Echo looking cool on Hawkeye
(Disney+)

The MCU’s Next Phase Will Win by Playing Up Something It’s Neglected Too Often

When it comes to the “ground-level” heroes, they sometimes get the short end of the stick in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe—mainly because how can someone who likes archery or a lawyer who puts on a mask at night to fight people compete with gods and wizards? It’s not to say we had a total lack of the street-level Marvel heroes. We’ve gotten to see plenty of them come to life, but they’ve rarely been the focus outside of the typical Spider-Man fan fare.

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As we come to a conclusion on Phase 5 of the MCU, it excites me just how many of these street-level heroes we’re going to see come back to life. Starting with Echo and carrying on through things like Daredevil: Born Again and even with Yelena Belova’s storyline, these heroes are the ones who are fighting crime bosses like Kingpin or dealing with the problems in their home cities, and they do, on occasion, jump into the bigger battles, but they are the everyday sort of heroes.

Again, I know that there have been some aspects of the ground level we’ve gotten, but getting to deep-dive into that in the future of the MCU in Phase 5 and beyond? That’s what has me excited! I say that it is “neglected” because when you think about the big movies and heroes, who is someone you would consider a street-level hero who has gotten their own time? You could make the argument for Cap, but he’s going up against Thor and the Guardians and even Iron Man.

The wizards and the mythical beings will always have that much more of an edge over someone who is a hero on the 4 blocks of Hell’s Kitchen. Still, I’m excited that, because we have so much content coming our way with the mix of Disney+ shows and the regular Marvel movie slate, we’re getting to focus more on the street-level side of things.

Excitement for Echo

We got to meet Echo in Hawkeye (a show I’d argue was one of the first nods to the ground-level heroes, along with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), and getting her own show means a couple of things: more of Maya Lopez and more of her connection to Hell’s Kitchen. That does mean that we’re definitely going to get a lot more of “Uncle” in the series, since we only got some brief moments with Vincent D’Onofrio in Hawkeye.

Alaqua Cox brought Maya to life in Hawkeye in such a way that I instantly wanted to know more about her, so getting to have Echo explore her relationship with Kingpin, as well as her own revenge aimed towards him for killing her father, is going to make for an amazing series.

Daredevil and Spidey team-up, please

Again, Spider-Man is one of the street-level heroes with actual superpowers. He is on the side of the street-level heroes like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones and even Danny Rand, who all have powers but also are all New York-based heroes who sort of like to stay in New York. But what was so exciting about Spider-Man: No Way Home and Matt Murdock working with Peter Parker was the potential that New York had in the future of the MCU.

Our Julia Glassman wrote about the potential of Spider-Man 4 and, in doing so, pointed out the potential of tying into Daredevil: Born Again and vice versa, and that alone has me screaming—mainly because the New York-based heroes should be working together; it’s not that hard to get to Queens from Hell’s Kitchen.

All this to say that I’m just excited for the future of the MCU and this part in particular.

(featured image: Marvel Entertainment)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.