Hawkeye: What’s hidden in plain sight in episode 3

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios' HAWKEYE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /
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Hawkeye, Hawkeye episode 3, Kate Bishop, Hawkeye Easter Eggs
Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop in Marvel Studios’ HAWKEYE. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2021. All Rights Reserved. /

Hawkeye’s Trick Arrows

Why is it that every archer-based superhero has an arsenal of trick arrows along with regular arrows? They certainly can be less lethal (sort of) than an actual arrow. They also tap into the silly and goofy fun that is comics. Besides, everybody likes gadgets, especially complex ones that are hidden in what are ordinarily simple items.

In any case, since the show is about two archers with near superhuman aiming skills, it was a given that Clint and Kate would be firing off some trick arrows. What you may not know is that most of the trick arrows they were firing off do come from the original comics. Moreover, both the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe and Avengers: Roll Call #1 actually list every single arrow Clint has ever used. So for comparison’s sake, we’ll go over which trick arrow was used by both Clint and Kate during the episode and see whether it matches up with one Clint, as Hawkeye, ever uses:

  • The Putty arrow – Yes.
  • The Explosive arrow – Yes. However, Clint technically has two different types: an “Explosive-Tip Arrow,” which contains plastic explosive, and a “Rocket Arrow,” which is essentially a rocket-propelled grenade.
  • The Plunger arrow – Yes, though it’s technically called the “Suction Cup Arrow.” And it’s utilized in the same way Clint uses it during this episode – for getting a grip on the surface of something that’s moving at high speed.
  • The… whatever kind of arrow that was that snared all the Christmas Trees – Sort of.  The arrow Kate fires (and yells “What the hell kind of arrow was that?!”) seems to incorporate elements of three different trick arrows that Clint carries: a “Cable Arrow,” a “Bola Arrow,” and a “Net Arrow”
  • The Acid Arrow – Yes. This was also one of the arrows Clint used during the car chase from Hawkeye Vol. 4 #3, as well.
  • The Smoke Bomb Arrow – Yes. In the episode, it also seems to function as a kind of tear gas. And yes, Clint also has a “Tear Gag Arrow,” too, along with a “Sleeping Gas Arrow.”
  • The Pym Particles Arrow – Yes, and in this case it works as a two-in-one Easter Egg. First, it’s a callback to the original comics in that Clint used Pym Particle Arrowheads to enlarge himself as Goliath.  And it works as callback to when Clint fired Scott Lang/Ant-Man during the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War (2016), which was itself a homage to the cover of Avengers Vol. 1 #223.
  • The USB Arrow – No, but this makes the second time in a Marvel Studios/Disney Plus series that we’ve seen this trick arrow. The first time it was used – and used properly – was in “What If…Ultron Won?” from What If…?
  • The Grappling Hook Arrow – Sort of. In the comics, he had different versions of a trick arrow that fired a line and retractable grappling hook. However, if you take a closer look at how the grappling arrow works in the episode, and in other MCU movies, the grappling hook and cable actually shoots from Clint’s bow and is not a trick arrow.