Since her debut in 1999’s Daredevil #9, written by David Mack and penciled by Joe Quesada, Echo has gone through many changes. Readers first met Echo as Maya Lopez, an unwitting pawn in the mind games the Kingpin Wilson Fisk played against Matt Murdock. Like Daredevil, Lopez uses her different abilities as a superpower, as her deafness makes her a more attentive observer, resulting in photographic reflexes.
Lopez initially used those abilities to become Echo, a hero with fighting skills on par with Daredevil or Bullseye. Later, she took the name Ronin, a mysterious ninja who fought alongside the Avengers. Most recently, Echo acquired the Phoenix Force and joined the Avengers as Thunderbird.
Next year, Echo makes her most audacious move yet, becoming the main character in a live-action Disney+ series. Played by the Menominee and Mohican actor Alaqua Cox, who is deaf like her character, Echo first emerged in the MCU during Hawkeye season one. Initially a tool of her adopted father Wilson Fisk, Echo soon joined Hawkeye and Kate Bishop in fighting against the Kingpin, and then set out on her own path.
Those reactions track with the tone suggested by the first trailer for the show, which revealed Echo‘s M Rating – a first for the Disney+ shows, but not for Marvel TV series. The Marvel shows produced for Netflix also carried a M Rating, including Daredevil and Jessica Jones. We already knew that the stars of Daredevil, namely Vincent D’Onofrio’s Fisk and Charlie Cox‘s Matt Murdock, would reunite on Echo, setting up the series Daredevil: Born Again. In fact, Disney has made a new category for Echo, launching it under their Marvel Spotlight banner.
However, the reactions to Echo suggest that the show carries on more than the principle characters of Daredevil. Multiple tweets note the similarities between Echo and the Netflix series that came before. The first reactions also praise the show for more than its brutality. As opposed to the massive scale of most MCU entries, Echo has smaller stakes and a more character-driven story. In particular, viewers praised Cox for her take on Maya.
While these reactions have been positive overall, some did take issue with certain plot and character developments. No one offered details about specific problems, though. Still, concerns seem to pale in light of the overall praise fans heaped on the first three episodes. Even keeping mind that first reactions tend to be positive, those hopeful that Marvel can follow the excellent second season of Loki with another strong outing have reason for optimism.
All six episodes of Echo will come to Disney+ and Hulu on January 10, 2024. The series stars Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez/Echo, Vincent D’Onofrio, Chaske Spencer, Tantoo Cardinal, Graham Greene, Cody Lightning, Charlie Cox, Devery Jacobs, and Zahn McClarnon.
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