The Universal Immigrant Experience in Daredevil 28

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

For a long time, America celebrated the fact that it was a country made up of immigrants. People pointed to visionaries such as Albert Einstein, John Muir, and Hakeem Olajuwon to show that immigrants not only contributed to our country, but led it. However, the narrative around immigrants has changed lately, and, like all things these days, has been politicized. The result of this is that America has forgotten the value of immigrants, and with that has forgotten to care about them as human beings. This, in turn, is what drives Sam Chung to betray Daredevil, but it’s also why it’s so easy to understand why he did it.

It’s easy to think of superheroes as always being above the the law, as if the only authority they have to listen to is their own sense of right of wrong. And in fact, that might be true, so long as you’re white, male, and American born. Sam Chung is only one of those things, so even though he is the superhero Blindspot, he betrays his mentor because he feels like he has no choice but to do so. This ends up badly for Sam, as his mother gets eaten by the beast when Sam goes to save Matt. This is crushing to Sam, but apparently not as crushing as his realization that he felt he had to betray Matt Murdock because, as a would-be immigrant in America, he had no choice.

Sam’s a smart guy, smarter than most, and he knows that America is currently unwelcoming to someone of his political standing. This is the case even though he’s developed technology that could make him millions. He knows it would be all to easy to get screwed over by a company who uses his lack of American citizenship as an excuse to claim the rights to his ideas. This realization ultimately led Sam down the path that made him betray Matt.

It should be hard to sympathize with Sam, but Charles Soule does a great job of helping anyone relate to him. Sam knows he’s smart, but he also knows that smarts can only get him so far. Doing some basic math, Sam figures that his chance of standing out amongst all of the other immigrants in the US is slim. Anyone who has applied for a job, a school, a grant, or ever tried anything creative knows that pain Sam is feeling here. In a world full of talented people, success can seem impossible because there will always be someone more talented or more lucky than you. This paired with Sam’s undocumented status makes life incredibly difficult, and given those long odds, it’s hard not to understand why would resort to drastic measures.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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