Echo’s Alaqua Cox Opens Up About How Members Of The Choctaw Nation Have Reacted To Her MCU Show Since It Premiered

 Alaqua Cox on Echo.
Alaqua Cox on Echo.

Echo, the latest small-screen entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, breathes some solid life into the long-running franchise. Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez, who was introduced on Hawkeye, takes center stage and audiences get to see her develop from mob enforcer to superhero. Additionally, the show (which is streamable for Disney+ subscribers) fully immerses viewers in the Native American culture to which its protagonist belongs. Cox has talked about how this element of the miniseries is important to her along with the response from fellow Indigenous people. And, when CinemaBlend spoke to her, she discussed how fellow members of the Choctaw Nation have responded to the show.

Alaqua Cox and I recently had some time to chat about the show, which wrapped up its five-episode run earlier this year. During our chat, we discussed a number of topics and, eventually, we talked about how the production has been received. From first-hand experience, I’m aware that plenty of fans in general have praised the emphasis on cultural authenticity. What I was most curious about, though, was what the star had heard from those she shares lineage with. And I was delighted when Cox responded to my question with a very enthusiastic answer:

I had some members of the Choctaw Nation come up to me and say it's such an honor to have this character being portrayed [for] our nation. And I'm like, ‘Oh my gosh, just stop. You guys are so nice to me.’ You know, this is coming from the Choctaw members themselves. So it means so much to them. It's such an honor. And it makes me just want to hang out with them and just chat more with them. They're so nice.

Overall, Echo marks the first installment in the MCU that’s been led by a character of Indigenous descent. So it goes without saying that there was a lot riding on this project in addition to the usual expectations that come with entries in this massive continuity. So it warms my heart to hear that the actress has received positive feedback from members of the Nation. I’d imagine there’s a certain amount of pride that comes with receiving love from your own people.

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Vincent D'Onofrio and Alaqua Cox on Echo
Vincent D'Onofrio and Alaqua Cox on Echo

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Having seen the limited series, I can understand why people would be high on its cultural elements. Those elements add unique qualities to this superhero story, and they feel both organic and necessary in relation to the protagonist’s journey. The Choctaw Powwow Festival during the finale is incredibly well staged and features a truly stunning dance sequence. The nuggets of history sprinkled throughout each episode, which track the exploits of Maya’s ancestors, are also great. Even Lopez’s intricately designed costume is imbued with key details related to the Choctaw. So, all in all, a lot of time and effort was put in and, as a result, this truly is a love letter to Native American culture.

More of this could potentially be explored in a theoretical second season of Echo or in any other upcoming Marvel movie or show that the character pops up in. Alaqua Cox told me that she’s still waiting to hear about her MCU future, and the “waiting is driving [her] nuts.” All the while, she’s still been taking the time to think about what she wants for the heroine moving forward. If Cox had her way, Maya would be teaming up with the Avengers and/or appearing on the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series.

For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but I’m confident that this isn’t the end of the road for Maya Lopez. She represents a fresh crop of diverse, young MCU heroes, and I’d love to see her culture further explored in future projects. Here’s hoping she branches out from here and that Alaqua Cox continues to soak in the love from the Choctaw Nation and more.

You can stream Echo on Disney+ now, and be sure to keep an eye on the 2024 TV schedule, which is where upcoming Marvel shows.