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7 Things We Hope Happen in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”

Fan theory: They'll change the name of the show to "Cap's Chaps."

Graham Steinberg · 4 months ago

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is premiering this Friday and will bring us back to the more grounded and gritty parts of the MCU. I have been waiting for this well over a year now, which gave me plenty of time to do (too much) research on all the fan theories, from the expected ones to the completely far-fetched ones. Let’s speculate wildly!

1. Isaiah Bradley appears and reveals Captain America’s more sinister history.

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Marvel

When it was announced that Carl Lumbly (Doctor Sleep, Supergirl) was joining the series in an as-of-yet undisclosed role, many speculated that he would play Isaiah Bradley, a Black soldier who was involuntarily experimented on during the early Super-Soldier Serum trials. His origin is likely based on the real-life Tuskegee Experiments. Showrunner Malcolm Spellman has promised that the series will include a frank discussion on race relations in the United States. This could be a natural evolution of The Winter Soldier’s realistic political elements while also discussing America’s troubling past.

2. U.S. Agent will go absolutely bonkers.

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Marvel

It is all but assured that the series will follow Captain America comic books of the 1980s (starting with issue #323) where Steve Rogers retires and is replaced by John Walker after Sam Wilson is considered for the role. But whether Walker will be a villain or an ally has yet to be determined. He will likely falter at being Captain America (otherwise, the show would be called U.S. Agent, right?), but he goes completely insane in the process in the comics. I’d really like to see this take on it.

3. Flag-Smasher will be a significant villain (or anti-hero).

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Disney/Marvel

We have confirmation that Erin Kellyman (Solo: A Star Wars Story) will be playing Karli Morgenthau, a gender-swapped version of Flag-Smasher. In the comics, Flag-Smasher is the son of a banker turned vigilante who believes that society must do away with governments and nationalist sentiment. It is the most potent counter to Captain America’s personification of U.S. exceptionalism seen in the comics. It would play very well into what the writing team seems set on accomplishing with the series.

4. It will set up the Thunderbolts.

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Marvel

Okay, this is yet another “we want more anti-heroes” theory. There have been rumors for years about the Thunderbolts’ arrival and who’d be on that team. Most bets are Red Hulk, Abomination, Ghost, Zemo (who is confirmed for TFTWS), and possibly Bucky will be among its ranks. Speculation intensified after the announcement of Black Widow, where two more members, Taskmaster and Yelena Belova, are set to appear. With Zemo set to be a lead in the series and rumors of possible introductions for Songbird and Jolt, this could be the first place we see reference to the Thunderbolts now that Black Widow has been pushed back. I so desperately want to see the MCU’s answer to the Suicide Squad, so I may just be grasping at straws.

5. We’ll see more of our heroes’ backgrounds and learn more about their personal lives.

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Disney

Sam, Bucky, and Sharon Carter have always existed in Steve Rogers’ shadow, even though they have been in the MCU for almost a decade (even longer in Bucky’s case). We have yet to learn much about any of them beyond their connections to Captain America. Spellman has already promised that his series will be more willing to step away from the action and into the lives of our leads. That is always a welcome addition in my book, and I can’t wait for some in-depth character studies.

6. It’s probably going to be a buddy cop comedy.

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Disney

This has been confirmed from the trailers and their awkwardly long blinking contest, but I am excited to see a lot of humor in this series come from the relationship between Bucky and Sam. They’ve proven in the past (through very limited interactions) that they have good chemistry, and this will be a great place to let their relationship shine.

7. Sam Wilson wears the suit.

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Disney / Marvel

If Sam doesn’t become Captain America or at least try on the outfit once before the end of the series, all us fans will be thoroughly disappointed. Who wouldn’t want to see that?!