Hawkeye Formally Introduces Echo in the MCU

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Hawkeye, now streaming on Disney+

One of the strengths of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the way in which it manages to introduce different figures from across the original Marvel Universe, setting up a host of new figures in unlikely and unexpected ways. This includes introducing heroes... as villains.

The final moments of Hawkeye's second episode formally introduce the MCU's incarnation of Echo -- setting up a future hero by initially painting her as a threat to both Clint Barton and Kate Bishop, and as a potential association of a different Marvel crime lord.

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Hawkeye is largely focused on the fallout of Kate Bishop accidentally claiming the Ronin suit. After taking the costume formerly used by Hawkeye to enact bloody vengeance across the globe during the period when half of humanity had been reduced to ash by the efforts of Thanos, Bishop finds herself with a surprising target on her back. Due to the criminals who still seek vengeance for Hawkeye's actions, Clint Barton involves himself in her situation, trying to take the suit from her before anyone else can get hurt. Through a series of twists and turns, though, both Barton and Bishop end up in the hands of the Tracksuit Dracula mobsters, who quickly inform their employer of their recent capture: Echo.

Echo -- who is set to have her own Disney+ MCU show spinning out of the events of Hawkeye -- eventually becomes a hero in her own right. Echo debuted in Daredevil #9 by David Mack and Joe Quesada. Orphaned by Wilson Fisk -- aka the Kingpin -- the New York-based crime lord took in Maya Lopez and raised her as his own. Proving to be a prodigy at a young age, despite her deafness, Maya eventually fell in love with Matt Murdock -- and combated him as Echo, believing his alter-ego Daredevil was a threat to her adopted father. Eventually turning her back on Fisk when she learned the truth about him, Echo became a heroic figure in the Marvel Universe, adopting the Ronin identity and joining the Avengers. Recently, Echo's taken on the mantle of the new Thunderbird after becoming the latest host for the Phoenix Force.

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Echo's appearance as the apparent head of the Tracksuit Dracula gang implies that she has yet to achieve her redemptive arc, and instead remains committed to a life of crime. This doesn't mean she's trapped on that path, however. Plenty of Marvel characters -- including Echo's comics counterpart -- began as more villainous figures before turning and fighting alongside her fellow superheroes. With an entire series seemingly dedicated to her set to debut sometime in the near future, it's likely Hawkeye will see Echo initially introduced as a criminal figurehead before transitioning towards a more noble path as a hero in her own right.

However, there's also the question of how much the MCU will reflect Echo's comics origin. Having her as the adopted daughter of Wilson Fisk would give the show an easy reason to have Echo involved in the criminal world from the onset, and would explain how she became ruthless enough to lead her own gang. Considering the numerous rumors that Kingpin will make his MCU debut sooner than later, it would make sense to have him as the ultimate crime lord of the city, with Echo (and numerous others) answering to him. It'd also give her a unique perspective on the character that could paint the Kingpin as a complicated figure beyond his criminal dealings.

Echo's long-standing connection to Fisk in the comics makes this an interesting possibility -- and perhaps the best way to establish Kingpin as a general Marvel threat instead of just a Daredevil-centric antagonist, pitting Fisk's ambitions against the efforts of a former Avenger even before formally introducing his more iconic horn-headed adversary to the rest of the MCU.

To see Echo's MCU introduction, the first two episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.

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Brandon Zachary (4204 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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