Review of Echo (Episodes 1-3): Just another Marvel thing

This is one of the weirdest reviews I’ve written in my career, for a myriad of reasons. There’s the fact that Echo kind of ends up being a signpost for the post-MCU era, which is pretty ridiculous considering the main character is just a cool deaf villain from the Hawkeye series with no connection. That we know of anything or anyone in the rest of the MCU. It’s not a bad show by any means, but it’s just another Marvel series that tells a pretty standard Marvel story in a standard Marvel visual style.

Or at least that’s the case for the first three episodes, which were all Disney provided for this review, even if all episodes were dropped simultaneously on Disney+ and Hulu at the same time we’re allowed. Ultimately, this makes half the show worth checking out.

Echo follows Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), Hawkeye’s Darth Maul-esque villain who shoots and presumably kills the Kingpin when she learns that the criminal mastermind arranged for Hawkeye to kill her father. After opening with a montage of how she and her father clashed with Kingpin, the series follows Maya, who is Native American, leaving New York and returning to her hometown of Oklahoma, where she plans to launch a hostile takeover. Kingpin’s Criminal Empire He signs to an old pal he’s trying to recruit for his coup: “The Queen’s time has come.”

The present-day storyline in the first three episodes is pretty much standard Marvel stuff, with several dope fight scenes, but nothing that really sets it apart from all the other MCU shows from the past three years that we’ve mostly forgotten about — and while As this is the first TV-MA Marvel series to air on Disney Plus, nothing R-rated has happened in the three episodes I’ve seen. But each of the first three episodes begins with a flashback, and these moments give us a few brief glimpses of something much more interesting: a Choctaw creation myth, an ancient Choctaw game of stickball, and a short silent film about a young man. A Choctaw woman who, against her father’s wishes, joins the Lighthorseman, the mounted police force of the five civilized tribes.

These scenes seem to have important implications for Maya – flashbacks in the series play as if she is having a vision, perhaps indicating that they are ancestral memories, and after one such dream, Maya appears to It gains some kind of new power. Do not reuse or even confirm below. Random magical powers aside, these flashback bits are much more compelling than the rest of Echo, which is otherwise just another Marvel Studios show in a long line of similar Marvel Studios shows.

Unfortunately, this means that the cast doesn’t really have the tools to elevate the show, although they do their best – Reservation Dogs star Deory Jacobs, in particular, as Maya’s childhood best friend, Bonnie, and Cody Lightning as Maya’s comic cousins ​​stand out. . Alaqua Cox, as the title character, is more of a mixed bag. It’s difficult for someone to try to put on a show like this without speaking, and Cox hasn’t had much experience with this sort of thing since Maya Lopez is the only role she’s had in Hollywood. In Hawkeye, he mostly needed to be good at fighting, and he was, but holding down a lead role on his own is something else.

Meanwhile, Vincent D’onofrio, the old hat who’s been playing the King for a decade now, was barely in the parts we were given. Maybe he’ll elevate Echo a bit when he takes center stage, if he actually does.

Considering how much the first three episodes felt like nothing more than engaging introductions, it’s hard to imagine the series doing anything to stop Marvel’s bleeding. DC Comics has spent the last six years dying a very slow and tortuous death, and Marvel fans have spent most of that time cheering for it. But then the MCU met its sad fate by introducing tons of new stories that aren’t connected to each other and seemingly don’t matter to the big picture of the franchise, and the Jonathan Majors/Kang the Conqueror situation in 2023 made that happen. Incoherence is somehow even worse. Now, the MCU is in roughly the same position as DC’s shared universe: it’s taking time to get its shit together, with only Deadpool 3 and the Agatha-centric WandaVision spinoff expected in 2024.

Since I don’t know how Echo ends, I can’t really say if it’s a good or interesting story for this era of the MCU. I wonder if this will mean anything to the big picture or if it’s just another MCU story you have no reason to know about. But I suspect that, like most of the MCU from the start of 2021, it will end up with very little fanfare. From where I sit right now, Echo isn’t bad – but there’s no compelling reason to watch it either.

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