A superhero with a very different set of skills has been making comic book history since 1999! Frist appearing against Marvel hero, Daredevil, Echo has quickly become a hero in her own right. Maya Lopez (AKA, Echo) is a young woman of Native-American and Hispanic descent. What makes her unique to the comic book world is she is one of the few deaf characters around! Being born deaf has not stopped Maya from becoming a vital ally to both Daredevil and the New Avengers. She uses her keen visual abilities to learn and copy anything she sees. She had used this power as a child to learn how to play the piano and dance ballet. Now she uses it master the fighting styles and characteristics of the heroes and villains she comes across in the Marvel Universe. This makes her one of the toughest super heroes to beat!
Echo’s creator and artist, David Mack, felt Echo would fit in perfectly with Daredevil, who is blind. When Mack began writing for Echo and Daredevil, he wanted to showcase what they were able to do instead of focusing on what society may see as a disability. Mack says, “They are able to take that perceived deficit and turn it into a unique point of view that can be their asset.”
ASL (American Sign Language) is used a lot throughout the comics, both by Echo and in the background art. Mack wanted to show accurate signing from his character, and spent a very long time researching sign language and biographies of deaf people.
Marvel wants to show that with hard work and dedication, kids can accomplish amazing feats, whether or not they are deaf, blind, or have some other perceived disability. Echo has gotten a lot of reader support, and Mack has been asked to continue with new stories for her. He is thrilled to know she will continue to inspire kids from all walks of life!