When hearing the news that Marvel Studios is developing an Echo show, one could be forgiven for asking “a who show now ?”. Although Maya Lopez has been around in the Marvel universe for the past 20 years, she’s mostly been a secondary character for heroes such as Daredevil, Moon Knight, or Captain Marvel; only getting a central focus in the past year thanks to recent events in the pages of Jason Aaron’s Avengers. And now that she’s under Marvel’s MCU Hawkeye spotlight and hopefully here to stay, it’s time to take a dive in Echo’s comic book history.
Created by David Mack and Joe Quesada in 1999, Echo is both one of Marvel’s few Native American characters, and one of their only deaf heroes. She was raised by the Kingpin, and after turning against him, she became a superhero and an Avenger, using her photographic reflexes to fight crime across the Marvel universe. And now, she is becoming a main player both in the comics and in the MCU, as played by actress Alaqua Cox.
Collects: Daredevil (1998) #9-15
Although she is introduced in a Daredevil story arc, Echo is as much the protagonist of this story as Matt Murdock is. Because of her powers and disability, she is presented as Daredevil’s polar opposite, a love interest, as well as a naïve young woman manipulated by the Kingpin. Though she starts out as an antagonist, hating Daredevil and believing he killed her father, she ends up turning against Wilson Fisk and taking a more heroic turn.
Collects: Daredevil (1998) #51-55
In this mostly solo Echo story, David Mack’s incredible art tells the story of Echo going back to the Reservation where she spent her childhood and going on a Vision Quest with Wolverine.
Collects: New Avengers #11-25, Giant-Size Spider-Woman #1, New Avengers Annual #1
When Captain America and the Avengers need help against the Hand and the Silver Samurai, Daredevil recommends that they go to the mysterious Ronin… aka Echo’s new vigilante persona. As Ronin, Echo goes on a mission to keep an eye on the Japanese underworld.
Collects: Civil War: The Initiative, New Avengers #26-37, New Avengers Annual #2, New Avengers: Illuminati #1-5
In the aftermath of Civil War, Echo is still in Japan when she is killed by Elektra and brought back to life by the Hand. The underground Avengers come and rescue her, and she joins the team as the Marvel universe heads into Secret Invasion. Echo is mostly a background member of the team, but in issue #39 (her last appearance in the run), she meets with Daredevil before realizing his secret identity.
Collects: Moon Knight (2011) #1-12
Undercover in Los Angeles, Maya begins a partnership with Moon Knight to fight the criminal underworld, the Night Shift, and Count Nefaria.
Echo reappears in Daredevil Annual #1, rescuing Daredevil from Klaw’s sound-based attack. She also appears in Daredevil #21, teaming up with Daredevil and Luke Cage (and yes, writer Charles Soule forgot Echo and Luke used to be on the Avengers together, as he has them act like it’s their first time meeting each other).
Collects: Captain America (2018) #1-12
Echo is one of Sharon Carter’s Daughters of Liberty, fighting for the American Dream, and helping Cap find the person who killed Thunderbolt Ross.
Collects: Captain Marvel (2019) #1-5
Echo is one of the heroes stuck on Roosevelt Island when it is transformed into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In Captain Marvel #8, Echo and a few other heroes help organise a party for Carol Danvers.
Collects: Captain America (2018) #13-19
The Daughters of Liberty help Cap against the Watchdog Militia.
In a story from Marvel’s Voices: Indigenous Voices #1, Loki sends Echo to fight a Badoon swamp god to prepare her for her destiny. This story is written by Rebecca Roanhorse, who is still currently writing the character in Phoenix Song.
Collects: Avengers (2018) #39-45
As the Enter the Phoenix storyline begins, Echo enters a battle royale to choose the new Phoenix Host… and a sea-shattering fight with Namor decides whether or not she is worthy of becoming the Phoenix.
Collects: Heroes Reborn (2021) #1-7, Heroes Return (2021) #1
In a changed universe where nobody has ever heard of the Avengers and the Squadron Supreme (of all people) are the world’s main superteam, Echo is one of the rare heroes who remembers the old world. And during the fight to restore the universe as it was, she is critical to obtaining victory.
Collects: Avengers (2018) #46-50
The Avengers are under attack from the Winter Guard.
With her new role as the Phoenix putting her on the radar of many Marvel universe characters, Echo goes back to her roots to find that her whole family line is under attack from the Adversary.