Today, we look at how a notable Daredevil storyline involving Kingpin and Echo informed the way that comic book fans saw the ending of the Hawkeye season (series?) finale on Disney+. Obviously, from that description, we would imagine you would understand that this article will inherently deal with spoilers from Hawkeye’s season finale on Disney+.
This is a feature called “Written in the Book.” It is basically the reverse of another feature of mine called “Follow the Path,” where I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. Nowadays, there are so many comic book films and TV series out there that we can spotlight examples of TV and film adapting specific and less famous comic book stories to other media (so no “Spider-Man lifts up debris” or stuff like that).
This edition of “Written in the Book” is similar to the last time we did one of these, which is that it is SLIGHTLY different than the original intention of the feature, but I can’t help it, sometimes those are the most interesting ones. Here, then, we’re talking about a specific comic book influence on the MCU that is purely speculative, as we don’t yet know whether this is ACTUALLY an influence. However, I think it is still important to explain just why comic book fans have been so confident that Kingpin was not killed in the Hawkeye season finale and why it is different from past fan speculation (like the infamous, “Everyone in WandaVision is Mephisto in disguise” stuff, which was NOT based on any specific comic book reference).
HOW KINGPIN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH ECHO CLOSELY FOLLOWED THE COMIC BOOKS
“Parts of a Hole” took place in Daredevil Vol.2 #9-15, the first issues after Kevin Smith stopped writing the relaunched Daredevil series (which was relaunched as part of a deal that Marvel made with Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti’s Event Comics to take over a few titles under an umbrella title of “Marvel Knights”). Written by David Mack with artwork by Joe Quesada, David Ross, Rob Haynes and Jimmy Palmiotti, this story introduced Maya Lopez, a deaf woman who Matt falls for, giving his life some new meaning in the wake of Karen Page’s murder. However, what he doesn’t know is that Maya Lopez has been manipulated by the Kingpin into believing that Daredevil murdered her father.
Kingpin and Maya have a very close uncle/niece relationship…
Decked out as the vigilante Echo (she has a big white handprint on her face, to echo the bloody handprint her father left as he died), she has photographic reflexes, similar to the villain Taskmaster. So she can echo anyone’s skills that she studies. She is also a highly trained athlete, so that allows her to implement the skills she studies. So when she takes on Daredevil, it is tough for Matt, as he instantly recognizes her (she isn’t exactly wearing much of a disguise), so how does he handle fighting the woman who he has fallen for?
Joe Quesada did a wonderful job on the art for the issues he did for this story.
But of course, the twist is that it was KINGPIN who killed her father, not Daredevil…
As you can see, Maya’s background in the comics were VERY close to the depiction of her background on the TV series. This is why the final scene of Echo and Kingpin is almost certainly ALSO going to be informed by the final scene that Echo and Kingpin share in the comic book storyline, as well.
HOW THE FINAL SCENED “ECHOED” A DRAMATIC MOMENT BETWEEN KINGPIN AND ECHO
First off, let me note that CBR’s Fatima-Zahra Ahmed wrote about this same comic book scene right after the finale came out. Had I not already started discussing this stuff in the previous Written in the Book, I’d probably just let her discussion stand alone, but since I did already start this stuff, I might as well keep going!
One of the hooks in the original “Parts of a Hole” storyline that was not adapted into the TV show was the admittedly very “Comic book-y” angle where Echo has kept the gun that was used to kill her father and plans to use it to murder Daredevil with as soon as she can. She has the chance during an epic fight in Daredevil #15 (by David Mack, David Ross and Mark Morales), but Matt Murdock reveals the fact that HE is Daredevil to her during the fight and since she has spent time with Matt, she knows that he is telling the truth when he notes that he is obviously too young to have been the person who murdered her father when she was a child…
At that moment, Maya clearly realizes that the only person who could have done it was the person who had manipulated her all of these years, Wilson Fisk. She tracks him down (meanwhile, we had been hearing about how Wilson became the Kingpin in part because of his “vision.” That word is used repeatedly in the comic) and confronts him, pointing the gun at his head, just like she does in the Hawkeye season finale. She pulls the trigger, just like in the Hawkeye season finale…
However, did you happen to notice the bit in the Hawkeye season finale where Kingpin says how he and Maya have not been “seeing eye to eye” with each other? That’s basically the same thing as the comic books going on about “vision,” because sure enough, at the end of the storyline, we learn that Kingpin has survived the gunshot wound, but it has left him blind…
In the comics, this was obviously a play on how the story arc was about a man who can’t see fighting against a woman who can’t hear and now the Kingpin can’t see, either, but presumably the upcoming TV series, Echo, will have a different angle on it, but either way, it seems likely that Kingpin survived the gunshot wound and will simply be blind in his next appearances (perhaps his eyes will eventually be healed like they were in the comics).
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