TV & Movies

The Marvel Easter Egg Hunt Is On For Hawkeye

There are plenty of nods to the comics and the MCU.

Originally Published: 
There are sure to be many Marvel Easter eggs in 'Hawkeye,' the new Disney+ series starring Hailee St...
Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

Spoilers ahead for Hawkeye. Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already delivered a delightfully wide variety of stories in 2021 alone — from Emmy-nominated emotional crises to undead Avengers, Multiversal mayhem, and brand-new heroes to love (hi, Shang-Chi and Cap!). Now, a Die Hard-esque Christmas adventure has entered the chat with Hawkeye, and the new series already promises major holiday comfort viewing vibes. Plus, it’s finally a chance for viewers to reacquaint themselves with the day-one Avenger, who’s had somewhat sparse screen time over his decade in the MCU. Seriously, a 2019 post-Endgame Reuters analysis found that Clint Barton clocked only 52 minutes of coverage in his long tenure with the team.

As early as the first trailer for Hawkeye, the show’s been expanding what we know (or thought we knew) about the archer — like his comics backstory as a hard-of-hearing character, his partnership with Kate Bishop, and his furry friend Lucky, aka Pizza Dog. And yes, there are plenty of nods to the comics and other MCU movies to theorize about. Here are all of the Marvel Easter eggs in Hawkeye so far, from the trailer to the new episodes now streaming.

Lucky, aka Pizza Dog

Mary Cybulski/Marvel Studios

Pets are pretty scarce in the MCU. (Maybe a good thing logistically, but still.) Fortunately, Hawkeye has shaken up the status quo by introducing Lucky, aka Pizza Dog, a pooch who saved the hero in a fight against his tracksuit-donning owners in 2012’s Hawkeye run. In the series, though, it’s Kate and Pizza Dog who save each other — suggesting that the new hero is gearing up to take on the Hawkeye role in ways both big and small.

“Trust A Bro”

In the trailer, Kate shoots an exploding arrow at a van adorned with the phrase “Trust A Bro,” a nod to the Tracksuit Mafia’s nickname of choice — suggesting the tracksuits will be an ongoing threat throughout the Hawkeye series.

An Unexpected Rogers: The Musical Star

Marvel Studios

In addition to the lineup of heroes and villains in Rogers: The Musical, there’s a character on the top right of the stage donning a hat that looks like part of a traditional food vendor’s costume, which could be a nod to the first Avengers’ shawarma post-credits scene. TikTok user newtomarvel pointed out that the shawarma stand employees at Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus wear a similar hat.

Hawkeye’s Hearing Aid

As Screen Rant reports, several Marvel Comics storylines have touched on Clint’s hearing loss. However, the MCU hadn’t referenced that aspect of his character until now. In Episode 2, it’s implied that any (or all) of Clint’s Avengers escapades could have contributed to his hearing loss.

An Avengers Callback

Marvel Studios

At the end of the Hawkeye trailer, we see Kate and Clint performing a maneuver while falling backward — a reference to Hawkeye’s iconic move in the first Avengers nine years ago. Clearly, Clint is showing Kate every trick he’s got (and maybe prepping to pass the mantle, too).

Moira Brandon


During Episode 2, it’s revealed that Kate’s aunt is Moira Brandon (as we know from her name on the buzzer, and her movie posters within her apartment “safe house”). This might not seem like a huge deal, but Moira actually plays a short but significant role in the Marvel Comics.

In West Coast Avengers No. 100, Moira is a former movie star who sells her mansion to the Avengers so it can serve as their new headquarters. While she’s showing Hawkeye and Mockingbird around, an old villain of Hawkeye’s, Crossfire, appears — but Moira thwarts his attack and dies in the process. Hawkeye names her the honorary first West Coast Avenger as a sign of gratitude.

A Falcon And The Winter Soldier Reference

Marvel Studios

When Clint’s family is having dinner during Episode 1, a lucky cat figurine can be seen — pretty similar to the one Bucky was perplexed by in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Though this cat is in a different restaurant, its inclusion could be a nod to Clint’s fellow NYC hero (and, if you’re an optimist, a hint that their paths might cross).

A Spidey Shout-Out

Just before the 33-minute mark in Episode 2, several stickers can be seen on Clint’s storage locker — one of which is torn and almost looks like half of Spider-Man’s head. Like Bucky, Peter Parker is another NYC Avenger (who’s dealing with a bit of a publicity problem right now), so this could be a small hint at Clint’s fellow fighters in the city.

A Location We’ve Seen Before

As Twitter user SchmoedownSaul pointed out, the gala from Episode 1 takes place at a location that will be familiar to fans of Netflix’s Daredevil, a Marvel Television series. User Marvfess also noticed that a news reporter from Daredevil also appears in Hawkeye. If these tie-ins are intentional, they could potentially point to lawyer-slash-vigilante Matt Murdock appearing in the MCU.

