Echo (Marvel Comics)
|First appearance||As Echo:|
Daredevil #9 (December 1999)
The New Avengers #11 (November 2005)
|Created by||David Mack|
|Alter ego||Maya Lopez|
|Team affiliations||New Avengers|
|Notable aliases||Ronin, Phoenix|
Echo (Maya Lopez) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The adoptive daughter of the Kingpin, the character has been depicted as a supporting character of Daredevil. A Native American and one of the very few deaf comic characters, her "Echo" guise includes a white handprint that covers most of her face.
Echo first appeared in Daredevil #9 (December 1999), created by writer David Mack and artist Joe Quesada. She first appeared as Ronin in The New Avengers #11 (November 2005), created by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch. The Ronin identity was an attempt by Bendis to create a mystery after the apparently male character was depicted on several comic book covers, including issues of The New Avengers and one The Pulse issue. Fan speculation was high, with the most common guess that Ronin was Matt Murdock; Bendis eventually revealed this to be the original intention despite initially denying that this was the case. However, Avengers: The Ultimate Guide revealed Ronin to be Maya Lopez weeks before the slightly delayed release of New Avengers #13, where Ronin's true identity was belatedly revealed.
Fictional character biography
Maya Lopez was a young girl when her father Willie "Crazy Horse" Lincoln was killed by the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk). Crazy Horse dies, leaving a bloody handprint on Maya's face and a last dying wish: that the Kingpin raise Maya well. Kingpin honors his dying wish, caring for her as his own daughter. Believed to be mentally disabled, Maya is sent to an expensive school for people with learning disabilities. There, she manages to completely replicate a song on the piano. She is subsequently sent to another expensive school for prodigies, and would soon be a gifted woman.
Maya is sent by the Kingpin to prove Matt Murdock's weakness, telling her that Matt believes Fisk is a bad person and that she is the only way to prove him wrong. As Maya believes Fisk, it would not appear to be a lie when she tells Matt.
Murdock and Maya soon fall in love. She later takes on the "Echo" guise to hunt down Daredevil. On her face, she paints a white handprint, similar to the bloody handprint left by her dying father. Maya proves more than a match for Daredevil, having watched videos of Daredevil and Bullseye fighting. After several failed attempts, noticing that Daredevil can easily move through the dark, Maya easily figures out Daredevil's weakness, and exploits this by having a fight in a place where Daredevil's heightened senses are useless. Maya easily takes Daredevil down and nearly kills the vigilante, refusing only when she finds out Matt and Daredevil are one and the same. Matt manages to correct the Kingpin's lies. In revenge, Maya confronts and shoots Fisk in the face, blinding Fisk and starting the chain of events that lead to the man's eventual downfall (Kingpin later partially recovered eyesight through reconstructive eye surgery).
After realizing the horror of her actions and the lies she has grown up with, Maya flees the United States to do some soul-searching. When she comes back, she tries reuniting with Murdock, only to find out Matt is now with a blind woman, and that the Kingpin is still alive (despite Maya's attempts). Leaving Matt, Maya visits the Kingpin in prison who tells her that she doesn't get blamed for what she did, and (that despite all that had happened) the Kingpin still loves her like a daughter. Unsatisfied and still needing peace, Maya turns to the Chief (her father's old friend) noted for wisdom. The Chief sends Maya on a Vision quest to calm her soul. On her quest, she meets and befriends Wolverine who helps her recover and passes on knowledge of Japanese culture and Japanese organized crime. Soon enough, Maya makes peace with her past and is back doing performance art.
Ronin and the Avengers
After a recent identity crisis and feeling unable to join the New Avengers due to a refusal to tarnish the reputations of heroes by working alongside them, Maya dons a suit that conceals her identity as well as her gender and rechristens herself Ronin (Japanese for 'Masterless Samurai').
Daredevil recommends Maya to Captain America to aid the Avengers in seizing the Silver Samurai in Japan. After joining the Avengers, Maya returns to Japan to keep an eye on dangerous assassin Elektra Natchios rumored to be leading the Hand, check on the Silver Samurai from time to time, and hopefully solve the conflict between The Hand and Clan Yashida. Around the conclusion of the Civil War between the pro-registration and anti-registration factions in America, Maya fights Elektra and is killed, but is soon resurrected by the Hand with the same process used to raise Elektra. Maya is taken captive with the intent of turning her into an assassin for The Hand. Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman, Iron Fist, and the new Ronin rescue her and escape, leaving Elektra to furiously send the Hand after them. During a brief lull in the fight with the Hand, in which Luke tries to negotiate with Elektra to buy time, it is revealed that the Hand has been successful in brainwashing Maya, as she subsequently stabs Dr. Strange with a sword given to her by one of the Hand. She continues to fight the New Avengers until Dr. Strange is able to release an Astral Form, with Wong's help, and frees Maya from the brainwashing. Maya then charges straight for Elektra (who is fighting Luke) and stabs her, revealing that Elektra is a Skrull warrior in disguise. They return to New York, after Spider-Woman's apparent betrayal of stealing Elektra's Skrull impersonator's corpse. The Avengers hide in a hotel room (Strange's magic making it appear that Maya is the only person in the room) before returning to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Maya officially hands the Ronin identity over to Clint Barton after they arrive. After Strange confirms their identities by casting a spell that shows everyone their true nature - Maya appearing dressed in a female variation of Daredevil's costume - the team heads to Stark Tower to stop the Hood's attack on the building. There, they encounter the Mighty Avengers locked in battle with an army of invading symbiotes, one of which latches on to Maya before Iron Man manages to cure those infected.
