The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Echo

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Echo

Well, I’ve seen worse things from Marvel I have to give it that. 

Disney knew they had a bomb on their hands with this one.  They tried to find a way to take the tax write-down and just make it vanish.  Sadly, for Marvel pre-sales had been made and they couldn’t get out of it.  Consequently, they dumped it on Disney+ all at once rather than draw it out week after week.

Imagine my horror going into this thing.  It’s so bad even Marvel knows it.

Viewed from that perspective it wasn’t anywhere near as terrible as I was expecting.  It just isn’t worth watching either.

Echo started life in the comics as one of the lesser-known Daredevil characters.  She was an adopted daughter of Kingpin and a love interest for Matt Murdoch as well as an antagonist for Daredevil.  That was kind of a clever idea from Joe Quesada. Murdoch, because of his heightened sense of hearing is unusually vulnerable, to say a flashbang.  And a deaf woman isn’t going to have any real problem with one of those.


Her OG superpower was like Taskmaster’s, she could copy any fighting technique just by observing it.   

All in all a decent supporting character.

Who has no business whatsoever being the lead in her own TV show.  This was a terrible concept made so much worse by Marvel’s choice of actress, Alaqua Cox.  Look, I understand that in the early 21st century producers are very restricted in their casting choices when it comes to anything remotely ethnic.  It’s been a long time since you could cast a white as a Native American.  However, restricting themselves to only deaf female Native Americans was pushing things further than they needed to go because the audition process led them to an actress, who is not only a deaf Native American with severe resting bitch-face but joy of joys was missing a hoof.  That was an irresistible casting choice during the Alonso era. The fact that she can’t act at all didn’t seem to bother anyone at Marvel.

Look, good for Alaqua for getting as far as she has despite her challenges, but having a prosthetic foot could be described as something of a fundamental limiter for an action hero, which Echo supposedly is. 

They literally put a chick in it and made her lame and gay.

After the events in Hawkeye, Kingpin is after Echo. 

Oh, you didn’t see Hawkeye?  Too bad, you have to go back and watch it to understand all of the stuff that is going on here. 

You won’t do that?

Yeah, nobody else will either.  This is one of the many foundational problems Disney Marvel has now.  There is no entry point for the casual fans (the Culturalists and Flirts).  Kevin Feige spent years in the enviable position of everyone needing to see Marvel movies to be part of water cooler conversations. It made him think that his interlocking narratives were a feature, not a bug.  Well, it was a feature back when everyone was watching everything from Marvel but it’s a bug now because if you just jump into Echo cold you won’t have the slightest idea what the hell is going on.

Echo came up with a unique way of dealing with this problem.  It bores the audience so thoroughly that the ennui drenches you to the core of your being, you are simply too numb to bring yourself to care about not understanding what’s going on.

Watching this show was like wading through mud, I didn’t hate it like I did The Rings of Power.  It wasn’t as absurdly incomprehensible as Antman 3 or quite as Woke as Falcon and the Winter Solider.  It’s just unbearably dull, boring and tedious. 

Echo goes back to the Res and gets in touch with her Choctaw roots and Kingpin comes simping after her because he wants her to be “The… (*sigh*)… Queenpin.  That’s the story in a nutshell. This series has once again demonstrated the need for a morality coach on all Marvel productions because Echo is a horrible human being.  She plants a bomb on one of Kingpin’s shipments not really caring where that bomb will go off or that it will lead Kingpin to her reservation.  She has no remorse for the years she was a hitter for Kingpin, no regret for her many crimes in his service.  That was all on him, not me, the one who actually did it.  Once again we see a hero whose actions are objectively evil and yet we are expected to treat her as a noble hero because the show has her name on it.

We do get to hear about how bad the Choctaw were treated by whites but nothing at all about how bad the Choctaw treated the surrounding tribes.  These days history has to be altered or you might learn the wrong lessons from it.

There is a really bad fight with Matt Murdoch which frankly did Alaqua Cox dirty by trying to recreate the famous hallway fight scene from the infinitely better Netflix Daredevil.  What made that fight scene so memorable is that it was one continuous shot without cuts.  This served only to highlight Ms. Cox’s fundamental limitations in an action scene.  Normally, if an actor can’t deliver a believable fight scene, you team him up with a stuntman who knows how to make him look good and then hack the scene into another dimension in the cutting room. The only thing this scene managed to do was make Echo look more slow and clumsy.  

It served, not as a callback to the most famous fight scene in the Netflix series but as a sad reminder of what was taken away from us.  “Remember this thing you used to love? Fuck you, you don’t have it anymore! Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Ha!”  

After four hours of visual sedative-hypnotic pseudo-medication, you reach the long-promised ending.  Kingpin catches up with his niece (who used to be his adopted daughter but for Woke reasons I’ll never understand this was changed) at the big pow-wow.  He’s planning to shoot up the get-together as a punishment for Echo’s leaving him.

The payoff for four hours and forty-five minutes of boredom is one of the most hilarious action scenes of all time. The women in Echo’s family had been taken hostage too but as soon as Echo gets in touch with her ancestral demon-magic Echo and her grandmother can toss huge henchmen around like ragdolls.  Then Echo went into Kingpin’s memories and made him cry like a bitch. 

Was there anything I liked? 

Well, there was no multiverse bullshit.  That was nice for a change. No world-ending crisis, either. The stakes were appropriate for a character set in Daredevil’s world.  His villains don’t want to cleanse of world of the human race, they just want to rob a bank. 

 I’ll give Vincent D’Onofrio the credit he’s due, he did not phone it despite what must have been to be an overwhelming temptation to do so.  He delivered a good performance as Kingpin, despite a terrible script and worse concept.

I think the concept was the real tragedy here.  The Netflix guys who made Marvel TV shows could have made this something really engaging with a story built around regret and atonement.  But that would involve telling someone with a bunch of Woke checkboxes you were wrong to do this evil thing and you need to answer for it.  That is impossible for Disney/Marvel.

All right, you know you were never going to watch it. I know you were never going to watch it. And freaking Marvel knows you were never going to watch it.

And so, I pronounce my doom upon it. 

The Dark Herald Does Not Recommend Echo (1/5)

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