As another tough year comes to an end, we’re here to offer you Easter eggs in this trying time. With the holidays around the corner, Marvel Studios has provided a delightfully charming new Christmas superhero show: Hawkeye. It introduces a new mantle holder and comic book fan favorite, Kate Bishop. And while it’s not as packed with Easter eggs as some MCU shows, there are still a few great ones and a lot of fun nods to break down.
Back to the Battle of New York (Again)
Beginning in 2012, the first episode once again takes us back to the Battle of New York. Here we see Kate’s apartment get partially demolished by a Chitauri attack. Just as she’s about to be killed, she’s saved by an arrow from Hawkeye himself. It’s a new lens through which to view the battle that has been defining the MCU for nearly a decade.
A New Origin for Kate Bishop
In this pretty epic opening, the show also establishes a new origin for the hero. While it keeps the same general backstory—rich Manhattan parents, talent in martial arts/archery —it switches a major tenet. In Hawkeye, her father dies and her mother survives to raise her. In the comics, it’s Eleanor who dies. It also gives Kate far more agency in her quest for survival. Unlike her comic origin where she was sexually assaulted which led her to want to learn to protect herself, here she’s just inspired by the Battle of New York and a need to protect her mom.
Mother Knows Best
So now that they’ve shifted Kate’s origin, what do we know about her mom? As we mentioned, in the comics Eleanor actually died. But she was revealed to have actually been alive the whole time in the 2016 Hawkeye comic series. And not only that but she gave direction to her own daughter’s arch-nemesis, Madame Masque! We’ll have to see whether or not she follows in those footsteps here. But seeing as her dating choices are questionable, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Eleanor go to the dark side.
David Aja’s Outstanding Artwork
One of the biggest Hawkeye comic book Easter eggs in this episode is the credits. They’re lifted directly from David Aja’s iconic art and design on the 2012 Hawkeye comic series. It’s a nice reference to the series that inspired the show. But Aja alleges he was not properly compensated for any of the show or its use of his art. It’s not clear if Disney has responded to his allegation or what may be transpiring, but this seems messy as his collaborator Matt Fraction was brought on as a Consulting Producer.
Breaking into Stane Tower
Post-Aja-inspired credits, we see Kate embark on a badly thought out prank. While we’ll dig into that in a moment, the first Hawkeye Easter egg here is the name of the tower. Called “Stane Tower,” we’re assuming the location is named after Obidiah Stane. The villain from the first Iron Man film was a wealthy weapons baron, so it makes sense. But his name coming up seems relevant. In the comics, Stane has a son—co-created by Fraction—so this could be a bit of foreshadowing to him potentially being introduced to the MCU via the New York high society.
Tigra, Is that You?
During Kate’s ill-fated prank, she’s on the phone with her friend Greer (Nichele Lambert). The pair seem to just be bantering college pals, but we can’t ignore the name Greer. In the comics, Greer Grant is the alter ego of Tigra, who took on the moniker following a short stint as The Cat. This could just be a cute Easter egg—though it’s confirmed to be Tigra/Greer with a creator credit in the thanks—but the Hawkeye mantle and Tigra have history. In West Coast Avengers, Hawkeye and Tigra were founding members. With a new reimagining of the Young Avengers on the way, don’t be surprised if we see Greer becoming a bigger part of Hawkeye and the MCU going forward.
Franny Also Sounds Familiar…
Greer and Kate aren’t alone on their little mission. They’re joined by a young woman known as Franny. In the comics, Francine Fry is the second Electro. She’s a New Yorker who’s obsessed with supervillains. She becomes an accomplice to Electro before taking on his powers as he dies. She’s later also a member of the female supervillain crew known as the Syndicate. While we don’t expect Hawkeye‘s Franny to start shooting lightning out of her hands in this series, this is a fun nod that’s unlikely to be a coincidence.
“I could do this all day!”
