The MCU is breaking new ground with Echo. The surprisingly brutal action series is reminiscent of Netflix successes such as Daredevil. Find out here whether the Marvel novelty is worth it
A new era of the MCU has begun. With Echo, Disney+ is launching a special Marvel series that does a lot differently to its predecessors. Not only is it the first Marvel Studios series to be rated TV-MA (17+), it is also the first project to be released under Marvel’s new Spotlight banner.
Spotlight means that the series stands on its own and has not been linked to the major continuity of the film series. And that’s not all: all 5 episodes of Echo will be available to stream on Disney+ right from the start on January 10. But that still doesn’t answer the most important question: is Echo a good series … or the next Secret Invasion disaster?
MCU prior knowledge not required: This is what the Marvel series Echo is all about
You haven’t seen Hawkeye or don’t quite remember the gangster villain Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox)? No problem, because Echo reintroduces you to the deaf foster daughter of the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio from Marvel’s Daredevil). The story begins with her childhood in the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. After a serious accident that costs her mother her life and Maya a leg, her father is banished from the family.
From then on, Maya grows up in the criminal underworld of New York, where she is taken in by the powerful Wilson Fisk years later after the death of her father. The beefy gangster eventually molds her into an outstanding fighter and ice-cold killer – with devastating consequences. When Maya discovers that Uncle Fisk (and not a killer called Ronin) orchestrated her father’s murder, she takes revenge by shooting him in the face.
Watch the trailer for the Marvel series Echo here:
After this lengthy prologue, we finally learn what happens to Maya after the events of Hawkeye. Several months later, the entire Kingpin empire is searching for the “King Killer”, who returns to her hometown of Tamaha on the run. While old family wounds reopen after 20 years of absence, Maya’s New York problems soon put her Choctaw community in danger.
For the lively Kingpin, now disfigured in the face, still has a score to settle with his protégé and is looking for her. Fortunately, returning to the place of her childhood brings about changes in Maya that strengthen her for the fight. The connection to her ancestors and echoes of the past awaken superhuman powers in her.
Dark action like Daredevil: Is the MCU series Echo worth it?
If you’re tired of superhero mayhem and multiverse chaos, Echo could be just the series for you. As an MCU series from the new Marvel Spotlight label, it assumes no prior knowledge and boasts a more down-to-earth character story that, for once, doesn’t set the stage for the next blockbuster movie and stands on its own.
The basic tone of Echo is reminiscent of the more adult Defenders series from Netflix, such as Daredevil or The Punisher. Not just because Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and the Kingpin are back. The brutal and intensely staged fights also bring back memories of tougher Marvel times. A 4-minute cut-free plan sequence in which Maya faces a horde of enemies and the Scarlet Avenger himself is a particular action highlight.
Aside from the action, Echo impresses above all with narrative innovations for the MCU. For the first time, a deaf protagonist is at the center of the story, whose dialogues take place in sign language. The most exciting thing about Echo, however, is the focus on the culture of Native Americans, particularly the Choctaw tribe.
Not only do we get to see interesting and lovable characters from the reservation in Oklahoma. Individual episodes are also opened by creatively designed flashbacks that illuminate the stories of Mayan ancestors using different styles and genres. For example, in the form of a black and white silent western that takes us back to the 19th century.
The mix of supernatural ancestral tales, raw crime drama and occasional comedy moments unfortunately comes across a little bumpy in places. Nevertheless, Echo knows how to convince with creative ideas and delivers entertaining Marvel entertainment with its 5 crisp episodes. It’s not a new Daredevil, but fortunately it’s not a new Secret Invasion either.
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The series check was based on all 5 episodes of season 1