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Hawkeye has a secret Iron Man reference in the first episode

Hawkeye's first episode has a blink and you'll miss it reference to the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Iron Man

Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, and Iron Man

Hawkeye has finally landed on Disney Plus, and it has hit the bullseye with Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. The stripped-back, street-level, crime drama has opened to great reviews from critics who’ve praised the show as fun, exciting, and exceedingly Christmassy.

Our own Anthony McGlynn enjoyed that – after what seems like a lot of cosmic bombast and collapsing multiverses – this Phase 4 production was firmly rooted in personal conflict. Just because it’s a smaller-scale production, though, doesn’t mean the TV series has forgotten its roots, and there was actually a sneaky reference to the earliest days of the MCU hidden in the first episode.

During the first episode, when we see Kate Bishop accidentally destroy her university’s clock tower with just a bow and arrow, there’s a blink and you’ll miss it sign. On that sign is the tower’s name, it’s called “Stane Tower.” Who’s Stane, you ask? Well, presumably this is a reference to Obadiah Stane, aka the Iron Monger, the villain in the first MCU action movie Iron Man.

Obadiah schemed to take control of Stark Industries and worked with the Ten Rings to do so. His attempt to have Tony Stark assassinated, though, ultimately led to Tony building the first Iron Man suit in a cave! With a box of scraps!

Seeing the potential in the Iron Man suit and the arc reactor that powered it, Stane built his own armour and tried to kill Tony himself. Ultimately his scheme failed, and he died. It seems, though, that his legacy lived on in the MCU. Or at least it did until Kate knocked it down.

Hawkeye episodes one and two are available to watch now on the streaming service Disney Plus. If you love all things Marvel, be sure to check out our guide on Doctor Strange 2.