Marvel Studios and The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been delivering movies to superhero fans since their first movie release of Iron Man in 2008. This year, and phase four of the MCU has brought some change to Marvel Studios’ releases with two brand new TV Miniseries on Disney Plus.
In January, Marvel Studios released their first Disney Plus series, WandaVison, starring Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch and Paul Bettany as Vision. The series caught the attention of thousands of fans and critics as it opened the door of possibilities for future MCU projects.
Similar to WandaVison, Marvel has been planning a new six episode series, Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The series premiered March 19 and is directed by Kari Skogland, featuring previously known MCU characters such as The Falcon/Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie and The Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan. The storyline of the series follows the events of Marvel’s blockbust- er film Avengers: Endgame released in April 2019.
After receiving the mantle of Captain America following the release of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson teams up with Bucky Barnes to take on an anti-patriotism group known as the Flag Smashers and a familiar solo villain, Baron Helmut Zemo. Fans last saw Zemo’s character with the release of Captain America: Civil War in 2016. Since then he has managed to escape custody after trying to tear the Avengers apart and is sure to cause trouble for the Falcon and Winter Soldier in the upcoming series.
A new antagonist to the MCU has been introduced to this new series, a team named the Flag Smashers will also debut in the Disney Plus series adding to the various conflicts within the story line. In the original comics the Flag Smasher/Karl Morgenthau was a reappearing supervillain and enemy of Captain America; however, in this series the character is portrayed by Erin Kellyman, who is a member of the bunch rather than the sole conveyor of the name.
Before his passing, the architect and creator of hundreds of Marvel characters, Stan Lee shared his perspective on what The Falcon and Winter Soldier series would look like.
“We’re going to explore where these two guys left off, with one big character missing — the prominent figure that brought them into each other’s lives. Where are they, and how are they coping with the world?” Lee said.
With this loss of beloved characters like Captain America/Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, Avengers: Endgame still brought Marvel Studios the opportunity to explore new characters and strengthen their story lines. Overall, fans around the world seem very intrigued and excited to finally see what new possibilities this miniseries brings for future MCU projects.
The first episode of the series picks up right after Avengers: Endgame in a world where people are beginning to return to Earth after the five year long “blip”. The episode opens with a new international terrorist group, LAF, trying to reverse the work of the Avengers and bring the world back to just half of the current population when Falcon steps up to be the new hero and combat these new threats. It continues on to reveal him giving up the shield during a press conference surprising fans as it was handed to him directly by Captain America himself and he was expected to be the new national hero.
Meanwhile, Barnes attempts to make amends with his past as Winter Soldier and reinvent himself as a normal, nonlethal, and civil member of society with the help of counseling. When creating the plot, head writer Malcolm Spellman explained that Barnes has done “nothing but fight” for the last few decades and his trauma along with the passing of his best friend would take a substantial toll on his mountain of trauma.
“They know each other and they share a common denominator, Steve Rogers, but they aren’t particularly good friends. But the connection between them is really compelling. Everyone saw that 30-second clip in ‘Civil War’ when they bicker about the placement of Sam’s seat. We build on that chemistry,” Skogland said.