If there’s one thing most people know about Marvel Studios, it’s that it likes to find ways to create links between its productions. One of the key ways the company does this is by adding cool cameos here and there. For instance, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier featured a certain character who also popped up in Black Widow. Likewise, Loki had a show-changing surprise that involved a Thor alum. The holiday-themed Hawkeye had its share of treats as well but, now, it would appear the show also included a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo from a certain OG Avenger.
What’s incredibly cool about Marvel Studios’ projects is that a number of the people working on them are fans themselves. This is the case when it comes to ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Vincent Papaix, who oversaw post-production on Hawkeye. The visual artist recently chatted with befores & afters, during which he revealed that his team managed to “hide one Avenger that nobody has found yet.” Well, The Direct did a rewatch and seemed to spot said hero during the first episode’s opening scene. The site later reached out to Papaix, who confirmed the assumption:
The show kicks off with a flashback to the Battle of New York, which took place in 2012. The exciting sequence sees a young Kate Bishop watch the Chitauri’s assault on the city from her damaged penthouse. It’s during this scene that Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton also unknowingly saves her life. However, while Kate is looking at the destruction, the leaping Hulk can be seen in the distance. It’s a cameo that not even the most observant fans could catch the first time around, so kudos to the visual effects team for slipping in such a sly Easter egg.
MCU cameos can vary by production, with some being more obvious than others. For instance, Nick Fury’s debut at the end of 2008’s Iron Man was very straightforward (though still exciting). But on the other hand, Eternals featured a major cameo that some viewers may not have caught the first time. During the closing minutes of the second end credits scene, one could briefly hear the voice of Mahershala Ali’s Blade. Needless to say, Marvel Studios can find plenty of ways to reveal or conceal characters, even one as big as the Hulk.
Speaking of the Green Goliath, Hawkeye technically marked his first appearance in an MCU venture since 2019’s Avengers: Endgame. That’s about to change, though, as Mark Ruffalo’s powerful hero is set to return in She-Hulk later this year. And based on what we know about the Disney+ show, Banner is going to play a key role in ushering his cousin, Jennifer Walters, into the sprawling cinematic universe.
But before that show sees the light of day, I may just have to rewatch Clint Barton’s series, in case there are even more cameos or Easter eggs. If the creative team was able to sneak in someone like Hulk, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s another treasure or two that’s yet to be found.
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