Introducing a new era of Marvel

Disney+ releases The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as the second original Marvel series

Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes) and Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson) hold Captain America's

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Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes) and Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson) hold Captain America’s “vibranium” shield. Steve Rogers passed the shield to Wilson in the last Avengers’ film.

Emma Siebold, Sports Editor

The era of Captain America has ended after his three solo movies and starring roles throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and his two best friends are taking over his story.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier opens with Sam Wilson, the Falcon, delivering a speech at a memorial service for Steve Rogers. Wilson was given Captain America’s notorious vibranium shield by Rogers himself in Avengers: Endgame, and he begins the series by delivering the shield to a museum in Cap’s memory.

Sam Wilson is first introduced as a veteran in the 2014 film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Using his EXO-7 Falcon technology, Wilson aids Steve Rogers and the late Natasha Romanoff in their fight with Hydra. Bucky Barnes, who first appeared as Steve’s best friend in the 2011 Captain America debut, was taken to Siberia to be experimented on and brainwashed by Hydra (an organization of Nazi scientists).

Barnes, tagged the “Winter Soldier” when he operated as a Hydra assassin, worked for the terrorist group since World War II and is characterized as a tragic, confused antihero (similarly to Loki in the Thor franchise). Though he was once a brainwashed terrorist, Barnes is adored by many, and his fanbase is only growing as he makes amends in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The show tackles Bucky’s PTSD somewhat comically, with the former “Winter Soldier” going to government-mandated therapy sessions. Both Bucky and Sam have to cope with the loss of their friend, but they also need to learn to work together as a team.

Marvel presents socio-economic struggles and racial issues for the first time in the MCU; in the first episode, when the bank refuses to help keep Sam and his sister’s family business afloat, and in the second episode, when Sam and Bucky are confronted by police officers in Baltimore. The police did not see two superheroes talking; they saw a black man and a white man fighting, and Sam was immediately racially profiled as the officers went to Bucky’s defense.

Additionally, Sam’s struggle as a black superhero is illustrated when Bucky introduces him to Isaiah Bradley, a black super-soldier who operated in the 1950s. Sam was shocked to hear of his existence, and wondered how he was not more popular, alluding to either intervention from S.H.I.E.L.D or the government. 

Today marks the publication of the fourth episode, and there will be six throughout the entire season.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is quite incomparable to Disney+’s first Marvel series, WandaVision, which detailed the struggles of Wanda Maximoff after Vision’s death. As an avid Marvel fan, I have long awaited a series dedicated to my two favorite side characters, Sam and Bucky, who I have often found more relatable and entertaining than Steve Rogers.

Overall, TFATWS is a gem that met my standards and introduced real, human problems to the world of super-humans. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, two minor characters in the MCU, are filling the roles left by the deaths of Black Widow, Iron Man and Captain America.