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7 questions we have after Hawkeye season 1, and the comics that answer them

Hawkeye, Hawkeye, and other problems

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Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner prepare to fire arrows on Hawkeye Photo: Film Frame/Marvel Studios
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Like an early Christmas present, the finale of Hawkeye has arrived to wrap up the madcap story of Clint Barton’s most stressful holiday season and Kate Bishop’s superhero origin. The episode is flippy and quippy and even holds some big surprises that lean into lingering mysteries.

Some of the questions raised by this week’s Hawkeye have their answers in Marvel Comics, but some of them are pointing towards the murky future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

[Ed. note: This post contains huge spoilers for Hawkeye episode 6, “So This Is Christmas?.”]

Captain America and Thor pose during Rogers: The Musical in an episode of the MCU series Hawkeye Image: Marvel Studios

Now that all the spoiler-fearing folks are gone, let’s take a look.

Is Kingpin really dead?

Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin in Hawkeye. Image: Marvel Studios

Man, it sure looked like it! Wilson Fisk’s big scene was a shocking turnaround for a character many fans never expected to see again after the cancelation of Marvel’s Netflix shows.

The last time we saw Vincent D’Onofrio’s Fisk was the end of Daredevil season 3, in which he was carted off to jail and swore to stay there, on pain of Matt Murdock exposing his beloved wife for her role in ordering their enemy’s murder. Yet here he is, walking free — no clear explanation is given, but with the Snap upending so much of society, it doesn’t seem beyond the pale.

Or at least he was walking free, until he was shot by an arrow, beaten up, hit by a car, exploded and — finally — seems to have been shot point blank by Echo in revenge for orchestrating her father’s death. That would seem to be enough to fell anybody, but then again, this is a guy who just ripped a car door off its hinges with his bare hands. It’s enough to make the uninitiated wonder if Kingpin has superpowers.

The answer is that Fisk’s terrifying strength and resiliency has always been a part of the character — but one that comics have taken care to stress has no supernatural element to it. He just really is all muscle. Does this make sense? No. It’s comics.

So, is the Kingpin really dead? I say yes, despite rumors he could pop up in future Marvel spinoffs. At least, he’s as dead as anybody gets in the world of superheroes.

What does Kingpin’s death mean for Echo?

Alaqua Cox as Echo in Hawkeye. Image: Marvel Studios

Echo will return! In her own eponymous TV series, officially announced this November. With her vengeance complete, it’s unclear what quest she’ll take on next, but her origin is tied up not just with Kingpin, but with Daredevil. With characters and actors from Netflix’s Daredevil series back in the MCU, it could be that Echo will meet more of them in her new series.

What is Kate Bishop’s superhero name?

Kate Bishop looks happy with the reveal of her new Hawkeye costume in Hawkeye. Image: Marvel Studios

Oh, this is a fun one!

It’s Hawkeye.

She’s Hawkeye, and Clint is Hawkeye. They’re both Hawkeye at the same time. Like Peter Parker and Miles Morales are both Spider-Man at the same time. Like Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown are all Batgirl at the same time.

If you really want, you can call Clint “Hawkguy.”

What was the watch about?

Linda Cardellini as Laura Barton in Hawkeye. Image: Marvel Studios

With so much of the show focused on recovering Clint’s Ronin outfit from the wrong hands, it was easy to forget that the real reason the Tracksuit Mafia broke into that auction of Dangerous Secret Stuff for Snooty Rich People was to pilfer a much smaller item: A Rolex watch that grants access to Avengers tower. Just about the only mention of it was from Clint, noting that it belonged to a very important person.

In Hawkeye episode 6, we found out that that person is his wife, Laura Barton: Awwwwwww!

So why did Kingpin want the watch? That remains unclear, but does a criminal mastermind really need a reason to want a watch that lets you in to Avengers tower?

Who is Agent 19?

The back of a watch bears a SHIELD emblem and the number 19 in Hawkeye. Image: Marvel Studios

The watch had one final mystery in Hawkeye’s last moments: It makes sense that Laura Barton would have been a SHIELD agent. Now we know that she and Clint were a cute workplace romance between one capable lady and a government assassin.

But what does the 19 mean? Well, for Marvel Comics diehards, it points right to Agent 19, the original codename of Bobbi Morse. What does that have to do with Hawkeye? Later on, Bobbi became a superhero under the name Mockingbird, where she developed a flirtatious relationship with the Avenger known as Hawkeye.

In Clint’s very first solo miniseries, he and Bobbi got Vegas-married, and though the two have had their ups and downs, they’ve remained inextricably linked in the Marvel Comics Universe. By putting a 19 on Laura’s watch, Hawkeye is nodding to Clint Barton’s original wife, and giving her a Marvel Cinematic Universe incarnation: Laura Barton, former SHIELD agent and mother of three.

Was burning the Ronin suit really a responsible way to dispose of it?

Clint Barton’s Ronin costume burns on a grill in Hawkeye. Image: Marvel Studios

OK, this has nothing to do with comics or movie continuity but ... a grill? If that suit has kevlar armor in it — and it better — that’s so much plastic!

You guys might want to get some distance from that smoke. And definitely never cook any food directly on that grill again.

Are there really owls in the Rockefeller Christmas tree?

Once! In November of 2020, a teeny tiny northern saw-whet owl became trapped in the boughs of the 75-foot spruce tree that had been chosen to adorn Rockefeller Center’s iconic ice rink, and was accidentally transported all the way from Upstate New York to the middle of Manhattan. Given the name Rocky, she was rehabilitated and released back into the wild 12 days later.

This owl seems to be dining just fine on a diet of tracksuit mafia bros trapped inside shrunken vans.

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