Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
She’s a child of trauma that has worn many masks over the years: Echo
Appearances in Heroclix: Avengers Forever, Avengers Assemble, Avengers, Armor Wars
First Appearance: Daredevil #9 (December 1999)
Team Affiliations: Avengers, New Avengers, The Hand
Powers/Abilities: Olympic-level athlete; Concert pianist; Strong martial artist; Highly skilled acrobat; Gifted ballerina; Photographic reflexes
Created by: David Mack – Joe Quesada
Maya Lopez is just a young girl when her father, Willie “Crazy Horse” Lincoln, is killed by Wilson Fisk. As Crazy Horse dies, he leaves a bloody hand print on Maya’s face and utters a dying wish: that Fisk raise Maya well. The Kingpin honors the man’s dying wish and cares for Maya as his own daughter. Believed to have a learning disability, Maya is sent to a specialized school where she is able to perfectly duplicate a song on the piano. Upon this realization, she is sent to a school for prodigies.
As an adult, Fisk sends Maya to Matt Murdock, telling her that her existence will prove to Matt that Fisk is not a bad person, as the lawyer believes. Murdock and Maya fall in love even as Maya takes on the Echo persona to hunt down Daredevil. As Echo, Maya paints a white hand print on her face and is more than a match for the defender of Hell’s Kitchen. It takes only a few confrontations for Echo to realize that Daredevil is blind and to draw him into an arena where his heightened senses will be useless. With Daredevil at her mercy, she only hesitates when she learns that Matt is Daredevil. Matt is able to get through to Maya and make her realize that Kingpin is the awful person Matt believes him to be. In revenge, Maya confronts Kingpin and shoots him in the face, blinding him.
After facing the horrors of her actions and the lies that forged her life thus far, Maya flees the United States in order to find out who she is. When she returns she is disheartened to find that Matt has a new partner and that Kingpin is still alive. Maya visits Fisk in prison where Wilson tells her that he doesn’t blame her for what she did and despite all of it, he still loves her like a daughter. This only enrages her more and sends her in search of peace. On advice from a friend of her father’s, she goes on a vision quest where she meets Wolverine. Wolverine helps her come to peace with her past and teaches her about Japanese culture, which helps her find new joy in life.
Echo eventually creates the Ronin identity and uses it to hide her identity, as she does not wish to tarnish the reputation of the other heroes by working with them under the Kingpin forged identity. Daredevil recommends Maya to Captain America in dealing with the Silver Samurai in Japan. After that adventure, Maya chooses to remain behind in Japan and keep an eye on Elektra, The Hand, and Silver Samurai. After the superhero civil war in America, Maya is killed by Elektra and resurrected as a servant of The Hand.
The New Avengers stage a rescue attempt, during which the brainwashed Maya stabs Dr. Strange with a sword. Strange is able to focus long enough to free her of the programming with Wong’s help. Enraged at being used, again, Maya attacks and stabs Elektra which reveals this Elektra to be a Skrull infiltrator. Maya joins the New Avengers and journeys with them back to New York, where Dr. Strange uses a spell to confirm that all the heroes are themselves and not Skrulls. Maya passes the Ronin identity to Hawkeye, officially, and then travels with them to prevent the Hood from attacking Stark Tower. In the course of the battle, Maya is temporarily possessed by a symbiote until Iron Man is able to subdue them all.
Echo, along with Iron Fist and Clint Barton, attempt to defend the Sanctum Sanctorum from Hiroim and Elloe of the Hulk’s Warbound. They are defeated and captured. She is later crucial to the Avengers defeating D’Spayre. Echo remains with the New Avengers and travels with them to the Savage Land to face the Skrull Ship full of heroes in outdated costumes. She battles the Skrull Queen, disguised as Spider-Woman, and battles an army of Super Skrulls in New York. Echo teams up with Moon Knight to defeat the West Coast Kingpin and is unfortunately killed by Count Nefaria in the process.
Somehow, Maya returns to life. She helps Daredevil defeat Klaw and Captain Marvel defeat Radioactive Man. When the Phoenix Force holds a tournament to choose its next host, Echo is among those heroes chosen. Echo is seemingly defeated underwater by an empowered Namor, but her dogged refusal to die draws the power of the Force to her. As the new host of the Phoenix, she defeats the other participants and recovers their sparks of the Phoenix Force. Fully bonding with the Force, Echo renames herself Thunderbird.