Oh to be a mid-twenties, arrow wielding athlete teaming up with your favorite Avenger. In the third episode of Hawkeye, Clint (Jeremy Renner) and Kate (Hailee Steinfeld) are still in dire straits in the grips of Echo (Alaqua Cox). That conflict allows us to dig into Echo’s past and get one of the best chase scenes in the history of the MCU. And of course there are a whole bunch of fun Easter eggs in Hawkeye episode three. Let’s dig in!
The Origins of Echo
In an echo—pun intended—of the opening episode, we get Maya a.k.a. Echo’s origin story. In the comics, she was created by David Mack, Joe Quesada, and Jimmy Palmiotti and debuted in Daredevil #9. Here we see her as a child placed into a hearing school even though she’s deaf. Although her teacher didn’t know the best way to teach her, Maya excelled, teaching herself lip reading and showcasing her impressive intelligence. During an inspirational chat with her father William (Zahn McClarnon), who’s a member of the Tracksuit Mafia, he tells her she needs to live in two worlds by “watching,” which is a hint at her Taskmaster-like comic book powers. In the comics, Echo can replicate any power or fighting style just by watching someone.
“Dragons Live in a Different World”
While sweet baby Maya is at home with her dad, he’s telling her stories. They get into a conversation about dragons during their chat and she asks if they’re real. While he explains to her that they might be, he says “dragons live in a different world.” This is on the surface just a nice thing that he says to his daughter to inspire her imagination, but after Shang-Chi we know that it’s also absolutely true in the MCU.
Yep, after our very own Dan Casey suggested it might happen, we get our first glimpse of Kingpin in the core MCU. That man in the suit who strokes Maya’s face at her martial arts lesson is definitely Wilson Fisk. And that makes sense because in the comics he raised her after the death of her father. While we don’t think that’s the case here, the fact that she has a connection to him means that we could definitely see him play a bigger part this season.
Fat Man’s Auto Repair
The most obvious answer for this Easter egg is that it’s a front for Kingpin, which would make sense after we saw the big man just appear for the first time since Daredevil. But this also seems like another West Coast Avengers nod. In issue #18 of the series, a time traveling West Coast Avengers battled Fat Man, a Kid Colt villain from Marvel’s western comics. And guess who took him down? Well, Hawkeye, of course. Not only is his name directly mentioned here but it also continues the trend of time travel / timey wimey stuff that this series has subtly been leaning into.
That Bloody Handprint
In a change from her comics origin, as Maya breaks into the auto shop we see Ronin on a rampage. It’s clear that we’re in the past here and Maya is looking for her father. But Clint as Ronin is killing the Tracksuit Mafia and she sees him murder her dad. In the comics, it was actually Kingpin who killed her father, who in the source material was named Willie “Crazy Horse” Lincoln. As she holds her dying father, he leaves a bloody handprint on her face. It’s an allusion to Echo’s comic book costume where she has a handprint obscuring her face.
That Parking Lot
This Hawkeye episode three Easter egg gives us our first hints at a vital comic issue. In the parking lot of the abandoned KB Toys, there’s a cherry red ’72 Dodge Challenger, which features in the aptly named story “Cherry.” Then, of course, there’s that Trust a Bro van, which is an allusion to the Tracksuit Mafia / Tracksuit Draculas’ favorite catchphrase, “Bro!”
The fact that Kate and Clint are in an abandoned KB Toys might seem like a bit of simple nostalgia. It also works on the level that K and B are Kate Bishop’s initials. But there’s also a deeper Marvel connection here. During Marvel Comics’ turbulent business troubles in the mid-90s, Toy Biz (owned by Ike Perlmutter and exclusive to Marvel) greatly expanded their offerings in an attempt to stave off bankruptcy for the company. Many of those action figures were exclusive to KB Toys. When the inevitable happened and Marvel Comics went bankrupt, it was Perlmutter, Avi Arad, and the toy side of the business that took control of Marvel as a whole and put Joe Quesada at the head of the publishing side, which turned its fortunes around. A nice Marvel history egg there!
