Warning: This post contains spoilers for the season finale of Echo, including the post-credits scene.

Despite taking most of 2024 off from a theatrical standpoint, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is still humming along on the streaming side of things with the debut of Echo. The Disney+ series is noteworthy for a few reasons. Star Maya Lopez, who played Echo for the first time in the 2021 Hawkeye limited series, is Marvel’s first deaf and indigenous lead. Echo is also the first series to debut under the “Marvel Spotlight” banner, indicating that a series can be viewed with little to no prior MCU knowledge; it’s the first MCU show to debut on both Disney+ and Hulu; and it’s rated TV-MA, reflecting a return to the grittier tenor and tone of the various street-level Netflix series like Daredevil, Luke Cage, or Jessica Jones.

The results are mixed. Echo was originally announced as an eight-episode series before being cut down to five; the end result often feels disjointed, pushing through beats to keep the story moving for the sake of rushed narrative logic — something that also plagued last fall’s The Marvels. Yet, there are silver linings. There are some impressive fight sequences like the ones that made Daredevil memorable (including one, in the first episode, featuring the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen himself) and the performances — especially D’Onofrio’s return as Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin — are pretty good. But by the time the series is done, Echo can’t help but feel like a prelude to the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again series, highlighted by that ever-present post-credits tag.

If you want to know what happened that’s relevant in about five minutes of reading versus a few hours of watching a show, we’re breaking it down for you here. Spoilers inbound.

What’s this about a post-credits scene in Echo?

After Maya (Alaqua Cox) accesses the special abilities that “echo through her” from one generation to another through her indigenous background, she attempts to convince Kingpin to step away from his life of crime. After he flees the scene, we’re treated to a stinger with him on a plane asking an assistant to arrange a meeting with all the remaining crime heads to “stabilize the situation before it spirals out of control.”

During this, a local news broadcast about the impending mayoral race in New York City catches his eye. It turns out that voters are looking for a “bare-knuckle brawler” who’s “not afraid to take on the establishment” and will address fears and frustrations they feel have gone unanswered. As the pundits talk about how there’s a “window of opportunity” for such a candidate to emerge, Fisk literally does the gamer sitting forward meme, indicating that this will be his next play.

Is the MCU going MAGA mode?

Yes, the language in the broadcast is intentionally Trump-coded. But it also dovetails with a Daredevil comic book storyline in late 2017 during writer Charles Soule and artist Stefano Landini’s tenure on the title, in which the Kingpin runs for mayor of New York and wins. That story continued through to a recent Marvel Comics event called “Devil’s Reign,” which ran from December 2021 to May 2022 under the guidance of writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Marco Checchetto, and featured the Kingpin exploiting his powers to outlaw all superheroes in New York City amid an upcoming election. Timely!

How is this going to play into Born Again?

While Born Again is reportedly going through a restructuring of its own, the teaser at the end of Echo is enough to strongly indicate that the upcoming series will see Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock fighting the Kingpin in and out of the court system. We can assume Wilson Fisk’s mayoral platform will be highly anti-vigilante, affecting Daredevil, The Punisher (remember, Bernthal’s back!), the Hawkeyes, and maybe even a certain webhead who audiences last saw swinging around 30 Rock. At least on paper, that setup feels like plenty of fertile ground to explore what heroism means — and will bring decidedly grounded stakes back to the ever-more-multiversal MCU in the process.

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