The first thing you'll see when you watch “Echo” is the previously unknown Marvel Spotlight logo. Under this banner, more realistic, character-focused stories will be published, which are less tied to the main plot of the MCU, and therefore understandable even to viewers who do not closely follow the history of the universe. A step in the right direction?
Echo – What is the new Marvel and Disney+ series about?
Of course, we'll only find out in the long run, but it already seems like any action different from Marvel's past is more than desirable. The global brand, which had been successively undermined since the last “Avengers” film, registering only isolated successes amid a deluge of smaller and larger failures, had already declined so much that many expected more on-screen failures and scandals rather than something positive. . Especially since “Echo” does not seem to be a title that has the ability to change this dismal trend.
Because you will admit that the miniseries dedicated to an unknown heroine, part of the series “Hawkeye”, without any big names in the cast, did not promise a great success. The premiere was pushed back to the beginning of the year, and for the first time in Marvel history for an entire season at once, it didn't bode well either. At this point, as in every good plot, there has to be a twist, and the underrated title will turn out to be the big winner. Well, no, that may not be the case, but “Ech” cannot be denied good intentions and at least minor successes.
The 5-episode series, now available in its entirety on Disney+, focuses on the further fate of Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), a former subordinate of the Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), after she brings her former boss to justice and discovers that he was the same. The one responsible for her death is her father. It's not a spoiler to say that the king of the New York underworld miraculously survived this encounter, and now his motive is not revenge, but the desire to drag the girl back into the criminal organization. So Maya will face a dilemma: return to the protection of Fisk, whom she calls “Uncle,” or turn to the family she abandoned years ago? Or maybe choose a completely different path?
Echo is a story about the search for identity
Contrary to the advertisements, the series itself does not take this one hundred percent special path, which not only goes back (sometimes literally) to the time of “Hawkeye”, but also goes further, inviting Daredevil (Charlie Cox) to an act of brutality that is fun and at the same time… cementing her status (as well as those of other Netflix Marvel series characters) as an official part of the universe. But this is just an introduction, which, as it turns out, has little significance to the story being told in “Echo.”
This begins in earnest later, when plans to take over the criminal underworld after the Kingpin takes Maya to her hometown of Tamaha, Oklahoma, take a different direction from the previous one. The gangster story fades into the background, giving way to an identity narrative that positions the heroine as one of the Choctaves, which is emphasized by introductions at the beginning of the episodes that introduce her ancestors to whom she is directly related through her powers. Because yes, Maya does have powers, although different from those in the comics, where she was able to mimic the movements of her opponents.
However, just as powers are only an addition to the heroine's fighting skills, fighting for influence in the criminal empire from the beginning seems less important than Maya's origins and her relationships with her loved ones. But this does not mean that “Echo” aspires to the category of complex social drama. There are enough action scenes in which the girl delivers realistic-looking punches and kicks, also performed using a prosthetic that doesn't restrict her movements, to avoid feeling boring. The accompanying family story in turn gives the whole thing depth and character, something that's not a given in the MCU, especially lately.
Echo is a family story with character
But in this case, the show's creator, Marion Dyer (formerly of Better Call Saul), and the writing team have managed to create a plot that's so rich with characters and emotions that it's compelling enough that the show has to offer. I don't want to jump from one fighting game to another. Sure, it may not be a story that will keep you glued to the screen and won't let go, but it has enough character to keep you interested in Maya's fate beyond the score she has to settle with the Kingpin.
In addition to them, we will learn about the heroine's relatives other than her father, William (Zane McClarnon), but we will also discover why her fate separates her from her family and see how she struggles with very strong bonds after so many years. To rebuild. Some characters are treated carelessly, and we have to take her relationship with Maya on faith — for example, the close friendship with her cousin Bonnie (Devery Jacobs, “Reservation Dogs”) — which the show makes up for with skill. A whole host of original performers, such as Graham Greene (“Dances with Wolves”), Tanto Cardinal (“Bloody Moon”) and Chasky Spencer (“The English Woman”), extract the maximum from the limited material. The only downside is that the less experienced Alaqua Cox pales in comparison, even though she has plenty of charisma.
Echo – Is it worth watching Marvel and Disney+ series?
It all adds up to an overall that, while sometimes chaotic (especially, as is always the case in a Marvel series, near the end), it stands as a separate thing in a fantasy universe filled with stories that are larger and more conceptually important than itself. And although I have little doubt that “Echo” will not change the universe or win the hearts of the audience, it is good that there is a place for such characters and their stories. Especially if there's an original idea to it, one that doesn't include anything that could end up being an excess of form over content.
It's kind of refreshing to discover that even though it wasn't the universe, the world, or even New York that needed saving this time, but just a city in Oklahoma, a Marvel movie can still be set up in such circumstances and watched with pleasure. . In fact, even the deaf heroine, the widely used sign language and the extensive use of Native American culture did not prevent the series from finding its place in comic book reality and even introducing a new quality into it. A few? You have to start somewhere, and who knows, maybe the process of getting the MCU back on its feet has its humble beginning here.
Echo is available on Disney+
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