A New Villain?

Speaking of Daredevil...

Several fans were convinced that Wilson Fisk was the figure we see greet young Maya in her karate class, her “uncle.” Even though he’s not credited in the episode, Vincent D’Onofrio plays him in Daredevil — and there’s good reason to believe Hawkeye is working to introduce the role to the greater MCU. Fisk, aka Kingpin, serves as Maya’s guardian in the comics after her dad dies and manipulates her into carrying out criminal deeds, per Marvel. You can also catch Kingpin, as played by Liev Schreiber, in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sorry, Santa


Clint running over an inflatable Santa Claus in a Christmas tree lot is a hilarious visual — but it’s also, maybe, a nod at Marvel history. As CBR reported, Santa Claus is canonically a mutant in the Marvel comics and has even fought alongside Captain Marvel, the X-Men, and more.

*That* Cliffhanger

Marvel Studios

We already knew Jack Duquesne was pretty sketchy, but Episode 3 took things to a new level, putting him (almost) face to face with Clint. In the comics, the two have some serious history: Jack, aka the Swordsman, was actually a mentor to young Clint, but the two fell out when Clint wouldn’t go along with his criminal lifestyle. Though Tony Dalton told E! “that’s not the case” in the Disney+ series, that doesn’t rule out the pair having some kind of tense history together.

Who Is Bombshell?

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios

When helping Clint and Kate with their arrows in Episode 4, Wendy Conrad is reluctant to give the pair her bag because her wife embroidered it with the word “Bombshell.” As Slash Film reported, Bombshell is one of Hawkeye’s enemies in the Marvel Comics — and just so happens to be an explosives expert. So, here’s hoping her bag is returned safely. Otherwise, yet another Hawkeye villain could be entering the chat.

Thanos Was Right

In Episode 4, Clint drinks a frozen daiquiri from a mug that says, “Thanos Was Right.” The phrase also appears in Episode 1, scribbled in the Broadway theater’s bathroom. It’s a sentiment we’ve seen in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and even Eternals (the Blip was good for some people!), but the fact that it keeps appearing seems significant.

Hawkeye & Black Widow, Take 2

Aside from the heartbreaking parallel that was Kate almost falling off the building Black Widow-style (Marvel, you’re sick for that), Episode 4’s fight scene featured even more nods to the next generation’s archer-assassin besties. Yelena uses the same stun weapon her older sister was famous for — the Widow’s Bite, as CBR reported — and even borrows Nat’s “poser” stance.

Kate’s decision to put down her bow also parallels Clint’s story about the best shot he didn’t take — i.e., not killing Natasha when he was sent to do just that.

A Nod To The Red Guardian

Jaid Maidment

When Yelena is trying to convince Kate to share some mac and cheese with her in Episode 5, she tells her new frenemy that her “daddy says it’s good for you.” Knowing that Yelena’s dad (or the closest thing she has to it) is Alexei, aka the Red Guardian from Black Widow, the throwaway line could be a subtle sign that Yelena and Alexei are doing OK, family-wise.

Kate’s Marvel-ous Alumni

As Kate does some soul-searching back in her bedroom, she looks at all her accomplishments on the wall. Most of it is active or archery-related stuff, but there’s also a certificate from the Spence School. It’s a private, all-girls school that educated a host of notable figures, from Kerry Washington to Kate’s fellow MCU fixture, Gwyneth Paltrow, aka Pepper Potts (not that she knows what Hawkeye is, or anything).

Though they’re not talking about Paltrow’s The Royal Tenenbaums character, there’s another nod to her career when two members of the Tracksuit Mafia share their love for American pop culture and one brings up Wes Anderson’s 2001 film. Though his friend isn’t so sure the reference makes sense — “Come on, do we look like Royal Tenenbaums?” — the original Tracksuit confirms that yes, they do indeed look like characters from the film. Specifically, Ben Stiller’s character and his on-screen children, who hilariously sport red Adidas tracksuits.

Kingpin Confirmed

David Giesbrecht/Netflix

Though his presence has been hinted at all season, Kingpin (or Wilson Fisk) was finally confirmed to be the big bad behind Hawkeye during Episode 5. The best part? The credits confirm that Vincent D’Onofrio, who played the character in Netflix’s Daredevil, is reprising his role on Disney+. (His silhouette also appears at the end of the main credits, illustrating how he’s literally looming over all the drama.)

Until now, this kind of crossover — from one Marvel medium to another — has virtually never happened, and many fans have wondered if the non-Disney+ Marvel shows are even considered canon anymore. D’Onofrio’s involvement could serve as precedent for more of those “in-between” characters to make it to the mainstream MCU.

This post will be updated as new episodes of Hawkeye premiere on Disney+ every Wednesday.

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