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She was teased at the end of the second episode of Hawkeye, but Maya "Echo" Lopez comes to the forefront of the action in Episode 3, aptly titled, "Echoes." Played by Alaqua Cox, she is one of the leaders of the tracksuit mafia. Why do we care, bro? Here's why.
For one thing, Cox is great in the role. For another, she has plenty in common with Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). Maya is deaf, and it was recently revealed on this series that MCU Clint wears a hearing aid, just like his comic book counterpart. It seems all those years of explosions took a toll.
While fighting him, Maya takes the time to recommend that Clint stop relying on his aid. To drive the point home, she stomps on it after it falls out of his ear. We see her backstory in this episode as well; her lack of hearing never prevented her from excellence. She didn't allow it to.
This is her sideways introduction to the MCU, because she's going to play an expanded role later on. She's receiving her own series on Disney+, titled Echo. When it was announced, many fans thought this pointed directly to Matt "Daredevil" Murdock being brought into the proceedings. They may not be wrong, because in the comics, Echo comes right out of the Daredevil mythos.
She first appeared in Daredevil #9 in 1999, created by David Mack and Joe Quesada. She was the adopted daughter of Wilson Fisk, who killed her biological father. Fisk raises her and sends her to a school for children with learning impairments. She grows up to be quite formidable.
Likely wanting a return on his investment, Fisk sends her after Matt Murdock. She and Murdock end up falling for each other. Before long she assumes the "Echo" mantle and begins hunting down Daredevil, and then she ends up discovering that Daredevil and Matt Murdock are the same person. All of this eventually blows up in Fisk's face.
Her involvement in Hawkeye (and getting her own series afterwards) is leading many to think the Netflix world of Daredevil, including Charlie Cox as Murdock and Vincent D'Onofrio as Fisk, might soon become one with the MCU proper. In terms of the story of Hawkeye, there is comic precedence for that too.
On the MCU side, Clint kills Maya's father during his dark Ronin years. Maya has it out for whoever Ronin actually is. This is ironic, because in the comics Maya herself was the first to assume the mantle of Ronin in New Avengers #11. More than a few characters followed her in the role, including Barton and even Alexei Shostakov. The Hawkeye series may turn this around, having Maya take the Ronin sword and garb from Clint instead of it being the other way around. She may also just throw everything to do with Ronin off a bridge, we don't know yet.
Episode 3 of Hawkeye proved that Maya is a great character on her own, and that she doesn't need to bring her extended ties from the comics with her to be a welcome MCU addition. If she did bring them though, we wouldn't mind.
Hawkeye streams on Disney+ every Wednesday.