The “Echo” mini-series explores the life of a Native American Super-Heroine named Maya Lopez aka Echo. In the world of Marvel comics, Maya is portrayed as an anti-hero.
After the Reservation Dogs series, we are witnessing a step in the right direction for the indigenous native community as well as the North American entertainment industry.
Summary of the Echo (S1/2024) Mini Series
The origin story of Echo revisits Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), whose ruthless behaviour in New York City catches up with her in her hometown. She 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.
Rating of the Echo (S1/2024) Mini Series
|FM Short Comments
|Alaqua Cox plays the Native American Super-Heroine with her unique style and a lot of heart. We liked her origin story, which takes us into the world of the indigenous Native American community of Choctaw. However, with only five episodes, its story seemed rushed. But we liked what we saw – Echo!
Spoiler Free Review of the Echo (2024) Mini Series
We had last seen the “Echo” character in the Hawkeye mini-series of 2021. Alaqua Cox first appeared as Maya Lopez/Echo in that Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) show.
Now, after a few years, we have this classic spin-off titled the “Echo” series from Marvel. One of the positive aspects of this mini-series is that we get to see the indigenous Native representation in it. The origin story of “Echo” focuses on her Choctaw roots. Besides, we get a glimpse into the history, culture, language, etc. of the Choctaw people in this series.
About its basic story
The story of the central character Maya Lopez is set in the rural Oklahoma community of Tamaha, which is based on a real eastern Oklahoma town formerly in the Choctaw Nation.
As per its official version of this show, the story goes like this: “Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) grows up with the fearsome crime lord Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), as her honorary uncle and boss. When they wind up at odds, Maya declares war on Kingpin’s empire and makes her stand in her small Oklahoma hometown, where she must confront her family and legacy.”
What did we dislike in this show?
With its dominant native American theme, it is a step in the right direction. However, the five-episode mini-series did not do real justice to the fine story of the “Echo” character. The first episode was rushed. They packed in years of the background story of Echo into a few minutes. And that fact we did not like. We learnt that perhaps the limited budget led to it.
A lot to admire about actress Alaqua Cox and her character Maya Lopez/Echo
For those, who have not read about her character Maya Lopez (aka Echo), allow us to briefly tell you all about her: “Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) is an indigenous Native American character. She was born into the Choctaw Nation in rural Oklahoma. The character follows in the footsteps of her father William Lopez (Zahn McClarnon), who becomes the fierce commander of the New York City criminal organization the Tracksuit Mafia.”
Alaqua Cox, a deaf actress, portrays the titular superhero Echo, also known as Maya Lopez, in the Hawkeye series of 2021. Echo, a vengeful and bitter Native American hero, possesses a unique fighting skill that enables her to mimic her adversary's movements.
Now about Alaqua Cox, what can we say?
The actress Alaqua Cox grew up on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin. Rather interestingly, before being cast in the role of Maya Lopez/Echo, she did not have acting experience outside of a high school play. However, like her character, Alaqua Cox is deaf and a partial amputee in real life. So, she was born deaf, just like the character in the original comics, and has a prosthetic leg. Genuinely she is one of the first actresses with a disability to play a leading role in the MCU of Hollywood.
Kudos to Cox’s spirit and energy. She is amazing in it. We loved her intense acting and her high-octane action sequences in this show. She has breathed real life into reel character.
What else did we like in this show?
While watching this five-episode long, we felt as if we were reading a fine comic book. It reminded us of our childhood days when comics were a major part of our lives. Then, as discussed earlier, we liked the novel aspect of indigenous elements (check the spoilers below) incorporated into its story narrated from the Natives’ perspective.
The Hawkeye (2021) series directing duo Bert and Bertie Ellwood choose to not work on the series saying "We love the character of Echo, but... the Native American story of [Echo], in our opinion, should really be told by someone in that [native] community."
As a result, the two directors of indigenous origin – Sydney Freeland (4ep.) and Catriona McKenzie (1ep.) have directed this show. Not only that, with a few exceptions like Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk), the majority of the actors are of Native American origin – Chaske Spencer (Henry Black Crow Lopez), Graham Greene (Skully), Devery Jacobs (Bonnie), Zahn McClarnon (William Lopez), Tantoo Cardinal (Chula), Cody Lightning (Cousin Biscuits), Morningstar Angeline (Lowak), Dannie McCallum (Tuklo), Katarina Ziervogel (Taloa), Julia Jones (Chafa), etc. The entire filmmaking team have done a good job of storytelling.
