Tuesday 13 April 2021

Captain America's shattered legacy

Spoilers for Marvel Studios' The Falcon and the Winter Soldier streaming on Disney+. If you haven't caught up with, or started watching, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and don't want to find out what's going on, please look away from the screen now.

WandaVision, with its mystery box storytelling and multiverse speculation amped to the nth degree by a certain cameo, was water-cooler television. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier initially garnered a slightly more muted response on social media as it premiered the same week as Zack Snyder's Justice League on HBO Max. However, the Disney+ series serves as a compelling sequel to Captain America: Civil War.

The spin-off series deftly explores Sam Wilson's (Anthony Mackie) reluctance to adopt Captain America's iconic shield and Bucky Barnes' (Sebastian Stan) PTSD as the infamous Winter Soldier now freed of Zemo's (Daniel Brühl) brainwashing.

However, John Walker’s (Wyatt Russell) Captain America has disrupted the status quo and is a superhero with the moral compass of The Boys on Amazon Prime. Blood was spilt following the death of Walker's right-hand man Lemar Hoskins AKA Battlestar (Clé Bennett), which is something Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) would never have countenanced.

Like WandaVision, grief and loss haunt our intrepid band of heroes in the wake of the cataclysmic Thanos Blip, and I welcome these recurring themes as they're eminently relatable. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has avoided the temptation of a simple reset for Phase 4 following the decade-spanning Infinity Saga.

Marvel Studios has shared a mid-season sneak peek teasing an epic showdown between Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes and Captain America - not my Captain America.

New episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiere every Friday exclusively on Disney+.

What are your The Falcon and the Winter Soldier theories? Let me know in the comments below.

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