Back with Clint, he and his kids are at the Rogers musical on Broadway. The certified banger “Save the City” shows a musical theater-ized version of the Battle of New York. In a little Broadway nod, we think we can hear Rent‘s Adam Pascal. The show clearly triggers Clint’s PTSD, as well as referencing the classic Captain America line “I could do this all day.” But that, and the inclusion of an unexpected hero, poses some questions that might come up later in the series.
The Ant-Man Who Wasn’t There
So, during the musical number we see Ant-Man, who Clint claims wasn’t there. But he was, that’s the thing. During Endgame, Ant-Man went back to 2012 with Steve Rogers and Tony Stark. Not only does that put him right at the Battle of New York, but it also means someone in 2012 actually heard Steve say “I could do this all day,” which he never said in the original 2012 Avengers movie, but did say in Civil War during the final battle. So either Ant-Man wrote this musical or we’re getting into timey-wimey territory. And basically, if people remember Ant-Man being there, it means the timeline never reset.
“Thanos Was Right”
While Clint is taking a whiz in the theater, we see graffiti that says “Thanos Was Right.” This Hawkeye Easter egg is a riff on Quentin Quire’s classic “Magneto Was Right” t-shirt from New X-Men, which quickly became a Marvel Comics motto. It’s also likely a nod to the MCU reimagining of the phrase “Killmonger Was Right,” which Black Twitter got trending post Black Panther.
“A Timeless Story of a Timeless Hero”
This is one of the quotes outside the theater. So why did it catch our eye? Well, that would be because of the nature of the word timeless. Seeing as we already think the show might be revealing we’re in a new post-Blip timeline, it seems relevant. Especially as the new Kang the Conqueror comic from Marvel is called Timeless. Basically, time shenanigans are afoot. Well played with this Easter egg, Hawkeye.
“What’s With All the Swords?”
Poor Kate. After accidentally breaking that clock tower, she gets home to worse news. While she’s been at college her mom took up with a new beau. And when he comes in all suave with a rose and is introduced with the name Jack, we realize who her new stepdad is. Jack is the classic Hawkeye antagonist Swordmaster. In the comics, he was called Jacques Duquesne and the man who trained Clint Barton. This is going to end badly.
A Legacy of Evil
Eleanor invited Kate to a charity ball. She turns up in a very cool all-black tuxedo. She’s soon waylaid by Armand III. In the comics, Armand Duquesne is Jacques’ father. But, here, he’s his uncle. Here he quickly reveals to Kate that his mother is marrying Jack… which seems fast.
The Best Boy in the MCU
As Kate gets some air, she sees a very good dog who will come into play later. Readers will know him as Lucky the Pizza Dog. And we’ll see how the show translates that in a moment.
“This Is for Home Display Only”
Kate stumbles on a black market auction, still reeling from the reveal that her mom is getting re-married. The first thing we see as she enters is a massive triceratops skull. While this could just be proof of how wild rich people are, this Hawkeye Easter egg could be a nod to the classic Marvel location, the Savage Land. It’s a prehistoric space where dinosaurs roam and has a lot of connections to famed Marvel heroes like the X-Men. So does this mean that the Savage Land is MCU canon? We can’t confirm or deny, but we’d sure like to think so!!
Ronin’s Suit and Sword
During the creepy evil auction, we learn how Kate comes across the Ronin suit and sword which we last saw in Endgame. It was one of the moments that fans were most unsure about but the show actually does it well. Riffing on the kind of people who bid on serial killer memorabilia, we see Jack and his uncle bidding on the brutal legacy of Ronin. We also learn that no one in the wider world knows who Ronin actually was. We’re guessing that news died with Black Widow. And when the attack on the auction happens, Kate grabs the suit, puts it on, and begins to showcase her skills as a street-level vigilante. Sadly, people hate Ronin…
That leads to Kate becoming a target of one of the most well-known antagonists from the comics. While here Hawkeye calls them Tracksuit Mafia, in the comics the red suited goons were affectionately called “Tracksuit Draculas” by Clint. They’re clearly going to be playing a big part here too. And we’ll get to another comics accurate Tracksuit gem a little later.
