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Daredevil #55

Posted: Monday, December 22, 2003
By: Bob Moser

(or #435 … man, these multiple choice Marvel numbers bug me.)



"Echo: Part 5”

Writer/Artist: David Mack
Publisher: Marvel Knights

Plot:
Echo completes her vision quest by conversing with her animal spirit, Wolverine, and discovers her path in life is to be a storyteller.

Comments:
David Mack’s solo run on Daredevil has been a mixed blessing. The downside is that it could have been shorter by about an issue and has a proclivity to repeat itself. The upside is that artistically it’s a beautiful and compelling effort that tells the story of an original supporting character that is both personal and universal. Before “Echo,” Maya Lopez was a very two-dimensional character. She was sort of like a female version of the Taskmaster, but instead of a mercenary out for profit she was a vengeance seeking vigilante. Her motivation was to seek revenge against Daredevil for the death of her father. She was led to believe by her foster-father, the Kingpin, that Daredevil murdered her father, but in fact the Kingpin was the one responsible for her father’s death. Aware of her abilities to imitate any action she witnessed, Kingpin manipulated her to his own ends. When Echo discovers that Matt Murdock, the man she loves, is Daredevil and that the Kingpin is actually responsible for her father’s death she runs away in shame. (Just so you know this plot actually precedes the Daredevil movie by several years.) David Mack endeavors to give Echo a back-story and send her in a positive direction. Editorially this is a risk for Daredevil in that many readers may be disappointed by the absence of the titular character in favor of a largely untested supporting character, but I am inclined to judge a story on its merits and not on how many times the hero can be found on the page.

Mack’s art is a series of montages interspersed with original drawings and paintings. Mack’s style is interesting to view but can be a challenge for the eye to follow in a sequential story. I personally enjoyed the challenge. It was like being at the museum. And speaking of museums, Mack’s prose also endeavors to teach while it entertains. The story is laden with references to art history, traditional storytelling and Native American customs and beliefs. Although I’m not a scholar of American Native culture, enough comes through in the prose to show that Mack must have done his homework for this project.

Final Word:
I read a lot of negative comments about David Mack’s arc on Daredevil and can see validity in the complaints, but given the story in total and the resolution in Daredevil #435, I think the story deserves a second look. For those of you who may not agree, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev will be back next month from their much deserved break.



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