'Hawkeye' just introduced a new character who may tease the return of an iconic Marvel villain. Here's what to know.
- Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Hawkeye" on Disney+.
- At the end of the second episode, we are introduced to the head of the tracksuit mafia.
- In the comics, that character is related to a major Daredevil and Spider-Man villain.
"Hawkeye" just introduced one of the highly anticipated antagonists for the series.
The first two episodes of the Christmas show, released on Disney+ Wednesday, introduce the main plot of the show: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is trying to protect a young woman, Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), after she tries to be a hero and clashes with a deadly gang called the Tracksuit Mafia.
Towards the end of the second episode, Hawkeye allows himself to be captured by the mafia to try and persuade them to leave Kate alone. After this plan fails because Kate tries to save him, one of the gang members goes to get their boss and we get our first brief look at their leader, Echo (Alaqua Cox), before the episode ends.
Marvel has not been entirely quiet about Cox's involvement in the show as Echo but it is not clear yet what the intentions of this new character are. However, a spin-off series for Echo has been announced, which indicates she may not be a simple villain. Here's what to know about the character and her ties to the possible return of a marvel favorite.
Echo is the first major Native American character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first acting role for Alaqua Cox. Cox told Entertainment Weekly that she wasn't interested in acting professionally until she saw the casting call for a deaf, Native American actress to play Maya Lopez.
Maya Lopez, also known as Echo, is one of the main deaf characters in the comics. She can copy people's movements (and fighting styles) just by looking at them, a bit like Taskmaster in "Black Widow." She was introduced in 1999 in the "Daredevil Vol 2 Issue 9" as a villain but has since turned to become a hero.
In the comics, she was first pitted against Daredevil and took on the Ronin mantle when she joined the New Avengers. More recently, she has also become the host for the Pheonix force, an omnipotent cosmic force that empowered Jean Grey in "X-Men: Dark Pheonix" and "X-Men: The Last Stand."
"Hawkeye" seems to be going down the same path as the comics by making Echo a villain. However, if they are following the comics, Echo could be potentially controlled by a bigger villain.
Echo's origins in the comics are linked to underworld boss Wilson Fisk, also known as Kingpin. Echo's father was murdered by Kingpin after he worked for the mob boss who decided to raise young Echo as his adopted daughter.
When she grew up, Kingpin tricked Echo into thinking Daredevil murdered her father and tried to use her to kill him. Eventually, Echo learned the truth when Daredevil told her otherwise and she blinded Kingpin by shooting him.
Echo's involvement in "Hawkeye" could mean the introduction of Kingpin into the Marvel Cinematic Universe if they do not change her character's backstory. There have been rumors that Vincent D'Onfrio, who played Kingpin in Netflix's "Daredevil" series, may reprise his role in "Hawkeye." D'Onfrio tweeted his excitement about the show last week adding fuel to the rumors.
—Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) November 17, 2021
These rumors also coincide with rumors that Charlie Cox, who played Daredevil in the Netflix series, is reprising his role in "Spider-man No Way Home." However, Cox has denied his involvement in the upcoming movie.
Echo is getting her own series.
In this year's Disney Plus Day event, Marvel announced that Echo will be getting a spin-off series, with Alaqua Cox reprising her role for the show. This implies that Echo could play a significant role in "Hawkeye."
It would also be ground-breaking for Marvel as the first live-action series led solely by a deaf and Native American actress following Lauren Ridloff's introduction in "Eternals" as the MCU's first deaf superhero.
If the series does follow "Hawkeye," we could see Echo's journey from a villain to a hero, a bit like "Loki," so she can join other heroes later in the MCU story. The "Hawkeye" series so far has focused a lot on Hawkeye's Ronin outfit, which could mean that Echo will take on the mantle like the comics and use it to become a hero and an Avenger.
Alternatively, she may cross over with another character scheduled to make an appearance in "Hawkeye," Yelena (Florence Pugh). It is established in a "Black Widow" post-credit scene that Yelena thinks Hawkeye killed her sister, which would give reason for Echo and Yelena to team-up as enemies of the Avenger in "Hawkeye." Pugh won over fans with her performance in "Black Widow" but has not been announced to appear in the MCU beyond "Hawkeye" yet.