A Familiar Voice
This is a great little fun fact. Piotr Adamczyk, who plays Tomas, has actually been in the MCU movies before. So who did he play? Well only a certified AVENGER! Yes, in the Polish dubs of any movie starring Ant-Man, Adamczyk voiced Scott Lang!
Clownin’ on Hawkeye
The interior of the KB Toys is very carnivalesque, once again leaning into Hawkeye’s carnival origins. He even jumps on a trampoline while the pair escape the Tracksuit Mafia. So don’t be surprised if we do see some more canon allusions to Hawkeye’s circus past.
That Awesome Car Chase
Hawkeye #3 comes into play again here in an epic car chase that is one of the MCU’s best action set pieces yet. The tracking shot scene is taken from the beloved issue and showcases both Clint and Kate’s unbelievable archery skills. It’s also filled with some of Hawkeye’s weirdest trick arrows from the comics. Kate is excitedly exploring all the fun explosive arrows she can, and eventually we get a Pym arrow. It’s one of the coolest and most “out there” moments in a very grounded episode as the arrow strikes another, causing it to grow to an enormous size, destroying a Tracksuit Mafia vehicle that’s tailing them.
Who Is Uncle?
One thing we learn from this episode is that Kazi and Maya were raised together. The pair are close and have an enjoyable banter, but according to the credits we see child Kazi in her flashback sequence at the beginning. This would also explain why he says “I hope Uncle doesn’t find out” as if they share an uncle… who could that be? Well, we’re guessing it’s probably Kingpin, seeing as he was at the dojo and was clearly very close to Maya.
A Comic Book Costume
As Kate and Clint bond over coffee, she tries to help him with his branding. This comes in a very cute sketch of what is essentially his comic book costume. It’s a nice nod to his comic book past and leads to a vulnerable moment where Renner / Clint gives a little confession about not being a role model, which is very appropriate on both counts, to be honest.
Pizza Dog Is Born
During their snacks and bonding, Clint decides they need to name their dog. After a few very funny options like Little Caesar, Kate offers up Pizza Dog, which their canine friend seems to really, really like. So there it is, he’s now officially that very good boy, Pizza Dog.
“Someone Above Maya, Someone You Don’t Want to Mess With”
While walking their four-legged friend, Clint mentions that Maya isn’t actually the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia. Though that would have made sense as her dad seemed to be the head of the gang before her, Clint’s ominous threat that “there’s someone above Maya you don’t want to mess with” seems like another allusion to Kingpin. With only three episodes left, it would make sense for us to see him in the last couple of episodes. From there it seems natural to have him as a major player in Echo’s solo series. And yes, of course, we’re hoping that the icon Vincent D’Onofrio returns to the role.
Breaking and Entering
In a very Kate Bishop move that honestly Clint should know better than to follow, the pair break into her mom’s apartment. Their plan is to look up Kazi on the Bishop Security database. Soon they discover he’s connected to a company called Sloan LTD. There are a lot of Sloans in Marvel history, but we think the most likely is Jason Sloan. He was a partner at the law firm of Broderick, Sloan, and Cranston, which Attorney Matt Murdock eventually joined. It was later revealed that Cranston and Broderick were both bad guys, most notably Cranston who was the supervillain Mr. Fear. This could be another strong Daredevil/Kingpin connection.
An Overdue Reunion
In what is maybe one of the biggest cliffhangers we’ve had in an MCU show—well, if you are a fan of Hawkeye’s origin—the episode ends with Clint getting caught in Eleanor’s apartment by none other than Swordsman himself, Jacques / Jack Duquesne (Tony Dalton)! So the big question is whether or not the pair will recognize each other in the next episode. If they do then it will tie into Hawkeye’s proper origin where Jacques was his circus mentor. But if not we’ll be very interested why they included the classic Hawkeye villain in this series…
Thanking Those All Important Creators
No new names this week, which is especially interesting if that really was Kingpin. Sometimes if they’ve already thanked creators elsewhere, they won’t do it. But also it could be because he wasn’t actually named. Either way, expect to see Stan Lee and John Romita Sr. getting some thanks very, very soon.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios