Grab your bows this Christmas because Hawkeye’s comin’ to town.

Casting our minds back, it’s not too hard to imagine a time when majority audiences considered the archer the only misfire in the Avengers’ circle.

Fans loved Iron Man and co but felt like the writers missed the bullseye with Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye. However, perhaps he simply wasn’t given a chance to shine… yet.

Most changed their verdict after his emotional turn in Infinity War and Endgame, so when a solo series for the character was announced, hopes were actually pretty damn high.

Now that it’s finally begun premiering, the floor has opened up to a wealth of questions, with one certainly standing out. Who is the villain in Hawkeye?

Image from Hawkeye trailer.

Who is the villain in Hawkeye?

The villain in the Hawkeye series is Maya Lopez, perhaps better known as Echo.

She’s ushered into the mix towards the end of episode 2 when it’s revealed that she’s the mysterious boss Clint and Kate must answer to.

The character has appeared throughout Marvel Comics in the past and she’s perhaps best known as a pawn of the Kingpin, the iconic Daredevil villain. She eventually joined the New Avengers.

Chronicling her past in print, she’s a member of the Cheyenne Nation of Native Americans and was born Deaf.

Tracing back the origins of the Ronin alter ego, it actually came from her; she wasn’t “Echo” until a few years after. This is where the MCU’s exploration of her arc deviates, as it has previously been established that Clint is Ronin and passing down the mantle to Kate.

As for her powers, she possesses incredible reflexes that allow her to copy the movements of another – no matter how highly skilled – after seeing them perform a move just once.

It will be interesting to see how Hawkeye inducts her character into the MCU at long last, and it’s likely that her inclusion could have ripples throughout the remainder of Phase Four and the forthcoming fifth phase.

Her ties to Kingpin and therefore Daredevil are worth contemplating, as in the comics we see her and Matt Murdock begin to pursue a romantic relationship that throws her criminal connections into question.

Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye | Official Trailer | Disney+

Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye | Official Trailer | Disney+

“I can easily catch things”

Like the character of Echo, the actress who portrays her is also deaf.

Alaqua Cox is is a newcomer to the realm of acting, but she has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that it was the role of Echo in the MCU that attracted her to the world of performing.

Upon hearing that Marvel Studios was seeking a deaf Native American actress to cast, she was compelled:

“The deaf community is in huge support of this role because they want to see deaf people represented in these deaf roles… Most of the time it’s hearing people that take these roles, but finally authentic representation is here. So I’m excited for that, and so is everybody else.”

Opening up about the experience, she added: “Deaf people have really good visual skills. I can easily catch things. During training they were like, ‘Oh, wow, you’re a fast learner.’ I was like, ‘Well, I just watched you.'”

Representation matters

Speaking out on Alaqua’s importance to the MCU and wider screen representation on the whole, Hawkeye executive producer Trinh Tran told Inverse:

“We really wanted to stay true to her character in the comics, which is why casting Alaqua who is Deaf and and Native American was really important to us. She just brings in a different perspective in the MCU.”

She also includes that her, the team, and the wider industry “need to fill our space up with a diverse group of people… Everybody who’s watching these series and these projects, they’re all different.

“They all come from different backgrounds, different cultures, so to have people look up and watch somebody who is similar in their background and see them on screen, I think that’s important. That speaks to the relatability factor.”

Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.

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