Echo: Five Marvel Comics stories to read before the MCU series

Christopher Baggett
Echo in Marvel Comics & the MCU

Ahead of Echo’s upcoming MCU solo series, these five Marvel Comics stories will tell you everything you need to know about the occasional Avenger. 

Echo is an interesting choice for the MCU. The character first appeared fairly recently, but there are clearly plans to push her to the big time right out of the gate. 

Though she debuted in Hawkeye, a solo series was announced before that show had even aired. What’s more, Echo’s storyline across both shows is being used to set up the reunion of Daredevil and The Kingpin, all leading into the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again

In the comics, Echo has been present for some pretty important stories but has never really been a headliner on her own. Before you watch her MCU debut, these five stories will tell you everything you need to know about Echo. 

Best Marvel Comics to read before MCU’s Echo

Before Echo sets the stage for Daredevil: Born Again, these five Echo comics are essential reading.

Echo from Marvel Comics

Parts of a Hole (Daredevil Vol. 2 #9-15)

Maya Lopez is a gifted acrobat, fighter, and assassin. She’s also The Kingpin’s adopted daughter. In a story set during the groundbreaking Marvel Knights era, Daredevil finds himself fighting for his life as Echo is convinced by Kingpin that Daredevil killed her father. 

It comes about as Daredevil’s friend and legal associate, Foggy Nelson, is in the midst of shutting down Kingpin’s criminal empire. Parts of a Hole presents itself as a huge shift for Daredevil, all while the character is grappling with the death of Karen Page. 

Plenty of key moments from Hawkeye come from here, including Echo’s attempted murder of Kingpin and his survival. This is also one of the best displays of Echo’s powers we’ve gotten to date. 

Echo: Vision Quest cover art
Echo’s attempts to rediscover herself led to a well-received story with some questionable stereotypes.

Vision Quest (Daredevil Vol. 2 #51-55)

Echo would leave New York following Parts of a Hole. She returns years later, having traveled the world to rediscover herself in the wake of the revelation it was Kingpin, not Daredevil, who had killed her father. 

She returns to find nothing left for her. Kingpin has survived her assassination attempt and is going about business as usual, while her attempts to reconcile with Daredevil are stopped cold as he’s in a relationship with Milla Donovan. 

With her life at a crossroads, Maya returns to the reservation where her father raised her and embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Vision Quest suffers from some outdated stereotypes which Marvel would address in later stories, but it still serves as an excellent exploration of Echo, her background, and what sets her apart from the pantheon of Marvel heroes. 

New Avengers #11 cover art
The mystery of Ronin’s identity was one of Marvel’s biggest mysteries, but why Echo needed the disguise is never explained.

Ronin (New Avengers #11-13)

Of all the heroes who were at The Raft to join the New Avengers, only one refused: Daredevil. With the team headed to Japan to battle The Hand, Captain America pleads with Daredevil once again to join the team. Though he steadfastly refuses, he does offer up someone as knowledgeable as he is about The Hand. 

Enter Ronin, the mysterious ninja character whose identity took Marvel Comics fans by storm for a few months in 2005 and is eventually revealed to be Echo. She briefly wears an armored disguise to fight alongside Captain America and the New Avengers but sheds the identity at the story’s end. Why did she wear the disguise? It’s never revealed. 

These days, the storyline is mostly notable for introducing the Ronin identity, which would go on to be used as a shorthand for teasing big-reveal characters like Hawkeye and Blade. For Echo, it became the turning point in which she went from the casualty of a gang war to a superhero. 

New Avengers #39 cover art
Echo’s distance from other heroes made her a target during Secret Invasion.

Secret Invasion (New Avengers #39)

Echo would have a tumultuous life following her adventure with the New Avengers. Slain by a Skrull who impersonated Elektra, she would be briefly resurrected as a Hand assassin before fighting back and rejoining the New Avengers, this time alongside the second Ronin, Clint Barton.

The defining Echo story from this era may be the done-in-one Secret Invasion tie-in. In the throes of the Skrull Invasion, Echo is unsure who to trust. She seeks out Daredevil for advice but instead finds herself fighting a Skrull imposter. 

The story may be a single issue, but the conflict with the Skrull and team-up with Wolverine puts into perspective where Echo stands with the Avengers and how far she’s come as an individual. The issue also puts her closer than ever to Clint Barton, kickstarting their brief relationship. 

Phoenix Song: Echo cover art
Echo briefly rejoined the Avengers as the latest host of the Phoenix Force.

Enter the Phoenix (Avengers Vol. 3 #38-44, Phoenix Song: Echo #1)

In perhaps the biggest change Echo has undergone since her Marvel Comics debut, a 2020 event saw her become the latest host of Phoenix Force

Enter the Phoenix saw the fearsome Phoenix Force trap various champions, including Captain America, Black Panther, Doctor Doom, and Howard the Duck into a massive tournament. The winner would gain the favor and power of the Phoenix Force. 

Echo faced Namor in the final round of the tournament. Despite losing, the Phoenix Force was inspired by her and chose her as its new host. As the new Phoenix, she briefly re-joined the Avengers but used the last of the Phoenix powers to stop the Multiversal Masters of Evil, departing the team once more. 

That’s all we have now on Echo’s best stories, but for more Echo and Marvel Comics news, be sure to stick with Dexerto

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