How Hawkeye Could Be Introducing The Netflix Marvel Universe To The MCU

This week's episode of Hawkeye included a very special cameo from a (potentially) familiar face.

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With Hawkeye on Disney+ already hitting the half-way point and Spider-Man: No Way Home just around the corner, the MCU's banner 2021 is gearing up to close out the year with a bang--and, as it turns out, all those theories the internet has been collectively melting down over with regard to the inclusion of some non-MCU Marvel characters might actually be onto something. And no, we're not talking about all the Sony characters showing up in No Way Home.

In the third episode of Hawkeye, appropriately titled "Echoes," we got our first look into the life of Maya Lopez, the titular Echo, a deaf anti-hero turned hero from Marvel comics who is making her official MCU debut in the show. Played by Alaqua Cox, this version of Maya has a personal vendetta against Ronin, who took out her family on his bloody, serial-killing rampage during the space between Infinity War and Endgame. This all deviates a bit from her comic book origin--though not as much as you might think.

Several times in the episode, both during flashbacks to Maya's childhood and the present day, we see and hear nods to Maya's "uncle." He's even featured just off-screen in one of the flashback moments--though interestingly, no name for him appears in the credits, though anyone who knows the Netflix Marvel universe well enough is likely to recognize both the voice and the hand featured in the scene. That's because in the comics, Maya's uncle is none other than Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin, who adopted her as his own after he murdered her father.

Obviously, that's not exactly what's happening here--Maya's father is working for Fisk in some capacity or another, and Ronin is the one doing the murdering--but the end result is still ultimately the same. Now it's not entirely clear if this version of Fisk is actually Vincent D'Onofrio reprising his role from the Netflix shows or if the brief mostly-off-camera moment in the episode was just someone who sounded suspiciously like him, and because the credits don't clarify we're left with nothing but speculation at this point.

However, given the present day moments of the episode and the fact that the Tracksuit Mafia seems to be tied up in Kingpin's business, it seems inevitable that a reveal for the official MCU Kingpin is going to happen at some point in the show. After all, we can't forget that the Tracksuits were looking for something very specific during their heist at the auction (a mysterious watch) under someone's orders. What Fisk would want with a watch remains to be seen, but it does seem like the sort of thing only an obsessive man with a ton of power and disposable resources would be after.

This, of course, doesn't actually guarantee that the Fisk we'll be seeing will actually be the Fisk from the Netflix world. Even if D'Onofrio is reprising the character, it could be a situation similar to J.K. Simmons and his reprisal of J. Jonah Jameson for Spider-Man: Far From Home--though with all the upcoming universe-hopping about to go down in No Way Home, there's never been a better time to bend the rules of reality in the MCU. And, if D'Onofrio really is about to be making his official MCU debut, who's to say we couldn't see a reveal of the rest of Netflix's NYC eventually coming into the mix? Afterall, Echo has already been confirmed to be getting her very own spin-off show on Disney+, which could provide even more space for the MCU to slowly roll out re-introductions to familiar characters that would organically be part of Echo's world.

Do you think the MCU should make the effort to bring the Netflix characters back to the small-screen? Or would you rather see the likes of The Defenders and their enemies re-cast as new actors for a new cinematic universe? Let us know in the comments.

New episodes of Hawkeye debut on Disney+ every Wednesday.

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