Tatiana Joseph-Saunders, Culture Reporter

I was extremely excited about this new Marvel series! I had always craved more background on Bucky Barnes, especially since I had come to favor Captain America and the two are inextricably linked. I also looked forward to the backstory I would be given to Falcon, I didn’t know much about him was eager to learn. 

Another interesting plot point I’d hope the series would address is how Falcon would feel about being a Black man expected to represent America. In the last Avengers movie, Captain America was seen giving his shield Falcon, passing it on it seemed. In this new Marvel DisneyPlus+ series, we see what Falcon chooses to do with it.

The first episode heavily focuses on Sam Wilson and what happens when he’s not being “The Falcon”, I found myself wishing there was more Bucky in the episode. We get the first glimpse of Bucky 17 minutes into the episode, and it seemed like we got more of Sam from afterward. Although I also realize that this is the first lead role The Falcon/Sam Wilson had had in the Marvel cinematic/television universe, so I am not too hung up on it. 

Things I really liked about the first episode were the themes and how viewers get an inside look at the lives of the super beings of the Marvel universe. We see Bucky being resistant in a therapy session and Sam arguing with his sister, Sarah, about money and his tendency to disappear. Speaking of, one of the more important scenes in the first episode takes place when Sam and Sarah are in a local Louisiana bank asking for a loan. This scene shows how systemic racism affects every Black person, even Black heroes, and their families. The Wilsons are not able to get a loan, even though Sam states multiple times how he knows they are eligible and should be able to. The reason they’re given is lackluster at best, purely prejudice at its worst- that given the recent return of millions of people has caused banks to ‘tighten’ restrictions on who can get a loan.

 The show also does not shy away from the uncomfortable and thought-provoking fact that a Black man is expected to represent America and its complex symbol of the flag. I am excited to see more conversations Sam has with why he denied becoming the “new Captain America”.

In the second episode, which premiered on Friday 3/26, viewers finally see Bucky and Sam interact and start the buddy-cop relationship blossom. I also think these episode’s aimed to show how the world may view The Winter Soldier and The Falcon. The “new Captain America” refers to the two as Steve’s “wingmen”, which I personally took offense to, just like Sam did in the scene.

In the second episode we also see the “new Captain America”,  John Walker, fight alongside Sam and Bucky, with his partner “Battlestar”, Lemar Hoskins. If we’re being honest, Sam and Bucky were struggling in the fight against the enemies of this series “The Flag Smashers”, until John and Lemar show up. There was a moment that caught my eye in the fight scene when Bucky held Cap’s shield for the first time with John wielding it. We could even see the realization in Bucky’s eyes afterward, and probably thinking of the last time he did it (with Steve).

We also get a glimpse into just how being Black in the Marvel universe affects characters. We get introduced to Isaiah, the first Black super soldier it seems, yet no one but Bucky knew about it. Sam is understandably angry about it when Bucky introduces the two, and the scene’s racial tension increases when 2 police officers insert themselves after reading Sam as being hostile to Bucky on the street. The two were just talking, having a heated conversation, and an officer interrupts to ask Bucky if Sam was bothering him.

It’s a familiar and uncomfortable scene, and one I am happy Marvel included. I expect to see more scenes like this in the show, they give worthwhile insight into how Sam’s identity as a Black man in America clashes with his identity of the Black hero The Falcon.


I plan on feeling more connected and invested in these characters, who are so often pushed to the side or only given importance in partnership with Captain America. I’m excited to see what’s to come!