The next Disney+ original series, Hawk Eye, will mark the debut of Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, the second Hawkeye. However, Kate isn’t the only heroine to make her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the show. According to Variety, newcomer Alaqua Cox has been cast as Maya Lopez, aka Echo.
Why is this significant? Well, first of all, Echo is notable as one of the few Native American female heroes in the Marvel Universe, and also one of the only deaf heroes. But aside from that, Echo’s backstory in the comics features strong ties to not only the original Hawkeye, Clint Barton, but Daredevil, the Kingpin, and even Wolverine. This gives Echo the unique opportunity to tie together several different aspects of the Marvel Universe on screen.
But first, let’s talk about his skill set and the suspicious moment of his debut…
taken to task
Maya is not a mutant in the comics, nor is she superhumanly enhanced. Anyway, she has the gift of photographic reflections. Echo earned her code name due to her uncanny ability to duplicate any physical action she sees…and she only needs to see it once. The Marvel villain Taskmaster essentially has the same ability, but his powers were artificially augmented at the cost of his long-term memories. Maya doesn’t seem to have the same weakness in her ability.
Within the realm of the comics, there is no direct link between Maya and Taskmaster, despite their combination abilities. Maya’s father was Willie “Crazy Horse” Lincoln, a mob thug. Zahn McClarnon plays Maya’s father in Hawk Eye, but his name has been changed to William Lopez. Because black widow hasn’t been released, we don’t know for sure who is under the Taskmaster mask in the MCU, but given the size and shape of Taskmaster’s body in the trailers, it may be a female in this incarnation.
the recent Hawk Eye The casting news, which included several actors reported to have been a part of the series, may have already given us a link between Echo and the MCU Taskmaster: Florence Pugh, reprising her role as Yelena Belova from black widow. We don’t know for sure if Pugh will appear in the same Hawkeye episode(s) as Cox. But since Hawkeye seems to take place after End of the game — and therefore also black widow – it stands to reason that Yelena realizes that Echo has the same powers as Taskmaster. It’s not even out of the question to suggest that Maya could have a direct family link with Taskmaster in the MCU. After all, we know almost nothing about Maya’s mother in the comics.
Although Maya was born deaf, her abilities did not manifest until she went to school. Maya was initially assumed to have a learning disability until she perfectly played a song on the piano. From that point on, Maya was placed in schools for the gifted and proved to be a prodigy in various fields.
Wilson Fisk, also known as the Kingpin, murdered Maya’s father when she was still a child. However, Fisk had enough respect for “Crazy Horse” to honor his request to raise Maya as his own daughter. This would be a great retcon for Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, as seen on Netflix. Reckless. That said, it was also a retcon in the comics.
The MCU has an added edge that could make this work if D’Onofrio’s Kingpin is still in continuity or could be readjusted to fit into the core MCU. The five-year gap between the snap of Thanos and the return of the heroes in avengers endgame It could be the perfect time for Fisk to take Maya in with an eye to exploiting her abilities in the future.
The only thing that goes against that theory is that McClarnon’s William Lopez is already set to appear on Hawk Eye. Unless McClarnon only appears in a flashback, he will be part of Maya’s story in the present. However, even that doesn’t rule out William’s death and potentially setting Maya up for a new life with Fisk.
The daredevil paradox
during the classic Marvel Knights: Daredevil comically, Fisk used Maya as a weapon against Matt Murdock and his costumed alter ego. First, Fisk arranged for Maya to meet Matt without either of them knowing about her special abilities. Fisk correctly predicted that they would fall in love, and they did. At the same time, Fisk tried to frame Daredevil for the death of Maya’s father so that she would assassinate his archenemy.
In his excitement, Fisk overlooked the one key detail that could derail his plan: Matt was too young to have murdered Maya’s father. Once Matt was able to convey that, Echo struck back at the Kingpin, temporarily blinding him. That was also the death knell for Matt and Maya’s blossoming romance.
We suspect that the age difference between Alaqua Cox and Charlie Cox (no relation) would rule out a romantic relationship between Maya and Matt in the MCU. On the other hand, he could still establish them as allies, and the Charlie Cox version of the character could be old enough to have killed his father if they wanted to use him for the story where the Kingpin frames him for that crime. Of course, Marvel has yet to hint at any plans for Daredevil and his related characters. Full screen rights to Daredevil only reverted to Marvel (and thus Marvel Studios, who now control all TV projects as well) in late November, on the second anniversary of the show’s cancellation.
Reckless and the other Marvel TV shows were previously a bit in the MCU as they would sometimes nod their heads to events that take place in movies like The Avengers Y Captain America: Civil War without directly participating in them, and things got murkier as the shows went on and less of the big events were referenced or seemed to impact the TV heroes or their lives. However, fan sentiment is clearly behind Cox, D’Onofrio and the rest of the cast to reprise their roles and there are now rumors that Cox will return as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the next one. Spiderman film.
If somehow those Charlie Cox rumors don’t pan out and Marvel Studios wants to introduce a younger Matt Murdock to the MCU, who would be more age-appropriate for Maya than Alaqua Cox, they could. Any incongruous details between the Netflix series and the movies can simply be dismissed. Perhaps the TV shows took place in another similar timeline, but not in the same reality as the MCU.
When Maya went to find herself and work out her feelings for Matt and Fisk, she ran into Wolverine on one of his own sabbaticals. This is a rite of passage for any hero in the Marvel Universe, as Wolverine is bound to cross their path at one point or another.
Wolverine didn’t play a pivotal role in Maya’s story, but learning about his experiences allowed Echo to put her own life in order. It seems highly unlikely that Marvel Studios will introduce the new Wolverine in service of the Echo story. However, the fact remains that he played a role in shaping the next stage of his evolution.
The Ronin of everything
Of course, there’s also the main connection between Echo and Hawkeye in the comics, and the reason we suspect she ended up on the Disney+ series in the first place. In the New Avengers series, Echo resurfaced in Japan as a new hero named Ronin. To protect her identity, Maya’s body armor made her look like a man. If the name Ronin sounds familiar, that’s because that was the unofficial name for Clint Barton’s vengeful post-Hawkeye identity at the start of avengers endgame. In the comics, Clint Barton became the second Ronin after Maya’s disappearance. This was also shortly after Clint’s return from the dead. In the movies, it was the loss of his entire family, thanks to Thanos, that led to Clint becoming the assassin Ronin.
Kevin Feige has said that the Hawk Eye The series, while telling a story set in the present MCU, will also explore more of Clint’s time as Ronin. It’s entirely possible that the MCU could reverse the order of the comics and make Maya the second Ronin instead of the other way around. It’s worth noting that Clint and Maya are romantically involved in the comics as well, but it definitely seems unlikely that that will be repeated in live action. The MCU’s Clint is much older and happily married with children, who are thankfully returned to him after End of the game.
The very fact that Echo is creeping into Hawk Eye he essentially promises that he will meet up with Clint and his protégé, Kate Bishop, at some point in the series. It may even be lined up against them, initially. But Maya’s destiny is to be a hero, and she was an Avenger in the comics. She also has the potential to reach that status in live action. Her future in the MCU has yet to be written, but we’re excited to see Echo make her mark.