‘Echo’ star reacts to importance of being the MCU’s first deaf leading superhero

Last Friday’s Disney Plus Day celebrations brought official confirmation of Echo, yet another upcoming streaming series from Marvel Studios. This one’s a little different, though, in that it’s not starring a familiar MCU character. Instead, it’s a spinoff of the as-yet-unaired Hawkeye, starring Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, a new heroine who makes her debut in the Jeremy Renner vehicle.

Echo is a big deal for the franchise as it marks the first time a deaf superhero has got their own self-titled outing, hot on the heels of Lauren Ridloff’s Makkari debuting in Eternals. It shows an awful lot of faith in Cox’s abilities to hold her own, too, as the character is hardly one of the most well-known Marvel properties. She’s never even had her own comic book series before.

Understandably, then, Cox is overwhelmed by the opportunity, as she revealed while attending last night’s Hawkeye premiere. The actress was asked by Variety on the red carpet to comment on Echo and she stated that she was “so grateful” for Marvel’s support.

“It’s just so crazy that I’m getting my own show after Hawkeye,” Cox responded, as translated from ASL. “That was my first acting role ever and I don’t know why they’re giving me this opportunity but I’m just so grateful. I am excited for the support and to advocate for the deaf community. We wanna have that equality, get more people involved. But I am just so grateful for all the opportunities that I have been given.”

In the comics, Maya Lopez is an Olympic-level athlete with “photographic reflexes”, which means she has the uncanny ability to perfectly copy other people’s movements. That’s a similar talent to Taskmaster’s, a villain just introduced in Black Widow but whom many found to be lackluster compared to their comic counterpart. Clearly, Marvel thinks that Maya has far stronger potential to become a fan favorite.

Echo actually marks another first for the MCU in that Cox is the franchise’s first Native American lead. And, actually, Maya is Marvel’s first Native superhero period. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the show, then, especially with those rumors that Charlie Cox (no relation) will be returning as Daredevil in it.

But first up we have Hawkeye, premiering on Disney Plus next Wednesday, Nov. 24.