Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
It took me years to get my sister to read this comic, even though I knew she'd love it, even though it was one of my favorites. I talked it up, I tried to tell her that it illustrated everything that she'd told me about being Deaf, does it accurately and beautifully.. She doesn't love the medium of comics, so it took some convincing, but she was shocked when she finally picked it up. She saw exactly what I was trying, inadequately, to tell her.
There are two levels on which this works, and the first, in my opinion, typifies the kinds of characters the Daredevil title has always been drawn to, or vice versa. At the climax of this story about soul searching, Echo, aka Maya Lopez, Wilson Fisk's sort of adopted daughter, goes on the titular vision quest. She runs into Logan after four days of fasting and mediating.
Logan tells her a story about a man who feels as if he has two dogs inside of him fighting, one is trust and love and good instincts, the other is fear and anger, the dredges of our human instincts. When asked which dog wins, the man answers, the one I feed the most. It has a special significance to Maya, but to the larger Daredevil universe, it can be applied to almost every character who comes in and out of Matt's life, as well as Matt himself. As she considers this, the duality of nature and the struggle between it, she thinks also of superheroes, and how she patterned herself after them, wanted to be them, and tellingly, the two shown in that panel are Frank Castle and Elektra, two who have allowed death, hatred and negativity rule them. Matt is, naturally, the other side of this, and though Maya teeters between the two, by the end of the comic, she has her answers.
The artwork is astounding, and I've seen it called experimental in format, which betrays a misunderstanding, a basic misunderstanding, about disability. What people want is disability seen from the perspective of an ablebodied person, streamlined and formatted for them. But the art in these issues matches the text and illustrates perfectly Maya's thoughts and the way she sees the world. In Mack's artwork, colors do make a sound, the visuals speak for themselves.
It's interesting to note that Mack at the time often used as subject matter disability or neurodivergence, and the comic as a whole at the time was more interested in exploring disability, not just Matt's.
A quietly touching story told with absolute originality.