Echo reviews call new Hawkeye spin-off one of Marvel’s ‘best shows in years’

The five-episode miniseries stars Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, Marvel’s first Indigenous, deaf, amputee superhero

Kevin E G Perry
Wednesday 10 January 2024 18:50 GMT
Marvel Studios’ ‘Echo’ trailer

The first Marvel release of 2024 has arrived, and critics are calling Echo one of the studio’s “best TV shows in years”.

The new five-part miniseries – airing on Disney+ – stars Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, who makes history as Marvel’s first Indigenous, deaf, amputee superhero.

The character was first introduced in the 2021 series Hawkeye as a member of the Tracksuit Mafia, a gang of enforcers for Wilson ‘Kingpin’ Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). Kingpin had taken Lopez under his wing after the death of her gangster father William (Zahn McClarnon).

Now, the character leads her own story which picks up after the events of Hawkeye. Alongside Cox in the lead role, the series also sees D’Onofrio return as Kingpin and Charlie Cox cameo as Daredevil.

The gritty series is Marvel’s first to receive an MA (Mature Audience Only) rating and is already being tipped to be one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) highlights of the year. The studio has a relatively light 2024 release schedule, with just one film slated to be released so far.

Rolling Stone’s Alan Sepinwall wrote that he feared the worst after recent lacklustre Marvel efforts such as Secret Invasion and The Marvels, but found Echo to be “one of the stronger MCU shows overall when it comes to accomplishing what it sets out to do.”

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios’ 'Echo’ (Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios)

He added: “Echo isn’t aspiring to high art, but the ensemble make Maya’s pulpy world feel completely lived-in, real, and complex, which adds welcome depth and shading to all the kick-kick, punch-punch sequences.”

In a three-star review for the Evening Standard, Vicky Jessop wrote that while the series is “disjointed” and “uneven”, the lead performance stands out.

“Cox really is great as Maya,” writes Jessop. “The resentment practically burns off her: one glint from her eyes conveys a world of sullenness. Her Deafness is never commented on, and it’s never portrayed as a drawback: instead, Sign language (both American and Plains Indian) is used plentifully by both hearing and non-hearing throughout the series, which is great, as is the sound editing which periodically brings us into and out of Maya’s world.”

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

IGN‘s Hanna Innes Flint rated the series even higher, calling it a “resounding success” in her 8/10 review.

“Echo is a refreshingly gritty, grounded, and unflinchingly violent superhero story – though its connections to the larger MCU continuity may run deeper than advertised,” says Flint. “Amid nods to vintage Westerns and premium crime dramas, Alaqua Cox delivers a culturally authentic and captivating antihero worth rooting for.”

The show has also received praise from Indigenous critics, with Native Viewpoint’s Vincent Schilling writing in his 9.7/10 review: “Echo delivers something I have yet to see in a Marvel movie or series: the feeling of being on a Rez. Inasmuch as I was watching a series, I felt something else I had never felt before. I felt like I was watching what I might see in my own home, with my own family.”

And although Empire’s Sophie Butcher felt the series was “inconsistently paced and lacking in character development”, she concluded that: “Echo is still an interesting look at a pretty remarkable hero, with some thrilling fights — and the more adult tone is a welcome new direction for the MCU.”

Echo is available to stream now on Disney+.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in