with J.J.J., but no one notices the spider-tracer attached to one of the thug’s coat. The Kingpin purposefully mentions Foswell by name so that the blindfolded Jameson will know he’s involved.

The spider-signal shines through the window and onto the floor. Spider-Man bursts in and webs Kingpin’s men, then he and Kingpin fight. The Kingpin defeats Spider-Man by gassing him unconscious, then has his men carry him to the basement where they are shackled in the middle of a small chamber to be filled with water. As the water level quickly begins to rise, Spider-Man breaks his bands and begins forming an airtight web-shield. When the Kingpin’s men drain the chamber, they find Spider-Man and Jameson still alive.

Meanwhile, Kingpin and Foswell have had a falling out. Foswell slips away while Spider-Men and the Kingpin fight. The Kingpin slips down a secret escape passage and foswell is shot dead helping Jameson to escape.

This Comic Legends article quotes statements John Romita has made about the Kingpin's creation. He based the Kingpin on the actors Edward Arnold and Robert Middleton. You can really see it.

I suppose Foswell was brought back into the title so readers and Spidey could suspect him of being the Green Goblin, and he was kept around as a useful reporter character. His death here makes me wonder if it was Ditko who wanted him in the cast rather than Lee.

SPIDER-MAN #59-61:

Mary Jane Watson has got a new job at the Gloom Room A-Go-Go, a Greenwich Village club, dancing and snapping candid photos of clientele between numbers. She is to take photos only of patrons sitting at tables designated with stars on them. What she doesn’t know is that a mysterious figure known as the “Brainwasher” has supplied her with hypnotic flashbulbs designed to lure top city officials into the backroom to be brainwashed. Peter Parker, Harry Osborn ad Gwen Stacy are there seated at a regular table. Gwen’s father, police Captain George Stacy, is sitting at a starred table with a city councilman.

Mary Jane snaps Stacy’s picture and he disappears into the backroom, but once there, the effects of the flashbulb begin to wear off due to his high level of will power. He’s gone long enough, though, that Peter becomes suspicious and switches to Spider-Man. MJ blunders into the room in time for Spider-Man to save her, but the “Brainwasher” is revealed to be (wait for it)… the Kingpin!

They fight. A stray bullet causes the brainwashing equipment to short-circuit and explode. Injured by the blast, Spider-Man beats a strategic retreat. Meanwhile, Gwen and Harry are concerned that now both Pete and her father are missing. MJ tells them what happened backstage. Just then, Capt. Stacy returns but dismisses MJ’s concerns. The blast has caused Peter to see double.

Later that same night, he visits the Stacys at home. While Gwen is out of the room, Peter confides his fear about what’s going on at the disco, and Stacy turns on him. Peter raises his arm in defense and Stacy falls to the ground just as Gwen re-enters the room. From her point of view, it looks as if her boyfriend has just attacked her father. Peter leaves. Alone, Stacy reports to the Kingpin, who orders that Peter Parker be silenced. He sends his men to Peter’s apartment, but he is not home. They ransack it while Harry watches in horror.

His vision improving but still blurry, Spider-Man follows Stacy and the Kingpin’s men to police headquarters and catches them rifling through the files. He snaps some pictures and gets the drop on them. He sells the photos to the Daily Bugle and they are published, which sinks things with Gwen. Stacy decides to leave town and Gwen accompanies him.

Winkler, the Kingpin’s scientist, works for Norman Osborn in his day job. (Osborn has forgotten he was once the green Goblin at this point.) With his brainwashing equipment at the Gloom Room destroyed, the Kingpin and Winkler regroup at Winkler’s lab at Osborn Industries. The Kingpin orders both George Stacy and Peter Parker (who took the incriminating photos) eliminated. His men find Stacy and Gwen at the airport and bring them back to Osborn’s lab.

Spider-Man arrives and they fight. This time, Spider-Man is wearing a web-filter under his mask to protect him from the Kingpin’s gas. Winkler pulls a gun. Osborn tackles Winkler. The gun goes off, causing an explosion which kills Winkler. Spider-Man saves Gwen ad her father. The Kingpin slips away.

SPIDER-MAN #68-70:

#68 marks the beginning of the “Stone Tablet Saga” (which would run through #77), my favorite continued Spider-Man story ever (contained in its entirety in Marvel Masterworks Spider-Man v8, plus as “try-out” story from Ross Andru and inked by Bill Everett from Marvel Super-Heroes #14). As the story begins, the Kingpin has set his sights on the ancient stone tablet currently on display at Empire State University. While students stage a protest, the Kingpin strikes, knowing that the protesters will be blamed for the explosion. Peter Parker is present, changes to spider-Man and confronts the Kingpin. They fight.

Spider-Man saves Randy Robertson from a collapsing wall, providing the Kingpin with the opportunity to escape with the tablet. Spidey trails the Kingpin’s car. Back at his headquarters, one of his men mentions the Kingpins wife, and the Kingpin beats him and fires him. He puts the tablet in his vault. The vault’s door is so massive that it doesn’t have a lock because only someone with the Kingpin’s strength could open it. Suspecting a trap, Spider-Man sends a web-dummy through the window. Again, they fight, and Spider-Man ends up caught in his own web-dummy.

He frees himself and they continue to fight. The fight goes through several reversals until Spider-Man gums up the Kingpin’s electric shock cane and it explodes, stunning the Kingpin. Spider-Man follows the Kingpin’s lawyer, Wilson, however, suspecting he is after the tablet. Wilson leads him to the vault and Spider-Man uses his own strength to retrieve the stone tablet. Meanwhile, the police arrive and the Kingpin implicates Spider-Man as his partner. When Spider-Man attempts to return the tablet to the police, they shoot at him.

The Kingpin winds up in jail, but immediately begins working the bars loose until he escapes. He then sets up a theft to bait Spider-Man and they fight again. Then J.J.J. and Ned Leeds arrive in the Daily Bugle’s radio patrol car. The police are closing in. Just then, a limousine driven by a woman pulls up and the Kingpin escapes.

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