This Friday’s installment of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier (which may or may not be the series finale but certainly the season finale) did a fantastic job of laying down the gauntlet on the current status quo of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sam took his rightful place as the new Captain America and rocked the costume he has donned so well in the comics. Comic book costumes don’t always translate well to real life but Marvel always seems to find a way to stay true to the costume’s origin while tweaking it just enough that it feels like something you would see on the street. The same can be said for John Walker’s new uniform, which is also a direct translation from the comics.
While WandaVision absolutely changed the face of the MCU that was also a much more contained story. Falcon and the Winter Soldier plays out on a worldwide scale with far reaching ramifications. The biggest of which is, of course, that there is now a black Captain America. The episode wastes no time addressing all the issues that come with that both positive and negative. Sam has a speech near the end that is so powerful and so dead on about institutional racism that he needs to be given an award right then and there. There is zero doubt Sam is made to wear the shield and he makes it his own rather than a direct copy of Steve Rogers. He is the Captain America the world needs now.
Marvel has to be commended for their long-term casting choices. Sebastian Stan has fantastic chemistry with Anthony Mackie and both were great fits with Chris Evans Captain America. They seem to be genuinely having fun in the roles and both have really come into their own through the series, something that is well deserved.
The question now is, where do we go from here? That’s complicated but expect it to play out in the next couple of years in not only a recently announced Captain America film starring Anthony Mackie in the lead but several TV shows that will star minor characters from this show. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.