The Echo TV series just released on Disney+ and Hulu this week offers one major departure from the comic book super hero Echo. We have the details, what it means for the MCU, and how it references (and diverges) from Echo from the Marvelc omic books.
But before we go there, spoilers ahead for Marvel Studios' Echo.
In her Marvel Comics books, Maya 'Echo' Lopez has photographic reflexes. Born deaf, Maya can perfectly duplicate any physical movement that she sees after seeing it only once. She is literally an 'echo' of others’ physical actions. As a result, she is a master pianist, dancer, acrobat, martial artist, and marksman, amongst other things.
(For a short time Echo was also given the almost unlimited powers of the Phoenix. It was a whole thing.)
In the TV show, while Maya Lopez remains an extremely skilled fighter, that’s now a product of experience rather than a powers-based ability. Over the course of the series Maya learns instead that she has the capacity to draw on the skills of her female ancestors, the past protectors of their Choctaw nation, including strategy, cunning, ferocity and love (as well as agility and great marksmanship). These ancestors, her mother tells her, “echo through her.”
Most notably, Maya gains her mother’s ability to heal the physical and spiritual wounds of others. At the end of the series she uses that power to heal Wilson Fisk of the rage that he has carried from childhood over the abuse he and his mother suffered at the hands of his father. He walks away from that experience clearly changed, although in what way is yet to be revealed.
Some might wonder why Marvel Studios would change what was already such a cool power set. But in point of fact the MCU had already introduced a character with the same photographic reflexes, Taskmaster, in the film “Black Widow.” Meanwhile, even after 15 years in existence the MCU has not a single character with the power to heal others. The fact that Maya’s power also grants her access to the memories and past experiences of those she faces—she actually enters Kingpin's memories in order to help him—have the potential to make her one of the most unexpectedly significant and powerful characters in the Marvel Universe.