Daredevil Volume 8: Echo -- Vision Quest

Michael Arner

When you look deeper, subtle aspects of the artwork come to life, making you wonder how you didn't see it at first glance.

Daredevil Volume 8

Publisher: Marvel
Subtitle: Echo -- Vision Quest
Contributors: David Mack (Artist)
Price: $13.99
Writer: David Mack
Item Type: Comic
Length: 120
Publication Date: 2004-10

Even if you don't know what sounds clouds make, you could feel my stories.

This book, contrary to the title, is not about Daredevil. Vision Quest is about Maya Lopez. Known as Echo, she fell in love with Matt Murdock in an earlier Daredevil storyline. A relatively new character in the Daredevil mythos, Echo is a beautiful hearing-impaired woman who has the ability to perfectly mimic any action or skill that she sees.

One of my first reviews for PopMatters was a review of a sizable chunk of Daredevil issues in which the main crux of the storyline was the Kingpin falsely blaming Daredevil for the death of Maya's real father. By the time Maya out the truth, both about the Kingpin and about Daredevil, Maya was in no mental shape to try to salvage her relationship with Matt. Maya left Matt and New York to "find herself". In this volume, we see the next chapter in Maya's life.

In the interim between storylines, Matt's life has fallen apart and while putting it back together, he became involved with someone else. Echo does not know this when she first sees Daredevil again. Mack uses the colors rather than dialogue to create tension between the two. Maya lashes out verbally at Matt after he tells her he cannot be with her. Mack successfully creates an uncomfortable moment that many readers can probably empathize with.

In her attempt to find peace, Maya goes on a vision quest. During this time, she encounters Wolverine… or maybe not. It's never entirely clear whether this is a "real" encounter or all within Maya's vision quest hallucination. Either way, it is easily the best Wolverine guest-appearance ever. Mack's version of Wolverine is visually based upon Hugh Jackman's portrayal in the X-Men movies. When we first see Wolverine, arms outstretched, we are waiting for that "snikt" sound effect that accompanies his claws. But Mack has the sound emerge through the artwork, and places the sound effect "off-frame", adding believability and realism to the scene, putting us in Maya's place, who is deaf she couldn't hear the sound anyway. As we read the sound effect, in its rough hand-lettered font in another panel, it has more power than if it was a 26 point typeface next to his outstretched hand.

When a comic book is done well, the art supports the writing by eliminating excess prose, allowing you to "watch" the character's actions. The beauty of David Mack's artwork is hard to describe. At first, it seems like painting and collage. When you look deeper, subtle aspects of the artwork come to life, making you wonder how you didn't see it at first glance. Between the color schemes and the many different art techniques, this book is a visual feast. Don't let that lower your expectations for the story. Besides this being the most interesting Wolverine appearance ever, the idea of the story, how to get over anger and disappointment in your life, is particularly poignant. It is also broadly resonant, dealing with the universal thread of blaming others for your own lot in life.

David Mack is an incredible artist. From his original work in the Kabuki series, to his stints working on Daredevil, his artwork and especially his writing are deceptively powerful. I never before thought about what things like clouds sound like and how I would describe those things to someone hearing-impaired. Mack breathes such life into Maya that you want to just look at her and smile and say "clouds don't make sounds, silly".

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

The Best Country Music of 2017

still from Midland "Drinkin' Problem" video

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

Year to year, country music as a genre sometimes seems to roll on without paying that much attention to what's going on in the world (with the exception of bro-country singers trying to adopt the latest hip-hop slang). That can feel like a problem in a year when 58 people are killed and 546 are injured by gun violence at a country-music concert – a public-relations issue for a genre that sees many of its stars outright celebrating the NRA. Then again, these days mainstream country stars don't seem to do all that well when they try to pivot quickly to comment on current events – take Keith Urban's muddled-at-best 2017 single "Female", as but one easy example.

Keep reading... Show less

Scholar Judith May Fathallah's work blurs lines between author and ethnographer, fan experiences and genre TV storytelling.

In Fanfiction and the Author: How Fanfic Changes Popular Culture Texts, author Judith May Fathallah investigates the progressive intersections between popular culture and fan studies, expanding scholarly discourse concerning how contemporary blurred lines between texts and audiences result in evolving mediated practices.

Keep reading... Show less

Which is the draw, the art or the artist? Critic Rachel Corbett examines the intertwined lives of two artists of two different generations and nationalities who worked in two starkly different media.

Artist biographies written for a popular audience necessarily involve compromise. On the one hand, we are only interested in the lives of artists because we are intrigued, engaged, and moved by their work. The confrontation with a work of art is an uncanny experience. We are drawn to, enraptured and entranced by, absorbed in the contemplation of an object. Even the performative arts (music, theater, dance) have an objective quality to them. In watching a play, we are not simply watching people do things; we are attending to the play as a thing that is more than the collection of actions performed. The play seems to have an existence beyond the human endeavor that instantiates it. It is simultaneously more and less than human: more because it's superordinate to human action and less because it's a mere object, lacking the evident subjectivity we prize in the human being.

Keep reading... Show less

Gabin's Maigret lets everyone else emote, sometimes hysterically, until he vents his own anger in the final revelations.

France's most celebrated home-grown detective character is Georges Simenon's Inspector Jules Maigret, an aging Paris homicide detective who, phlegmatically and unflappably, tracks down murderers to their lairs at the center of the human heart. He's invariably icon-ified as a shadowy figure smoking an eternal pipe, less fancy than Sherlock Holmes' curvy calabash but getting the job done in its laconic, unpretentious, middle-class manner.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.