The action sequences are full of imagination and very well choreographed. The super-heroine Echo (Alaqua Cox) pleasantly surprised us with her fluid mobility in such shots.
Echo's Soundtrack on YouTube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWoShABd300&list=PLLv3qeuV3YDp-Km4DkllP25Bi5IY0f_Z_
It is worth noting that the first two episodes of “Echo” reference the Choctaw origin story. It showcased tribal traditions like stickball (check the spoilers below) and included frequent use of the native Choctaw language. Also, the soundtrack of this show is rather unique and haunting. You can check out the YouTube video/audio link to the same shared above.
We are living in a world full of negative people. Where even in the twenty-first century, many such folks do not wish to listen to and watch the stories of the indigenous native communities. We hope that soon, the world will continue to be a better place for the marginalized native voices. And we get to hear and see many such good stories like “Echo” in the mainstream media. Till such time, watch the Echo and let its voice reverberate.
Spoilers Alert of the Echo (2024) Mini Series
The 5 things to keep in mind before watching the “Echo” show (video)
Please note that the Echo (2024) series is a spin-off of the Hawkeye (2021) series.
5 Things to Know Before Watching Marvel’s ‘Echo’ Show (RT video)
- Who is Echo?
- What happened in the Hawkeye show?
- What will happen in Echo?
- Who are the other characters?
- Who made it happen?
A peek into the Five (5) Episodes of the “Echo” show
Please note that each of the five episodes is named after an ancestor of Maya, with the final episode named for Maya herself.
Chafa (S1, E1 – 51 minutes)
Young Maya Lopez leaves her hometown of Tamaha, Oklahoma following her mother’s death and moves to New York City, where Wilson Fisk raises her to be a ruthless assassin. Upon learning Fisk had her father killed, Maya shoots him and flees the criminal underworld of New York City after killing Kingpin.
Lowak (S1, E2 – 41 minutes)
Maya enlists her disapproving family to help remove Kingpin’s army while experiencing strange visions. Maya hits back against Kingpin’s army.
Tuklo (S1, E3 – 45 minutes)
Maya learns the meaning of collateral damage when Fisk’s army arrives in Tamaha. And then the trouble comes to Tamaha.
Taloa (S1, E4 – 40 minutes)
Maya finds herself at a crossroads as she faces the shadows of her past and contemplates her future. She learns more about her past.
Maya (S1, E5 – 37 minutes)
The lives of Maya’s family hang in the balance when Fisk’s army invades the Choctaw Nation powwow. There were fireworks at the powwow.
A few important cultural references to the indigenous Choctaw Nation
Please note that the origin story of Chahta plays a big part at the beginning of Echo. Her ancestors emerged from Nanih Waiya, the Mother Mound, in what is now Mississippi. The imagery of the clay people comes from this story. Then you might notice the following references too in this series:
Biskinik (Woodpecker Bird)
It is a special friend to the Chahta people. This little woodpecker was blessed by the Creator to live near their ancestors and warn them of danger by tapping out messages on trees.
Ishtaboli, or stickball
It is an ancient game played by several indigenous Native American communities. Originally, it helped their ancestors settle disputes and avoid war. Today, the game is played competitively and in exhibitions across the Choctaw Nation Reservation and beyond.
Traditional Choctaw dress is worn by “echo”
It incorporates some of our most important iconography. The diamond pattern represents the diamondback rattlesnake, which protected their ancestors’ crops. These snakes are not aggressive, but they stand ready to attack if provoked, traits that are also present in the Chahta people.
Info. Source: https://choctawnation.com/
Poster of the Echo (2024) Mini Series
Key Details about the Echo (2024) Mini Series
|Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Mystery
|English (a bit of Native Choctaw language)
|January 9, 2024
|Sydney Freeland (4) & Catriona McKenzie (1)
|Alaqua Cox (Maya Lopez), Chaske Spencer (Henry Black Crow Lopez), Graham Greene (Skully), Tantoo Cardinal (Chula), Devery Jacobs (Bonnie), Zahn McClarnon (William Lopez), Cody Lightning (Cousin Biscuits), Vincent D’Onofrio (Wilson Fisk), Morningstar Angeline (Lowak), Dannie McCallum
(Tuklo), Katarina Ziervogel (Taloa), Julia Jones (Chafa), etc.
|No bad deed goes unpunished.
|Disney+ & Hulu
Trailer of the Echo (2024) Mini Series
Featured Image & Poster of the Echo (2024) Mini Series. Pics. Credit: Marvel.