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June 20, 2024

Marvel’s “Echo” Earns Critical Praise and Record Rotten Tomatoes Score for MCU Disney+ Series

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Jan 11, 2024

Marvel Studios’ latest Disney+ series “Echo” premiered this week to positive reviews from critics and fans alike. The show focuses on Maya Lopez (played by deaf Native American actress Alaqua Cox), an adopted member of the Tracksuit Mafia who was introduced last year in “Hawkeye.”

Overview and Initial Reaction

“Echo” currently holds a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it the best-reviewed Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ series so far, surpassing hits like “WandaVision” and “Loki” [1]. Critics have praised the show’s ties to previous MCU entries, Alaqua Cox’s lead performance, the action sequences, and the authentic representation of Native American culture. While audiences await final viewer numbers, the critical consensus seems clear – “Echo” delivers a compelling, binge-worthy origin story for one of Marvel’s most complex antiheroes.

Early social media reactions were also overwhelmingly positive:

“There will be no better Marvel Disney+ series. Echo stands alone.” [2]

“@AlaquaCox is a star. That’s the tweet.” [3]

The show isn’t without flaws, as some reviews pointed out pacing issues and a lack of character development outside of Maya. But on the whole, critics found it a strong addition to the Marvel canon.

Story, Tone, and Setting

“Echo” aims to be a more grounded, gritty Marvel offering compared to past Disney+ fare [4]. Showrunner Marion Dayre described it as closer tonally to Netflix’s “Daredevil” than ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” The TV-MA rating makes it the first R-rated entry in the MCU.

The increased violence serves Maya’s vigilante arc as she attempts to uncover the truth behind her father’s death. Her investigations ultimately set up a confrontation with the returning Wilson Fisk, played by Vincent D’Onofrio. Their inevitable clash has been called one of the MCU’s most vicious fights [5].

Rating Show
TV-PG “WandaVision”
TV-14 “Hawkeye”
TV-MA “Echo”

In highlighting Maya’s connections to her Choctaw heritage, “Echo” also deals heavily with themes of found family, identity and disability representation [6]. Friendships with supporting characters Kazi (Fra Free) and Julie (Sydney Freeland) help ground her internal journey. Critics praised this deeper exploration beyond mere vigilante thrills.

Connection to the Wider MCU

One aspect that fans seem most excited about is how “Echo” advances the broader Marvel mythology.Episode 1 featured a surprise cameo from Charlie Cox’s Daredevil, who will headline next year’s revival series “Daredevil: Born Again.” Their rooftop fight represents Matt Murdock’s first official appearance in MCU continuity after the Netflix shows [7].

The post-credits scene also seeded Fisk’s rise to power as New York City’s mayor, setting up the central conflict in “Born Again” [8]. Other MCU links include flashbacks to key events from “Hawkeye” and Maya’s time growing up in Fisk’s care. So while “Echo” works as a standalone origin film, it rewards loyal Marvel viewers with sneak peeks at the future.

Critical Reception

Critics praised Alaqua Cox’s emotional performance as the show’s anchor. The Hollywood Reporter [9] and Rolling Stone [10] both deemed her a breakout Marvel star. Her scenes conveying Maya’s isolation as a deaf amputee were highlighted for their empathy and insight.

The action was another common point of acclaim, with brutal hand-to-hand combat on par with the Netflix Marvel shows. Maya’s lengthy tracking shot through a roller rink [11] and the final Kingpin showdown [5] drew comparisons to the landmark hallway fight from “Daredevil.”

The Hollywood Reporter review did cite some pacing issues, especially in the early episodes [9]. And Stephanie Zacharek of Time Magazine [12] felt the supporting characters could have used more development. But ultimately critics found the series compelling, praising its ties to MCU lore and the thematically rich journey of its complex lead.

The Future of “Echo”

With strong reviews and viewership numbers still incoming, Marvel seems poised to continue expanding Maya Lopez’s story. Disney executives have hinted at multiple seasons for “Echo,” with Sydney Freeland expected to return as director [13].

The content of future seasons likely depends on events from “Daredevil: Born Again” and beyond. But the seeds are planted for Maya to interact with street-level heroes like Spider-Man, Jessica Jones or Moon Knight. Additional flashbacks fleshing out her past also seem probable.

Of course the MCU offers endless crossover potential. Following Disney+’s success with interwoven series like “WandaVision” and “Loki,” fans hope to see Maya pop up across mediums. While unconfirmed, such guest appearances would let “Echo” enhance both its lead character and the Marvel universe at large.

References

  1. https://www.cbr.com/echo-rotten-tomatoes-record/
  2. https://twitter.com/sepinwall/status/1744903911691948208
  3. https://twitter.com/getFANDOM/status/1745066656034869394
  4. https://deadline.com/2024/01/echo-sydney-freeland-interview-marvel-first-tv-ma-1235699639/
  5. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2024/jan/10/echo-review-the-bloodiest-show-ever-seen-on-disney-proves-theres-life-in-the-mcu-yet
  6. https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-reviews/echo-review-marvel-spotlight-mcu-alaqua-cox-native-american-daredevil-1234941012/
  7. https://nerdist.com/article/how-does-charlie-cox-daredevil-appear-in-echo-tv-series-episode-one-fight-scene-cameo-explained/
  8. https://ew.com/echo-post-credits-scene-sets-up-daredevil-born-again-8425011
  9. https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-reviews/echo-review-1235875686/
  10. https://www.rollingstone.com/tv-movies/tv-movie-reviews/echo-review-marvel-spotlight-mcu-alaqua-cox-native-american-daredevil-1234941012/amp/
  11. https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/inside-echo-episode-3s-epic-roller-rink-melee/
  12. https://time.com/6553219/echo-marvel-disney-what-to-know/
  13. https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2024/01/04/sydney-freeland-marvel-echo
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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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