Some Auction Inspired Reading
If you’ve been reading our Easter egg breakdowns you’ll know we love a random number. There are a few main numbers that come during the auction: Lot #309, Armand’s paddle #124, Jack’s paddle #102, strangers with paddles #106 and #115, and, finally, Lot #268. The first five all correspond to some fun issue numbers but nothing that seems particularly relevant. However, Lot #268 relates to a big Kang issue. Avengers #268 is an issue about Kang and his time palace in Limbo, which was essentially seen in the final episode of Loki. So seeing as this is an auction lot that is for a mysterious watch and it’s number #268, we’re calling this one!
Watch Out for This Watch
Speaking of Lot #268, this is the entire reason the Tracksuit Draculas are even at the auction in the first place. Apparently, it’s another thing found in the ruins of the Avengers compound. The comics don’t have a concrete answer as to what this artifact could be, but we have some ideas. In Hawkeye #6 there’s a recurring watch/clock face motif, plus that’s a Christmas issue. The other thought we had is that the red face of the watch definitely recalls Iron Man. And if you remember in Civil War, Tony had a watch that transformed into a suit… that’s something that any villain would surely want, especially after Stark’s death.
Herman’s Hearty Slice
After Kate saves that very good dog they head back to her apartment. She soon realizes her new friend is hungry and she ends up feeding him some pizza. So Lucky the Pizza Dog has finally earned his name. But where did the pizza come from? That would be Herman’s Hearty Slice. While this Easter egg has no immediate connection to any Hawkeye lore, the Marvel universe has a couple of famous Hermans. The first and most New York relevant is Herman Schultz, a.k.a. The Shocker. We know that there is a Shocker in the MCU (Bokeem Woodbine), so perhaps he owns a pizza place in his spare time. The other is far less likely, but hey it’s an X-Man, so why not mention him: Glob Herman. He first debuted in New X-Men #117, a series we’ve already had another reference to this episode!
“Why You Making This So Hard on Us, Bro?”
This is a fun little nod to one of the most infamous running jokes in the Aja and Fraction run. While the Tracksuit Draculas were running riot, they would always overuse the word “bro.” It was their favored term of endearment and we see them bringing that to the screen here.
As Kate escapes after saving Lucky, one of the Tracksuit Mafia stops to watch. Unmasking himself, he watches the hero thought to be Ronin running away. The credits reveal this character to be “Kazi,” which is a shortening of a vital Hawkeye antagonist name. In the comics, Kazimierz Kazimierczak takes on the mantle of the Clown. The merciless killer is a key antagonist in the 2012 Hawkeye run which is a major influence on this series.
Each week we’ll break down those special thanks to the creators behind the characters in each episode.
Stan Lee and Don Heck – co-creators of Hawkeye and Swordsman (Heck)
Joe Simon and Jack Kirby – co-creators of Captain America
David Aja – Artist of the 2012 Hawkeye series which heavily inspires this show, co-creator of Lucky the Pizza Dog, Tracksuit Draculas, and Kazimierz Kazimierczak
Brian Micheal Bendis – Co-creator of Ronin
Jim Cheung – Co-Creator of Kate Bishop and the Young Avengers
David Finch – Co-creator of Ronin
Matt Fraction – Writer of the 2012 Hawkeye comic series, co-creator of Lucky the Pizza Dog, Tracksuit Draculas, and Kazimierz Kazimierczak
Allan Heinberg – Co-Creator of Kate Bishop, the Young Avengers, and Eleanor Bishop
Bryan Hitch – Co-Creator of Laura Barton / The Ultimates
Mark Millar – Co-Creator of Laura Barton / The Ultimates
Lou Mougin – Co-Creator of Armand Duquesne (alongside Don Heck)
Joe Quesada – Costume designer of Ronin
Leonardo Romero – Co-Creator of Eleanor Bishop
Roy Thomas – Co-Creator of Greer A.K.A. Tigra
Kelly Thompson – Co-Creator of Eleanor Bishop
The first two episodes of Hawkeye are on Disney+ now.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios