Echo co-head writer Amy Rardin has provided a rationale for the divergence in the powers wielded by Maya Lopez in the Marvel Cinematic Universe compared to the comics. In a conversation with Screen Rant, Rardin emphasized that Maya’s MCU powers are intricately linked to her emotional development and narrative, in contrast to her representation in Marvel Comics.
This aligns with a recent trend in the MCU where characters’ abilities are influenced by emotional elements to enhance audience connection. Rardin highlighted the significance of incorporating an emotional dimension for Maya to create a more resonant impact with viewers. “We discussed deviating from the comics in various aspects.
One significant departure is in her powers. We delved deeply into discussions about her abilities in the writers’ room and ultimately settled on a storyline where her powers are intertwined with her emotional journey and growth. I believe that’s a substantial departure from the comics,” she explained.
Echo centers on Maya’s journey back to her hometown in Oklahoma, where she reconnects with her Native American heritage and family, turning away from her past involvement with Wilson Fisk’s Tracksuit Mafia as portrayed in Hawkeye.
In the MCU, Maya delves into her Choctaw background, experiencing visions of her ancestors and channeling their skills and strength from past lives. This revelation unfolds as Maya discovers her ancestors are “echoing” to her.
Additionally, she exhibits a unique ability to generate a glowing power in her hand, effortlessly incapacitating her adversaries. This marks a significant departure from the comics, where Echo typically mimics the fighting styles of various superheroes.
According to co-head writer Amy Rardin, Maya’s MCU powers not only make her more formidable but also play a crucial role in her emotional progression. “I think it’s not until Maya has that moment with her mother and heals her heart a little bit that she can fully come into her power, so it’s very much tied into her reconciling her past and moving forward emotionally,” she explained.
The adjustment to Maya’s powers in the MCU is part of a recent trend in Marvel storytelling. Similar changes have been made for heroes like Ms. Marvel and Monica Rambeau, who saw alterations in their powers from the comics in their MCU adaptations.
Despite the shift, Echo has garnered positive feedback from critics and audiences. While the series has one of the lowest critical ratings for an MCU show on Rotten Tomatoes, it has been praised for its character portrayals, action sequences, and Native American representation.
As a Disney+ and Hulu viewership hit, Echo is the inaugural series under the Marvel Spotlight banner and the first TV-MA-rated MCU show. Amid favorable reviews, Rardin has hinted at the potential for a second season of Echo.