Hawkeye: 10 Easter Eggs You Might Not Have Noticed

Did you pick up on all the little nods in the latest MCU TV show?

Hawkeye show
Hawkeye show

While Hawkeye wrapped up several weeks ago, fans continue to scour this Disney+ show for Easter eggs that call back to Marvel Comics continuity and wider Marvel Cinematic Universe canon. Plenty of these references are easy to spot; props like Stark Industries and Pym Technologies branded arrow heads, and characters like Jack “Swordsman” Duquesne, Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk, and the Tracksuit Mafia, are so prominent they hardly count as hidden surprises. But Hawkeye is also brimming with less obvious, deeper cut Easter eggs designed to reward hardcore fans and even signpost the future of the MCU – here’s our round-up of 10 of the best.


10. Hawkeye’s Comics Costume

One of the funnier moments in Hawkeye’s third episode, “Echoes”, sees Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop doodle new superhero costumes for her and Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton. Clint promptly dismisses the fanciful design Kate sketches out for him, however, his comic book counterpart would have loved it. But then, how could he not? It’s a spot-on representation of Hawkeye’s original comic book costume, right down to the wing-like mask.

This isn’t the only nod to Hawkeye’s comics couture in the Disney+ show, either. The gear Clint sports during the finale of Hawkeye Episode 6, “So This Is Christmas?”, matches Hawkeye’s less flamboyant get-up introduced in 2013’s Secret Avengers comic books. Hawkeye has donned various versions of this outfit in the years since, most notably in the Hawkeye solo title by Matt Fraction, David Aja, Javier Pulido, Steve Lieber, Jesse Hamm, Annie Wu, and Francesco Francavilla – a 22-issue run that strongly influenced the Hawkeye show.


9. Marvel Universe Name Drops

Every Marvel Studios outing to-date has name-dropped characters from both the comics and the MCU, and Hawkeye is no different.

Heroes and villains possibly alluded to over the course of Hawkeye include feline Avenger Tigra and the second incarnation of baddie Electro (Kate’s friends Greer and Franny); one-time colleague of Daredevil’s alter-ego Matt Murdock, Jason Sloan (shell company Sloan Limited); and forgettable West Coast Avengers antagonist Fat Man (Kingpin’s car yard business front). Of these, Tigra is the most notable, given she’s a former teammate of Clint’s in the comics – could the MCU version of Tigra debut as one of Kate Bishop’s crime fighting partners, instead?

The Disney+ show also makes room for minor characters from the comics, almost all of them retooled to better fit MCU continuity. For instance, although the Detective Caudle who shows up in Episode 2, “Hide and Seek” is essentially the same character who featured in the Hawkeye comics headlined by Kate Bishop (only transplanted from LA to New York City), the show also re-imagines a trio of lesser-known players – Grills, Bombshell and Oddball – as well-meaning LARPers, a marked departure from the source material.


8. Kingpin’s Outfit

hawkeye Vincent D'Onofrio

Hawkeye marks the return of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, last seen in the Netflix Daredevil show, and it’s fair to say that the hulking crime boss has fallen on hard times. This extends to Kingpin’s wardrobe, with Daredevil’s arch-nemesis rocking a distinctive Hawaiian shirt/white suit combo – an ensemble pulled from the pages of the 2014 Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business graphic novel. Kingpin also carries a tacky, faux diamond-topped cane, an accessory also lifted from Family Business. Kingpin’s blinged-out cane dates back further than 2014, though; it made its debut (along with its owner) in Amazing Spider-Man #50 by legendary writer/artist team Stan Lee and John Romita Sr.!


7. Kate’s Aunt Moira

In Hawkeye Episode 2, Clint and Kate hole up in an apartment owned by Kate’s aunt, actress Moira Brandon and star of in-universe classics like A Chance of Love and Creature of the Dark Galaxy. Moira’s pad soon becomes Clint and Kate’s base operations, in a tip of the hat to the comics continuity in which Moira supplies the headquarters of the West Coast Avengers – a spin-off team led by Hawkeye – and ends up appointed an honorary member of the group!

Together with Hawkeye’s other references to the West Coast Avengers, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this Moira Brandon Easter egg is a hint that the West Coast Avengers will be debuting in the MCU next. Yet while this could happen, Hawkeye’s Young Avengers-related foreshadowing – notably, the introduction of Kate Bishop and her fun banter with fellow junior superhero Yelena Belova – suggests that the MCU’s next big supergroup will skew a little, well, younger.


6. Yelena’s Mac And Cheese

hawkeye hailee steinfeld

A highlight of Hawkeye Episode 5, “Ronin” – heck, of the entire show – is the first proper meeting between Kate Bishop and Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova, the MCU’s new Black Widow. Part of what makes this scene so memorable is that Kate and Yelena hold a loaded conversation over a makeshift pot of macaroni and cheese, transforming the exchange into something of a meet cute between the pair.

