Summary

  • Echo’s powers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are different from the comics, tied to her emotional story and growth, as explained by co-Head Writer Amy Rardin.
  • The MCU trend of giving characters emotional reasons for their powers continues with Echo.
  • This approach to powers has been seen in other characters like Monica Rambeau in WandaVision and Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel.


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Though generally a powerless character in the comics, co-Head Writer Amy Rardin explains why Maya’s Marvel Cinematic Universe powers are different in Echo. The latest installment in the MCU saw Alaqua Cox’s Hawkeye villain return to her hometown after seemingly killing Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin and revisiting her painful family history. During the show, she learns of her lineage in the Choctaw Nation’s history going back to their founders, a group of mystical beings who lived under the Earth before their home collapsed and forced them to rise to the surface. With this history, Maya is able to tap into unique powers, giving her supernatural strength and other abilities.

In honor of the show’s premiere, Screen Rant interviewed Rardin to get some insight on the creation of Echo. When asked about the titular character’s powers, the co-Head Writer acknowledged that this element was the “big place where we deviated from the comics” and that the creative team approached it from wanting to capitalize on the emotional nature of Maya’s story and her evolution into an antihero. Check out what Rardin explained below:

I think we talked a lot about deviating from the comics somewhat. I know probably the biggest place is her powers, and we talked a lot about her powers in the room and ultimately settled on a storyline where her powers were tied to her emotional story and her emotional growth. I think that’s a big place where we deviated from the comics. And 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.


How Echo’s Power Changes Continue A Recent MCU Trend

With so much material to pull from, many characters in the MCU have found their origins and their actual powers differing from the comics, though Echo‘s in particular continues a specific trend instituted by the franchise in recent years by establishing a more emotional reasoning behind these power acquisitions. Teyonah Parris’ Monica Rambeau was one of the earliest examples of this in recent years, having gained her powers from re-entering Wanda’s alternate reality the Hex in WandaVision, slightly altering the comics’ general exposure of her to extradimensional energy to become the new Captain Marvel.

The most notable example, however, is that of Iman Vellani’s Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel. In the comics, Kamala developed her superpowers after being exposed to the Terrigen Mists activating her Inhuman abilities. The MCU show, on the other hand, saw her acquire her powers from a mystical bangle with ties to her family’s history, namely her great-grandmother Aisha being one of the Clandestines, a group of Djinn from an alternate dimension. The show’s finale also teases that Kamala is actually a mutant, an idea originally considered for her comics counterpart before they decided on the Inhumans angle.

Related

The 10 Biggest Changes The MCU Made From The Comics

When adapting decades of content from the comics, the MCU has taken some creative liberties with several areas of the superhero mythos.

While the failure of the Inhumans show could be explained as the reason for Ms. Marvel‘s MCU powers being different, the creative team behind the latter title still found a meaningful way to tie these changes into Kamala’s story independent of the franchise’s larger worldbuilding. Rardin and fellow Head Writer Marion Dayre similarly found the proper way to do so for Echo, with the typically non-powered character discovering a new set of abilities connected to Maya’s emotional family backstory and development that made the changes not only easy to forgive for comic book fans, but also all the more exciting for what they could lead to in her MCU future.

All episodes of Echo are now streaming on Hulu and Disney+.

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