Marvel Studios closed off 2021 with Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye on Disney+, finally giving a solo project to the only member of the original six Avengers who didn't yet have one. Tying back to the events of The Avengers, Avengers: Endgame, and several other classic MCU stories, the Hawkeye series found a way to pay tribute to the character's past while setting up a bright future as well.
While the series largely served as Clint Barton's first solo story, these six episodes also gave Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop her first chance to shine in the MCU spotlight.
Due to both heroes' stories being told simultaneously, Marvel had an even bigger opportunity than usual for Easter eggs to be included throughout the series. From multiple references to Paul Rudd's Ant-Man to early teases for Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin, Hawkeye certainly made the most of Marvel's material from the big screen and comics alike.
This series decided to kick off the trip down memory lane right from the beginning by starting Episode 1 with a flashback to the Battle of New York in 2012's The Avengers. Part of that scene even included an Easter egg from that same movie that nobody caught for weeks... until now.
Hulk's Cameo in Hawkeye Disney+ Show
The Direct has confirmed a Hulk-sized hidden cameo in Hawkeye's premiere with ILM Visual Effects Supervisor Vincent Papaix.
Following Papaix's interview with befores & afters, during which he shared that his VFX team "managed to actually hide one Avenger that nobody has found yet" in Episode One of Hawkeye, The Direct gave the premiere an additional watch with a careful eye out for unnoticed details.
During the opening flashback taking place during The Avengers' 2012 Battle of New York, a young Kate Bishop stands in shock when she finds a gaping hole in her apartment's living room caused by the innercity carnage.
As the shot frames Kate staring at the alien-invaded Stark Tower in front of her, fans can spot Hulk leaping up through the air on the left side of the tower.
Unfortunately for the big green guy, a Chitauri soldier spots him mid-air and blasts him with its alien weaponry, resulting in an explosion that sends Hulk spiraling into an opposite building.
The Direct reached out to Papaix about the hidden detail, and the VFX veteran confirmed with us that that is, in fact, Hulk's secret cameo:
"It is indeed Hulk jumping from building to building and getting a blast from a Chitauri weapon."
Hulk Smash, Kate Bishop Watch
Hawkeye incorporated plenty of Avengers-level Easter eggs to connect its serialized story to the larger MCU with nods to various characters from all 14 years of the franchise's history. Even with fans looking at every single frame of material for nods like these, it's fairly impressive that the Hulk appearance hasn't come to light until nearly three months after the show debuted.
Mark Ruffalo's Hulk played an appropriately big role in the Battle of New York, finally unleashing his anger again as the Avengers assembled in front of Grand Central Station. He then proceeded to leap into the air with ease and take out every Chitauri soldier in his way, which is what Kate laid eyes on as she saw Earth's Mightiest Heroes defend the world from the invasion.
For being one of the biggest heroes in MCU history, it's something of a minor miracle that the Hulk managed to slip past viewers for such a long time. Whether any more hidden cameos like this will come in the future is a mystery, but this surely won't be the last time fans are looking out for the massive green Avenger in Phase 4.
All six episodes of Hawkeye are available to stream on Disney+.