MCU’s first adult-rated show ‘Echo’ has been released and showed us the origin story of Maya Lopez. She started out as slighted Kingpin henchmen but eventually rose a heroic personality that saved her family from certain deaths. Family was a big theme in ‘Echo’ and the source of Maya’s strength and superpowers. Let’s see how Echo got her powers and how her ancestors are connected to them.
Echo’s powers have been changed in the MCU
Even before ‘Echo’ was released, we knew that Sydney Freeland, director of the show, confirmed that Echo, aka Maya Lopez, would have a different set of superpowers in the show. In the comics, Maya has the exact same skillset as Taskmaster, meaning that she can remember and replicate enemy moves perfectly. Even though in the show, Maya has proved herself to be an incredibly skilled combatant, there is a dash of superpowers added to the mix.
As soon as Maya arrived in her hometown, she started experiencing visions, visions that would arrive at crucial moments when she needed that extra magical push to finish her mission at hand. This was most obvious in the second episode when Echo managed to dislodge her prosthetic leg that was stuck in the train cart, and in the scene, it was clear that her palms started glowing with a faint golden glow. Maya continued to experience visions from women she never met, from places she had never been to, every time she needed help and every time she was in danger.
When Echo talked with her grandmother Chula, she revealed to Echo that all Battiest women have those visions and abilities in times of need. Chula revealed that while she was giving birth to Maya’s mother, she almost died in the hospital. The tribe members instead took her to the forest so she could be better connected to her ancestors. She managed to give birth successfully, and her daughter survived. Taloa was born with the power of healing, and like all significant women in the family before her, she regularly experienced visions.
Taloa, Echo’s mother, described it as dall ancestors “Echoing” through her, giving her that extra push or warning when she needs it the most. So, what kind of powers did Echo inherit from their ancestors? Let’s Lee.
1. Chafa – ferocity
The first ancestor that we met over the course of the series was the first ancestor of Choctaw people in general. Chafa saved herself and the rest of the tribe from a cave-in, and as soon as they reached the surface world, they transformed from clay or mud into human beings. She was a ferocious person and a true leader, and Taloa explained that from Chafa, Echo inherited ferocity. This can be easily translated to incredible durability and strength.
2. Lowak – strategy
The second ancestor that we were introduced to was Lowak. Lowak was a Choctaw woman whose people were about to be banished from the tribe if she didn’t win a competition against the tribe leader. With careful planning and perfect execution of her moves, Lowak managed to win the game, and she saved her people. Lowak was present in the episode in which Echo was planning and executing her mission to sabotage weapon delivery that killed several Kingpin’s men to send them a message, so we can assume that in this case, Lowak did truly give Maya a perfect tactical mind, and a good sense on when to make her moves.
3. Tuklo – cunning
The third ancestor we met was Tuklo. Tuklo lived in the 1800s during a dangerous period where Indian territories were infested by dangerous criminals. The native tribes formed their own police force called the Lighthorsemen that defended the innocents from those criminals. Tuklo, a woman, wanted to be a Lighthorseman badly, but her father denied her, telling her that a woman’s place is to create life, not to take it. Tuklo, against his wishes, braided her hair, which was at the time reserved only for male warriors, and started bringing her own justice to the lands. In an incredibly dangerous situation, Tuklo’s father almost lost his life when he was ambushed. Luckily, Tuklo ambushed the attackers as well and used ancestral empowerment to shoot them.
It’s presumed that Maya’s incredible skills with ranged weapons and her stealth powers are derived from Tuklo.
4. Taloa – love & healing
Last, Maya’s ancestor is her mother, Taloa, who died after the brakes in her car were cut, an incident for which Maya blamed herself while she was a little girl. Chula explained that even during her life, Taloa had an incredible gift to heal people, and Maya’s memory truly proved that.
One day, Maya was using a slingshot to take down a small bird; she brought it to her mother to see if something could be done to save the bird. Taloa saw through Maya’s lies since she initially told her mother that the bird had fallen from the tree, and she explained to Maya that the bird is practically sacred and Echo should always strive to preserve life and not take it. Soon after, Taloa took the bird in her hands and healed her, which is the most tangible proof that Taloa had superpowers. In the finale episode of ‘Echo,’ Maya can be seen attempting to heal Wilson Fisk from his life-long trauma through her mother’s healing touch.
What did ‘Echo’ inherit from her grandmother?
Echo didn’t inherit any superpowers from Chula because she is still alive. I’m assuming that you can use ancestral empowerment only after the ancestors in question are dead. One day, when Chula dies, Echo will most likely see her in her visions as well and will be able to use empowerment from her, too, just like she could draw powers from her own deceased mother. Something that wouldn’t be possible if she were still alive.
Why couldn’t Maya’s mother heal her hearing?
It was never explained why Taloa couldn’t heal her hearing. It’s most likely that she is able to heal only minor physical injuries, and generally the more complicated disease or injury is it’s less likely that her powers will work. Since Taloa’s powers are mostly connected to love, it’s possible that her powers are the most efficient when it comes to mental trauma and that this is what healing is all about.
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