With the release of ‘Echo’ show, the MCU character lineup is larger for one more anti-hero. In the ‘Hawkeye’ show, Echo was introduced as a fairly regular human, albeit one with awesome fighting skills. Now by the end of the last episode, Maya discovered within herself superpowers that seem to be connected to her ancestors. Could this mean that Echo is a mutant? Not likely, but we’re going to explain why.
Echo’s superpowers are not a mutation, but they are hereditary
In the ‘Hawkeye’ series, there was no talk about Maya having any special powers and abilities besides the fact that she could fight really well and that she was a dangerous martial artist. Before her standalone show was released, however, we learned that Echo was going to get superpowers, but they were going to be vastly different than what we’ve seen in the comics.
Echo is apparently empowered by her ancestors, and it seems that her powers are hereditary. While hereditary powers are usually associated with X-gene, which is responsible for creating mutants, Maya is not a mutant by any means; she is a regular human being who just so happens to have a powerful bloodline.
Echo’s powers come from Chafa, the first Choctaw
At the start of the episode, we see Maya telling her little cousin a story about Chafa, the first Choctaw woman who seemingly had magical powers. Chafa and the rest of the people lived deep within Earth. At one point, a cave-in happened, and Chafa managed to save the tribe by transporting them to the surface. One on the surface, Chafa, who was previously made out of clay or mud, “shed” her outer layer made of dirt and transformed into a human being.
Since then, at least 6 other women from Echo’s family have had superpowers: Lowak, Tuklo, Taloa, Chula, Maya, and her cousin Bonnie. The supernatural talent is definitely hereditary, but it’s not manifested in every single family member the same. Chula, for example, had visions her entire life, but she couldn’t manifest (presumably) superhuman strength in a way that Maya was able to.
Even though mutants are already commonplace in the MCU, Echo is not one.
What kind of powers and abilities does Echo have?
From her ancestry, Echo inherited a wide range of abilities. Through her connection with Chafa, Echo inherited superhuman strength and durability, which allowed her to separate her prosthetic from the train car in her time of need. From Lowak, Echo inherited an incredible capacity for strategy and tactical skills, which allowed her to plan and execute missions to near perfection.
From Tuklo, Echo inherited perfect stealth skills; despite being deaf and relatively unaware of the noise she is creating, Echo seems to be perfect at sneaking. Tuklo also blessed Echo with an incredible aptitude for handling ranged weapons. From her mother, Echo inherited the capacity to forgive and to heal. Echo attempted to heal Kingpin’s mental wounds in the last episode, and we’ve also seen her mother healing a bird that Maya wounded when she was a little girl.
Echo also demonstrated the ability to have visions and precognitions; this is something that Chula warned her about, that her ancestry will be speaking to her in her time of need. Echo was also warned by a vision just before she was about to be kidnapped and held hostage at the bowling alley.
As far as the rest of her abilities go, those are purely human in nature. She is a martial artist with extensive training in hand-to-hand combat, martial arts, and various disciplines like MMA, Capoeira, Boxing, Judo, and Taekwondo. She attended the Brooklyn Karate Academy and demonstrated proficiency in staff and sword combat. Echo is skilled in using a staff and sword in battle, even disarming and hurting Ronin during a fight. Additionally, she is an expert marksman with handguns and possesses remarkable acrobatic abilities, as showcased in her fight against Hawkeye. Echo’s unique fighting style prioritizes elbow strikes to preserve her sign language communication skills.
Based on everything that Echo demonstrated, she can be considered an enhanced human as far as her powers and abilities go, with her power output lingering somwhere in the range of Daredevil and similar street-level superheroes.
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