DAREDEVIL #9-15 (1999-2000): 1st Echo

Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock have (once again) agreed to partner up, and their first new client is an informant against Kingpin.

Kingpin wants to kill the client, and what follows is the beginning of some of the more complex, truly fantastic Daredevil stories of the turn of the Century. In many ways, this arc sets the tone for Brian Michael Bendis’ upcoming, groundbreaking run. This is the beginning of Daredevil being Marvel’s best series on the stands…Which hasnb’t happened since the days of Frank Miller.

We meet Echo, who was adopted as a little girl by Kingpin after her father was killed.

Echo is deaf, which makes her a perfect person to bond with the blind Matt Murdock…Who Kingpin knows is really Daredevil.

Lots of time is spent developing her mindset…

The handprint across her face is where her dying father touched her with his bloody hand.

I’m going to paint with a broad brush here and just tell you to READ THIS ARC. It’s amazing.

The art, the design, the script…It’s perfect.

Maya/Echo is tricked by Kingpin into believing that Daredevil killed her father, and spends her childhood training for one mission: To kill Daredevil.

She arranges a meeting with Matt Murdock to get close before attacking. They actually date for several issues, and it is through that relationship that Matt starts to realize who she really is.

Once they know each others’ identities, there are some great cat-and-mouse scenes, like this one:

…Where Daredevil is forced to hide in the X-rated section of a video store and realizes Karen Page is a porn star now.

The ending is where the genius irony comes in: Of course Kingpin was really the man who killed Maya’s father. Daredevil gets her to realize that and she shoots Kingpin, but instead of killing him…She blinds him.

Brian Michael Bendis is next. And in anticipation, he actually appears in the comic.

This is probably the first time a series writer appeared in a comic before ever writing it.

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