The Falcon and The Winter Soldier introduced yet another character that will be pivotal to the journey of Sam Wilson in his pursuit of taking the mantle left to him by Captain America. Set after the events of “The Blip,” while everyone was trying to get back on their feet, some who were blipped back are trying to keep up and catch up with the lost time of 5 years.
The canon series follows the adventures of Sam Wilson aka The Falcon, and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier as they take on the world post-Captain America. It is a weekly treat exclusively streaming on Disney+ where the whole series will be having six episodes throughout, one even has the option to stream the series in 4k.
Given that the series is action-packed, there are some scenes of violence that are deemed not safe to kids and it is given the rating of rated 16+. With the turn of events in only two episodes, there are a lot of new characters revealed such as Joaquin Torres, and the new man who dons the Captain America suit and shield, John Walker.
Among the newly introduced characters is Isaiah Bradley.
Warning! This portion may contain spoilers for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Read at your own risk!
In Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, The Star-Spangled Man, Bucky introduced Sam a guy in Baltimore to prove his point that Sam shouldn’t have turned over the shield to the government as they would not know how to handle it.
It could be remembered that in the past, Steve Rogers was made as part of the marketing to support those in the war, a cliché example of how the government will be using the shield.
As they arrived in Baltimore, they met a soldier who Bucky introduced to be one who served in the Korean War: Isaiah Bradley. And along with his introduction is a glimpse of a dark past in the MCU.
Isaiah was one of the hundreds of African-American soldiers who were forced by the government to participate in the trials that killed almost all those who participated in the experiment of the US government – a replication of the application of the Super Soldier Serum for the creation of soldiers like Captain America.
The government was perfectly masking the situation: when one dies, they send a letter to inform the parties that the person died in combat or some other reason close to being in a war. Isaiah, however, survived the lethal trials.
Because he has the super-soldier serum in him, he was the first-ever Black person to take the mantle of Captain America. Note that during this time, Captain America was already on ice and only his shield was found. He took Captain America’s shield and did various missions in Europe. He was sentenced by the US government when he came home and the ground is for stealing the shield.
Along with the inauguration of JFK is the secret pardon for Isaiah. However, he already served 30 years in jail where he was tested almost every day, people constantly take his blood samples, those coming in and out of his cell as if he is a guinea pig in a trap. These years did not do any good on him as his mind deteriorated as a result of the serum put in him.
Today, he is with his grandson, Elijah Bradley, possibly another yet to be an important character in the MCU as he, along with Billy and Wiccan, the children of Wanda introduced in WandaVision, seems to be setting up the Young Avengers.
This holds so much significance especially when Sam has been facing various racial issues such as when he was given a racial profile by the police. This is not something uncommon, in fact, even today, this has been a continuous fight, even with a worldwide campaign of Black Lives Matter. For years, Marvel has been going for diversification, inclusion, and proper representation.
Sam is holding back in taking the shield because there is a show of some parts where he feels that the shield belongs to someone else, he even questioned how the world would react to having a black Captain America, and how the shield carries with it the ideals of the American nation of freedom, will-power, and choice.
With the introduction of Isaiah Bradley, his character sets a precedent and could be a push for Sam to fully accept what has been given to him: the mantle of Captain America, one that Captain America himself chose. Bucky sure is disappointed in Sam’s choice of turning over the shield but it is not too late to fully stand up and man up to become the new Captain America.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier airs every Friday on Disney+.