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Echo: 5 Things You Need To Remember Before Watching Episode 1

A new year comes with a new Marvel hero getting their time in the spotlight. Marking her return to the Disney+ domain, Alaqua Cox's tough-as-nails Maya Lopez, aka Echo, is back in a brand-new five-part series, and it's safe to say that trouble is just around the corner. But it's been a hot minute (well, over two years) since "Hawkeye," when fans last saw Echo in action, so it's understandable if your memory of how things ended is a little sketchy.

In between Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) being taught the ways of avenging and Clint Barton, aka Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), clearing things up with Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) regarding her sister's death, there was a lot to take on board, Echo aside. However, many of Maya's relationships are left in ruins, and chances are, they'll come back to haunt her. But there's even more to remember before Echo's upcoming encore besides all that.

Echo has an awesome power set

It isn't massively highlighted during her time on "Hawkeye," but just like her comic book counterpart, the live-action Maya Lopez has the pretty nifty skill of photographic reflexes, meaning she can watch, replicate, and instantly wreck any opponent who dares to square off with her in a fight. The question is whether this will be prominently featured on "Echo" and whether it will be the only thing she'll be packing by the end of it.

It's worth noting that Maya is no longer under the protection of her former boss, Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio), having shot and left him for dead, a choice that is sure to leave the pawn turned protagonist needing everything in her arsenal to stay on top of the hazardous situation she's put herself in. Using her enemies' skills against them would certainly help, but judging by footage shown at D23 Expo 2022, there's a chance that Maya might tap into something else by the end of the season, something that comes with a little more flair than just figuring out where she'll get punched next.

Ronin killed her dad

For the most part, "Hawkeye" is as much about bestowing the bow and title to a new candidate as it is about Barton dealing with past demons, the latter of which manifests as Maya after she learns that Clint is responsible for the death of her father, William Lopez (Zahn McClarnon), during his hopeless stint as Ronin between "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." She may have her stand-alone spot now, but Echo's entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is one fuelled by vengeance.

Thankfully, a few regretful words from the avenging archer manage to sway Echo to wipe him from her kill list, but while she might have switched to a more forgiving mood after learning about her boss' involvement in the whole situation, moving on is no easy feat. Chances are that moments like this and many more in the future might lead to an internal struggle of whether to return to her old and incredibly lethal ways. Here's hoping she sticks to her guns, fists, or whatever makeshift weapon falls into her hands.

Echo alone

If Echo isn't haunted enough by the death of her father and allowing his killer to go free, there's also the very tall shadow being cast by the memory of her father figure: Wilson Fisk. While it's great to see her finally free from the crime lord's control, there's no doubt that killing your longtime mentor would take its toll on you in one way or another. It also puts Echo in a position, for better or worse, that she's never been in before: entirely alone.

With both father figures in her life (seemingly) out of the picture permanently, Maya now has the agency to determine her own course of action and the dangers that come with it. It marks a new chapter for Maya that could make or break her uncertain future in the MCU. However, one of the things that's guaranteed to happen is her going up against the feared and legendary Devil of Hell's Kitchen.

Echo's frenemy Daredevil is somewhere in the MCU

While Maya might have already clashed with a few popular characters, the trailer for "Echo" confirms that she'll be colliding with Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox), as well, as die-hard fans have been hoping for ever since both she and Kingpin arrived in the MCU on "Hawkeye" — in the comics, she has just as much of a connection with the lawyer turned vigilante as she does with Fisk himself.

Of course, the important matter to consider is just how much the Man Without Fear will play a part in her stand-alone story given that the trailer has her heading back to her roots. While the chances of seeing Murdock throwing his billy club around a Midwestern town seem unlikely, the preview proves that Echo will be dancing with the Devil at some point on the show, and it's an encounter we can't wait to see.

Maya killed Kingpin, right?

As everyone knows, if you come at the king, you best not miss. Unfortunately, Maya may have done just that in putting an off-target bullet in Wilson Fisk after learning that the crime lord gave Ronin the tip leading to her father's death in the series finale of "Hawkeye," the result of which is likely to be a heavy dose of vengeance in a tailored white suit.

If Fisk is alive (psst, he definitely is, isn't he?), just what kinds of dangers and drama could that bring for Maya and how is she going to fight back against a force that has proven, now more than ever, to be almost unstoppable? Can we expect him to hold a grudge, and will Maya have enough to hold her own against her former boss and now sworn enemy? We'll find out when "Echo" premieres on January 9, 2024.