The MCU spinoff, Echo, a continuation of the previous Hawkeye series, introduced us to Maya Lopez and the story about her ancestors. Previously in Hawkeye, Maya Lopez, who was introduced briefly, tried to track down her father’s killer, Ronin, to bring him to justice, but after learning that her adoptive uncle, Kingpin, was the culprit behind her father’s death, Maya confronted him and put a bullet in his head. In this spinoff series, Maya severed all ties with Fisk and returned to her homeland of Oklahoma to destroy Kingpin’s business, but as she found Kingpin hadn’t died, Maya stepped in to put an end to him to free herself.
How Did Maya Lose Her Parents?
Maya lost her parents at a very tender age. When she was a little girl, she was close to her grandparents and her cousins, who used to be her playmates. However, her childhood was destroyed in one instant when her mother was killed in an accident. Maya also lost one leg in that accident and has used a prosthetic leg ever since. After her mother’s death, her grandmother couldn’t stand allowing William and his daughter Maya to stay at their place and asked them to leave for New York. As Maya realized that her family had abandoned her, she believed her father was the only one she had in this whole world. But she was devastated when William was killed by Ronin, who was hired by none other than Kingpin. Since her father’s death, Maya has turned into someone with indomitable rage and a fire for vengeance. Her life’s sole motivation was to track down the killer and finish him. Kingpin grabbed the chance and adopted Maya, only to take advantage of her rage to make her a fierce warrior working for him. Even though Maya initially believed Kingpin was her well-wisher, someone who treated her like family, her expectations were shattered when Ronin confronted her and revealed that Kingpin had manipulated her, hiding the most devastating truth of her life. As Maya learned the truth about Kingpin’s hand in her father’s death, she attempted to kill him, but Kingpin survived and recovered from his injury.
Maya had lost everything in her life—the people she had loved and the people she had trusted—so after she believed she had killed Kingpin, she went on her own journey back to Tamaha, Oklahoma, where she thought of sabotaging the rest of Kingpin’s business. On her arrival in Tamaha, she once again connected with her roots, but that only gave her trauma, as she bore resentment towards her grandparents, as they were never there for her when she needed them the most. She met with her grandfather but dared not have a conversation with her grandma, Chula, who was the lead decision-maker behind William and Maya’s departure to New York. Maya could never forgive her grandmother for that, but at the same time, she tried to avoid reconnecting with her family because of the danger looming over her shoulder. She knew Fisk’s men wouldn’t leave her alone after what she had done to their boss, so she didn’t intend to drag her family into the mess. In order to do that, she had even ignored her best friend, Bonnie, ever since she had gotten back to Tamaha.
How Did Maya Discover Her Supernatural Powers?
In Marvel comic books, Echo didn’t have much supernatural power except for photographic reflex, which was the reason why her name was Echo. However, in the MCU spinoff, we were introduced to a new Maya Lopez, aka Echo, whose photographic reflex wasn’t the highlight of her story. Instead, the series has focused on more of her ancestral powers, which have echoed through Maya Lopez into this generation. We saw Maya having recurring visions of some of her ancestral superheroes, like the first savior of Choctaw, Chava, or a brave warrior named Tuklo, who was initially forbidden to take up the role of a hunter as she was a woman, but she proved her worth by taking out a group of attackers and freeing her father from their grasp. Maya could feel the superpowers of her ancestors inside her, but she couldn’t comprehend how to express or control them. Her recurring visions became so powerful that one time she had to talk to her grandmother Chula, who guided her through some of the past stories of her life, in which she also experienced these supernatural beings around her. Maya and Chula didn’t quite get along initially, as there was a boundary between them. Maya, holding her grudges, couldn’t bring herself to believe what Chula said to her, but she realized her grandma was telling the truth when she recalled one of her childhood incidents.
When Maya was a little girl, she playfully hit a woodpecker and brought it to her mother, confessing her guilt, but her mother touched the bird and brought it back to life with the help of her supernatural healing powers. It suggested that Maya knew that her family had a supernatural power within them, but she couldn’t harness this power as her own heart was not yet filled with kindness. Since her father’s death, she has turned into a vengeful woman who has become a killer instead of a healer. But when she finally recalled that moment with her mother, she realized that by killing people, she had also made a grave mistake in her life. Especially after she found out Kingpin hadn’t died and learned that her family was in great danger because of Kingpin’s arrival in Oklahoma, she could no longer turn her back on her people. She made a comeback to Tamaha and, surprisingly, had a vision of her mother, who introduced her to her own supernatural ability to heal people’s minds. Adapting her new responsibilities of healing people, Maya left her role as a fierce assassin and blended into the people of her community to become one of them. When Kingpin captured Chula and Bonnie to lure Maya into his trap, Maya confronted him and let him know that the Kingpin could never own her like his property. She said that she belonged to this community where her roots were embedded, so no matter how much of a cut Kingpin offered her, she would never come back to New York with him. Kingpin had always taken Maya for granted and demanded to own her. His actions symbolized the inhumanity of the White Americans who had oppressed the native Americans for centuries.
However, Maya didn’t kill Kingpin because she had finally abandoned her role as a life-destroyer. Therefore, she touched Kingpin and showed him the most vulnerable moment of his life, when he had killed his own abusive father. These devastating memories hurt Kingpin more than anything, which shook him to the core, rendering him unable to bring harm to Maya. Kingpin had to accept his defeat and run away from Oklahoma like a coward. Maya Lopez finally made herself free from the grasp of Kingpin, all while getting closer to her roots, which cleansed her soul and gave her a new purpose in life to start afresh.
It seemed like Maya Lopez’s journey ended with Echo season 1, but we still hope to see her playing a role in the upcoming Daredevil series, where she might appear as a live interest of Daredevil, but this is just an assumption as MCU had never officially discussed it. Let’s hope to see more of Aqula Cox, a real-life disabled native American woman, as Maya Lopez on the screen, as she was just phenomenal in it.