The latest MCU Disney+ TV show is a Christmas murder mystery, complete with plenty of comic book nods and shout-outs.
There has been a lot of Marvel content to consume this year already, and we’re not through the superheroic woods yet. The final Disney+ MCU TV show of 2021 has arrived with the first two episodes of Hawkeye premiering on the streaming platform. This time around we’re not dealing with temporal crimes or international terrorist groups, but a holiday-themed murder mystery surrounding Clint Barton and the newly introduced Kate Bishop, a Hawkeye super-fan and heiress.
But the murder itself isn’t the only major issue Clint and Kate are up against. There’s also the Tracksuit Mafia, Clint’s torrid past as an international killing machine, and the general stress of the holiday season to contend with–all of which would probably be a bit easier to stomach if Kate weren’t completely intent on helping her superhero idol at every chance.
Naturally, there’s a lot going on with this two episode premiere, so we’ve taken a deeper look at the first two episodes and uncovered some of the biggest nods, references, and Easter Eggs to Marvel Comics and the greater MCU as the mystery slowly begins to unfold.
Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+ with new episodes arriving every Wednesday.
You hopefully don’t need us to remind you that 2012 is the year of the Chitauri attack on New York, and the first time the Avengers assembled in an official capacity.
It seems a bit silly for a college to keep one of its buildings named, presumably, after a man who lost his mind and turned into an armor wearing super villain but maybe it’s a different Stane being referenced and not Obidiah. Who knows?
Rogers: The Musical
This is a really easy one, and the thing just about everyone was talking about when promotional material was rolling out. The in-universe Rogers: The Musical is a reference to the real life Hamilton: The Musical–though, based on the clip we see here as the Bartons watch it, the two shows don’t share similar sensibilities at all. Instead we see an (extremely cringey) Broadway rendition of the attack on New York to mirror the flashback in the beginning of the episode.
Clint’s hearing aids
First introduced in the Fraction/Aja run of comics, Clint uses hearing aids and is hard of hearing. We get a little flashback here to try and retroactively explain where they’re coming from in the MCU, but it’s not too far a stretch to believe that anyone who experiences exploding buildings as part of their day to day work would wind up needing an assistive device.
“Thanos was right”
It’s no secret that there are people out there who believe life really was better during the Snap–Falcon and The Winter Soldier is basically about those groups, after all.
Meet (one of our) villains for this show–Jack (or “Jacques” in the comics) Duquesne, AKA The Swordsman. Yes, he really does have that stupid moustache. In the comics, Duquesne was introduced as a sort of villain version of Hawkeye back in the mid ’60s. All this meant at the time was that he was a superhero with no high tech gadgets or super powers of his own. He was just a really, really good sword fighter and athlete.
At the charity auction we see even more of the Duquesne family, most of which do exist in the comics, though they’ve been pretty heavily modified here for the MCU.
Lucky AKA Pizza Dog is a one-eyed Golden Retriever mutt that was first introduced in the Fraction/Aja comics as both Clint and Kate’s pet. He’s, unsurprisingly, a major fan favorite.
Who could forget Clint’s time after the Snap spent on a murder-spree around the world? The only new information here is that Clint himself never came clean and no one actually knows that it was him behind that mask. Yikes.
The Tracksuit Mafia
Another Fraction/Aja invention, the Tracksuit Mafia are one of Clint’s enemies–though in the comics it’s not because he murdered anyone as Ronin or anything like that. They’re really more a comedic element, not a major threat–and yes, calling each other “bro” all the time is just one of their things.
The Tracksuits broke into the clandestine Avengers Compound auction searching for a mysterious watch–though we have no idea what watch it is or who it might have belonged to, much less why it’s so important. Perhaps something to do with Kang the Conqueror? Afterall, he does time travel. But who paid the Tracksuits to get it?
Kate’s aunt (who is away at her summer home) is a nod to a character by the same name from West Coast Avengers. She’s not a major character by any means, but, importantly, she is the actor who sold her house to the Avengers to make a new Avengers Compound.
The poor LARPing firefighter Clint has to battle to get his Ronin costume back is a nod to another Fraction/Aja invention–Clint’s neighbor Grills. The two look nothing alike, but the name is a clear homage.
The detective that calls Kate in to question her is a nod to a character who eventually becomes one of Kate’s allies in the comics–clearly they’re not feeling very friendly with one another here and now, but there’s always room for improvement in the future, assuming Caudle sticks around in this version of the story.
Episode 2 ends with a reveal of Maya Lopez, AKA Echo, a deaf anti-hero turned hero. It would seem in this version she’s leading (or contracting) the Tracksuits for some reason–maybe something to do with their mission for the watch from the Avengers Compound. Echo is getting her own Disney+ series down the line, so we can expect to be seeing much more of her. In the comics, she was actually the one to originate the Ronin mantle, so maybe that’s where she’s headed in the immediate future.
Source: Game Spot Mashup