The first two episodes of Marvel’s Hawkeye are finally out and it was inevitable that everyone would start having theories and notice Easter eggs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Hawkeye’s story is smaller in scale than the blockbuster movies and inter-dimensional scope of the other Disney+ series, there are plenty of nods and callbacks to the comics for fans to enjoy. The episodes are streaming now, with new installments of the six-episode series to follow every Wednesday starting with episode 3 on November 30th.Hawkeye Premiere — All the Easter Eggs From the First Two Episodes
The Battle of New York
The opening scene for the first episode features Kate Bishop and her family living in a luxury apartment in Manhattan—with a perfect view of Stark Tower—in 2012. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remember what happened in 2012’s when the Avengers first assembled to take down the Chitauri. Straight from the film, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) is on the roof taking out a bunch of the aliens and in the process unknowingly ends up saving Kate, which inspires her to take up archery. Similar to the comics, Kate was saved by the Avengers and was especially impressed by Hawkeye, as he was the only Avenger without powers and decided to have him as her role model.
Many Marvel fans will recognize the name on the plaque of the bell/clock tower that Kate broke during a bet with her friends. The plaque outside of the tower reads, “The Oldest University Bell Tower in the United States. Its Cornerstone was placed on October 20, 1725. Rededicated on July 1st, 2006 in honor of Obadiah Stane.” Obadiah Stane, aka “Iron Monger,” was Tony Stark’s former business partner-turned-villain in the very first Iron Man (2009).. Jealous of Tony’s rise to power in the company, Obadiah (Jeff Bridges) orchestrated Tony’s kidnapping by the Ten Rings terrorist organization in order to seize control of Stark Industries. Obadiah was later found out to be selling Stark Industries weapons to terrorists across the globe and was killed in a battle between himself and Tony. S.H.I.E.L.D. created a cover story over Obadiah’s death, so the news of his shady business dealings were never made public; therefore, his legacy remained intact.
Kate Bishop’s Friend Greer
As Kate is preparing her bow and arrow to shoot at the Stane Bell Tower, she calls her friend Greer regarding the bet that was made between the two. This is probably nothing, but Greer shares the same name with Marvel’s Tigra. Hawkeye faces off with the human/tiger hybrid vigilante in the comics.
Rogers the Musical
Based on the Battle of New York in Avengers, “Rogers the Musical” is a smash Broadway hit that the Barton family watches in the beginning of the first episode. Visibly upset by the musical, Barton makes it clear to his family that Ant-Man, who is seen in the musical, was not there in the real-life battle.
The song ‘Save the City’ was written by Tony Award-winning composers and lyricists Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, who are best known for their work on the Broadway musical Hairspray. Wittman and Shaiman are not new to the Disney family. They previously worked on Mary Poppins Returns for which they were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Hawkeye’s Hearing Aid
After many years of damage to his body throughout the events of the Infinity Saga (as hilariously montaged in the second episode), Clint is now hearing-impaired and wears a hearing aid in the series. He is also seen using sign language with his son. In several comics, Hawkeye has battled with hearing loss on and off since the 1980s. The first time was in 1983 in a miniseries by Mark Gruenwald and Danny Bulanadi—Clint used one of his own sonic arrows to prevent himself from getting brainwashed and lost 80% of his hearing due to the ensuing bang. Clint was seen as a hero for many of those in the deaf community so it’s exciting to finally see his hearing aid make an appearance in his live-action depiction.
In the acclaimed Matt Fraction & David Aja comics, which the series is based on, Hawkeye wears a hearing aid due to childhood abuse and learns to sign, but is ashamed to use it because it reminded him of the worst times in his life. He later loses his hearing completely when the assassin Clown stabs Clint’s ears with his own arrows.
