Marvel’s Echo: What We Know So Far and Why It’s Important

Nov 22, 2021 | News, Uncategorized



Disney Plus Day was an exhilarating experience all round. Among the array of new Marvel titles lined up to help the Marvel Cinematic Universe transition into new and expanding territory was one that might bring about the greatest change of all.

Marvel’s Echo was announced as a spin-off series following the character’s first appearance due in the upcoming Hawkeye.

Announcing a spin-off show before production on the first one is finished tells us that Echo has great potential to win fans over and steal the spotlight.

Think of Agatha Harkness’ spin-off, Agatha: House of Darkness, only announced after becoming a fan favourite in her debut in WandaVision

The series will follow the minor comic character of the same name, also known as Maya Lopez, and star complete newcomer Alaqua Cox. 

In an interview with Murphy’s Multiverse, Marvel producer Trinh Tran said that Cox is ‘such a badass in this series,’ and that she ‘completely impressed us all with her determination and hard work in wanting to make sure Maya Lopez is the way everybody wants.’

Who is Echo?

From Echo’s debut comic appearance in 1999, this character was mostly portrayed in a supporting role with strong ties to Daredevil, Kingpin, Hawkeye, Moon Knight (series also previewed during Disney Plus Day), and more. 

After her father was murdered in front of her and left a bloody handprint on her face, which she recreates in white paint, Lopez was raised by crime lord Kingpin.

He manipulated her into believing Daredevil killed her father so that she would take him down. In the end, Daredevil clarified the truth and the two had a brief romance. 

Another important detail: Echo is completely deaf, relying solely on her sight to fight.

She is quite the opposite of Daredevil, but exactly like Taskmaster with her photographic reflexes meaning that she can mimic any fighting style she sees. 

It will be interesting to see how Marvel goes about presenting and addressing Echo’s accessibility needs and the barriers she will encounter as a disabled deaf woman in the superhero world.

For example, in the comics, she struggles in darkness and cannot communicate with those wearing face masks as she cannot read their lips. 

Her role in Hawkeye

A new trailer has revealed that Echo will have an antagonistic role in the upcoming series as she faces up against Barton in hand-to-hand combat. 

This, alongside the rumoured appearance from Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), makes us think that we might see the beginning of Echo’s character arc from being Kingpin’s pawn to defeat Daredevil, to learning the truth of her father’s death and eventually making her own mark as a superhero.

Even better, we may even see Daredevil return for this series and see the blind superhero meet Echo, the deaf superhero, for the first time. 

What does this mean for the MCU?

Given her role in the comics, notably her representation of the rebirth of the Avengers, this character could bring great things to the newest Phase of the MCU. 

After the comics disassembling of the Avengers, much like in the MCU, a new team was born to fill the void – the New Avengers.

One member was the mysterious hooded martial artist, Ronin, whom Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton reincarnated in Avengers Endgame

Ronin of the New Avengers was revealed to be Echo, and this is where this character’s ties to the future of the MCU come in. 

Echo gave up her Ronin identity to the resurrected Clint Barton, who couldn’t be Hawkeye anymore. We see Clint take on this mantle for a time during Avengers Endgame.

Therefore, the Hawkeye and Echo series could explore Echo’s journey being Ronin before or after it was with Barton. 

Also, Echo’s war with the Hand ninja clan, specifically killing their leader revealed as a Skrull in disguise, kick-started Marvel’s Secret Invasion (also getting a Disney+ adaptation).

More importantly, what does this mean for Marvel?

We all saw how the first female superhero in the MCU was presented. Black Widow was the only big female superhero for a long time until Gamora from The Guardians of the Galaxy joined her, and it took 10 years for her to get her own movie out of it. 

Now in this new branch of the MCU, we are finally about to see a female, disabled, Native American actress in a lead role – not supporting. 

This is a ground-breaking achievement moving forward from the typical able-bodied, white, male superhero.

For female, disabled, or Native American children who have never seen a superhero quite like themselves before, Cox will become one heck of a role model as Echo – following Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari from Eternals

Here, Marvel has the perfect opportunity to advocate for disabled and native American stories, which have been waiting to be told for a long time.

People with any of these experiences will be able to see themselves and their stories presented as powerful, complex, and capable – as superheroes. 

Marvel’s announcement of this series and their casting choice is only the start of paving the way towards diversity, inclusivity, and positive representation for all. 

What’s next

Not much is confirmed about Echo yet, but it is anticipated to go into production in 2022 and likely won’t land on Disney+ until 2023.

For those of you who can’t wait to see Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in her own series, she will appear in Hawkeye which releases on November 24 on Disney+.

What do you think of the Disney Plus Day announcements?

By Alicia Quinn

Instagram: @alicobbles

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