World War Hulk
Echo attempts to defend Rick Jones from Hiroim and Elloe of the Hulk's Warbound during their attack on the Sanctum Sanctorum to capture Doctor Strange. She, along with Iron Fist and Barton, is defeated and captured.
During the Invaders' appearance in the present due to D'Spayre's manipulations acquiring a Cosmic Cube, Echo proved vital in defeating the villain as her deafness meant that D'Spayre was unable to manipulate her emotions.
Secret Invasion: The Infiltration
After the defeat of the Hood's criminal organization, Echo remains on the team as Doctor Strange departs to the astral plane to heal himself, setting up base in a building owned by Iron Fist's company but technically leased to Samuel Sterns for the year. After a brief run-in with a Skrull disguised as Daredevil, Barton admits being attracted to her, and the two sleep together.
Echo goes with the rest of the New Avengers to the Savage Land when a Skrull ship crash lands. When the ship opens, it reveals various superheroes in outdated outfits. Echo joins with the Mighty Avengers and New Avengers to fight the "old" heroes from the Skrull ship. The battle is then broken up by a dinosaur causing everyone to split up. Later, she encounters "Spider-Woman" who is actually the Skrull Queen and the force behind the Skrull Invasion. "Spider-Woman" incapacitates Echo by repeatedly blasting her with venom blasts and then slams her into a nearby tree trunk. Echo helps the other Avengers kill all the other Skrull impostors, then heads to New York and confronts an army of Super Skrulls along with various other heroes and villains. She is invited back to Captain America's apartment by Iron Fist but does not show up.
Following the reformation of the New Avengers during the Heroic Age, Cage and Jessica Jones seek a nanny for their child; Echo is one of several respondents to the offer, but declines and then angrily asks if Cage even remembers that she used to be a member of the Avengers.
Echo appears in the fourth Moon Knight series, saving Marc Spector from a strip club in L.A., where she worked undercover in the guise of a stripper. But when saving Moon Knight, her cover is blown. Moon Knight later proposes that they join forces against the West Coast Kingpin, and invites her to dinner. Moon Knight is obviously attracted to Echo and it is suggested that Echo feels the same, despite punching Moon Knight in the face for kissing her. When she meets up with Moon Knight, they are attacked by the Night Shift. Although Echo and Moon Knight beat them, the police arrive, and attempt to apprehend the duo as well. Echo is killed by Count Nefaria, the man trying to be the new West Coast Kingpin.
Enter the Phoenix
During the Enter the Phoenix crossover, Echo is chosen by the Phoenix Force to participate in her tournament alongside many other heroes and villains to decide her next host. Along with the other champions, Echo is empowered by a spark of the Phoenix's cosmic fire and is pitted against Namor in an underwater match. Due to the vast disadvantage, Echo is soundly defeated by Namor, presumably eliminating her from the tournament and losing her portion of the Phoenix's power. However, despite her loss, Echo's despair and refusal to die draws the Phoenix to her, making her the new host of the entity. After taking the Phoenix's power from the remaining participants and brutally beating Namor as payback for her earlier defeat, Maya declares herself as the new Thunderbird and fully bonds with the entity. Maya is telepathically congratulated by the Phoenix's previous host, Jean Grey, who also gives her words of advice on controlling the entity's power.
Powers and abilities
Maya Lopez is an Olympic-level athlete possessing "photographic reflexes" or the uncanny ability to perfectly copy other people's movements, similar to that of the Taskmaster. Just by watching other people, she has become a concert-level pianist, a strong martial artist, a highly skilled acrobat, and a gifted ballerina (and on one occasion even piloted a Quinjet for a few minutes). In addition, she has also gained Daredevil's acrobatic abilities and Bullseye's uncanny aim after watching tapes of their fights. Along with great potential, deafness gives great drawbacks. Her absolute reliance on visual cues renders her helpless in the dark, and her ability to communicate by reading lips prevents her from taking oral commands and communicating with people who are wearing masks or are not in direct visual contact; when she initially meets the Avengers, Captain America has to repeat all of Iron Man's questions for her. However, she has been incorrectly depicted as being able to hear and respond to voices despite not seeing the person's mouth due to standing away from them or the person talking right behind her. It has since been established that Echo actually can read lips from some distance or with the corner of her eye even if the talker is wearing a mask, if the mask is thin enough (as the rather simple fabric masks used by Clint Barton and Spider-Man), and relay their conversation to closer individuals. She still retains her inability to communicate with people wearing sturdier or thicker masks, or fully covering their mouths.
