MCU’s holiday special “Hawkeye” just revealed a variety of colorful characters, including Lucky the Pizza Dog, the security-obsessed matriarch of Vera Farmiga, and the dangerous “bro” chanting tracksuit mafia. However, unlike MCU’s own standards, each of the above-mentioned characters was revealed in the recent episode of the show. That’s an unusual exhibition of generosity from Marvel, as it usually throws all its big reveals as end-of-episode surprises. Click here if you want to know the right order to watch Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As expected, nonetheless, the end of Hawkeye Episode 2 has a much bigger trick to boast. After the tracksuit mafia successfully gets hold of Clint and Kate, they proceed to their boss: a savage-looking woman with her hair in braids.
Who is this Character Echo?
Hawkeye’s producer accentuates this new figure and why she is so important. Echo aka Maya Lopez, is an archetypal Marvel Comics character who the fans know from different storylines as a stooge of the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio in Daredevil series of Netflix) and ultimately a member of the New Avengers.
Maya, who was born deaf, is a member of the Cheyenne Nation of Native Americans. She, in fact, instigated the superhero alter ego of Ronin in the comics, before appearing as Echo after several years. Certainly, this cannot be true in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the title of Ronin has been handed over from Clint (who was in action as Ronin in the pre-Endgame years) to Kate (who puts on the veil when needed, after the auction).
Echo, Maya’s superhero personality, recalls who she was before a distressing childhood under the Kingpin’s thumb. Her superpowers give her photographic reflexes, allowing her to impersonate any action after seeing it once. As a youngster, Maya shined in the field of arts; wherein comics, Echo can be seen performing onstage stories made up of dance, music, and sign language, all illustrated in collage.
Why Is Echo Important?
Hawkeye, which includes Echo’s character is a huge moment for representation in the MCU, but only as a result of careful casting. Alaqua Cox, a deaf native American star, has done justice to the character in the series. MCU has a history of introducing deaf characters; Makkari from Eternals and the actress playing her is deaf. Clint Barton also experiences hearing loss during his time with the Avengers, consequently needing hearing aids.
The fact Cox is both deaf and Native American is actually a casting masterclass from MCU. The perfect juncture of these two identities means Cox is a perfect choice for the role. The upcoming episode of the series will definitely be a daunting showcase for the star.
“We really wanted to stay true to her character in the comics, which is why casting Alaqua who is Deaf and Native American was really important to us,” executive producer Trinh Tran reveals while talking to Inverse. “She just brings in a different perspective in the MCU.”
Tran claims Cox’s introduction in the series is just the start. “We need to fill our space up with a diverse group of people,” she states. “Everybody who’s watching these series and these projects, they’re all different. They all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, so to have people look up and watch somebody who is similar in their background and see them on screen, I think that’s important. That speaks to the relatability factor.”
Importance Of Echo’s Appearance For Hawkeye and Phase 4
The biggest insinuation of Echo’s MCU debut, perhaps, is her connection to other key Marvel characters. As depicted in the comics, she was unveiled as the Kingpin’s main weapon as part of the criminal mastermind’s scheme to kill Matt Murdock; the Daredevil. However, no one expected a romantic flare to ignite between Echo and Murdock, leading her to defect from Kingpin’s side. While Echo and Daredevil don’t end up together in the comics, the tension between them is intense.
Now, as Echo has become a part of the MCU, is it too early to say that her love interest will be reintroduced as well? Who knows, that big Spider-Man: No Way Home theory might become true.
As a matter of fact, even if her introduction in Hawkeye doesn’t lead to a reunion with Daredevil, Echo is set to headline her own Disney Plus series, meaning her reintroduction will certainly be not short-lived, not at least in the near future.