Daredevil and Echo #1 is a new series published by Marvel Comics, written by Taboo and B. Earl, and art by Phil Noto and Clayton Cowles. What begins as a murder mystery quickly sends Daredevil and Echo into a mystical adventure with connections to the early 1800s.
The plot and the escalation within it are exceptional. Splitting the story between points in time, the issue is mysterious at the beginning. From before Hell’s Kitchen was even born, in the 1830s to the modern-day city, there is a church that connects both of them. Daredevil finds a body that is part of an ongoing spree of murders, and then that leads him into another stratosphere of weirdness and heroics. There are layers to the tiers within the enemies that street-level heroes fight, and this is streets above them. The parallel stories in the past and the present are fascinating, slowly evolving into something sinister. At the same time, the main characters of the comic meet up, and there is a sudden, incredibly creepy moment that sets the tone for the rest of the book. And from there begins a Daredevil story unlike any other.
The characters are fantastic. Set somewhat within modern Daredevil stories, Elektra is at the beginning of this book as the second Daredevil as well as Matt, so it could be implied that this happened before the start of the current series. But it is important to not dwell on specifics and to focus on the story. It’s great to see Matt and Maya working again, and I love the relationship that Earl and Taboo establish. They’re intensely close, with an understanding of each other’s lives, disabilities, and abilities alike. When things start going crazy, they instantly fall into step, like old partners.
The art is phenomenal. Both Daredevil and Echo look great, with a more streamlined design for Daredevil that is different from what he wears in Checchetto and Zdarsky’s run. Personally, the simple design is more effective outside of the main book because it’s instantly recognizable and fits alongside other figures. The changes to the past are not drastic but noticeable, with more intense shadows that are created by the candlelight. It must be said that the true shining moment within this issue is centered on a few pages, with the start of the action in particular. It is spine-chilling because it takes a second to notice what is wrong, with a horrifying, eerie sequence of events following. Then all hell breaks loose in the next page which could never have been predicted.
The colors are excellent. A brown hue creates the separation between the past and present, but Noto captures the glow of the candlelight beautifully. In the modern day, the shades slowly get darker as the sun sets, showing a passage of time within the issue. Daredevil’s suit stands out as the only red in post panels, whilst his radar sense is presented through a bright, intense pink. The lettering struggles due to the writers falling into a trap. When trying to impose what I think is an Irish accent for the characters in the past, they resort to spelling words in the way they might be spoken through that accent. This makes it awkward to read.
Daredevil and Echo #1 plunges the heroes into something totally different. Taboo and Earl’s subseries of mixing the street-level heroes with a magical, horror aspect has proved effective before, and the early signs of brilliance are here as well. Whilst sudden, it’s an instantaneous switch to the weird, telling us that Daredevil and Echo are in over their heads already. And above all, it’s great to see these characters working together again, as it has been a while since they have been side by side.
Daredevil and Echo #1 is available where comics are sold.
Daredevil and Echo #1
Daredevil and Echo #1 plunges the heroes into something totally different. Taboo and Earl’s subseries of mixing the street-level heroes with a magical, horror aspect has proved effective before, and the early signs of brilliance are here as well.
William is a screenwriter with a love of comics and movies. Once referred to Wuthering Heights as “the one with the Rabbits.”