‘Hawkeye’: Who Is Marvel’s New Iconic Star Alaqua Cox?

Hawkeye is the latest Marvel limited series to hit Disney+, and for fans, it’s the perfect segue between Marvel’s Phase 3 and Phase 4. Focusing primarily on Hawkeye/Clint Barton, the series combines comedy, action, and intrigue, all while introducing several new characters who will feature prominently in upcoming Marvel projects.

One of the most exciting new characters in Hawkeye is Echo, played by actor Alaqua Cox. Although Cox is new to the acting world, fans are reacting in an overwhelmingly positive way to her portrayal of Echo, and she is poised to become one of Marvel’s hottest new stars.  

‘Hawkeye’ introduces several exciting new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Alaqua Cox attends Marvel Studios' Los Angeles Premiere of "Hawkeye" at El Capitan Theatre
‘Hawkeye’ star Alaqua Cox plays Echo | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Hawkeye is a Disney+ series that follows the exploits of Hawkeye and his new protégé, Kate Bishop, as they confront various enemies from Hawkeye’s past as the caped avenger Ronin. Along the way, Hawkeye and Kate encounter a sinister gang called the Tracksuit Mafia, helmed by the enforcer Maya Lopez/Echo. Familiar Marvel favorites like Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova return in the series, in addition to some new faces.

The most prominent newcomer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the character of Kate Bishop, played by singer/actor Hailee Steinfeld. The character, who takes over the mantle of Clint Barton’s Hawkeye, will be seen in future MCU projects, although there have not been specific release dates announced for any of these films or shows. 

Alaqua Cox plays Echo in ‘Hawkeye’

Another Hawkeye fan-favorite is Echo, played by Cox. Echo, also known as Maya Lopez, is the deaf commander of the Tracksuit Mafia. Maya’s father was killed by Hawkeye, so she has a personal stake in seeing the Avenger being brought to justice. Cox, who was born Deaf, has made waves in her role as Echo, with many fans praising her intense, serious performance.

Cox’s role in Hawkeye is her very first acting role ever, and she felt a lot of nerves when she was first introduced to her co-stars, Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld. As Cox recently admitted, however, the two worked hard to make her feel welcome, even learning basic ASL in order to make her feel more at home on the set. “Hailee also spelled out her name to me in ASL at the studio where we were doing our stunt training sessions,” Cox said. “I thought it was sweet of them putting in efforts to learn basic ASL to communicate with me. It means a lot to me as a Deaf person.”

What’s next for Alaqua Cox?

Fans who love Cox’s performance as Echo will soon be able to enjoy even more of her scene-stealing efforts. The Native-American actor has been enlisted to play the lead in her very own spinoff series, titled Echo. Her accomplishments are even more astonishing considering she has never acted in a movie or TV series prior to being cast in Hawkeye

In fact, according to Looper, Cox worked in a factory before becoming a member of the MCU. She also worked for Amazon, FedEx, and at a nursing home. After answering a casting call for Marvel, Cox landed the role of Echo – and in the months since, she has been celebrating her hard work by treating herself to a new all-terrain Jeep. As one of the first members of the MCU who is Deaf and has a prosthetic limb, Cox will no doubt be facing a lot of pressure in the years to come—but based on her measured response to fame so far, she will take it on with grace and dignity.

RELATED: ‘Hawkeye’ Fans Need to Watch This 1 Hailee Steinfeld Show to Get to Know the Actor Prior to Kate Bishop