Latest Marvel Series Provides New Perspective on Humanity



The newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is a moving series about healing after the death of Captain America, life surviving trauma, and living as an African American man near the stars and stripes.

On March 19, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) hit fans with a brand new series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.” The newest addition dives into the two side characters of the Captain American movie series. As soon as I saw the release, I knew I had to watch it.
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” shows the life of Sam Wilson (The Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier), portrayed by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It takes place after “Endgame” and the resulting death of former Captain America, Steve Rogers. The series shows a more realistic Marvel version of the lives of an African American man and a tortured soldier. Throughout the series, they face everyday issues, not just villains.
The six episode series started with Wilson and Barnes not getting along due to disagreements on who gets Cap’s shield.What could have been a superficial representation of a power struggle, instead was a story about self worth and acceptance. Most importantly, it dealt with the historical background of an African American man being in contact, being friends, with a symbol of America. I was very impressed by the ability of this series to show an African American facing the “angry black man” stereotype and the fact that Steve Rogers became Captain America when America was segregated. This theme of racial injustice persists through the reconciliation plot to the entire series.
Barnes was also given more depth in this series. He faced the traumas of his past and showed growth, not the pathetic “Thor: Ragnarok” greif, but realistic growth of a person who has gone through trauma. This was very refreshing. Normally men in superhero movies do not get to heal. He faced physical and mental reminders of his past and showed men that they can overcome their struggles.
The new female villain in this series is deceptive and Marvel-level cunning. She is morally ambiguous by fighting a sympathetic cause but with destructive means. The villain in the series is a product of a world after Thanos’ snap, when half the world is gone. When half the population comes back, they are faced with a world they don’t like. They are stuck in refugee camps with little funding and disease running rampant. People suddenly have to cross borders that didn’t exist for five years or are stuck on the other side while their families struggle. They are blocked by government organizations that are promising to do good, but in reality are denying their responsibilities to help their fellow man. This portrayal of new people in a new world is not some crazy villain from a vat of chemicals. They are fighting real world issues, and a new global government is stopping them. Now if that isn’t some criticism on the world’s handling of populations, I don’t know what is.
What I was most impressed with was the bravery to have a new Captain America, who was written to be hated. To separate the old Captain from the new Captain America, the writers made a clever distinction; they didn’t have characters refer to him as Captain America or Cap in a normal conversation, just his real name. As someone who loves to be able to watch a series or movie and be able to read it at the same time, this was amazing. This little detail fundamentally shifted how the culture of the world of “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” functioned. It was no longer fun and friendly, but stiff and business like. It gave a negative connotation to the new Captain America, almost as if he could never live up to Steve Rogers.
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is a different type of superhero series. It is not focused on fighting scenes, instead it is focused on what it means to be human. It focused on the lives of people who are deemed heroes. It shows how a superhero doesn’t have to be someone who saves the world. They can simply be the person who packs an extra sandwich in their lunchbox for a kid who needs it.