I’ve almost caught up on the Daredevil reviews, just in time to pick up a massive order this week.

General Information

Title: Daredevil Vol. 8: Echo – Vision Quest

Credited to: David Mack

Original Publication Date: 2004 reprint of material first published from 2003 to 2004.

Issues includes: This includes issues 51-55 of Daredevil, published immediately after Hardcore.

ISBN: 0-7851-1232-4

Cover Price: 13.99 US, 22.50 Can

Buy from: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

Past comic reviews can be found here.

Premise

Echo, first introduced back in Daredevil Vol. 2: Parts of a Hole, goes on a vision quest to sort out her life.

This was originally sold to Marvel as a miniseries. Then, they decided they didn’t do miniseries anymore, and brought it into the main Daredevil title. They changed their minds about the minis when people started dropping the regular books. Specifically, Daredevil #49 sold an estimated 60,165 copies, two issues before this. Then the anniversary issue #50 sold 65,398 copies. By the end of Vision Quest, they were down to 53,660, and bounced immediately back up to 56,351 with issue 56 when this ended. Why? Probably because this isn’t Daredevil. He’s in about five pages total in the entire miniseries. (I don’t mean this in the same sense as those who don’t like Bendis; Matt Murdock isn’t here at all.) This is a high-art abstraction that tries desperately to convince us how cool this character is by showing us what goes through her head as she wanders the wilderness fasting and hallucinating. Of course, anyone who’s cool must know Wolverine, so he shows up too.

This should have been sold as a miniseries. It would have had half the sales, if that, but at least the people who picked it up would have more reasonable expectations of it, and wouldn’t be expecting something that follow up on the monumental ending to the afore-mentioned “Hardcore” story arc.

High Point

The story and art are perfectly blended. I have to give credit for that.

Low Point

This bears no resemblance to anything I’d call “Daredevil.” It really, really should have been its own miniseries, as the creator first pitched it to Marvel.

The Scores

This is original, I must admit. I haven’t seen art like this since, well, the last time David Mack did the art on this title. Telling the entire story with it was unusual, though. It didn’t feel like Daredevil, but it was original. I give it 4 out of 6.

The art is great. I just can’t deny that. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is almost plotless. Lots of explanation about what had happened in Echo’s first story, which works for a miniseries, but not for the main title. When it does start on the new stuff, not much happens. (It’s almost entirely characterization.) It really feels like Mack trying to convince us that Echo is cool. He had me convinced the first time around; this time, he seems so desperate, he turned me off of the character for a while. Add in the obligatory Wolverine guest shot, and you get a pretty lousy story. I give the story 2 out of 6.

The characterization is excellent. That and the art seemed to be the only things Mack really wanted to do. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response was pretty poor. Beating me over the head to make me like a character I already liked was a complete waste of effort. His desire to make me like the character made me sick of the character by the time it was done. I give it 2 out of 6.

The flow was fairly smooth. Some of the unconventional pages with the unusual sequencing disrupt things a bit. I give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, this could have been a decent miniseries, but it doesn’t belong in the main Daredevil title. I give it 3 out of 6.

In total, Daredevil Vol. 8: Echo – Vision Quest receives 25 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

I’ll be reviewing Daredevil Vol. 9: King of Hell’s Kitchen soon, but I’ll take care of other reviews first to give this character a bit of a rest.