For the first time in Marvel’s history, a woman who has limb loss is taking center stage in the latest five-episode series, Echo, now streaming on Disney+ and Hulu. The main character, Maya Lopez who goes by Echo, was first introduced in 2021’s Hawkeye and is played by Alaqua Cox. Alicia Vitarelli covered the story for ABC7News on 1/8/24.
In addition to this being Alaqua’s breakout acting role, she is also shattering barriers in representation as a deaf, indigenous, amputee superhero. The 26-year-old was working in an Amazon warehouse when a friend told her about the casting call. She is from the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin and portrays an indigenous woman from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in the series.
On her role, Alaqua Cox said “I have a lot of communities that I can advocate for, and most of them are underrepresented,” she said. “I’m excited for them to be able to see themselves through me on the screen. Hopefully, they will think they can do anything that they put their minds to, and they can achieve anything.”
Authenticity was especially important to director and Navajo filmmaker Sydney Freeland. This is why she ensured both deaf and Choctaw writers were in the writer’s room, as well as an ASL master, and both Choctaw cultural experts and actors. “She [Maya Lopez] has these powers that are more related to her indigenous roots,” Alaqua said.
Alaqua is herself a longtime Marvel fan and comic book lover, so the opportunity to step into this role and increase representation has meant a lot.
“From the indigenous community to the deaf community, the amputee community, I wish I had that experience when I was little,” she said. “I’m happy to be that experience for them now.”
Catch Alaqua in Echo on Disney+ and Hulu which was released in its entirety on Tuesday, January 9.