Here’s What You Need To Remember About ‘Echo’ Before the Series Debuts


The Big Picture

  • Marvel’s new Disney+ series, Echo, will focus on the character Maya Lopez and her journey to face her past and discover her Native American roots.
  • Echo will be the first MCU Disney+ series to receive a TV-MA rating and will be stylistically distinct from other interconnected projects.
  • The series will feature the return of The Kingpin, who will play a major supporting role, connecting Echo to the earlier Marvel series, Daredevil.

The second season of What If…? may have just concluded but the next Marvel Cinematic Universe project is already fast approaching. The MCU will begin its 2024 slate with Echo, a spin-off of Hawkeye with Alaqua Cox reprising her role as Maya Lopez. Echo, the first MCU Disney+ series to receive a TV-MA rating, will also serve as the first installment in Marvel’s new “Spotlight” brand, focusing on more intimate stories that are stylistically distinct from the franchise’s more heavily interconnected projects. Before the five-episode series releases on Disney+ and Hulu on January 9, here is a recap of Maya’s story so far and how it is connected to a pair of fan-favorite Marvel characters who will also be returning in the series.


Maya Lopez must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward.

Release Date
January 9, 2024

Main Genre

Streaming Service(s)

Who is ‘Echo’s Maya Lopez?

A deaf woman of Choctaw descent, Maya was introduced by Hawkeye as the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, a gang that was part of Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) larger criminal empire. Flashbacks depicted key experiences from her childhood and early adulthood. Maya shared a close bond with her father, William (Zahn McClarnon), who proceeded her as leader of the Tracksuits. Despite his position and close partnership with the wealthy Fisk, who Maya thought of as an uncle, William was unable to afford specialized education for Maya and told his daughter that she would have to learn to “walk in two worlds” to succeed in society despite her deafness.

Scenes depicting her training in martial arts showed Maya’s proficiency at quickly learning to mimic her opponents’ fighting styles and exploit their weaknesses, skills her comic book counterpart is famous for. During the Blip, William and many other Tracksuits were killed by Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), the Avenger usually known as Hawkeye, while he was operating as the vengeful vigilante Ronin.

When Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) interrupts a Tracksuit robbery dressed in the Ronin costume, Maya assumes the real Ronin has returned. She becomes obsessed with hunting the vigilante down and killing him in revenge for her father, even though Kazi Kazimierczak (Fra Fee) repeatedly warns her that her efforts at doing so are beginning to interfere with Fisk’s plans and objectives, with Kazi fearing what the crime lord’s reaction will be.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Kingpin with a young Maya Lopez (played by Darnell Besaw) walking away in the Marvel Studios series 'Echo'
Image via Marvel Studios

Hoping to shift the focus of her anger away from him, Kate, and his family, Clint confronts Maya, revealing that he is Ronin and confirming that he killed William. However, he also reveals that he only learned William’s location because of a tip he got from an informant who worked for Fisk. Although she is hesitant to trust Clint, Maya’s suspicions are aroused, and she asks Kazi why he wasn’t at the Tracksuit meeting the night William died. Kazi’s unconvincing reply is that he simply wasn’t called to attend the meeting, with the implication being that he was the informant, or at least was aware Fisk had arranged for William to die.

When Clint and Kate battle Fisk and the Tracksuits at Rockefeller Plaza, Kazi prepares to shoot the former when Clint is attacked by Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Kazi himself is then confronted by Maya, who begs him to leave the criminal life behind with her. Kazi doesn’t believe he can do so and knows Fisk would kill him if he tried to, so he attacks Maya, forcing her to stab him with one of Clint’s arrows, seemingly killing him. After Fisk is injured in battle with Kate, Maya confronts him, armed with a gun. Fisk states that they are family, but Maya raises the gun, and as the camera tilts away from them a gunshot is heard, suggesting that she shoots him in the head as she does in the comics.

‘Echo’ Features the Return of The Kingpin

But, as in the comics, Fisk somehow survives and is set to play a major supporting part in Echo, which also seems set to build off his role in an earlier Marvel series, Daredevil. Fisk was introduced in Daredevil, the first of several MCU series made for Netflix, which are popularly referred to as “The Defenders Saga”. In the series’ first season, Fisk, having entered into a life of crime at an early age after killing his abusive father, works with other criminals in an elaborate conspiracy to remake New York City as he sees fit, having deluded himself into thinking he is doing so for good reasons.

At the end of the season, he is arrested after corrupt police detective Carl Hoffman (Daryl Edwards) testifies about his knowledge of and involvement with Fisk’s criminal activities while being represented by blind attorney Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) and his partner Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson). While he is being taken into custody, Fisk is freed by a team of mercenaries but is then attacked and apprehended again by Matt, who is operating as his superhero alter ego, Daredevil.

