Do You Need to Watch Netflix’s Daredevil Before Echo? Here's the Surprising Answer
Marvel’s newest show shares connective tissue with a few fan favorites.
With over 40 films and a growing number of shows under its belt, Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has become synonymous with crossover. But things get tricky when it comes to the Defenders-verse, the product of Marvel’s short-lived collaboration with Netflix. Their team-up brought street-level characters like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Punisher into the MCU, bringing a new level of authenticity to some of Marvel’s grittiest properties. When Disney and Marvel pivoted their small-screen efforts to Disney+, however, the Defenders-verse came to an abrupt end. The shows were each canceled one after the other, but it hasn’t been for nothing.
Key actors from Marvel’s Netflix shows are slowly but surely being phased into the MCU proper. Charlie Cox’s Daredevil was the first to appear in the main continuity, making brief cameos in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Vincent D’Onofrio, who played Big Bad Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin) across three seasons of Daredevil, recently reprised his role too, setting the stage for a rematch against the Man Without Fear in Daredevil: Born Again. But before either character crosses paths again, each will appear in Echo, a new series that will launch Marvel’s new Spotlight imprint.
Echo has been touted as a standalone Marvel project, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s technically a spinoff of Hawkeye, as Kingpin and protagonist Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) both appeared in that series. It’s also setting the stage for the Daredevil revival: where Kingpin is, Daredevil usually follows. But is Echo also a continuation of the original Daredevil series (which has, apparently, been made canon again)? Will novices need to brush up on their Daredevil lore before tuning in to Echo? Let’s break it down.
Does Daredevil appear in Echo?
Whether you’re familiar with Daredevil or not, there’s a chance you’ve seen ol’ Hornhead duking it out with Maya in one of Echo’s promotional teasers. Yes, Daredevil does appear in the series, but his role isn’t as crucial as one might think.
All you need to know about the vigilante is this: he’s been working hard to clean up the streets of New York, and save the city from Fisk, for some time now. The two are fierce adversaries, with Daredevil basically dedicating his life to defeating Fisk and his many nefarious enterprises.
Given that Maya once worked as one of Fisk’s enforcers, she might find herself in Daredevil’s crosshairs eventually. Still, you don’t need to binge three seasons of Daredevil to deduce that. Instead, it might be a good idea to revisit a more recent Marvel series, one that goes deep on Maya’s complicated dynamic with Fisk.
Watch Hawkeye instead
Again, Echo is almost a direct continuation of the events of Hawkeye. Maya and Fisk each play a big role in the series, and their relationship informs a big chunk of its spinoff.
Echo will catch audiences up on all that went down in Hawkeye, so it’s not totally necessary to backtrack. All you really need to know is that Maya’s dad once worked for Fisk, before he was slain by Clint Barton (on Fisk’s orders). Maya gets revenge in Hawkeye’s series finale, and she’s continuing her crusade against Fisk in Echo.
Revenge is always an easy story to follow — but if you want full context, it wouldn’t hurt to breeze through Hawkeye before Echo premieres.