The MCU Echo TV show has arrived – and here she’s a bit different from her comic book counterpart.
The Hawkeye spin-off series picks up some five months after the finale, and follows Maya Lopez as she leaves New York for her hometown in Oklahoma. It’s there that she must reconnect with her Native American roots – which tie directly to her newfound superpowers.
There are some pretty significant differences between Maya’s powers in the comics and in the series – and so, we’ve explained them to the best of our ability.
Warning! Spoilers for Echo are below – don’t scroll ahead until you’ve watched all five episodes!
Who is Maya Lopez?
Maya Lopez, created by David Mack and Joe Quesada, is a deaf, Native American hero who made her first appearance in Daredevil #9 back in 1999. She’s introduced as the adopted daughter of Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin, and goes on to work for him, cementing her villain status. Eventually, Daredevil tells Maya that Kingpin is the one who killed her father, and so she shoots him point blank in the face before leaving the United States on a quest for inner peace.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we first meet Maya in Hawkeye where she is the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia – a crime syndicate overseen by Fisk. Her dad was killed by the Ronin, a.k.a. Clint Barton a.k.a. Hawkeye – after someone associated with Fisk gave Clint her father’s location. After the truth is revealed that Kingpin was actually the one responsible, the series ends with Maya shooting him in the face before speeding off.
What are Maya Lopez’s powers in the comics?
In the comics, Maya is an expert martial artist and Olympic-level athlete who has the ability to copy other people’s movements as well as photographic reflexes. She also relies on reading lips, and can do so with ease.
In Avengers Vol. 8, Echo becomes the new host of the Phoenix Force (an immortal entity) and develops new superpowers that are similar to that of X-Men’s Jean Grey: superhuman strength, telepathy, flight, and the ability to shoot flames of cosmic energy from her hands.
What are Maya Lopez’s powers in Echo?
In the MCU, Maya is an extremely skilled martial artist who has also trained in Capoeira, boxing, Taekwondo, Judo, and MMA. She’s also skilled at using both a sword, staff, and gun in combat (you also might remember that she threw those knives at Kate Bishop in Hawkeye and only missed by a few centimeters). Absent from both shows is her ability to copy movements, which director Sydney Freeland said was “kind of lame.”
In Echo, Maya slowly realizes that she possesses superpowers that are directly linked to her Choctaw heritage. She frequently has visions of the first Choctaw woman, who saves her people from a collapsing cave and has glowing, cosmic energy in her palms. In episode 2, Maya accidentally generates that cosmic energy from her palms and is able to free herself after getting stuck on the top of a moving train. In the final episode, we learn that Maya’s mother possessed the superhuman ability to heal living things, and she appears in a vision to tell Maya that it’s time to harness her own powers.
In the final fight against Kingpin, Maya is not only able to generate that cosmic energy again, but is able to give it to Chula and Bonnie – allowing them to fight off Kingpin’s henchmen. Maya is also able, upon touching his chest, to momentarily bring Kingpin back into his childhood bedroom where he experienced the trauma that made him into a cold-blooded killer. The experience leaves him weak and in shock, and he flees. It’s safe to say that Maya’s mystical Choctaw powers are a (rather cool) reimagining of her Phoenix Force powers.
All five episodes of Echo are streaming now on Disney Plus and Hulu. Make sure your settings are adjusted to TV-MA. For more, check out our Echo ending explained or read more about the Echo post-credits scene.