Marvel Studios is shaking up its routine with its new series, “Echo”, which is a new five-episode series featuring Echo, aka Maya Lopez, who is played by Alaqua Cox and was first introduced in the Disney+ series, “Hawkeye”.
This series does things a little differently from previous Disney+ Marvel shows. First off, it’s only five episodes, making it the shortest of the shows so far, and Disney is going to be dropping all five episodes at once rather than stretching it out week to week. There are a couple of reasons why Disney has made this decision. With superhero fatigue a problem, getting this show all out at once, removed the social reaction and commentary from being dragged out over five weeks.
That could be a good thing, or it might be a bad thing. Disney is focusing all of its efforts on getting people to check out the show in the first week, or as many speculate, it could be because the series isn’t as good, and they want to just get it out there and for fans to move on. However, having seen the first three episodes of the show, I don’t have that worry, but obviously, I’m hoping that Marvel is able to hit the landing in those last two episodes.
“Echo” is also going to be the first series to be released under the new Marvel Spotlight banner, which is basically a new brand of Marvel content that is aimed to be more street-level and won’t be part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, so the stakes are much lower. While this show is a stand-alone story, it does heavily lean into the events of “Hawkeye” and the “Daredevil” series. They do a good job in bringing you up to speed, but it certainly hits harder if you’ve seen those shows.
Speaking of hitting harder, this series will be the first mature Marvel show for Disney+, which is one of many reasons why it will be released on Hulu simultaneously (and boost viewership!). “Echo” has some pretty nasty fight scenes, with plenty of blood and broken bones. If you’ve enjoyed the tone of the former Netflix Marvel shows, you’ll like “Echo’s” tone.
One issue I was a little worried about going into watching “Echo” was, how I was going to connect with a deaf character, who doesn’t talk and uses sign language to communicate. I very quickly got used to reading the subtitles, but it does mean this is a show you need to be 100% focused on. If you’re on your phone surfing the web or playing games, you are going to miss things. The good thing is also, that whoever she is talking to, usually is talking out loud at the same time while also using sign language.
The first three episodes are full of some big fight scenes, including a flashback scene involving Daredevil. This is the scene everyone is excited for from the trailer, and it doesn’t disappoint. This is the Daredevil we remember from the Netflix shows, not the guy walking home with his shoes off in “She-Hulk”. But… beware, this isn’t Daredevil’s show. That one scene is all he was in for those three episodes.
However, if you hated how Kingpin was shown in the “Hawkeye” show, “Echo” takes us back to the Wilson Fisk we all remember. He’s big, bad and brutal. This isn’t the watered-down version in a Hawaiian shirt!
There are a few elements of this series that feel a little out of place. Primarily, the Choctaw flashback scenes to events thousands of years ago, which, at first, I did wonder why these scenes were included until Maya unlocks a superpower when she needs it most. I will be interested to see how this develops further in the series, as this is a big shift from her initial comic book origins and certainly takes her away from being just a street-level character. Her usual skills involve being able to mimic anyone, similar to Taskmaster, but this series doesn’t really explore that at all. Instead, shows her as a tough fighter.
Did “Echo” need her own mini-series? Probably not. Have I enjoyed it? Yes. While it’s an excellent bonus series for Disney+, I can’t help but think that Marvel wouldn’t greenlight this series today, at a time when they are trying to reduce superhero fatigue and increase the quality of the content coming out. “Echo” could have continued to be just a side storyline within the upcoming “Daredevil: Born Again” Disney+ show.
Overall, having watched the first three episodes of “Echo”, I really enjoyed them and was really impressed with how the show feels so different from the other Disney+ shows, as the tone is so different, but also, on the whole, the show feels more grounded. I’m certainly going to be going back to watch the last two episodes when they drop onto Disney+, as I want to know what happens next and how this series might help get Kingpin back into the position of the top bad guy at the street level. But more importantly, these three episodes have taken a character I had zero interest in and expanded her out to be a more interesting character.
Rating – 4 Out Of 5
All five episodes of “Echo” are being released on Disney+ and Hulu on Tuesday 9th January 2024 at 6 pm PT / 9 pm ET
Are you looking forward to watching “Echo”? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.