Echo (Marvel Comics)
|First appearance||Daredevil Vol. 2, #9 (Dec. 1999)|
|Created by||David Mack
|Alter ego||Maya Lopez|
|Team affiliations||New Avengers
Echo (Maya Lopez), also known as Ronin, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superheroine and a supporting character of Daredevil. She makes her first appearance in Daredevil Vol. 2, #9 (Dec. 1999), and was created by David Mack and Joe Quesada. She is a Native American and one of the very few deaf comic characters.
When she dons her "Echo" guise, she is easily recognizable by a white hand print which covers most of her face.
- 1 Character creation
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Other versions
- 5 In other media
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The identity of Ronin was an attempt by New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis to create a mystery after the apparently male character was depicted on several comic book covers, including issues of New Avengers, and one Pulse issue. Fan speculation was high, with the most common guess that Ronin was Daredevil (despite Bendis initially denying that this was the case, he eventually revealed this to be the original intention). However, Avengers: The Ultimate Guide, a DK Press book, revealed Ronin to be Echo weeks before the slightly delayed release of New Avengers #13, where Ronin's true identity was belatedly revealed.
Fictional character biography
While still a young girl, Maya Lopez's father (known as Willie "Crazy Horse" Lincoln), was killed by the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk). As Crazy Horse dies, he leaves a bloody handprint on Maya's face. His last dying wish is that his partner in crime, the Kingpin, raise Maya well: a wish the Kingpin honors, caring for her as his own.
Believed to be mentally disabled, Maya is sent to an expensive school for people with learning disabilities. There, she manages to completely replicate a song on the piano. She is subsequently sent to another expensive school for prodigies. She would soon become a gifted woman.
One day, upon visiting her father's grave with Fisk, Maya asks how he died. Fisk tells her that Daredevil killed him.
Maya is sent by the Kingpin to Matt Murdock to prove Matt's weakness. He tells her that Matt believes he is a bad person, and that she is the only way to prove him wrong. As Maya believes him, it would not appear to be a lie when she tells Matt.[volume & issue needed]
Matt Murdock and Maya soon fall in love. She later takes on the guise of Echo to hunt down Daredevil. On her face she paints a white handprint, similar to the bloody handprint left by her dying father. Having watched videos of Bullseye and Daredevil fighting, she proves more than a match for Daredevil. After several failed attempts, noticing that Daredevil can easily move through the dark, Maya easily figures out Daredevil's weakness, and exploits this by having him fight in a place where his heightened senses are useless. Maya easily takes him down and nearly kills him, refusing only when she finds out Matt and Daredevil are one and the same. Matt manages to correct the Kingpin's lies. In revenge, Maya confronts Fisk and shoots him in the face, blinding him and starting the chain of events that lead to his eventual downfall (Kingpin would later partially recover his eyesight through reconstructive eye surgery).[volume & issue needed]
After realizing the horror of her actions and the lies she has grown up with, Maya flees the United States to do some soul-searching. When she comes back, she tries reuniting with Matt Murdock, only to find out he is now with a blind woman named Milla Donovan, and that the Kingpin is still alive (despite Maya's attempts to kill him). Leaving Matt, Maya visits the Kingpin in prison, who tells her that he doesn't blame her for what she did, and that despite all that had happened, he still loves her like a daughter. Unsatisfied and still needing peace, Maya turns to the Chief, her father's old friend, noted for his wisdom. The Chief sends Maya on a Vision quest to calm her soul. On her quest, she meets and befriends Wolverine who helps her recover and passes on his knowledge of Japanese culture and Japanese organized crime. Soon enough, Echo makes peace with her past and is back doing performance art.
Ronin and the Avengers
After his recent identity crisis has made him unable to join the New Avengers due to his refusal to tarnish the reputations of heroes such as Spider-Man and Captain America by working with him, Daredevil recommends Maya to Captain America to aid the Avengers in seizing the Silver Samurai in Japan. She dons a suit that conceals her identity as well as her gender and rechristens herself Ronin. The word is Japanese for 'Masterless Samurai'.
After joining the Avengers, Maya returns to Japan to keep an eye on Elektra Natchios, a dangerous assassin rumored to be leading the Hand, check on the Silver Samurai from time to time, and hopefully solve the conflict between The Hand and Clan Yashida. As Ronin, around the conclusion of the Civil War between the pro- and anti-registration factions in America, Maya fights Elektra and is killed, but is soon resurrected by the Hand with the same process used to raise Elektra. They take Maya captive with the intent of turning her into an assassin for The Hand. Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Spider-Woman, Iron Fist, and the new Ronin rescue her and escape, leaving a furious Elektra to send the Hand after them. During a brief lull in the fight with the Hand, in which Luke Cage tries to negotiate with Elektra to buy time, it is revealed that the Hand has been successful in brainwashing Maya, as she subsequently stabs Dr. Strange with a sword given to her by one of the Hand. She continues to fight the New Avengers until Dr. Strange is able to release his Astral Form, with Wong's help, and frees Maya from the brainwashing. Maya then charges straight for Elektra, who is fighting Luke Cage, and brutally stabs and slices her with a sword. It is revealed afterwards that Elektra is a Skrull warrior in disguise. They return to New York, after Spider-Woman's apparent betrayal of them when she steals the corpse of the Skrull Elektra. The Avengers hide in a hotel room, (Strange's magic making it appear that Echo is the only person in the room) before returning to Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum. Echo officially hands the Ronin identity over to Clint Barton after they arrive. After Strange confirms their identities by casting a spell that shows everyone their true nature- Echo appearing dressed in a female variation of Daredevil's costume- the team heads to Stark Tower to stop the Hood's attack on the building. There, they encounter the Mighty Avengers locked in battle with an army of invading symbiotes, one of which latches on to Echo before Iron Man manages to cure those infected.