As Thunderbird, Maya gains the abilities offered to her as a host of the Phoenix Force, which includes telepathy, flight, superhuman strength and the ability to generate flames of cosmic energy.
Daredevil: End of Days
An older Maya Lopez appears in the miniseries Daredevil: End of Days, now retired from the Avengers and working as a college professor. She is later interviewed by Ben Urich for a story about Matt Murdock's death.
In an alternate reality depicted in the 2021 miniseries "Heroes Reborn", Maya Lopez was empowered by the Phoenix Force and imprisoned in Ravencroft Asylum before Blade and Captain America break her out to help them restore their reality. She later recruits Thor to help them further before the Avengers confront the Squadron Supreme of America. After eventually defeating the Squadron, Lopez and Star Brand use their powers in conjunction with the Pandemonium Cube to restore reality to how it was previously.
The Ultimate Marvel version of Echo makes a cameo in Ultimate Spider-Man #122, appearing in a police station shouting "Who can you trust? WHO CAN YOU TRUST?!", referencing Brian Bendis' frequent use of the character in New Avengers and Secret Invasion.
In other media
- Echo makes a cameo appearance in the Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors animated series episodes "Agent Venom" and "The Next Iron Spider" as one of several young superheroes who were inspired by Spider-Man and monitored by S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Echo will appear in television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, portrayed by Alaqua Cox.
- Echo appears as a boss in the Daredevil film tie-in game. This version is a villain who believes that the titular character was never in league with the Kingpin. After chasing Echo throughout the New York City Subway system, Daredevil defeats her.
- Maya Lopez as Ronin appears as an unlockable playable character in the PSP version of Marvel Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Marabina Jaimes. An unmasked variant and her Echo persona appear as alternate costumes while she also appears as an unlockable character in the Wii version via a mod.
- Echo appears as an unlockable playable character in Lego Marvel's Avengers, voiced by Tonantzin Carmelo.
Maya Lopez appears in Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover, a prequel novel to the video game Spider-Man. This version is raised to believe Spider-Man killed her father and plots with the Kingpin and Blood Spider to seek revenge. However, Spider-Man proves that Kingpin killed her father, which leads to her allying with Spider-Man. She provides evidence to incriminate the Kingpin, enabling a prosecution and leading into the video game's events.
- DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0.
- Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #159, Comic Book Resources, June 12, 2008
- Daredevil vol. 2 #10
- Daredevil vol. 2 #46
- Daredevil vol. 2 #51-55
- New Avengers #11-13
- New Avengers #30
- New Avengers #31
- New Avengers #32
- New Avengers #33
- New Avengers #34
- World War Hulk #3
- Avengers/Invaders #8
- New Avengers #37
- New Avengers #38
- New Avengers #39
- Secret Invasion #1-2
- Secret Invasion #3
- Secret Invasion #5-8
- New Avengers #50
- New Avengers (vol 2) #7
- Moon Knight vol. 6 #2
- Moon Knight vol. 6 #3
- Moon Knight vol. 6 #6
- Moon Knight vol. 6 #5
- Moon Knight vol. 6 #4
- Moon Knight vol. 6 #4-5
- Daredevil Annual vol. 4 #1
- Captain Marvel vol. 10 #2 (2019)
- Avengers (vol. 8) #40
- Avengers (vol. 8) #41
- Avengers (vol. 8) #42
- Avengers (vol. 8) #44
- Avengers/Invaders #5
- Daredevil: End of Days #3
- "Heroes Reborn" (vol. 2) #3 (May 2021). Marvel Comics.
- Heroes Reborn (vol. 2) #5 (May 2021). Marvel Comics.
- Heroes Reborn (vol. 2) #6 (June 2021). Marvel Comics.
- Heroes Reborn (vol. 2) #7 (June 2021). Marvel Comics.
- Heroes Return #1 (June 2021). Marvel Comics.
- Brian Michael Bendis (w), Stuart Immonen (p), Wade von Grawbadger (i), Justin Ponsor (col), Cory Petit (let), Bill Rosemann, Lauren Sankovitch, Ralph Macchio (ed). "The Worst Day In Peter Parker's Life" Ultimate Spider-Man 122 (July, 2008), Marvel Comics
- "Agent Venom". Ultimate Spider-Man. Season 3. Episode 3. September 7, 2014. Disney XD.
- Otterson, Joe (December 3, 2020). "'Hawkeye' Series at Disney Plus Adds Six to Cast, Including Vera Farmiga and Tony Dalton (EXCLUSIVE)".
- Moreau, Jordan (March 22, 2021). "'Hawkeye' Spinoff Series About Echo in Early Development for Disney Plus (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on March 22, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
- David Liss (2018). Marvel's Spider-Man: Hostile Takeover. Titan Books.