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10 jan. 2024

Review

'ECHO' | REVIEW

Marvel Studios' latest installment to the MCU, is one that echoes in your mind long after the initial viewing. It is a project we were somewhat scared of would receive negative reviews due to a weaker marketing campaign and late review embargo. However, the show, and Marvel, have proved us wrong and are showing us that they still know how to handle heroes in 2024.

Even though 2023 was a weak year for Marvel when it comes to the box office. We really enjoyed ‘The Marvels’ actually, but the critics were not too fond of that one. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 3’ had it a bit easier this past spring and was also a powerful film from Marvel.

But now, let’s talk Marvel’s ‘ECHO’. After having screened the first three episodes of the five-episode first season. We are happily enjoying the show so far. We still do not know where the last episodes will leave us in terms of a rating, but looking how the first three episodes played out we are largely confident in that the show will end on a high note.

The first episode was the weaker of the three, it had a pacing which was somewhat too rapid, and it introduced us to a lot of backstory and characters. It was fantastic, in terms of a recap if you have not yet seen Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ run. Or if you have not seen Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’ that released a while back and first introduced us to the character of ‘Maya Lopez’ (Echo). Nonetheless, for me as a regular Marvel fan, I felt that the first episode was a tad bit too much.

However, after a rougher start the show really takes off with a fantastic second and third episode. Two episodes that really give off the vibes of a campfire or small cozy town. They spend some time in an ‘Oklahoma’ town in the mid episodes, so I assume my feelings are pretty accurate.

Not to say that this series features any super exciting environments or sets, there are some cool action scenes sprinkled throughout. Especially one that takes place on a train really gives you an adrenaline kick. But except for that the sets are pretty much what could have been the backside of my house yard. That is fine however, because for the tone and mood this show is going for it works well.


This is indeed a more mature and diverse Marvel project, one that we absolutely have been waiting for. It explores large parts of Native American Culture and the Choctaw nation. I will not come forward and say that I am any culture expert. But for what my take on these first three episodes are, I think it felt refreshing to see some new themes and cultures explored more thoroughly.

I, however, have to say that some of the scenes involving this Choctaw nation are somewhat complicated. The opening to the first episode really had me taken aback, not knowing what was going on in terms of characters and story. As we move on from the first episode things start to be clearer, so do not let me scare you with saying its complicated.

The character of ‘Maya Lopez’ or ‘ECHO’ as she is also called in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is played by ‘Alaqua Cox’. Like the ‘ECHO’ character ‘Alaqua Cox’ is hearing-impaired. The show is not faking any of its use of ASL, the use of sign language is major throughout the series, and it influences characters and their communication strategies.

The main point I want to make is that visually, and in terms of sound design the show does an incredible job in showing the main characters inability to hear sound. We get some quite scenes, to show how the main character experiences environments without hearing sound. But we also get to see an exceptionally strong performance from ‘Alaqua Cox’, using what I deem expressive acting and other hand & body gestures to really give an honest performance.

There are of course other characters in the show. One incredibly important one being a man named ‘Kingpin’ (aka Wilson Fisk). You might have heard about him; it is a menacing character played by ‘Vincent D’Onofrio’ in both Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ run and Marvel’s ‘Hawkeye’. As well as in ‘ECHO’ now as of January 9th / 10th. I think Kingpin is an essential character to the story of ‘Maya Lopez’, not only because they are related in that sense, but also because their chemistry on screen is tense and interesting.

While some characters in this show feel unnecessary to be included, I am mainly talking about ‘Daredevil’, who appear in the first episode. I just personally think his appearance as of the first three episodes only removed the spotlight from ‘ECHO’. While their fight scene was cool, it was nothing special if you would have asked me.

On the other hand, think ‘Vincent D’Onofrio’ is a fantastic actor and is the perfect man to play Kingpin. He has done a phenomenal job in all Marvel projects he has yet appeared in, and I am looking forward to seeing the larger role he plays in the MCU going forward. Not to say that ‘Charlie Cox’ who play ‘Daredevil’ (Matt Murdock) is another strong actor. But I think he has his own place in the upcoming ‘DARDEVIL: BORN AGAIN’ show, which will release sometime in the future. His fight scene and minor dialogue with ‘Maya Lopez’ was cool, nonetheless.

Talking about the fighting, I think the action of the show is good, but it did not blow me away. It is rated TV-MA for sure. Some scenes really show that, but I would not call the action scenes fun, they are cool, but not that exciting. At least as of the first three episodes of the series.

I also want to mention, before we wrap this review up, that ‘ECHO’ features one banger of intro sequence. The music played, I do not know the title of the song, but it is good. Visually, the intro sequence is also really fitting for the show and nail the mood for it all extremely well. The outro credits could have gotten some more color to them on the other hand.

But that is just some minor things I noticed about the show. Very similar to me thinking that the show feels more like a ‘Limited Event’ rather than a full-blown series. That may have to do something with it only being five episodes, and them all releasing on the same day. Not to say that I do not like getting all the goodies straight away. But I personally still prefer Marvel releasing series in a weekly format.

Marvel Studio’s ‘ECHO’ is the first project to go under the ‘MARVEL SPOTLIGHT’ banner. Which basically means the stories we get to see will be more grounded and character driven. That is also exactly what ‘ECHO’ is, it is a more mature, diverse, character-driven story. A story, I am all hear for to watch unfold in the last two episodes. While some elements of the show, are a bit confusing, as for example what kind of powers do ‘Maya Lopez’ possess. Or why, and how are they connected to her ancestors?

These are questions I have had during my initial viewing of episodes one through three. I hope these are questions we will get answered in the last two episodes. Because if we do get some answers, and they do play out in a cool and exciting way, in terms of story and visual layout. Then Marvel has officially produced one of the best series in a long time. Nonetheless one fantastic start to the new year of 2024.

Marvel Studios ‘ECHO’ will be streaming on January 9th, at 6pm Pacific time.

Catch our full review of all five episodes over on The Movie Clubhouse Podcast, starting tomorrow!

Av

Eddie G

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The Movie Clubhouse is the best place to be if you love movies & TV!

©2024 The Movie Clubhouse™

The Movie Clubhouse is the best place to be if you love movies & TV!

©2024 The Movie Clubhouse™