The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Ariana Grande released “eternal sunshine” on Mar. 8 along with a music video for her track “we can’t be friends.” With smooth instrumentals, melodic vocals and complex lyrics, I give this album a 9/10 stars.
A “Supernatural” Album
Julia Seiden, Reporter • April 12, 2024

As an Ariana Grande fan for many...

Catching a ball, junior Alivia Robinson plays at the Cedar Park vs Glenn game. Having played since she was 5 years old, she is dedicated to softball and has committed to UTPB for softball. “When I got my offer it took me a very long time to decide where,” Robinson said. “Softball has always been my dream for college, and UTPB is my fit. When [I committed] I knew I was going to be loved and supported.”
Swinging For Success
Julia Seiden, Reporter • April 12, 2024

This season, the softball team...

Junior Abby Williams on the set of The One Act Play That Goes Wrong posing next to senior Noa Avigdor, juniors Evan Schmitt and Seth Loudenslager, and sophomore Ben Akers. “I still think that ‘The One Act Play That Goes Wrong’ has to be my favorite,” Williams said. “Its the show where I discovered my love for comedy and comedic acting, and where I found out that I have really good comedic timing, if I do say so myself. I got a round of applause in the middle of the show for a moment that I am very proud of.”
A Seasons Sensation
Mia Morneault, Reporter • April 11, 2024

Captain of her troupe, a first...

Posing with their “Featured Yearbook” banner, signifying that the 2022-2023 yearbook is used as an example for other yearbook classes, the yearbook team smiles at the camera. Yearbooks have been on sale for $80 all school year, with 90 left in stock. “Im really happy with this book,” content editor and senior James Sanderson said. “I think other people are going to be happy with it; all our pages look really cute. Issues are a thing, but we have them every single year and we dont let them get in the way. We work on a very, very tight schedule and theres no pushing deadlines back. It’s a lot of fun, though. It is such an amazing staff and a very engaging team. Its very fulfilling work.” Photo courtesy of Paige Hert
The Staff Behind the Spreads
Kacey Miller, Editor-in-Chief • April 10, 2024

He rings the classroom doorbell...

Standing for a group photo, Rho Kappa volunteers group together to run the Women’s History Month gallery walk in the library. “The members’ involvement was really nice to see,” Rho Kappa Vice President James Sanderson said. “I liked seeing our Rho Kappa members actively participate in community events, especially with something as important as women’s history. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Fortenberry
Walking Through Time
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • April 9, 2024

To celebrate Women’s History...

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner
Caroline Howard, Reporter • April 9, 2024

As someone who searches for chicken...

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Cason’s Review of Marvel’s ‘Echo’
Echo+is+a+short+TV+series+about+a+deaf+Native+American+assassin+who+tasks+herself+to+discover+the+secret+behind+her+extraordinary+ancestral+gifts%2C+while+trying+to+fall+her+uncle%E2%80%99s+empire+in+the+process.+Graphic+by+Cason+Johnson
Cason Johnson
“Echo” is a short TV series about a deaf Native American assassin who tasks herself to discover the secret behind her extraordinary ancestral gifts, while trying to fall her uncle’s empire in the process. Graphic by Cason Johnson

I was lazily scrolling through Disney+ for something to binge on a late Monday night. I realized that Marvel had released a brand new original series titled “Echo.” The star of the show was Maya Lopez, a side character first introduced in the “Hawkeye” series. Captivated, I watched all five episodes and there’s so much to unpack from this series. What’s interesting is that Marvel released all five episodes consecutively instead of once per week, which is something they haven’t done before in terms of a Marvel series. But without further ado, let’s get started. 

