The Avengers began with a shock cameo when Nick Fury approached Tony Stark about the Initiative. Since then, the last second cameo has been a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, right up to Harry Styles making a much-anticipated appearance in Eternals.
With Hawkeye now winding down, could the shocking final reveal involve a notorious Phase Four villain... and Kate’s extended family? Here’s everything you need to know.
TikTokker @maggiewgrace connected some huge dots about who Kate’s aunt could be. While she’s out of town, Kate and Clint take up residence in her New York apartment as they plan their defense against the Tracksuit Mafia. And in Episode 4, Kate can be seen standing in front of a menorah. This doesn’t seem like a huge deal... until you consider the fact that Contessa Valentina, the villain assembling a team that includes John Walker and Yelena Belova, is canonically Jewish.
Could Kate’s mysterious aunt be Valentina? Maybe she married a Count and became a Contessa. There’s more evidence of the aunt’s Judaism too: a mezuzah, a parchment inscribed with Torah verses, is attached to the doorway seen when Kate and Clint first enter the apartment in Episode 2.
Could Valentina appear in the last two episodes of Hawkeye? Maybe she’s the person Eleanor was seen talking to on the phone. Or maybe she’ll have a cameo, even if it’s just to get her apartment back after having it hijacked by her niece.
The inclusion of a menorah and mezuzah is more than just production design; some fans have criticized the Christmas focus of Hawkeye considering the Jewish roots of Marvel’s founders and the fact that Hailee Steinfeld is Jewish. And it’s worth noting that Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who portrays Contessa Valentina, is of partly Jewish descent herself.
Though Hawkeye ignores the religious elements of Christmas, instead focusing on the holiday’s materialism and and cultural aspects, acknowledging that Kate has Jewish ties — even if those ties are to a supervillain — could ensure that more than one holiday is recognized.
The world of Hawkeye, and the world of the MCU, is mostly secular. The closest thing Marvel has to gods are Thor and Loki. But the existence of Christmas implies some acknowledgement of religion, and the inclusion of a menorah and mezuzah shows that this world worships more than just the Avengers.
Some people may find hope in superheroes, but it’s nice to know that in the darkest times of the MCU, whether that’s the dead of winter or the post-Blip fallout, there’s evidence that some people are finding hope in religion, just like billions do in the real world. And hey, maybe it’s also the secret to Hawkeye’s biggest cameo, which is saying something considering Yelena’s appearance.
Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.