The MCU shows produced by Marvel Studios have, to put it simply, been hit or miss. Despite their star power, action-packed scenes, and increased diversity, not all of them have been winners at the same level that the best of the studio’s blockbuster storytelling—during the peak of the “Infinity Saga” films—were at. Conversations have been had among observers and consumers about the possibility that audiences have been getting a bit of Marvel fatigue. Either way, it’s become clear recently that some recent diminishing box office returns (and one of franchise new stars’ getting into some serious legal trouble) has resulted in Marvel returning to to the drawing board, searching for new ways to both win audiences back and even invigorate them in a new way (A new Variety report dove into all of this and more).
But even with what sounds like some chaos going on behind the scenes, Marvel still has exciting projects coming down the pipeline that could land the MCU back on an exciting track. One such upcoming show is Echo.
First introduced in the holiday miniseries Hawkeye (arguably one of Marvel’s better shows), Echo (played by Alaqua Cox) isn’t necessarily a hero, but she’s not exactly a villain either. Hawkeye dove deeper into a story first established in Avengers: Endgame, when Hawkeye spent much of his time during the blip (after Thanos snapped his fingers and removed an significant portion of Earth’s population) under the alias Ronin, killing criminals who survived Thanos’ snap. In the process, he killed Maya Lopez’s father, who led a criminal outfit called the Tracksuit Mafia (silly name, we know—it comes directly from writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja’s fantastic Hawkeye comic upon which that series is based). Lopez, now with the alias Echo, takes over the crime group and enters the tutelage of her new, adoptive father (called “Uncle” in Hawkeye), the villainous Kingpin.
While anyone coming in late to the Hawkeye story may wonder if this is just another disconnected miniseries to lead into the movies, Echo isn’t a show to write off. With her direct connection to Kingpin, Echo is like a bright red blinking arrow pointing straight at Daredevil: Born Again, Marvel’s attempt to reintegrate a beloved character (one who’s already shown up in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law) into the MCU. While the Netflix shows of Marvel superheroes like Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Daredevil aren’t a part of the MCU’s continuity and don’t count as canon, there’s a strong fan base for those shows and–Iron Fist aside–they all had solid characters with quality storytelling. If we’re lucky, Echo, Marvel’s first TV series to earn a TV-MA rating, will be the MCU finally giving those Netflix fans what they’ve waited for.
Seriously, you should get excited.
When is Echo Season 1 coming out?
Marvel released an Echo Season 1 trailer along with a pretty-soon release date: January 10.
The series will stream both on Disney+, like other Marvel shows, and on Hulu (this same strategy was recently used for the new Goosebumps series). Disney now fully owns Hulu, which means they can easily host any of their content on the platform. According to an Instagram post from Marvel Studios, Echo will be available for Hulu subscribers to watch until April 9th.
What is Echo Season 1 about?
Based on the trailer, it appears that we’ll dive deeper into Maya’s backstory as she trains to become the Echo we know. It’ll also give us insight into Kingpin and his criminal enterprise, as we’ll see the aftermath of his and Maya’s confrontation at the end of Hawkeye (which ended with her shooting him, and, as the trailer shows, him surviving with a couple eye patches—just like in the Marvel Comics).
Alaqua Cox in Hawkeye.
The most likely place the show will pick up from, however, is where we saw Maya at the end of Hawkeye. Determined to kill her father’s murderer, Maya at first set her sights on Hawkeye, but later learns her father was potentially killed by someone who worked under Kingpin. Last we see her, she’s confronting her adopted father. And as we know from Vincent D’Onofrio’s larger than life performance as Kingpin, he’s a formidable opponent. We could see Maya continue to take on Kingpin… and she may even run into some other New York City locals who want to take him down too, including Daredevil (who makes a very brief appearance in the trailer, if you look close enough).
Who stars in Echo?
Alaqua Cox, who plays Maya Lopez in Echo.
The actress who plays Echo/Maya Lopez is Alaqua Cox. The 26-year-old’s first acting role (really) was in Hawkeye, and she’s now the lead of her own show. Much like Maya Lopez, Cox was born Deaf and is also an amputee, both of which are part of her MCU character’s story.
While you may not have seen Cox in anything else yet, her performance as Echo could lead to a long career in the MCU and all sorts of exciting film and television projects.
Milan Polk is an Editorial Assistant for Men’s Health who specializes in entertainment and lifestyle reporting, and has worked for New York Magazine’s Vulture and Chicago Tribune.