Thanos was Right
Clint went to use the restroom during the musical and found “Thanos was Right” written on the sink. Like in many conspiracy theories and think pieces written by journalists and fans of the films, “Thanos was Right” was a consistent topic between Infinity War and Endgame. This parallels the slogan used to describe the views of X-Men’s Magneto —“Magneto was right”, which was to defend his extremist position that war was the only way to achieve equality for the mutants, as opposed to the X-Men’s pacifist approach. This created an entire movement devoted to Magneto’s argument. Support for Thanos’ justification was not surprising as there were many pro-Blip groups. The Flagsmashers from The Falcon and The Winter Soldier based their entire organization on life being better during the blip and believed what Thanos did was the right thing to do.
Eleanor Bishop has found love after the loss of her husband during the Battle of New York. In the show, Jacques “Jack” Duquesne (Tony Dalton) is a sword collector and expert swordsman. He appears to be wealthy, but is really broke—which viewers found out thanks to his rich uncle, Armand Duquesne III- revealing that small detail during the Black Market auction. In the comics, Jacques is known as The Swordsman with a gambling problem which led him to be in debt—much like the series version—except the comic book version was significantly older. Although it seems like Jack is leaning towards villainy, Jacques is currently toeing a thin line between being good and evil. Who knows where Jack’s true allegiance lies?
Armand Duquesne III
In the first episode, Kate runs into Jack’s uncle Armand Duquesne III (Simon Callow) at the charity gala her mother drags her to. Armand seems very dissatisfied with the fact that Jack and Eleanor are engaged. He doesn’t trust Eleanor and makes it clear by confronting her privately at the event. Unfortunately, things don’t turn out well for the wealthy socialite – as Kate finds him dead in his home later in the episode.
In the comics, Armand is actually Jacques’ father and was a government official in Sin-Cong. He bequeathed his son the Crimson Cavalier’s sword, which Jacques would use as The Swordsman. Although Armand loved his son, he was a cruel man who beat his servants – including the servant who would eventually kill him. In the series, there is no servant, so they can’t really blame the murder on the butler. So, who did kill Armand?
Lucky the Pizza Dog
Seen as a stray in the series, Lucky, the one-eyed-pizza-loving dog, is nameless in the first two episodes as Kate takes him in after saving him from oncoming traffic. Finding whatever she could in her fridge, she offers the dog pizza, which he quickly engulfs.
Lucky the Pizza Dog originally belonged to Ivan Banionis and the Tracksuit Mafia in the comics and was named Arrow. After Clint showed kindness to the poor dog, Arrow attacked Ivan’s men who were shooting at Clint. Arrow was then beaten and thrown into traffic and rushed to the veterinary hospital by Clint. He decided to keep the dog, who lost an eye, and named him Lucky. He became Kate’s dog for a little bit when she took him to Los Angeles. Lucky himself becomes a hero by working with Mew, Squirrel Girl’s roommate Nancy Whitehead’s cat, to help defeat Taskmaster. Will this version of Lucky be the hero of the series? The answer is yes.
Ivan & The Tracksuit Mafia
The Tracksuit Mafia, led by second-in-command Ivan Banionis (Aleks Paunovic), are introduced when they interrupt the black market auction during the charity gala. Wearing the Ronin suit, Kate fights them before escaping back to her apartment. Unfortunately, they find her and discover her identity, leaving Clint to have to “clean up her mess.” The Russian men in tracksuits, living up to the name given to them by Clint, are subpar villains who play up the comic relief. They are even heard saying “bro” following multiple sentences, much like their comic counterparts, the Tracksuit Draculas. Unlike the comic book version, the series’ Tracksuit Mafia work for Echo, which gives the Russian mafia a little more to do than just terrorize a small neighborhood.
The Watch from Avengers Compound #268
It looks like the series has found its first mystery – what is this watch from the Avengers Compound? Why is this important? There will no doubt be theories surrounding this watch, including the auction number attached to it – #268. The only connection the number has with the Avengers is Avengers #268 “The Kang Dynasty!” which does not have Clint or Kate involved in any way, but does revolve around Kang who is now part of the MCU. Could this be the tie-in with the rest of the MCU, or is it just a random number?
