Sometimes it’s hard for me to grasp what the top brass behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe has planned for the greater MCU. Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Tony Stark was like lightning in a bottle that led to an entire interconnected universe of films that have dominated cinemas for the last decade.
However, MCU fatigue is very real, and there aren’t any Robert Downey Jr. level personalities to prop up the franchise, nor any Thanos-like threats to build against, especially now that the fate of Johnathan Majors’ Kang is still being decided behind the scenes. And without a working knowledge of the rest of the MCU, you might feel a little lost. It’s hard to get new faces into a franchise that demands a viewing of 33 films and even more TV shows to access.
Then you have shows like Echo that make an earnest effort in creating grounded stories that don’t require you to have working knowledge of the greater MCU. You know, stories like Netflix did a fantastic job telling. In fact, they did such a good job Echo requires you to have seen them to prime you for their show’s main villain, Kingpin. See, all of Kingpin’s most important character development has been done in a series that is not even considered canon with the greater MCU.
It really makes you wonder what the hell they’re thinking.
And for a show that doesn’t require working knowledge of the MCU’s vast library of interconnected movies and TV shows, it throws a lot of references to the greater MCU back at an audience that might feel left in the dark.
I watched the first episode of Echo, and will most likely finish this series. Secret Invasion lost me after the first episode, but Echo has some potential. Even if Disney doesn’t have enough faith in the show not to dump all of its episodes at once,
But really, at this point who’s watching beyond the most diehard of Marvel fans? If such a thing even exists. Perhaps it’ll make some waves in the deaf community, or the Native American population that will finally have some good representation. By all accounts, Alaqua Cox does a fantastic job with her portrayal of Maya Lopez.
In fact, critics seemed to like the newest Marvel show, giving it a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes, and generally praising everything from its writing to its action scenes. But everyone's conversation about how it's been received has revolved around the question of: “who cares?” and “will people watch it?” According to Televisionstats.com it’s the number 1 ranked show in the US as of today, based on audience engagement. So it’s certainly getting a lot of people talking.
Overall, I liked what I’ve seen from Echo so far. A part of me would love to see the MCU finally die off so we can get more variety in our entertainment. However, I don’t think superhero media is going to die off completely, and even the MCU might continue to limp along in a diminished capacity for a very long time.