Marvel Studios’ ECHO Review

The following review is based on the first 3 episodes of Marvel’s Echo. The Fandads were provided advance screeners and we will keep this review spoiler-free.

Marvel Studio’s Echo is the first title under the Marvel Spotlight umbrella. Now while some fans might remember Maya Lopez, played by Alaqua Cox, from the Disney Plus Hawkeye series, new fans will get a quick crash course into her story in the first episode. Our review is based on the first 3 episodes from the 5 episode series and we will keep it spoiler-free. Let’s begin!

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios’ Echo, releasing on Hulu and Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2023. All Rights Reserved.

The series starts off 5 months after the events in Hawkeye. If you did not see Hawkeye, don’t worry, because the first 15 minutes of Echo introduce you to Maya Lopez and fill you in on what you missed in Hawkeye. (I do recommend watching Hawkeye when you can due to future projects starring the Young Avengers). As stated, we get to learn about Maya and her family in the beginning of th show and see the vents that lead to her ending up under the tutlage of the Kingpin. It’s great that the show spent a few minutes to let us know who she is and then get right into the action.

The first episode is not only a quick origin story but also shows us why Maya is the tough character she is and why she is on the mission that propels the show. Yes, revenge is the main ingredient to this dish but Maya has more on mind than just sending a message to those in charge. Maya wants it all! Alaqua shows us in her gestures and her posture that she is perfect for this role and is not someone to mess with. Not only is Alaqua perfectly cast but the supporting cast is spectacularly awesome too.

Zahn McClarnon, who plays Maya’s father, William give us some great emotional depth in the few scenes we see him on screen. Tantoo Cardinal and Graham Greene, who play her grandparents, Chula and Skully, show us that why their ancestors are important and become key roles as the series moves on. Yes, the representation of the Choctaw Nation is important to this series and is done is a respectful way. It is also great to see K. Devery Jacobs in this series as Bonnie. The big shadow in the room, Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin, hovers over the series and without being shown his presence is felt by all the characters involved.

(Right): Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios’ Echo, releasing on Hulu and Disney+. Photo by Chuck Zlotnick. ©Marvel Studios 2023. All Rights Reserved.

The second episode feels more like a detective show with Maya looking into a way to send a message to those that have hurt her family and Maya can give Batman a run for the money with her detecting skills. This episode is a little slower paced than the first one but it does expose some relations that will probably be key in future episodes.

The third episode picks up steam again and you will just have to see it to see what we mean.

Echo is pretty much it’s own show and does not heavily rely on cameos or previous movie events to stand on it’s own. This is a down-to-Earth show that plays more like a detective/revenge story than a superhero story. While there is a superhero cameo that has already been shown online, this show is not about them it is about Maya Lopez. It’s about family (not in the Fast & Furious type of way), it’s about respecting your ancestry, and it’s about a bad ass female character that we hope to see more of in the future.

Final Thoughts: Albiet some pacing issues, Echo is a strong entry for the new Marvel Spotlight series of shows. What is great about Echo is that you do not need to see Hawkeye to get to know her due to the first 15-20 minutes of the first episode. Alaqua Cox is sensational and I hope we see more of her in future Marvel projects. Echo is a fascinating look into a different side of Marvel that does not rely on costumed superhero or huge CGI battles to tell the story. This is a Marvel Knights comic come to life!

Kid-Friendly: Although family is a key element in Echo this series might not be for all kids. If your child is old enough to have seen the Netflix Marvel series, they will be ok with the amount of violence in this show. There is no bad language spoken but there are some pretty gritty fight scenes in the first and third episode.

Violence: The amount of violence in this series is equivalent to that shown in the Netflix series. There is blood when someone is shot and the camera does not shy away from it.

Marvel Studios presents “Echo,” spotlighting Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) as she is pursued by Wilson Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) criminal empire. When the journey brings her home, she must confront her own family and legacy. “Echo” also stars Chaske Spencer (“Wild Indian,” “The English”), Graham Greene (“1883,” “Goliath”), Tantoo Cardinal (“Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Stumptown”), K. Devery Jacobs (FX’s “Reservation Dogs,” “American Gods”), Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds,” FX’s “Reservation Dogs”), Cody Lightning (“Hey, Viktor!” “Four Sheets to the Wind”) and Vincent D’Onofrio (“Hawkeye,” “Godfather of Harlem”).

Episodes of the series are directed by Sydney Freeland (Navajo) and Catriona McKenzie (Gunaikurnai). Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Stephen Broussard, Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Richie Palmer, Jason Gavin (Blackfeet), Marion Dayre and Sydney Freeland. Co-executive producers are Jennifer L. Booth and Amy Rardin.

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