Echo: Season Review

Marvel and Disney+ turn to a street level antihero as Echo jumps from Hawkeye to her own series that is now the first series under the new Marvel Spotlight brand.

Echo: Season Review

Marvel returned to Disney+ with its latest superhero affair in Echo. The five-episode series is the debut for the new Spotlight brand. It follows Maya Lopez in her quest to take over Kingpin’s empire after shooting him in the season finale of Hawkeye. She returns to her native Oklahoma and runs into members of her family and impacts their lives for better and for worse. When all is said and done, the Kingpin isn’t dead, and Echo has developed new abilities.


A lot of criticism has been thrown at Marvel’s content on Disney+. Many of the series have been PG-13 or TV-14. They have their moments, but they don’t get dark and violent. While that works for some characters, others need to be dark. Daredevil and The Punisher don’t work unless they are TV-MA. These characters go into the darker elements of society. Echo is in a similar vein. While she could appear in Hawkeye in a TV-14 role, she absolutely needed more mature content for her battles with the Kingpin.

Alaqua Cox is an amazing actress who commands every performance without saying a word. She brought gravitas to the role of Maya Lopez. Choosing a deaf Native American actress to play a deaf Native American character isn’t inspired casting, but it’s nice to see Disney put in the minimal effort to get it right. Plus, Echo was also made to be an amputee due to Cox’s own leg amputation which made her character more compelling.

Vincent D'Onofrio and Charlie Cox return as the Kingpin and Daredevil respectively. This is important as both were praised for their performances in Netflix’s series focusing on the Defenders: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and The Punisher. This series helped weave those characters, and most likely those series, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. They may be street-level stories that are off to the side of the universe at-large, but they have their place and fans loved many of them.


Echo also brought both characters back to their roots. Matt Murdock/Daredevil appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home but only in his capacity as a lawyer. He also appeared in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law in his yellow suit rather than his red suit. That can be explained as the difference between New York and Los Angeles, but it felt like a different version of the character.

The same can be said for Kingpin’s previous MCU appearance in Hawkeye. Instead of the smooth-but-gruff talking Wilson Fisk who was in charge of New York’s criminal empire, he appeared as a Hawaiian shirt wearing former criminal mastermind. While Kingpin fell on hard times in the comics and shared this image, it wasn’t explained in the show, so it was confusing for those who last saw him in the Netflix series. Following his gunshot recovery, this Wilson Fisk was a return to form to the greatest human villain Marvel has ever created.


While Echo is a wonderful character who deserves some focus in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, she seems like an odd choice to get her own show and an even odder choice under which to launch the new Spotlight brand. She has connections to Daredevil and Kingpin, so she easily could’ve been a story arc in the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series that Disney+ and Marvel are working on.

While the Native American representation is great, there’s also a bit of confusion due to the casting of the same actress for roles in two different projects. Devery Jacobs plays Maya’s cousin, Bonnie. She also voiced the character Kahhori in the What If…? animated series. It makes sense to cast a Native American in both roles, but using the same actress seems lazy unless there is a plan to tie the two characters together at some point. That may be what they plan to have happen, but I really don’t see a future for Bonnie in the MCU beyond this series, even if the Echo character will continue. It was just odd.

This series also gets a personal con from me due to the fact my nephew’s scene got cut. He shot scenes for the series but when it made it to the service, he wasn’t there. He’s far from the first actor to have scenes he shot cut from a series, and he’s far from the last that will see the same issue. It’s the nature of the business, and there’s nothing wrong with it. I was just looking forward to publicly supporting his work on this project, as I will continue to support any and all projects with which he’s involved.


This series has its strong and weak points. There’s almost no filler beyond the recap in the first episode to set the scene where Maya and Kingpin are in their lives. This series was designed to be separate from a lot of the MCU, so that viewers can watch it without having to watch every other film or series that makes up the shared universe. Still, that also means there had to be a decent amount of recap early so people weren’t confused by the events in Daredevil or Hawkeye. It’s a bit of handholding, but it works better than other Disney+ examples (See the introduction of Cad Bane in The Book of Boba Fett.)

Still, what works in this show’s favor when it comes to lack of filler hurts it when it comes to letting big, emotional moments breathe. That’s been a major complaint of the MCU since Phase 4 began, and it continues here. Letting moments breathe helps everyone understand the gravity of the situation. The show’s creators avoided the Taika Waititi problem of punctuating every serious moment with humor, but they still rushed to the next set piece like a professional wrestler getting to the next spot rather than telling a story. It could’ve used a sixth episode.

There’s also a series tag scene that does a great job of setting up Kingpin’s future in Daredevil: Born Again. As a fan of Marvel’s comics universe, the announcement made me pop. I’m completely invested in that series thanks to the work of this series.

This was a strong entry in the MCU and the Spotlight brand despite it being an odd choice to begin the brand. Its few flaws don’t drag down and otherwise good to borderline great series. If you’re a Marvel or superhero fan, I have a hard time believing this series will let you down. If you are only a casual fan, you can keep up with the story without having to watch too much else. Still, it’s also an unnecessary entry that can weigh on some people’s critiques. But, it’s still good. There’s no doubt about that.

You can stream all five episodes of Echo on Disney+.


By: Jeremy Brown 2024

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