Marvel Spotlight isn’t a new concept. “Grounded, character-driven stories that focus on street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity” was essentially the blueprint for Netflix’s Marvel TV shows, which kicked off with the critically-acclaimed series “Daredevil.” Aside from a few vague allusions to “The Incident” (aka that time when Loki’s army of aliens invaded New York City and made a big mess), “Daredevil” existed independently from the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the events of the show were certainly never acknowledged by the movies. Now, Daredevil and the other characters from Netflix’s Defenders miniverse have been brought under the Disney+ umbrella and Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock has already returned in a more fun-loving form as a love interest in “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.”
Probably a better spawning point for Marvel Spotlight would have been Michael Giacchino’s spooky special “Werewolf By Night” or the Oscar Isaac-led “Moon Knight,” since neither contained any direct references to the MCU. “Echo,” on the other hand, follows Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox), a character who first appeared in the Disney+ series “Hawkeye,” which itself was a solo spin-off starring a character from the movies. “Hawkeye” also brought back Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin from Netflix’s “Daredevil” series, and Kingpin will return as an antagonist in “Echo.”
So, Marvel’s first “no homework required” series is a spin-off of a spin-off. It focuses on a character whose origin story was already explored (albeit in brief) in another show, and features a villain borrowed from a previous show who is also set to appear in an another upcoming series (the Disney+ reboot “Daredevil: Born Again”). Under those circumstances, the promise of a self-contained story seems a bit dubious.