Hawk Eye just revealed all kinds of colorful characters, from Lucky the Pizza Dog to the safety-obsessed matriarch of Vera Farmigas to the eternally bro-y mafia in tracksuits. But each of those characters was revealed during the show’s recent episode, an unusual display of generosity on Marvel’s part, which generally underpins all of its big reveals as episode-ending darts.
True to form, however, the end of Hawk Eye Episode 2 has a much bigger trick up its sleeve. After the tracksuit mafia manages to capture Clint and Kate, they introduce themselves to their boss: a fierce-looking woman with her hair in braids.
Who is this number? Hawk EyeThe producer weighs in on this new character and why she is so important.
Who is Echo, aka Maya Lopez?
Maya Lopez, aka Echo, is a classic Marvel Comics character who has appeared in various storylines as the Kingpin’s pawn (Vincent DOnofrio in recent Netflixs daredevil series) and ultimately a member of the New Avengers.
Maya is a member of the Cheyenne Nation of Native Americans; she was born deaf. Maya is actually the originator of Ronin’s superhero alter ego in the comics, before debuting as Echo years later. Of course, that can’t be true in the MCU, as the Ronin title passed down to Clint (who fought as Ronin in the pre-dark darkness.End of Game years) to Kate (who puts on the costume out of necessity after the auction).
Echo, the Mayan superhero identity, reflects who she was before a troubling childhood under the thumb of the Kingpins. His powers give him photographic reflexes, allowing him to mimic any movement after seeing it once. Growing up, Maya excelled in the arts; in the comics, Echo is seen performing onstage stories made up of music, dance, and sign language, all depicted in collage.
Why is echo important?
Inclusion of echoes in Hawk Eye is a huge moment for representation in the MCU, but only thanks to careful casting. Deaf Native American actress Alaqua Cox brings the character to life in Hawk Eye. The MCU’s Deaf Characters Aren’t Really New Makkari In Eternals and the actress who represents her is deaf, and Clint Barton suffers from hearing loss during his time with the Avengers, which led to him wearing hearing aids.
What’s revolutionary about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the fact that Cox is both deaf and Native American. The intersection of these two identities means that Cox fits the role perfectly. The next episode of the series will surely be a great showcase for the star.
We really wanted to stay true to her character in the comics, which is why the cast of Alaqua who is deaf and Native American was really important to us, Hawk Eye executive producer Trinh Tran tells Reverse. She just brings a different perspective to the MCU.
Tran says casting Coxs is just the beginning. We need to fill our space with a diverse group of people, she says. Everyone who watches these shows and projects, they’re all different. They all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, so for people to look up and look at someone who has a similar background and see them on screen, I think that’s important. This talks about the relatability factor.
What does the appearance of echoes mean for Hawk Eye and phase 4?
Probably the biggest implication of Echos MCU’s debut is its connection to other key Marvel characters. In the comics, she has been touted as the Kingpins’ weapon of choice as part of the Criminal Masterminds plot to kill Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil. What no one expected was for romantic sparks to fly between Echo and Murdock, leading her to defect to Kingpins’ side. While Daredevil and Echo don’t end up together in the comics, their tension is palpable.
Now Echo is part of the MCU, is it only a matter of time before his love is reintroduced as well? Maybe big Spider-Man: No Path Home the theory will prove to be true.
Even if its appearance does not lead to a daredevil Reunion, Echo is set to headline her own Disney + series, which means it’s not the last good of her by far.
Hawk Eye is now streaming on Disney +.
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