This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Hawkeye episodes 1 and 2, as well as potential spoilers for future episodes and the wider MCU.
Ah, Christmas in New York City. Not just Christmas in New York, but Christmas in the MCU’s New York City! Marvel’s Hawkeye has arrived on Disney+ with a dose of holiday cheer, an appropriate amount of violence, and a scruffy, one-eyed dog to warm our hearts…and possibly warm them with a Molotov cocktail if the Tracksuit Mafia have their way.
Is the above paragraph just a random assortment of words to you? Did you enjoy the first two episodes of Hawkeye yet still find yourself wondering why we should care about the most annoyed/possibly clinically depressed Avenger? Well, you’re in luck, True Believer! The Den of Geek crew has once again read way too many comic books and we’ve been poring over every little detail in these first two episodes.
Here’s what we found….
2012, THE AVENGERS, & THE BATTLE OF NEW YORK
The resonance of the Battle of New York is felt heavily all through these episodes, from the opening scenes to Rogers: The Musical, but even in quieter moments like when Kate is casually exiting Grand Central Terminal at Pershing Square, the site of much of The Avengers’ climactic battle.
It’s one of many things, not the least of which being the very New York City setting, that recalls the tone of the now-departed Marvel Netflix shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher. In those series, at least early on, the gritty tone and beat-up nature of Hell’s Kitchen was attributed to the neighborhoods adjacent to the Battle of New York still recovering from the damage and trauma. We can see how the scars run deep in the entire MCU in these opening episodes of Hawkeye.
- Kate Bishop first appeared in Young Avengers #1 back in 2005. That single issue is turning out to be a key issue for the future of the MCU. Kang the Conqueror played a central role, it also introduced Wanda Maximoff’s kids, Billy and Tommy (Wiccan and Speed) who we met on WandaVision, Eli Bradley (Patriot) who we met briefly in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Kid Loki, and more. Basically, we expect to see LOTS more of the Young Avengers in the MCU soon enough.
- Kate refers to herself (and claims others also refer to her) as “the world’s greatest archer,” which is a play on how Clint Barton was billed in his early comics appearances as “the world’s greatest marksman.”
- Kate is 22 years old. When you factor in the five year time jump in Avengers: Endgame, and Kate’s age in 2012 during the Battle of New York, it seems likely that Kate was probably “snapped” during Avengers: nfinity War. Incidentally, Hawkeye apparently takes place two years after the events of Endgame, which means we’ve closed a little bit of that time jump gap with the MCU, so Hawkeye probably takes place only 2-3 years in “our” future.
- Kate says she “inherited” her apartment, but doesn’t say who she inherited it from. Presumably, it would be her share of her father’s wealth. But in the Matt Fraction/David Aja comics that this show draws so much inspiration from, Clint owns an entire building in Brooklyn, NY (Kate’s apartment is somewhere in lower Manhattan). Is it possible that her “inheritance” is actually this entire building and not just this basement apartment? There’s a lot of unanswered questions about Kate here…
- Kate’s password to log in to that remote Bishop Security account appears to be BISHOP112012. Aside from the fact that using your last name as a security password might not be the most secure thing in the world, what is the significance of that 112012? Is it meant to signify just November 2012? November 20, 2012? We know that the Battle of New York took place in 2012, but that was in May, not November…so what’s the significance of this date for Kate? Maybe it’s when she got her first bow and arrow? What do you think?
- This marks the first time Clint’s hearing loss has ever been addressed in the MCU, and as we see in episode two it’s a logical consequence of his time spent in absurdly high volume situations as a superhero. His hearing loss has been addressed a number of times in the comics, as well, and we wrote more about that here.
- Clint’s entire beaten down demeanor here is once again reminiscent of his portrayal in the Fraction/Aja comics as the MCU’s “everyman.”
ROGERS: THE MUSICAL
- “I Could Do This All Day” is the closest thing to a catchphrase Steve Rogers has, from his time getting his ass kicked by a bully in 1941 Brooklyn to him fighting himself in the timeline during Avengers: Endgame. The song is exactly as ridiculous and overblown as all musical theater is, and thus is completely authentic.
- The Hairspray, Smash, and Mary Poppins Returns team of Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman penned this number after being approached by Kevin Feige. It’s sure to be a Christmas earworm, for better or worse.
- Ant-Man’s inclusion despite not being in the first Avengers movie works on several levels. One, it contrasts with Scott Lang’s lack of notoriety during the restaurant scene in Avengers: Endgame. Two, it borrows from the Ultimates comics where Hawkeye insisted Quicksilver was never on any of their missions when — like the musical claims for Ant-Man — nobody was able to see him due to his powers. Quicksilver was repeatedly saving Hawkeye’s life in the field and Hawkeye never noticed.
