Marvel’s Next Big Superhero Will Be Deaf

The newest Marvel character to hit the screen will be the first deaf character in their on-screen ranks. And she's getting a solo show

By Doug Norrie | Published

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Marvel has so many superheroes on its roster with seemingly every power and even issue, known to man. Oftentimes heroes are overcoming something in their own life as they develop their own powers within the context of the story. Sometimes the issue can be an emotional one, like losing a loved one. But other times it’s physical with the superhero overcoming weakness in one area and making it a strength in others. Marvel’s newest hero will be one such case with the word that Echo will be getting her own spin-off series and the character will be the studio’s first deaf hero in the genre. 

The character of Echo is going to appear in the first season of Hawkeye, one of the new series coming on Disney+ as part Marvel’s Phase Four of development. The casting already has Alaqua Cox in the role for the first season and she has a big role in the first season, appearing in all eight episodes. Obviously, Marvel saw enough with her character in these early stages of development to commit to a solo series going forward. In addition to being the first deaf character in the ranks, this will also be the first time a Native American character was in the lead for a studio production from the studio. 

Echo/Maya Lopez is from the pages of the Marvel comic books and is a Native American who was born deaf. Her origin story, at least from the original publications, is originally born to a Native American family but her father dies at the hands of Kingpin when she is just a baby. Kingpin then raises her as her own daughter and they discover that though she is deaf, she has a range of abilities as well. Her primary skill is the ability to mimic different, high-level skills, just by watching someone else perform them. In this way, she’s able to become an incredibly skilled fighter and soldier.

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Echo will make an appearance in Hawkeye though it isn’t known which side of the aisle she starts on with this show. In the comics, because she is raised by Kingpin, she does trend on the evil side of things to start before ultimately becoming a vigilante fighter on the side of good. This could be the case within the context of Hawkeye and the Marvel show likely develops this as a side story before setting her out on her own as a hero in the spin-off show. 

The Echo Marvel spin-off series will have Etan and Emily Cohen as the writers and showrunners. The former has penned a number of different scripts including Holmes & Watson, Get Hard, and Men in Black 3. While his writing does trend a little more towards the comedic side, it’s hard to see this new show going in this direction considering the character and her background. 

Hawkeye will follow the characters of Clint Barton who is now becoming the character of Ronin we saw in the final Marvel Phase Three film Avengers: Endgame and his new protege Kate Bishop who is played by Hailee Steinfeld. They’ve been filming the show over these first few months of 2021 and the first episode is set to drop sometime near the end of the year. 

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