But the pot of mac and cheese isn’t just a fun way of livening up the scene – it’s an Easter egg, too. Specifically, Yelena referencing her father’s fondness for mac and cheese ties into the flashback sequence that kicks off 2021’s Black Widow, which confirms that Yelena has indeed enjoyed the dish since childhood and explains her nostalgic attachment to it in the present day.
It’s only a small detail, but it underscores how much Yelena romanticizes her childhood with late sister (and previous Black Widow) Natasha, and in turn, explains her irrational mission to kill Clint, the man she believes is responsible for Natasha’s death.


5. The Bloody Handprint On Maya’s Face

Outside of Kate Bishop, Hawkeye’s most memorable addition to the MCU stable is Tracksuit Mafia boss Maya Lopez. A deaf martial artist able to perfectly mimic her opponents’ movements, Maya is a force to be reckoned with, although her conventional attire and lack of a codename mean she doesn’t qualify as a true supervillain.

In the comics, however, Maya is a fully-fledged supervillain turned superhero who goes by the name Echo, and who applies a white handprint to her face as part of her costume. She does this as a tribute to her late father, who left a bloody handprint on her face before he died.

Hawkeye Episode 3, “Echoes”, references the inspiration behind Maya’s comic book look during flashback scenes depicting her origin, with young Maya’s face smeared with her father’s blood exactly like in the comics. With Maya set to headline her own Echo spin-off, her transition to genuine, costumed superhero is inevitable – and, thanks to this Hawkeye Easter egg, there’s a decent chance this outfit will include Maya’s macabre make-up.


4. Trick Arrows

Clint Barton employs a variety of non-standard arrows during his big-screen adventures with the Avengers, but Hawkeye greatly expands on the contents of our hero’s quiver. Several of Clint’s arrows bear Stark Industries and Pym Technologies logos – Iron Man and Ant-Man references even casual fans will get – and this is only the beginning, as far as Easter eggs go.

See, several of the trick arrows showcased in the Disney+ show weren’t invented by showrunner Jonathan Igla and his team of writers, but were culled from the comics, instead. Comics readers (especially those with a copy of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe handy) will recognise Hawkeye’s sonic, explosive/rocket, smoke bomb/tear gas, suction-tip, cable, acid, electro, and bola arrows as direct comic book carry-overs.

Funnily enough, one trick arrow that doesn’t show up in the show is the boomerang arrow – although it is played for laughs in Episode 4, “Partners, Am I Right?”, in a reworked version of a scene from the Fraction/Aja run.


3. Stane Tower

The first time we witness Kate Bishop’s exceptional archery skills comes early in Hawkeye Episode 1, “Never Meet Your Heroes”. Here, she shows off her prowess by making the bell atop a college tower ring with a perfectly placed shot – destroying the tower itself in the process! Understandably, the Easter egg part of proceedings is easy to miss amid all this excitement: the name of the tower Kate unwittingly demolishes is Stane Tower.

This is a reference to Obadiah Stane (also known as Iron Monger, the villain of 2008’s Iron Man), something further established by the text of a plaque briefly visible during the scene. Now, odds are this reference to Stane is simply a nice call back to the MCU’s first ever instalment, however, online buzz is that it (very) subtly foreshadows the imminent introduction of Stane’s son, Ezekiel. This tracks, too, since Ezekiel – as the young successor to a legacy villain’s mantle – would be the perfect villain for the rumoured Young Avengers spin-off.

2. Post-Blip Chronology Confirmed

Early on in Avengers: Endgame, the narrative jumps forward five years into the future – which means the events of that movie take place in 2023 (half a decade after the 2018 setting of Endgame’s predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War). The knock-on effect of this is that every new entry in the MCU released since – unless we’re explicitly told otherwise – is set a few years ahead of its real-world release date.

Most fans tend to forget this, particularly since other recent MCU fare like The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and Shang-Chi has played things coy when it comes to the franchise’s overarching chronology. Even so, we do get occasional reminders like the invite to Eleanor Bishop’s Christmas party glimpsed in Hawkeye Episode 5. The date of this Yuletide bash is listed as 2024, a small detail which firmly establishes that the show – and, by extension, contemporaneous MCU outings like Spider-Man: No Way Home – are set three years after they first hit screens.


1. The Rolex Watch


Hawkeye contains several mysteries, and none inspired greater debate than the identity of the owner of a Rolex watch stolen from the wreckage of the Avengers Compound. We finally find out who the watch belongs to in Episode 6, when Clint Barton returns it to his wife, Laura, in a scene that also reveals Laura’s past as a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent!

Not only is it a neat twist – particularly as it explains why Laura isn’t daunted by her husband’s dangerous line of work – it’s also the biggest Easter egg Hawkeye has to offer, as well. Why? Because the engraving on the back of Laura’s Rolex watch identifies her as “Agent 19” – the codename assigned to Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird, Hawkeye’s love interest (and one-time wife) in the comics.

Of course, MCU completionists will know that retconning Laura Barton as Agent 19 potentially invalidates the canon laid out in ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which establishes Morse/Mockingbird as a separate character. Here’s hoping that Marvel Studios clears things up eventually, because the most obvious explanation to this continuity headache – that in the MCU, Bobbi was never Agent 19 and Laura was never Mockingbird – clearly isn’t enough for die-hard fans.

READ MORE: Did the MCU Fail Black Widow?

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.