- But technically, Hawkeye was wrong in his assessment about Ant-Man. Scott Lang WAS there during the Battle of New York. Granted, it was a Scott Lang from years later, but thanks to Endgame, he was there!
We wrote much more about Rogers: The Musical and what it means for the MCU (no, seriously) here.
THE BARTON FAMILY
Clint’s youngest is named “Nate” as an ode to his best friend and fallen partner, Natasha. This was first introduced at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Nate’s middle name is Pietro, a tribute to Wanda’s deceased brother who died saving Clint’s life in the same movie.
WHO IS ELEANOR BISHOP?
Vera Farmiga’s Eleanor Bishop sure seems to have more to her than meets the eye. In the comics she is also quite rich (although there, Kate’s father, Derek, didn’t die, he was merely estranged from his daughters), but also has some funny dealings going on. Considering the mysterious nature of her association with the Duquesnes (even without the fact that she’s engaged to ol’ Jack there), and the fact that Armand and Jack seem pretty shady on there own, well…let’s keep an eye on her.
WHO IS JACK DUQUESNE?
Yes that is Better Call Saul’s brilliant baddie Tony Dalton as Kate’s shady stepfather-to-be Jack Duquesne. In the comics he’s known as Jacques Duquesne, but Marvel fans might know him better by another name: the Swordsman.
Clearly, Jack has plenty of blade skills, but in the comics, he’s not only a costumed antagonist for folks in the Hawkeye family, he’s the man who trained Clint Barton in combat. Since Clint’s pre-SHIELD life has never really been explored in the MCU, so perhaps there’s a flashback episode on the way. It would be pretty wild if Kate’s stepfather here ends up being a kind of (former) surrogate father to Clint, as well.
And as for his uncle…
Ol’ Armand only ever made one appearance in the comics, in a flashback story from Avengers Spotlight #22 in 1989. Interestingly, in the comics, he’s Swordsman’s father not his uncle. Given the weirdness of their onscreen relationship, we wouldn’t be surprised if there is another reveal coming about him coming as the mystery surrounding his murder unfolds..
- The auction itself very faintly echoes an event from that excellent run of Hawkeye comics, in which Clint is sent to Madripoor (remember that from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?) to bid on a tape with compromising information on it being auctioned off to the supercriminal underworld of the Marvel Universe. Honestly, that two-issue story could support a short season of TV in itself if they wanted to go that route, so I don’t think they’re burning it here, but it’s neat to see this kind of underworld stuff happening in the MCU.
- We ran the paddle numbers and lot numbers against all the usual Marvel Comics series issue numbers and…came up pretty blank. Hawkeye isn’t even a member of the teams in nearly all of those Avengers issues with corresponding numbers, so these might very well just be random numbers.
Nevertheless, for you readers who fancy yourselves detectives, we’re going to list those numbers here.
- The various paddle numbers are: 106, 115, 124, 102
- The Ronin suit is Lot #309
- Watch is Lot #208.
Think you spotted something we missed on these? Drop ‘em in the comments!
- Pizza Dog also first appeared in the first issue of that amazing Matt Fraction/David Aja Hawkeye series. While he hasn’t officially been christened “Lucky” yet on the show, he will be. Interestingly, his original name in the comics was “Arrow” when he was owned by one of those mean Tracksuit Mafia guys, but Clint and Kate changed it after rescuing him.
- The best boy…is actually played by a girl. We love you Jolt! She has two eyes, just a little CG at work here.
- Pizza Dog’s relationship dynamics are swapped from Clint to Kate for this. In the comics, it’s Clint who rescues him (although Pizza Dog doesn’t get out of that run into traffic unscathed in the comics), and it’s usually Clint who says “he’s not my dog,” a line which is given to Kate here. But otherwise, Pizza Dog’s introduction here plays out very similar to how it does in the comics…except he didn’t make it out of traffic completely unscathed there.
THE TRACKSUIT MAFIA
- These guys are (yet again) from that one particular run of Hawkeye comics, but they’re just so perfectly cast and delightful here, bro.
- Their complaints about NYC real estate is…pretty damn accurate, to be honest.
- In the comics, they’re often referred to as “Tracksuit Draculas” even though they aren’t actually vampires. It’s just Clint’s way of pointing out that they exist to do nothing but suck the life out of the neighborhood with their petty criminal schemes.
THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Clint sees some “Thanos was right” graffiti in the bathroom, harking back to our real-world “Thanos did nothing wrong” nonsense, as well as the mission of the Flag-Smashers from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, who thought the world was better off without half of its population after Thanos snapped everyone away.
THE WEST COAST AVENGERS CONNECTIONS
It turns out that Kate’s mysterious friend/aunt whose apartment she breaks into at 235 West Fourth Street is Moira Brandon. You can spot her name on the buzzer, as well as on the movie poster for a fictional flick called Creature From the Dark Galaxy. While Moira’s apparent co-star from that film, Luke Ballard, doesn’t ring any Marvel bells, Moira Brandon sure does!
Moira’s name popped up a handful of times whenever the comics needed the name of a “famous actress.” BUT…she also appeared in the comics when her mansion in Palos Verdes, California was bought by the Avengers to be their west coast HQ. So Kate using this as her unofficial base of operations on her first ever superhero mission is a very subtle callback to Moira’s place in Avengers history.
Moira being an old Hollywood star also makes sense given the fashion choices Kate is forced to make when she raids Moira’s wardrobe.
- There’s one more possible West Coast Avengers connection in the episode. When Kate is getting set to (accidentally) destroy the Stane Tower belltower at school, she’s talking to her friend Greer…who isn’t given a last name in the credits. Could Greer be Greer Nelson, who goes on to become West Coast Avengers mainstay Tigra? Eh…probably not. But we had to point it out!
The specter of Clint’s time as Ronin during the time between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame looms large over this show. As it should. Clint killed a whole lot of people in that costume, and he’s clearly still paying a psychic price for it.
And while Clint did indeed wear the Ronin mantle in the comics for a period, there’s also precedent for that suit being worn by others. Including/especially the mysterious lady in the final shot of episode 2…
WHO IS ECHO?
And who is that mysterious lady that the Tracksuit Mafia appears to be working for? That would be Alaqua Cox as Maya “Echo” Lopez, a character who is going to be VERY significant for the MCU going forward.
- Echo was created by Joe Quesada and David Mack in the pages of Daredevil (hmmm) back in 1999. She’s a deaf hero with the kinds of photographic reflexes we associate with Taskmaster, and an expert fighter. Her father was a soldier for the Kingpin, and after he died, Maya was raised by Wilson Fisk himself.
- Considering that her father, Willie “Crazy Horse” Lincoln has been cast for Hawkeye (where he’ll be played by Zahn McClarnon), it seems like we’re probably going to finally see the Marvel Netflix TV shows integrated into this show with a Wilson Fisk cameo at some point during the show’s run, as well.
- It also doesn’t feel entirely accidental that this Echo introductory scene feels like it would have been right at home in an episode of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. From the darker, more driving music than we’ve become accustomed to to that striking red light, when you combine this with the overall “New York-ness” of these episodes, it can’t help but recall the various Marvel Netflix shows.
THE CHRISTMAS SETTING
While this show is taking place in a “six episodes for six nights” format leading up to Christmas in the MCU, the comic didn’t have an explicitly holiday setting. It did, however, have one story called “Six Nights in the Life of Clint Barton” which was indeed set around Christmas.
The detective who is looking into Kate is Detective Caudle. Guess which comics run he’s from?
Anyway, in the comics, Detective Caudle is actually based in Los Angeles, and he’s someone Kate runs afoul of when she temporarily relocates out there. He is similarly annoyed/exasperated by her there as we see here. We hope he becomes a regular supporting character, to be honest.
MISCELLANEOUS COOL STUFF
- Stane Tower is the bell/clock tower Kate inadvertently destroys. You may remember Obadiah Stane as Tony Stark’s mentor/rival from the first Iron Man film.
- There appears to be some Coppola Wine product placement in the Duquesne wine cellar.
- Tony sold Avengers tower “a few years ago.” He officially gave up on the tower concurrently with the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming, when Vulture tried to hijack a plane carrying Avengers gear to the team’s new headquarters, Avengers Compound.
- The Bartons are doing ok for themselves if they’re staying at The Peninsula!
- The Katniss Everdeen joke in Times Square is funny
- The LARPer who swipes the Ronin costume is named “Grills,” who shares a nickname with a tenant in Clint Barton’s building in the comics. That version of Grills got his nickname for hosting rooftop barbecues at Clint’s building. Perhaps LARPer grills is known for doing that for his costumed compatriots.
- The art in the opening/closing credits is pure David Aja, and we hope Marvel is kicking the comics creators who actually inspired all these shows an appropriate amount of cash.
Spot anything we missed? Give us a shout on Twitter or let us know in the comments, and if it checks out, we’ll update this piece!