Fisk plays a small but important role in the second season, during which he uses his wealth to gain influence over the prison he is incarcerated in and facilitates Frank Castle/The Punisher’s (Jon Bernthal) escape. He takes a liking to his comic book title of “Kingpin” after using the term in a slight against a rival gangster named Dutton (William Forsythe), who had previously referred to himself as, “the kingpin of this bitch.” When Matt confronts him about his involvement in Frank’s escape the pair get into a brief fight that leads Fisk to suspect Matt is not an ordinary blind man.

In the third season, Fisk manages to get himself moved into house arrest at a luxurious hotel after providing the FBI with information about other criminal organizations. His manipulations of the government escalate until he eventually gets himself publicly exonerated even while retaking control of the city’s criminal underworld thanks to his new enforcer, a highly skilled but disturbed FBI agent named Ben Poindexter (Wilson Bethel), who dresses like Daredevil to frame Matt’s alter ego for his crimes, with Fisk having previously confirmed his suspicions that Matt and Daredevil are one and the same.

Eventually, however, Matt manages to expose Fisk’s latest crimes and turns Poindexter against him by showing him that Fisk was behind the murder of the woman Poindexter is obsessed with. The men then engage in a brutal three-way fight, with Fisk eventually incapacitating Poindexter by severely injuring his spine. Matt then defeats Fisk, and, after resisting the temptation to kill him, gets him to agree not to reveal his secret identity or threaten Foggy or Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) by threatening to expose Fisk’s wife, Vanessa’s (Ayelet Zurer), involvement in the death of FBI agent Ray Nadeem (Jay Ali).


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‘Echo’ May Build on the ‘Daredevil’ Netflix Series

Several years after Daredevil and the other Marvel Netflix series were canceled, Matt, like Fisk, was reintroduced to the MCU. Cox first reprised the role in a cameo in the film Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which Matt helps Peter Parker (Tom Holland) avoid prosecution after his secret identity as Spider-Man is exposed. He next appeared in a supporting role in the Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. In that series, Matt defends Luke Jacobson (Griffin Matthews), a fashion designer who caters to superhumans, from a lawsuit, so that Luke does not have to reveal the secret identities of his superhero clients.

After winning the case, Matt buys the opposing lawyer, fellow superhuman Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany) a drink to make peace and the pair quickly develop a mutual attraction. Matt encourages Jen to embrace the She-Hulk side of her identity she unintentionally obtained, pointing out that she can use her powers to help people the legal system fails. After she discovers he is Daredevil, they team up to rescue Jacobson when he is abducted by Jen’s client, Eugene Patilio/Leap-Frog (Brandon Stanley), after which they have sex and spend the night together at Jen’s place. In the season finale, the pair are shown to still be in a casual romantic relationship. Matt will return again in Echo, although his role is likely to be smaller than Fisk’s.

Although the Netflix series were initially described as being part of the MCU and contained references to the films, the films did not reciprocate until Matt appeared in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The cancellation of the series, the delay in incorporating any of their characters into crossovers with figures from the films, and differences in how Matt and Fisk have been portrayed since their returns have led many to believe that the Netflix series are no longer considered canon to the MCU by the franchise’s creators and that Cox and D’Onofrio are playing different variants of their characters, with Daredevil and the rest of The Defenders Saga having taken place in a different world in the Marvel multiverse.

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in the Marvel Studios series Echo
Image via Marvel Studios

If this is the case, only details about the characters featured in their most recent appearances will likely be relevant to Echo. But there is also evidence suggesting that the new series will more fully embrace Daredevil’s continuity. In the brief glimpses of Matt’s Echo appearance that have been shown in promotional material, the character is wearing the red and black superhero costume he wore in Daredevil, rather than the red and gold one he wore in She-Hulk. Recent Echo promos have also featured conspicuous shots of a hammer that resembles the one Fisk used to kill his father. It’s also worth noting that after Echo, Charlie Cox and D’Onofrio will headline a new Daredevil series, subtitled Born Again, in which Bernthal will also reprise his role as Castle, lending further support to the idea that at least Daredevil and Bernthal’s spin-off The Punisher, if not all the Marvel Netflix series, are still canon to the MCU.

But regardless of what it does or doesn’t reveal about its predecessors’ place in Marvel’s continuity, Echo looks to be an exciting addition to the franchise. The return to the TV-MA rating suggests that the MCU will continue to make the kind of tonal and stylistic experiments that fans and critics alike have been calling for and Maya, Matt, and Fisk are all compelling characters viewers are eager to spend more time with.

Echo will be available to stream on Disney+ and Hulu at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on January 9.

Watch on Disney+


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