———————Spoilers (obviously)———————

“Echo” is a short five episode series starring Maya Lopez, a deaf assassin played by Alaqua Cox. Maya was first introduced in a previous series as the daughter of the Kingpin, the main villain in both “Hawkeye” and “Echo.” Most of the series connects Maya with her heritage with the Native American people of Choctaw in Oklahoma. The first few scenes of the movie depict a mysterious and alien-like cavern beneath the Earth’s surface. The people living in the cavern have a humanoid yet alien appearance, their skin made of clay with swirling patterns across their skin. However, for some unknown reason this cavern collapses. A few of these beings escape to the surface, where their clay skin shrivels away and they become human. The first woman that turns human is named Chafa, the first of the Choctaw people. We’re then shown a small piece of backstory for Maya. She was very close with her family, but after she gets into a violent car crash her mother dies next to Maya. Maya, torn apart by her mothers death, leaves for New York alongside her father to enter the family business. Maya works alongside her uncle Fisk, or the Kingpin as he’s known in the comics. She excels at being an excellent brawler in the field, even going toe-to-toe with the Daredevil. What’s interesting about this fight is that the Daredevil is blind, while Maya is deaf, which makes for a very intriguing fight scene. Maya continues working for the Kingpin until her dad is killed by Ronan the assassin, who is later revealed to be Clint Barton, previously Hawkeye. Maya turns on the Kingpin as she learns her dad was wanted dead by him, shooting him in the face. With the Kingpin presumably gone, Maya strives to burn her uncle’s empire along with him. Maya returns to Tamaha, Oklahoma, the town where she originally grew up. Maya plans to hijack a train headed through town that will eventually stop at one of Kingpin’s armories. Maya plants a bomb inside the train but before she can bail she gets her prosthetic leg caught between the train cars, she attempts to pull herself free and briefly sees a vision of Chafa and another woman named Lowak. Maya gazes down at her hands after being pulled free and realizes that they have the same glowing spirals as Chafa before fading to normal. Maya’s bomb ends up destroying the facility, which angers a group of Kingpin’s men that come after her. They kidnap Maya’s sister Bonnie and Maya attempts to rescue her. Maya is defeated and held at gunpoint, but the Kingpin orders the men to keep Maya alive. Maya starts to continue having visions of the Choctaw people and she now starts seeing three different women. Maya soon reunites with her uncle who offers to take her back with him to continue their conquest of New York like they used to, but Maya refuses. Outraged by Maya’s rejection, Kingpin captures Bonnie and Maya’s grandmother and holds them hostage to lure Maya in. Maya comes for her family and faces off against the Kingpin. But this time, Maya’s visions assist her, giving her some sort of strange power from her Choctaw ancestors. Strategy from Lowak, cunning from Tuklo, ferocity from Chafa and love from Maya’s mother Taola. She uses her power to send the Kingpin into a vision of his own, where he lives through memories from his past. He is placed in a room alongside Maya where he can hear his father beating his mother. He then sees a vision of himself and Maya, and the bond they forged when Maya was just a little girl. Kingpin is brought out of his vision and Maya spares him. They then part ways, Maya to spend her life with her long lost family, and the Kingpin to his empire.

I love the way the directors chose to film “Echo.” Most of the dialogue is translated through ASL, which plays a heavy role in Maya’s character development. The only time the viewer actually hears Maya speak, is when she gets so emotional that the words she signs start to come out of her mouth in forced breaths. The viewer is also introduced to what Maya feels when she fights, through very miniscule vibrations. Maya is seen choking one man to death, his heart beating faster before his neck crunches under Maya’s grip. When gunfire occurs, Maya never flinches from the loud bang of the gun. This series also relies heavily on the traditions of the native people of Choctaw, who Maya slowly incorporates into her character. When Maya’s prosthetic leg breaks, her grandfather builds her a new one embroidered with the Choctaws crest. She’s hesitant about the new design but accepts regardless. Maya is later gifted an outfit by a phantom of her mother, Taola. Taola explains that she and the other women she’s been seeing are one inside Maya, and the outfit represents the Choctaw ancestral bond that lives within Maya. Maya is shown in the next episode proudly representing her ancestors with her new outfit on.

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Marvel films “Echo” in Tamaha, Oklahoma, home of the people of Choctaw. There were many Native American extras and actors throughout this film, which Marvel pays tribute to at the end of the series. Always a nice touch.

“Echo” was a very unique watch. This series doesn’t really rely too heavily on superpowers, but rather shines through the rich storytelling of a deaf girl reuniting with her family and the ancestors from which she came from. It feels very reminiscent of a story about self discovery, Maya trying to decide what person she wants to be. She decides that the assassin lifestyle no longer suits her, and she would rather catch up with her family whom she hasn’t seen in years. I love this series. While it may be short, I was drawn in by Maya and her determination to fight her past demons. Very enjoyable series to watch, and definitely one you don’t wanna miss.

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About the Contributor
Cason Johnson, Reporter
Cason is a senior and first year reporter for the Wolfpack Newspaper. He is also heavily involved in CPHS’s award winning Broadcast Journalism program, the Wolfcast, as a fourth year reporter and Executive Producer. He enjoys interviewing others and discovering their stories and passions. He wants to pursue journalism through attending UT. He’s a sucker for the seaside and strawberry daiquiris on a hot summer day. He’s also into making music with his band on weekends and is overall a laid back and approachable person. 

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