The MCU has pretty much trained its fans to always expect the unexpected. That’s certainly been the case with their Disney+ series so far. WandaVision swerved fans over and over again. And it was epic. This has already been the case with Hawkeye. This new series has already introduced some new MCU players. In addition to Kate Bishop, Echo has also made her debut.
Also known as Maya Lopez, Echo is a hero and Avenger. Bringing her into the MCU is a good call as she’s deeply connected to a variety of existing characters. At the same time, her arrival heralds more than a few other potential changes. That includes the long-rumored return of a major villain who became a fan favorite a few years ago on the Marvel Netflix series Daredevil.
Echo in the comics
Born deaf, Maya Lopez has Indigenous heritage. She debuted in the pages of Daredevil in 1999 as part of a villainous plot against the Man Without Fear. She’s better known for her resurgence in 2005 when she took the name and identity of Ronin. It was at this point that she became a full-fledged hero and an Avenger. Technically, Lopez carried the Ronin identity before Hawkeye did.
The name Echo was earned honestly. Lopez possesses photographic reflexes. This allows her to immediately mimic and utilize any physical action she sees. It means if she watches Daredevil fight, she can then fight exactly like Daredevil. If that seems familiar, that’s because the Marvel villain known as Taskmaster has the same ability. He’s just more annoying about it.
All of that being said, she cannot replicate anything that requires a superhuman ability. Echo can mimic Daredevil’s fighting skills. She cannot mimic his enhanced senses or radar sense. Another of her favorite people to watch is Bullseye. His incredible skills as a marksman came from years of training and study, and are not superhuman in nature. Thanks to watching him, Echo is one of the few people in Marvel Comics who equals him in target practice.
Arriving in Hawkeye
The TV version of the character is mostly the same. Echo remains deaf and Indigenous. This actually makes her the second major deaf character in the MCU. Makkari from the recent MCU film Eternals was first, though only by a few weeks. While fans are only getting their earliest look at the new character in the most recent episode, there is another way she’s similar to the comics.
When she made her comic book debut, Echo was a villain. She was more of a pawn of a much more dangerous villain but she was a villain nonetheless. In Hawkeye, Echo has started off her time in the MCU as a villain. But her transition to becoming a hero is already being foreshadowed. At the same time, something much, much worse for everyone else in the MCU may also be on the way.
Echo’s uncle is coming
Part of Echo’s comic book debut was the death of her father, William Lopez. He was murdered by a notorious criminal, someone Maya regarded as an uncle. This man subsequently manipulated her into helping him in his war against Daredevil. He even went so far as to frame Daredevil for her father’s murder. That man’s name was Wilson Fisk, aka the Kingpin of Crime.
Vincent D’Onofrio absolutely blew minds as the Kingpin in the Marvel Netflix series Daredevil. It was a spot-on piece of casting that fans want to see continue in the MCU proper. Much like the speculated appearance of Mephisto, fans have been looking for hints of D’Onofrio returning as the Kingpin at every possible turn. In Hawkeye, there’s a very real chance it’s finally happening.
In Episode 3, Echo’s uncle was mentioned along with a very imposing figure standing behind her. That is by no means a confirmation of the Kingpin’s arrival in the MCU or that Vincent D’Onofrio will be playing the character. If they’re not bringing the Kingpin in, the series producers are doing everything in their power to make people think that’s what is happening. And if he is coming, Hawkeye and Hawkeye are going to need Echo’s help on this one.