Captain America’s Wingmen Get the Spotlight

New Disney+ original series “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” proves promising thus far

Just when you thought his story was over, Captain America’s back—well, sort of. Disney+’s latest original series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” follows Sam Wilson aka Falcon (portrayed by Anthony Mackie) and James “Bucky” Barnes aka the Winter Soldier (portrayed by Sebastian Stan) in a “post-Blip” world, a term used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to describe life after Thanos’ infamous snap in “Avengers: Infinity War.” Like “The Mandalorian” and “WandaVision,” Disney+ is releasing one new episode of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” every Friday. This action-packed buddy series has proven to be promising thus far. Warning: spoilers ahead.

In “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Sam and Bucky team up to fight the Flag Smashers, an antipatriot terrorist organization with the goal of tearing down national borders and creating a one-world civilization. Perhaps most worrisome is that the members of the Flag Smashers seem to have super soldier powers not unlike those granted to Steve Rogers aka Captain America in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” powers that were thought to have been his alone. 

    In addition to their battle with the Flag Smashers, Sam and Bucky also struggle to not only live up to, but also live out, Captain America’s legacy. Following Steve Rogers relinquishing his shield to Sam in “Avengers: Endgame,” Sam decides to give it up, much to Bucky’s dismay. However, the American government thinks differently, and decides to recast Captain America. The new Captain America is a soldier named John Walker (portrayed by Wyatt Russell) who humbly takes up the mantle of Captain America. Walker, joined by his partner Lemar Hoskins aka Battlestar (portrayed by Clé Bennett), attempts to befriend Sam and Bucky multiple times, despite the latter two’s constant rejections. Whether Sam and Bucky will befriend the new Captain America remains a mystery. 

    The series also spends time expanding the inner lives of Sam and Bucky. Sam struggles to support his family’s shrimping boat and experiences blatant racism at the hands of the bank and police officers. Meanwhile, Bucky wrestles with his PTSD and newly found freedom after being released from being a brainwashed HYDRA assassin for decades. Sam and Bucky, both of whom were blipped, struggle to reconnect with family and/or friends after having been gone for five years.  

    “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” currently ranks high with both the public and critics. As of March 30, the show holds a rating of 8.1/10 on IMDb and a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.The writers at Den of Geek gave episodes one and two a rating of 3 and 4.5 out of 5, respectively, reflecting the generally positive attitude towards the series thus far with some reservations. Memes denouncing the new Captain America, often coupled with the hashtag #NotMyCap, have spread through the Internet like a wildfire, with varying degrees of seriousness and irony. 

Given such generally positive feedback, fans eager for Marvel’s signature high-speed chases and high-tech battles are likely to be thoroughly entertained by “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” 

Author: Kassandra Klein | Copy Editor

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