Hawkeye’s Kingpin reveal was a massive moment in episode 5 of the series, and it also expertly mocked the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s leak problems.
Warning: SPOILERS for Hawkeye episode 5.
Hawkeye episode 5’s Kingpin reveal was a massive moment for the Disney+ series, and it also mocked the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s leak problems. Unfortunately, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) can’t catch a break in Hawkeye. After Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) wears Hawkeye’s old Ronin outfit while fighting criminals, the master archer cuts his holiday plans with his kids short. Not wanting Bishop to pay for the crimes he committed while killing criminals as Ronin, Barton teams up with the young archer to take on the Tracksuit Mafia and its commander, Alaqua Cox’s Echo/Maya Lopez. Barton plans to take care of the problems and make it home for Christmas, but it seems that won’t be the case.
Marvel’s new Disney+ series is full of villains. In addition to the Tracksuit Mafia and Maya Lopez, Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh) joins the series in episode 4, looking to take revenge on Clint Barton for Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson) death. But she didn’t just show up of her own accord. Episode 5 reveals that Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga), Kate’s mother, hired the Black Widow assassin to murder Hawkeye. The series also includes a mysterious “big guy” who’s above even Maya in the Tracksuit Mafia hierarchy.
Of course, Hawkeye episode 5 revealed the “big guy” behind the scenes was secretly Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, and the moment trolled Marvel’s leak problems. For weeks, Hawkeye fans suspected Kingpin would show up in the series, partly due to leaks saying the character would appear. As a result, viewers regularly shared Kingpin images and gifs online, and episode 4 even brought fan disappointment when Kingpin failed to appear. Then, in episode 5, Kingpin finally makes his debut after Yelena texts Kate Bishop an image of Eleanor meeting with Fisk. As a result, Kingpin’s highly-anticipated debut was a low-quality image, much like the leaks that fans shared around the internet.
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The Kingpin scene is a perfect Marvel troll. Fans regularly share MCU spoilers online, getting excited about scenes they’ve never seen and sharing disappointment over movies and shows before they air. For instance, supposed Spider-Man: No Way Home spoilers have been going around the internet for months, with fans sharing low-quality images that they claim prove Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire appear in the film. Marvel even goes out of its way to prevent leaks, making its talent regularly shoot promos asking fans to keep spoilers to themselves. Now, after weeks of Kingpin leaks spreading online, the character made his big MCU debut in what’s essentially a low-quality smartphone video/image. The highly-anticipated scene looks exactly like something fans would share in leaks.
Though the moment appears to mock MCU leakers, it’s likely unintentional. Though Marvel discourages fans from sharing leaks online, the studio obviously wants people to get excited about the actors in its projects. Marvel wouldn’t intentionally undercut a character’s debut simply to get back at leakers. In the end, Kingpin’s debut is still a significant moment for both the MCU and Hawkeye. It’s just an accidental Marvel troll as well.