The Names on the Apartment Buzzer
n Kate and Clint head over to Kate’s hideout, which ends up being her aunt’s apartment, there is a list of names on the buzzer. On the buzzer are several names of Marvel comic book writers and artists including (Marcelo) Sosa, (Seth) Meyers, (Glenn) Danzig, and (Sam) Moskowitz. Could be random, but it’s nice to think that these writers are getting a shout-out!
Kate Bishop’s Aunt — Moira Brandon
After the events of the first episode, Clint tells Kate that he has to find a place to hide her. She suggests the apartment of her aunt, which we later learn is named Moira Brandon. Brandon is a former actress who is currently in her winter home in Florida. Fans of the comics will recognize that name from Avengers: West Coast #100 as the retired movie star whose mansion was purchased to become the new Avengers Compound. After risking her life to save Hawkeye and Mockingbird from an attack from the villain Crossfire, she became an honorary Avenger before she passed away. Could there be a chance that we see Moira in the series? She could return home and want to have a chat with her niece. We already know, based on the clothes Kate borrows from her aunt, Moira is a snazzy dresser like her comics counterpart.
The “Creature of the Dark Galaxy” Movie Poster
In Moira’s apartment, there is an alien poster called “Creature of the Dark Galaxy” starring Moira Brandon and Luke Ballard. Although the creature in the picture looks like none of the Marvel villains, the other name listed in the poster is none other than digital artist of Marvel Studios, Luke Ballard. Ballard has worked on several Marvel films, including Doctor Strangeand Avengers: Infinity War. It’s not noted anywhere that Ballard worked on Hawkeye, but it’s a nice nod to the artist.
It’s hard to not fall in love with the LARP-loving firefighter, Grills (Clayton English) — even if he did steal Clint’s Ronin costume from Kate’s apartment. (The poor guy just wanted an awesome costume to wear to his LARP event!) After Clint confronts Grills during the LARP, Grills is willing to give the suit back to Clint, but asks the former Avenger to let him “kill” him during the LARP, insisting it would make him “legend.” Clint tells himself “I fought Thanos” and agrees to the deal. After Grills “defeats” Clint, they bond over their shared LARP experience, which Clint admits wasn’t terrible. He tells Grills to call him ‘Clint,’ marking the start of a beautiful friendship.
Similar to the comic books, Grills is a friend and neighbor of Clint, but he’s not a firefighter and a middle-aged white man. Unfortunately in the comic book, Grills meets a dark end by the Clown, an assassin sent to deal with Hawkeye. Hopefully, the series will keep this Grills safe.
The Disney Store
As Clint and Kate leave Moira’s apartment towards Bishop Securities, the Disney Store was prominent in the background as they were walking through Times Square. This really isn’t a big deal, but since Marvel is owned by Disney, it was a funny moment especially given the unfortunate fact that Disney has shut down most of their brick and mortar stores.
In the second episode, Kate receives a call from a Detective Caudle asking her about her whereabouts during the fire in her apartment. Although his introduction is brief, Caudle is an important ally for Kate in the comic books. He is her contact in the Santa Monica Police Department as she keeps meddling in his cases. Maybe when all of this mess is over, Kate could begin her partnership with Caudle.
After Clint is kidnapped by the Tracksuit Mafia, Kate turns on her tracker to find Clint’s whereabouts. She enters her username “Bishop112012”. It looks like random numbers, but it’s an homage to Matt Fraction’s first cover date (November, 2012) for Hawkeye Vol 4 #2, which marks Kate Bishop’s and Lucky’s first appearance in this storyline.
At the end of the second episode, we are introduced to Maya Lopez aka Echo (Alaqua Cox), who seems to be leading the Tracksuit Mafia. When Ivan tells her they caught both Clint and Kate, she acknowledges him and turns back to the speakers as she’s feeling the vibrations. The character, who is deaf, is known in the comics as the first Ronin, a skilled fighter with photographic reflexes, similar to Taskmaster. She is also the adopted daughter of Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin.
Although it appears she may have villainous ties in Hawkeye, the character is getting her own spin-off show, so a heel-to-face turn is expected. It’ll be interesting how they portray this character and if she will take on the mantle as Ronin.
By Laura Sirikul | IGN