BY MATT TUCK, THE BLOGGER SUPREME
Instagram @ matt.tuck.writer
Hawkeye has landed, and while the series follows the standard MCU action-comedy formula, there is an overlooked Easter egg that could hint at the coming of the West Coast Avengers. SPOILERS AHEAD
Marvel graced us with two issues of its latest action-comedy. It was entertaining, and I especially enjoyed the Tracksuit Mafia, but as a whole, the debut episodes presented an average Marvel show.
There was nothing inherently bad about Hawkeye, but there also wasn’t anything that made it stand out from WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, or Loki. At this point, it’s just another Marvel show moonlighting as a sitcom that could easily air on ABC alongside Grey’s Anatomy without missing a beat. For that matter, Hailee Steinfeld’s performance was a tad overdone and would have been well suited for an episode of iCarly or any of the cookie-cutter Disney kid sitcoms.
Understandably, there is much more story left to tell, and this is merely the exposition. Hopefully, Hawkeye will break the mold and come into its own as the series moves forward.
THE NEW FACES
When it comes to collecting, nothing beats the almighty first appearances. Buying key issues begins and ends with firsts, and those debuts drive the market like nothing else. When a new comic book movie or an episode of a streaming series drops, collectors and speculators are watching for any new faces to emerge from the crowd. On that front, Hawkeye delivered. Between Kate, Echo, and the Tracksuit Mafia, there was plenty of fodder for your investment dollars.
HAWKEYE #1 (2012)
When Matt Fraction wrote the 2012 Hawkeye series, it quickly became the surprise hit of the year. Alongside the action, it was the humor that helped elevate the series to the top of the sales charts. Much of that was derived from the introduction of the hilariously stereotypical goon squad, the Tracksuit Mafia.
Representing virtually every Russian mobster cliche from any movie or show you can name, what the bros lack in intelligence, they make up for in heinous intentions. Think of them as Marvel’s version of the Minions if the yellow monsters added “bro” to the end of every statement.
Another reason to add this comic to your collections is Lucky the Pizza Dog. He won’t get his own live-action spinoff, but he is destined to be a fan favorite. Kate Bishop rescued the one-eyed mutt from traffic, and she introduced him to cold pizza to make sure we all know this isn’t just any dog. Lucky adds to the lighthearted feel of both the comic and the show, and I imagine he will be a recurring Easter egg after Hawkeye’s first season wraps.
Hawkeye #1 was so popular in 2012 that it warranted five printings. If you happen to have any print graded at a 9.8, you are looking at profits. A first print sold for $275 yesterday, and it should bring more now that Lucky and the Tracksuit Mafia have made their debuts. Then there is the second print, which brought $153 in October. Going down the ladder, the most recent sale for a third print went for $215 in June while the fourth print sold for just $39. Finally, the fifth print earned $185 last month.
It was no secret that Maya Lopez, aka Echo, would appear in Hawkeye, but it was surprising to see her revealed so soon. At the end of the second episode, the Tracksuit Mafia introduces her as their apparent boss. The indication is that she is the mastermind behind the auction house robbery and will be the primary antagonist for both Hawkeyes.
Does anyone really think Echo will be the villain? Maybe she will be the antagonist for an episode or two, but Maya Lopez is set to star in her own live-action series. That means Marvel Studios is playing a game of misdirection, and she will eventually be revealed as a hero in her own right before Echo gears up. Still, this may be a chance to showcase her toughness and brutality to help drive interest in her solo adventures.
The unexpected cameo at the tail end of Episode Two will be enough to add fuel to an already blazing bonfire that is cooking the FMVs for Daredevil #9. After the Disney+ announcements a couple weeks ago, this has been one of the most sought after keys on the market, and the Hawkeye premiere just gave buyers another incentive to get one of their own. There have not been any sales of 9.8s today, but one did reach $750 yesterday. That followed an $850 sale on November 22, which was the first time it had reached that mark since mid-October. As we head into Hawkeye Episode Three, I would expect at least one 9.8 to reach the $900 level.
Whether or not you were acquainted with Jack Duquesne’s alter ego, Hawkeye did not hide the idea that he will be one of the show’s villains. Kate’s future stepfather was presented in over-the-top Silver Age fashion complete with bad guy super ‘stache. In fact, he could have passed for Hanna-Barbera’s Dick Dastardly if the cartoon evildoer were to sport a cheesy turtleneck and blazer combination.
The first episode wasted no time dropping massive hints as to Duquesne’s comic origins, having him steal the Ronin retractable sword before showing off his impressive fencing skills. Whether or not he will be given the actual Swordsman codename is questionable, but the true showdown between Kate and Jack is coming.
In the meantime, collectors will be scrambling for Avengers #19 for Swordsman’s comic debut. A 9.2 sold on eBay earlier today, though the final price has yet to be published on the comic value databases. Over the weekend, a 4.0 brought $147.51, and a 9.4 sold for $1,825 on November 14.
AVENGERS WEST COAST #100
This was more of an Easter egg since Moira Brandon was mentioned but not seen. While she may seem like an unimportant character, but her arrival could signal a future team in the MCU: the West Coast Avengers.
In Hawkeye, after the Tracksuit Mafia set fire to Kate’s apartment, she took up residence in her dear Aunt Moira’s home who is spending the winter in Florida. It was hard not to notice the movie poster hanging in the background with Moira’s name above the title. In the comics, Moira was a former movie star who debuted (and died) in Avengers West Coast #100. Before she breathed her dying breath, Moira gave her estate to the West Coast Avengers. Don’t forget that Kate led a version of the team at one point, and that leads me to wonder if we will see the WCA before the Young Avengers. We should have a better indication by the end of the series.
At the moment, you can add an AWC #100 to your collections for pennies on the dollar. Raw copies sell anywhere from $1.36 to $7. A graded 9.8 is a different story. The last one to sell brought $125 on November 12.
In only two episodes, Hawkeye has already given viewers what they love most about MCU: debuts, cameos, and Easter eggs with a hint of foreshadowing. No doubt, each episode will add more parts to that equation, and there is the persistent rumor that Kingpin will either appear or be the subject of the aforementioned Easter egg. If Vincent D’Onofrio sets foot in Hawkeye, heads will explode across the internet.
Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is a professional writer, avid comic collector, former teacher, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog, or on Instagram at matt.tuck.writer.