The latest television offering for the Marvel Cinematic Universe has arrived and looks to try a new formula for the studio. The first change is that the entire run of five episodes will be available at launch on January 9th versus being released on a weekly basis.
The second change is that the series will be available on both Hulu and Disney+ which is fitting considering the more violent and intense moments of the series which brings me back to the Daredevil and Punisher series on Netflix in terms of their content.
While Echo is not as extreme as those shows were at times, the story centers on Echo (Alaqua Cox) and goes into her origins and how she ended up working with the Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio). The series explores her youth as well as events from the Hawkeye series to establish motivation for her character who communicates via sign language.
This presented an interesting dimension as when circumstances have her return to her childhood home decades later; she operates in a small community who learned sign language to speak with her as a child and it was an interesting dynamic to have verbal dialogue mixed in with scenes of signing as well as utter silence so the audience can have a better understanding of her world.
Having an intense action sequence blended with moments of silence was a different approach that worked well. There is a Native American theme of mythology running through the show which is shown in flashbacks and I will be interested to see where this leads down the road. I was given access to the first three episodes and I had heard that the series would be available in the Choctaw language as well.
Echo is an interesting choice as a character to feature as she is not a power-laden individual nor a traditional villain or anti-hero. She is an individual who operates in a brutal world and is capable of being deadly and brutal based on her upbringing yet operates with a certain moral flexibility.
There were reports that the first cut of the series was followed by massive reshoots but based on what I have seen so far it has been one of the better entries of the televised offerings. The focus is not on massive FX-Laden sequences but rather on a character that may have a larger part to play down the line but for now provides a welcome and entertaining new entry into the MCU.