Current Reviews

subheader

Daredevil #55

Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Story and Art: David Mack
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
As Wolverine offers up the story of what he was told about the two dogs fighting, and what this imagery might mean to Echo, we see Echo is quick to recognize why she was given this image, as she recognizes she has spent her life being driven by thoughts of vengeance. In the end she decides that only way she's going to have a future is to let go of her past, and her depression is immediately cured.

Comments:
If I simply dismiss this arc as a tremendous bore than I'm guilt of oversimplifying the underlying problem of David Mack's work on this arc, as this was clearly intended as a character study piece, but the simple fact that after five issues under the microscope I can honestly say that the only new insight I got into the character of Echo is that her new place in Daredevil's world is that of a former girlfriend who isn't looking to kill him, which in Daredevil's universe makes her a bit of an oddity. I mean the big problem with this arc is perfectly summarized by the issue's opening recap page where we see two thirds of the text is devoted to detailing material that played out before this arc, while the last three paragraphs clearly present a story premise that would have to struggle to carry a single issue let alone a five issue arc. This arc developed no sense of urgency, and even if you were able to invest your interest and attention into the character of Echo, David Mack does a very poor job of giving the character anything all that interesting to do. I mean he even managed to make a guest-appearance by Wolverine into bit of a bore, as while the two dogs story does a good job of conveying the constant struggle Logan has with his animalistic nature, it's hardly new insight to Wolverine fans who have been treated to this character trait since the first beserker rage. In the end I suspect this arc was far more enjoyable for David Mack to write than it was for the audience to read.

As for the art, if there is one element that has kept me from kicking myself for not trusting my initial impulse to leave this arc on the shelf, it's that David Mack's style is quite eye-catching. I mean there's not many artists working today that would take as many chances visually as David Mack does, and for this fact alone I have to applaud David Mack's sensibilities as an artist. I mean every third page seems to introduce a different look, as the story shifts colors and the level of detail to reflect the mood of the material. There's also some truly lovely visuals as well, such as the razor blade skeleton that Wolverine in given, or the dark almost oppressive look that the rooftop scenes with Daredevil are given. The final pages are also quite impressive as this give us our first real look at Echo, and the last page image does act as a solid visual closure for the character.

Final Word:
This issue treats us to the story of two dogs that acted as last issue's cliffhanger, and while this story makes for a pretty solid method of capturing Wolverine's inner struggle, the same is not true of the character of Echo as she becomes a decidedly less interesting character once it becomes clear that the character is not going to make so much as a ripple in Daredevil's world. In fact if this arc has accomplished anything it's to eliminate any possible role that the character might've played in this book, as not only is she okay with the idea that Matt has found a new love, but she has dropped her need for vengeance against the man who killed her father. I mean yes it's nice that the character was able to get her house in order, but a mentally stable character does not lend itself to riveting storytelling. I mean Peter Parker has a crushing sense of guilt and responsibility to drive his actions in the present, Bruce Wayne used his childhood tragedy to drive his war of crime, and this is just the tip of the iceberg when it come to the orphan complex that drives many of today's heroes. If nothing else David Mack has used this arc to make Echo immaterial as a character.



What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!