Echo is the first Marvel project to feature a deaf protagonist and the first series to air all five episodes at once.

If, like us, you miss the darker, more adult-oriented Netflix Defenders series (Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage, Punisher), you’ll be intrigued by the official trailer for Echo, which seems to be channeling some of the same gritty energy. In fact, it’s the first Marvel project to earn a TV-MA rating and the first to feature a deaf protagonist. In other firsts, Marvel will drop all five episodes at once on both Disney and Hulu.

(Spoilers for Hawkeye below.)

We’ve already met Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), aka Echo, in Hawkeye. She was the deaf commander of the Tracksuit Mafia, capable of perfectly copying another person’s movements. And she was on a quest to discover the true identity of Ronin, the assassin who had killed her father. That put her on a collision course with Clint Barton/Hawkeye, who had hung up his Ronin gear for good.

When the two adversaries finally battled it out, Barton revealed that someone working for Maya’s boss wanted her father dead. That boss turned out to be Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio). In the Hawkeye finale, Kingpin escaped, only to be confronted by an angry Maya, who had learned the truth about her father’s murder. We heard a gunshot, but who was shot? And was it a fatal wound?

The Echo series is largely an origin story. Per the official premise, the character’s “ruthless behavior 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.” D’Onofrio will reprise his role as Kingpin, sporting a snazzy eyepatch in the trailer, so clearly he survived his last encounter with Maya. We see him take bloody revenge on a street ice cream vendor who mocks Maya’s deafness, then walk away with her, hand in hand. That relationship is obviously going to be one of the major arcs of this miniseries.

The beginning of a beautiful mentorship?
Enlarge / The beginning of a beautiful mentorship?

We even get to see Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Daredevil; there’s a brief glimpse of him in the trailer’s montage of action scenes. He’s apparently searching for a “former ally” in Echo, and while some have interpreted this as being Jessica Jones, nothing has been officially confirmed. Zahn McClarnon will play Maya’s deceased father, William Lopez, and Graham Greene will play a character named Skully.

There were rumors earlier this year that the series encountered numerous production issues and that Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige had been unhappy—declaring the series “unreleasable”—so much of the series was reshot. If so, those issues aren’t apparent in the trailer, anchored by the charismatic screen presence of D’Onofrio and Cox. “You have so much pain in you, so much rage that you can’t contain it,” Fisk tells Maya in a voiceover as violent images flash by. “You and I are the same. So… who’s the monster?”

All five episodes of Echo will drop simultaneously on Hulu and Disney+ on January 10, 2023.

Marvel Studios

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