After the End: Falcon and the Winter Soldier

2020 was the first year without any content from the Marvel Cinematic Universe since 2009. A streak of 10 years lost. This is more heart-breaking than losing an 800 day streak on Snapchat. Anyway, I think a year break might be a good thing. One the one hand, it means we have to wait longer for Black Widow’s last ride, Vision’s resurrection and whatever the hell the Eternals will be about.

However, it also gives us time to reflect on the MCU so far. And more importantly, it gives us time to make our predictions on the future! In this series, I’ll be collecting the predictions and writing my biggest hopes for the future of Marvel. (Spoilers ahead: DUH).

The next few articles in this series will be looking at the legacies some of the Avengers have left behind and how they will develop into their own characters. Today we start with the undeniable leader of the Avengers, Captain America.

We’ve already established his legacy, passing his mantle on to the Falcon (Anthony Mackie). Thus Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be exploring what to do with the huge burden Sam (Anthony) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) have been given.

However, of course, this journey is going to take a while. In fact, I think at the end of all this, the series may differ from the comics and not have the Falcon take on the Captain America role whatsoever. I’ll explain more in that later.

Like I already said, this series will be a journey. I do love how we jump from sitcom mystery to spy superhero mystery. Sam and Bucky might have the symbol of Captain America, his mighty shield, but they do not have a reputation deserving of it yet.

Bucky Barnes spent most of the last hundred or so years as a Hydra assassin and when he wasn’t being controlled, he was a fugitive. The doctors in Wakanda have probably helped with his mind control but he probably still has a lot of trauma to deal with.

And this is without the whole being dead for 5 years and resurrecting in Endgame. Likewise, Sam Wilson had also been a fugitive before his 5 years stay in the underworld. Both characters can’t just continue being heroes and act like everything is normal.

Hence why they’re going to THERAPYYYYY. Although I don’t think they should be top of the list of superheroes that should get therapy. Looking at you Wanda.

Behold, a 3rd candidate for Captain America. The government cannot really act like Earth’s greatest hero is dead so in comes US Agent (Wyatt Russell), the government’s replacement.

I think the series will focus mostly on this clash between the protagonist and the government, which is the perfect ground for strategic trickster Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) to make his triumphant return to the MCU.

I think by the end, the US Agent will get too cocky and get heavily injured or worse. Alternatively, he may have to cross some lines to get the job done but cross one too many.

No matter what, I’m expecting a big plot twist, especially after all we’ve gone through with WandaVision.

Oooooh Bucky got a new arm! Credit: Marvel Studios

However, as I’ve already mentioned, the shield and title of Captain America may be put to rest after this series.  Maybe not forever but I feel like Marvel may not make Falcon into Captain America like this. The Falcon needs to become more significant in his own capacity before he takes on any leadership role.

Both Bucky and Sam have been side characters to Cap story thus far. It would be really weird for everyone to just turn around and make them the most important characters in the MCU.

In addition, I have issues with Sam becoming Captain America. We already have racist fans complaining about the change. I feel like much of the fanbase will be comparing Falcon to this unattainable ideal they see in Steve Rogers.

Whilst I am not against having Captain America be a person of colour, I think it needs to be done correctly.

I think having a black person take on the mantle is incredibly important in this political climate. Plus it will be incredibly inspiring seeing a black person as this stoic leader.

However the MCU has not yet shown any evidence as of yet that the Falcon is capable to be that leader. It would be a shame for audiences to treat him like they did Captain Marvel.

Furthermore, I don’t think it would make sense to the characters either. Especially if the rumours are true and Captain America just died in the series. It is a big, BIG, burden to bear and one that will not be taken lightly.

I predict that after all this, and what happens with US Agent and Zemo, they realise that this legacy with Captain America needs to be buried with Steve for something new to be birthed, not tainted by the government’s propaganda. Something that properly represents what Steve Rogers stands for.

Sam and the mighty shield Credit: Marvel Studios

The upcoming Disney+ series will also include some recognisable faces. Batroc the leaper (Georges St-Pierre), the jumpy villain from the beginning of Winter Soldier is back.

I’ve already mentioned Zemo is also returning. He will probably be pulling the strings behind the threat our heroes and the US agent have to clash over.

Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story) will appear for the first time in the MCU. Her character is a member of the anarchist anti-patriotic outfit Flag-Smashers which appear in the trailer.

Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) is back which I am excited for. She, both the actress and the character, has been greatly underutilised. Plus Don Cheadle said that War Machine might make an appearance.

Plus I have a feeling that the series will have some correlation to the Black Widow movie. TFATWS’s original release date was just before Black Widow and MCU is big on connecting stories. There could be a cameo, post-credit scene or similar story arcs.

I guess we have to wait and see. Comment below on what you think might happen.

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