A new captain for a new generation of the Marvel Universe

Celia Vedder, staff writer

Though Disney+’s explosive limited series “Falcon and Winter Soldier” has come to an end, the producers of the show have managed to pack a lot of action into the five-episode miniseries. The series follows Marvel’s beloved Sam Wilson (Falcon) and the troubled Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) following the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” This time, the two soldiers confront an anti-nationalist rebellion known as the Flag Smashers, as well as an ill-intentioned new Captain America. 

One antagonist of the show is Karli Morgenthau, the leader of the Flag Smasher rebellion, whose goal is to restore the peace that once was when half of the world’s population disappeared as a result of Thanos’s actions in Avengers: Infinity War. She has good intentions, but they execute poorly due to the rebellion’s violent nature. John Walker, who begins as a figurehead Captain America, has character development that will keep you on your toes. In the beginning he appears to our antagonist with his arrogant personality and short temper. It doesn’t get any better when his partner, Lemar Hoskins, played by Cle Bennett,  his military partner, dies in a fight between the Flag Smashers. In the end, he is able to dig himself out of this hole of misery and redeem himself by joining forces with the Falcon and Winter Soldier. 

We are also reminded of some familiar faces from past Marvel movies, such as Baron Zemo: the Sokovian, anti-Avenger from “Captain America: Civil War.” This time, Zemo returns to “help” our misguided heroes in locating the Flag Smashers. We once again encounter Sharon Carter, niece of Steve Rogers’ Captain America love interest, Peggy Carter, who I believe to be the ominous Power Broker of our story. Carter ends the series leaving the audience on a cliffhanger, with her malicious plans for the future of SHIELD. 

Not only is this miniseries packed with action scenes and CGI, but it also covers issues of social justice that affect both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and current social movements. Issues of racism are displayed through the mistreatment of a Black super-soldier named Isaiah Bradley, who details the discrimination he experienced while being tested and tortured by the government because he received the super soldier serum. He poses a challenge to Falcon at the end of episode five by telling him that there will never be a Black Captain America. Sam Wilson accepts this challenge head-on, as he dons his new and improved Captain American suit in the final episode. 

Similar to Disney+’s other Marvel miniseries, WandaVision, Falcon and Winter Soldier have left a lot of expectations riding for the new generation Marvel characters. The new characters and personas, such as US Agent (John Walker), Captain America (Sam Wilson), and Sharon Walker (Power Broker) are sure to return in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.