New Beginnings for Marvel


photo (c) Marvel

Jackie Sibila, Staff Writer

Longing. Rusted. Seventeen. Daybreak. Furnace. Nine. Benign. Homecoming. One. Freight car. Any true Marvel fan will immediately recognize the infamous words that trigger Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier. These words, which have not been heard since “Captain America: Civil War,” have reappeared in the new mini-series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” The show dives into the complex narrative of Bucky Barnes’s life after he lets go of his assassin ways, as well as post-snap Avenger Sam Wilson, the Falcon. It’s jam-packed with action, plot twists and tributes to beloved characters. However, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” isn’t just about Bucky and Sam. Real-world issues are incorporated to highlight their prevalence in today’s world.

The show takes place after “Avengers Endgame’’, separately portraying the lives of Bucky and Sam. Bucky has been pardoned by the government, now requiring therapy since he must be a normal civilian. He attempts to make amends with people he hurt as the Winter Soldier, a mind-controlled assassin. One of the first topics the show touched on was Bucky’s PTSD. Instead of brushing off his trauma, he has to learn to overcome his nightmares and self-hatred head-on. Bucky’s given new development that displays the beginning of his healing process without the Winter Soldier.

But Bucky isn’t the only one navigating a new life. Sam contemplates what to do with the shield bequeathed to him by Steve Rogers. He ultimately hands it to the U.S. government, choosing to only remain the Falcon. Bucky and Sam then team up to investigate a rebel group known as the Flag-Smashers who want to unite the world, though violently by killing with their super-soldier strength.

This quest leads them to Baltimore, where Bucky introduces Sam to another super-soldier in hopes of gaining information about the newly created super-soldier serums. The audience soon finds out that there had been a Black super-soldier for years and the government had hidden it. This man, Isaiah, had been a hero, but because of his race, he was denied the recognition, respect and humane treatment he deserved. In addition, when Bucky and Sam are arguing outside, a cop shows up and asks Bucky if Sam, who is Black, is bothering him. This show touches on the topic of racism and this scene exemplifies the dangerous treatment of Black Americans in this country.

It is imperative that platforms such as TV shows touch on topics such as these. Not only does it raise awareness and bring this topic to the forefront, but it also gives the viewer the perspective of seeing the discrimination firsthand, assisting in the acceptance that something must be done about this. It demonstrates the hypocrisy of Captain America, both Steve Rogers and John Walker (the “new” Captain) fitting a specific type, while supposing to represent everyone in our country. Incorporating the topic of racism into The Falcon and The Winter Soldier gives educational value to the show and gives the message that the treatment of Black Americans must be changed.

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” has done a great job of integrating these heavy topics into an engaging plot. Audiences remain entertained throughout with the return of Zemo—the antagonist back from “Captain America: Civil War”—introducing the Flag-Smashers and the new Captain America, John Walker. The season had a satisfying ending with Sam finally wielding the shield and taking down the Flag-Smashers, while Bucky lets go of his past and accepts what good life can be.