This week's Your Nerd Side Show:
With the Marvel Cinematic Universe in need of a boost following a disappointing 2023, its next TV offering, Echo, offers a glimpse of hope heading into a new year after positive early feedback for the gritty miniseries.
Per The Direct, Echo has received early rave reviews from critics as they got to watch the first two episodes of the upcoming show at a preview screening in the United Kingdom. Much of the positive critical reception on social media centers around the action and "grounded" storytelling of the Phase Five series in its first episodes. No Majesty's Paul Klein said, "If the world-ending stakes of the MCU have you longing for something more grounded Echo is the gritty tonic. Two episodes seen and it’s a hard-hitting action thriller with a great sense of Native American culture. Can't wait to see the final three when they drop in Jan."
Meanwhile, podcaster Tyrell Charles was intrigued by the action scenes and credited the series for focusing on Maya Lopez's background. "I've seen 3 eps of Echo. A grounded, character-driven story with hints of bigger things to come. The strong focus on Maya's indigenous heritage & personal history intrigues me; and while some quiet moments slow the pacing; when the action scenes come, they are indeed brutal," Charles said. While critics are intrigued to see what's coming from the rest of Echo, some pointed out issues with the storyline and creative decisions. Total Film's Emily Murray said, "Enjoyed the first two episodes of ECHOwhich had an incredible (and violent) fight scene I want to watch again and again. The sound design is *fire emoji* The brilliant Alaqua Cox continually draws me in, but I found the storytelling and pacing shaky. Excited to see the rest!"
Additionally, The Digital Fix's Tom Percival said he didn't agree with all the creative moves for the first two episodes, but assured Daredevil fans they have something to look forward to. "Saw the first two episodes of Echo tonight and have a lot of thoughts. I think fans of Netflix’sDaredevil are going to love it. It’s like Marvel remembered it can be violent and dark. Alaqua Cox is amazing! Although I don’t love all the creative decisions though," he said. Maya is expected to feature in the upcoming Disney+ series, Daredevil: Born Again, with Echoproviding a bridge to that appearance.
Starring Alaqua Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio, Echo sees Maya (Cox) return to Oklahoma to re-identify with her native roots as she tries to bury her past with the Tracksuit Mafia and previous association with Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (D'Onofrio). However, Maya and Kingpin later cross paths again as they're forced to unite against a common enemy. The series is a spinoff of the 2021 miniseries, Hawkeye, and is the first TV-MA-rated show in MCU history.
Echo Will Kick Off the Marvel Spotlight Banner's MCU Content
Much of the grounded storytelling can be credited to the fact that Echo is the first series under the Marvel Spotlight banner. With Marvel Spotlight, the aim is to tell more "character-driven" stories with its shows while breaking away from Marvel's big-budget model.
Created by Marion Dayre and led by director Sydney Freeland, Echo features five episodes, with all of them to be released simultaneously. Marvel will be hoping for better results for Echo after the recent struggles of fellow Disney+ series, She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law and the first Phase Five series, Secret Invasion.
Echo premieres via Disney+ on Jan. 10, 2024.
Source: The Direct