Ben Urich is the veteran star reporter for the Daily Bugle, armed with an incisive mind and an uncanny knack for being where the story is. His many confidential sources include a General who tipped him off about the Hulk’s first New York rampage before it happened. Willing to consider stories others write off as outlandish, such as monsters in the sewer system, Urich’s main challenges include getting Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson to print his weirder findings and enduring frequent disrespect from city officials. A longtime foe of organized crime, Urich learned the identity of the city’s Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, researching stories such as the “Murdock Case” to seek proof tying Fisk to his crimes. When Spider-Man first appeared, Jameson ordered Urich to set aside his “family tree of organized crime” and investigate this newcomer instead; ironically, Spider-Man soon provided Urich with the evidence he had sought when the crimefighter anonymously delivered surveillance recordings showing Fisk murdering Frederick Foswell, the criminal underboss known as Mr. Big, with his bare hands. Urich’s subsequent story forced Fisk to flee the city and garnered Ben a book deal, which he later lost when the evidence was deemed inadmissible and Fisk returned to the city.
Ben’s greatest strength lies in being able to connect the pieces of the puzzle; investigating a particularly brutal murder, Urich soon deduced that the supposedly deceased scientist Otto Octavius was the killer and that Octavius had somehow become a dangerous superhuman. Shortly thereafter, Urich was present at the press launch for Justin Hammer’s Big Apple Energy Dome when Octavius, now calling himself Doctor Octopus, attacked it, proving Urich’s theories. Later, when Octopus fought Spider-Man outside an illegal Hammer genetics lab, Urich first saw the wall-crawler in person.
A keen observer, Urich saw through the disguise of a Spider-Man-costumed bank robber, noting the imposter’s different body language; but Jameson ordered him to cover the story without including this speculation. Later, after Spider-Man had been cleared, Urich got his first, brief interview with the hero, getting his side of things after Spider-Man assaulted would-be do-gooder Danny Rand.
After the Kingpin returned, the evidence against him dropped, Urich interviewed prospective D.A. Sam Bullit. Jameson wanted a fluff piece since the Bugle endorsed Bullit’s anti-Spider-Man campaign, but Urich swiftly noted a connection between Bullit and the Kingpin, and tricked Bullit into admitting his mob connections. Enraged, Bullit destroyed Urich’s tape recorder and threatened him, unaware the canny reporter had a second such device hidden on his person; with this evidence, Urich convinced Jameson to revoke the Bugle’s support of Bullit and wrote a scathing piece that effectively ended Bullit’s political career. Soon after this, Jameson assigned Urich to mentor young Peter Parker (ironically Spider-Man’s secret identity), taking Parker along on certain stories; the first such instance was when Jameson sent them to interview celebrity sorcerer Doctor Stephen Strange. Urich has recently started to cover the first shots in the growing gang war between the Kingpin and Hammerhead.