Today, Marvel Studios released “Echo” on Disney+ and Hulu, which is the first project to fall under its new Marvel Spotlight banner, which focuses more on “grounded, character-driven stories” and less on impacting the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The idea is that these projects don’t require audiences to watch everything Marvel Studios releases and has resulted in some of the general audience feeling there is too much homework required to watch Marvel now.

The name Marvel Spotlight comes from a series of comic books released between 1971 and 1981, which was a tryout book, to allow Marvel to tell stories of new characters, without having to commit to a full comic book series and testing if the audience responded well.   Some of the characters to debut in the comic book series included Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Werewolf By Night.

Ahead of the debut of “Echo”, executive producer Brad Winderbaum—who also serves as Marvel Studios’ Head of Streaming, Television, and Animation, explained what differentiates titles that fall under the Marvel Spotlight banner. 

Marvel Spotlight is about resetting the audience’s expectations. Not everything is tied to a mainline Avengers story or is a necessary path on the road to this “big thing.” There’s no homework required. You can watch it, and we’re going to fill in the blanks. Yes, Maya was in Hawkeye, but if you never saw Hawkeye, believe me, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know so that you can start from scratch when you watch this show.

Brad also explained that while a character does appear in a Marvel Spotlight series, the story can continue in other projects.

That’s exactly right. She is still technically breathing the same air as the Avengers, but it’s not required viewing. You can watch Echo on its own and not feel like you need to watch anything before or after. Will Maya pop up again somewhere else down the line? It’s quite possible. Could she be in an Avengers movie? You never can tell. But that’s not really what the Marvel Spotlight brand is about. The Marvel Spotlight brand is saying, “This a complete meal in and of itself.” Just like the Spotlight comics, whether it’s Captain Marvel or Ghost Rider or Moon Knight, the characters that did well under the Spotlight banner went on to have a life in the greater comic book universe. So, there’s always that potential.

The next series to be released under the Marvel Spotlight banner will be “Wonder Man”, which is set to resume filming soon, having previously been shut down due to the actor’s and writers’ strikes.

It’s unclear if the Marvel Spotlight banner will help inform audiences that these are more self-contained stories that require no previous viewing or if it will just confuse audiences.  With Marvel Studios cutting back on how many projects it makes in the future, to reduce costs and also due to franchise fatigue from there being too many shows and films, it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel Spotlight lasts for more than a few years.

You can watch “Echo” on Disney+ and Hulu now, plus all of the other Marvel Studios films and shows on Disney+.

Are you looking forward to watching more Marvel Spotlight projects?  Let us know on social media!



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Roger Palmer

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. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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