World War Hulk
Echo attempts to defend Rick Jones from Hiroim and Elloe of the Hulk's Warbound during their attack on the Sanctum Sanctorum to capture Doctor Strange. She, along with Iron Fist and Ronin, is defeated and captured.
During the Invaders' appearance in the present due to the manipulations of the villain D'Spayre after he acquired a Cosmic Cube, Echo proved vital in defeating him as her deafness meant that D'Spayre was unable to manipulate her emotions.
Secret Invasion: The Infiltration
After the defeat of the Hood's criminal organization, Echo remains on the team as Doctor Strange departs to the astral plane to heal himself, setting up base in a building owned by Iron Fist's company but technically leased to Samuel Sterns for the year. After a brief run-in with a Skrull disguised as Daredevil, Clint Barton admits being attracted to her, and the two sleep together.
Echo goes with the rest of the New Avengers to the Savage Land when a Skrull ship crash lands. When the ship opens, it reveals various superheroes in outdated outfits. Echo joins with the Mighty and New Avengers to fight the "old" heroes from the Skrull ship. The battle is then broken up by a dinosaur causing everyone to split up.
Later, she encounters Spider-Woman, who is actually the Skrull Queen and the force behind the Invasion. "Spider-Woman" incapacitates Echo by repeatedly blasting her with venom blasts and then slams her into a nearby tree trunk. Echo helps the other Avengers kill all the other Skrull impostors, then heads to New York and confronts an army of Super Skrulls along with various other heroes and villains. She is invited back to Bucky's apartment by Iron Fist but does not show up.
Following the reformation of the New Avengers during the Heroic Age, Luke Cage and his wife Jessica seek a nanny for their child. Echo is one of several respondents to the offer, but declines and then angrily asks Cage if he even remembers that she used to be a member of the Avengers.
Echo appeared in the new Moon Knight series, saving Marc Spector from a strip club, where she worked undercover. However when saving Moon Knight, her cover was blown. Later Moon Knight proposed that they join forces against the West Coast Kingpin, and invites her to dinner.[volume & issue needed] It is hinted that she and Moon Knight fell in love,[volume & issue needed] and when she goes with Moon Knight, they get attacked by the Night Shift.[volume & issue needed] Although the Avengers beat them, the police arrive, and apprehend the duo as well.[volume & issue needed] Echo was killed by Count Nefaria, the man trying to become the new West Coast Kingpin.
Powers and abilities
Maya Lopez is an Olympic-level athlete possessing "photographic reflexes" or the uncanny ability to perfectly copy other people's movements, similar to that of the Taskmaster. Just by watching other people, she has become a concert-level pianist, a strong martial artist, a highly skilled acrobat, and a gifted ballerina (and on one occasion even piloted a Quinjet for a few minutes). In addition, she has also gained Bullseye's uncanny aim and Daredevil's acrobatic abilities after watching tapes of their fights.
Although with great potential, deafness gives Maya Lopez great drawbacks. Her absolute reliance on visual cues renders her helpless in the dark, and her ability to communicate by reading lips prevents her from taking oral commands and communicating with people who are wearing masks or are not in direct visual contact; when she initially meets the Avengers, Captain America has to repeat all of Iron Man's questions for her. However, she has been incorrectly depicted as being able to hear and respond to voices despite not seeing the person's mouth due to standing away from them or the person talking right behind her. It has since been established that Echo actually can read lips from some distance or with the corner of her eye even if the talker is wearing a mask, if the mask is thin enough (as the rather simple fabric masks used by the new Ronin and Spider-Man), and relay their conversation to closer individuals. She still retains her inability to communicate with people wearing sturdier or thicker masks, or fully covering their mouths. 
In Ultimate Spider-Man, a woman dressed in Echo's 616 costume appears in a police station shouting "Who can you trust? WHO CAN YOU TRUST?!", referencing Bendis' frequent use of the character in New Avengers and in Secret Invasion where "Who Can You Trust?" is the major tagline of the event.
Daredevil: End of Days
In other media
- Echo is a boss is video game tie-in to the Daredevil live-action film. In the game, she is a villain, and she believes that Daredevil was never in league with the Kingpin in the first place. After chasing Echo throughout the New York Subway Transit System, Daredevil defeats her.
- Maya Lopez appears as a PSP exclusive playable character in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, voiced by Marabina Jaimes. Two of her alternate costumes are Ronin (Masked, Unmasked). A mod available for the Wii versions of the game unlocks her as a playable character.
- Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #159, Comic Book Resources, June 12, 2008
- Daredevil v2 #51-#55
- New Avengers #11
- New Avengers #30
- New Avengers #31
- New Avengers #32
- New Avengers #33
- New Avengers #34
- World War Hulk #3
- Avengers/Invaders #8
- New Avengers #37
- New Avengers #38
- New Avengers #39
- Secret Invasion #1-2
- Secret Invasion #3
- Secret Invasion #5-8
- New Avengers #50
- New Avengers (vol. 2) #7
- Moon Knight vol 6 #2
- Moon Knight (vol 4) #9
- Avengers/Invaders #5
- Ultimate Spider-Man #122
- Daredevil: End of Days #3