Hawkeye season 1 is now available on Disney Plus in its entirety, after the streamer dropped the finale last week. We’ve already talked about the puzzling Hawkeye post-credits scene, and how it seems to exacerbate an Avengers problem that Marvel needs to explore soon. And we told you what the show’s big plot hole shows up mid-way through the first season — things haven’t improved by the finale, so it’s still valid. But all these things combined make it abundantly clear that Marvel used Hawkeye to tease a big new Avenger storyline.
Only, it’s not one of the Avengers that you’d initially think about, so you probably missed it. Before we go any further, you should know that Hawkeye spoilers follow below.
Hawkeye sets up several Avengers
Hawkeye is the first standalone story dedicated to Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner). But, in many ways, it feels like Barton isn’t always the protagonist. Or better said, Marvel took advantage of Hawkeye to complete a few tasks on its checklist.
One of the most obvious themes of Hawkeye is Natasha Romanoff. Scarlet Johansson might not play the Black Widow in this one, but we feel her presence throughout season 1. Hawkeye is a tribute to Nat and provides more closure than the Black Widow movie ever did.
Then we have the new Avengers. Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) is the main Young Avenger who emerges from Hawkeye. We then have Echo (Alaqua Cox) and Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). We’re going to see these characters down the road, possibly in the same Avengers movie.
There’s no denying that Kate and Yelena are a massive win for the MCU. If you loved the Hawkeye-Black Widow dynamic of the first three MCU phases, you’ll want to keep an eye on these two.
But then another Avenger stood out in Hawkeye despite not actually showing up on the screen. And no, I’m not talking about Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), who was featured in the show.
The surprise Avenger presence in Hawkeye
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), aka Ant-Man, casts a long shadow over Hawkeye. Rudd doesn’t appear in the TV show, but there’s just something in the air.
From the first Hawkeye episode, we get strong Ant-Man vibes. It’s in that episode where we see that Rogers musical. Somehow, Ant-Man is one of the seven Avengers in the musical. Why would anyone distort reality in such a way? Why would people believe Ant-Man was part of the original group of Avengers when the official story is that six superheroes defended the planet during that first Battle of New York.
We do have a plaque honoring the Original Six later in the show. This must mean that regular people in the MCU know what the reality is when it comes to that Avengers battle in New York.
But then, in episode 3 we have that huge Pym arrow that creates the show’s biggest plot hole. We already explained it halfway through Hawkeye, which boils down to this: A retired Avenger (Hawkeye) has access to a scarce resource (Pym particles) and there’s no oversight from any governing body, whether it’s the Avengers leaders or the actual government.
In the Hawkeye finale, we see Clint using a Pym arrow again. He turns a van into a toy, and he tells Kate he has no idea what will happen to the unfortunate bros in the car. So Clint has access to Pym particles on a whim now after Endgame? Even without necessarily understanding the implications of this technology?
Will Ant-Man be a leading Avenger?
Hawkeye plot holes aside, there’s a subliminal Ant-Man theme here. Like it or not, you’ll think about Scott Lang throughout the show, despite the fact that he doesn’t appear himself. We know from the story that Ant-Man is a pretty big hero now. This is a big change. Remember how those children in Endgame wanted to take a picture with Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and they had no idea who Ant-Man was?
Even Kate doesn’t seem too concerned about the special arrows that shrink or enlarge common objects and people. So she must be quite familiar with Ant-Man’s work.
But why is Marvel quietly promoting Ant-Man like this? We do know that Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania will be a huge story for the MCU. It’ll bring us more multiverse action and introduce Kang again (Jonathan Majors). Not to mention that the previous Ant-Man stories were important for establishing the multiverse and setting up a key Endgame plot detail. Without Ant-Man, no one would’ve had the idea for the time heist.
With that in mind, we can’t help but wonder whether Lang’s role inside the Avengers team will grow significantly following the events of Endgame. We’ll probably have to wait for Ant-Man 3 to answer the question — Quantumania premieres on July 28th, 2023. But we’ll surely be on the lookout for more signs of Ant-Man in the MCU, and in Marvel TV shows that follow Hawkeye.