Hawkeye’s Bell Tower Is Named After an Iron Man Villain

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the pilot episode of Hawkeye, now streaming on Disney+.

The first two episodes of Hawkeye were released on Disney+ this week and already featured a number of references to previous MCU projects. Other Marvel shows like Loki had looked back at major events such as the Battle of New York, but Hawkeye made an unexpected reference to one of the first antagonists introduced in the MCU.

The pilot episode played tribute to Iron Man villain Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), whose devious plans led to the creation of Tony Stark's alter-ego. Kate Bishop's (Hailee Steinfeld) introductory scene in the series showed her destroying a historic landmark that bore the name of Tony's former colleague and nemesis.

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Obadiah Stane was Howard Stark's business partner who took over Stark Industries following Howard's death. Once Tony was old enough to run the company himself, Obadiah stepped down an took the role of Tony's right-hand man. Although Tony was the CEO on paper, Obadiah still took charge of major decisions within the company and held a powerful role as a board member.

Growing tired of Tony's irresponsible behavior, Obadiah plotted to have the billionaire playboy kidnapped and killed by the Ten Rings so that he could step back into the role of CEO. His plan backfired as Tony ended up building an armored suit that allowed him to escape and eventually become Iron Man.

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Determined to get rid of Tony, Obadiah took inspiration from the Iron Man prototype to create the much larger Iron Monger armor for himself. He paralyzed Tony and confessed to orchestrating the kidnapping, then went after Pepper Potts to keep her from revealing his betrayal. Tony eventually caught up with him and the two had a fight at the Stark Industries Headquarters that ended with Obadiah dying in an arc reactor explosion.

Obadiah wasn't really mentioned again as the MCU progressed, until the character was referenced in Hawkeye. In the first scene that showed an adult Kate Bishop, the archer climbed onto a rooftop and shot an arrow at a bell in a tower to impress her friends. The bell didn't ring, so she shot another one that turned out to be successful. To her dismay, the second shot caused the bell to collapse and destroyed a portion of the historic bell tower.

A plaque outside the building showed that the bell tower was called Stane Tower. The plaque read, "The oldest university bell tower in the United States. Its cornerstone was placed on October 20, 1725. Rededicated on July 1, 2006 in honor of Obadiah Stane."

It's unclear why the bell tower was named after Obadiah Stane, but he could have been a former student of the school or have made a generous donation at some point. It might seem an odd choice to name a building after him, but Obadiah's legacy was that of a successful businessman who once ran a powerful company. The general public were never told that Obadiah was a villain as his death was covered up by S.H.I.E.L.D., so the school would have no reason to rename the building again.

Iron Man didn't reveal much about Obadiah's life outside of Stark Industries, but the comic book version of the character had a son named Ezekiel. It's possible that the show could even be hinting that the Stane family will potentially play a role as adversaries for the newer generation of Avengers in the future.

To see Obadiah Stane's memory live on, the first two episodes of Hawkeye are currently streaming on Disney+.

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Fatima-Zahra Ahmed (16 Articles Published)

Fatima-Zahra is a freelance writer with a degree in Film and Television studies, with a focus on adult animation. She spends most of her time re-watching Bob's Burgers episodes while playing Pokémon Go (and Sims 4 but don't tell anyone).

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