‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’: The Vibranium Bros. Recap

Written by: Boluwatito Adigun

WandaVision had its 1st season finale aired on the 5th of March, however, the MCU/Disney+ isn’t stopping the fun and action as they are set to premiere The Falcon And The Winter Soldier on the 19th of March, 2021. The action series is set to see the return of fan-favorites Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), also known as The Falcon, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who is a mind-controlled and deadly assassin known as The Winter Soldier. 

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier was initially set to be the first MCU show to be produced in 2021 by the Marvel Studios team. However, a lot of delays did happen as a result of the pandemic which now implies that it will be debuting as the second series after WandaVision; a sitcom-styled series that starred Vision and Wanda Maximoff. 

The Falcon And The Winter Soldier promises to be less mysterious, unlike WandaVision. The trailer points out a simple and straightforward mix of mismatched friendly humor and action heroics between the main pair; Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. 

In phase 1-3 of the MCU, both Bucky and Sam have spent the majority of their screen time playing sidekick roles but the coming series will focus more on each character allowing viewers to understand the psyche of each man. 

Official banner. Via Marvel Studios.

Considering the way Avengers: Endgame ended, we believe that Sam will have a little bit of struggle in coming to terms with himself being the next Captain America. While Bucky, the deadly eyeliner-wearing assassin continues to reckon with his cruel past and tries to survive in a world void of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) known as Captain America. 

For many MCU fans who are not up to date on the Avenger sequel, it might become quite confusing starting off the new series without understanding the origin story of both Bucky and Sam. Hence, what we will be doing here is a short recap of Bucky’s and Sam’s journey in all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

This recap is also ideal for fans who would love to jog their memory and get familiar with the origin story of both Bucky and Sam who are now about to form a new partnership in the coming action series; The Falcon And The Winter Soldier

Bucky’s Debut in ‘Captain America: The First Avenger’

Bucky’s first appearance was in Captain America: The First Avenger and was introduced as Steve Rogers’ best friend. Bucky was the protective friend who got a puny Steve out of trouble while also trying to hook him up with girls. Eventually, Bucky signed up to fight in World War II and Steve also followed suit.

Bucky during World War II. Via Marvel Studios.

In an attempt to win the war, Steve was transformed into Captain America using a Super Serum and the Howling Commandos was formed with both friends being integral members of the combat squad. The Squad battled against the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving) forces until Bucky was apprehended, tortured, and experimented on by Arnim Zola (Toby Jones).

Bucky was later rescued only to seemingly die during an ambush laid by the Red Skull’s forces, falling off a moving train at a very great height. Obviously, Bucky’s journey didn’t end there. As a result of the experiments performed on him, he was able to survive the fall although losing his left arm. HYDRA and the Soviet Union eventually picked him up and he was mind-wiped, modified, and recruited into  becoming the deadly assassin; Winter Soldier. 

Sam’s Debut in ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’

Sam Wilson was first introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Sam was an ex-Air Force pararescue trooper who was well trained in aerial combat by the military in flying a custom-made wing pack.

Sam Wilson. Via Marvel Studios.

Sam encountered Steve Rogers during one of his daily early morning jogs introducing himself and inviting Steve to join one of the support groups he organizes for veteran soldiers. However, Steve Rogers initially turned down his offer only to go back to his doorstep asking Sam for his help. 

Sam ended up teaming up with Steve Rogers to look for ways to take down SHIELD, which Steve had discovered to be infiltrated and controlled by the Hydra organization ever since its establishment. Sam, with his custom-made wing pack which he took from his old job, assisted Steve in bringing down Hydra. But in doing so they had to fight against Steve’s old friend Bucky who was now a mind-controlled assassin known as the Winter Soldier. 

Bucky, The Winter Soldier. Via Marvel Studios.

Sam and Bucky Teaming up in ‘Captain America: Civil War’

As mentioned earlier, Sam and Bucky’s first encounter was in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where they fought against each other with Sam teaming up with Steve to bring down the Hydra organization. The battle ended up with Bucky escaping while Sam and Steve Rogers decided to go after him to see if they could help him out.

Steve Rogers eventually got to set Bucky’s mind straight in Captain America: Civil War. And Bucky after getting back some of his memories, teamed up with Sam (The Falcon), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), and Captain America (Chris Evans) against Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and other members of the Avengers. 

Falcon and the Winter Soldier fighting side by side. Via Marvel Studios.

This division among the Avengers transpired as a result of differences in opinion as to whether or not to sign the Sokovia Accords. And with Bucky teaming up with Captain America, the partnership between Bucky and Sam kicked off as they fought together as allies. 

At the end of the Civil War, Shuri (Letitia Wright)and T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) agreed to help Bucky eliminate the Winter Soldier ‘memory’ programming while also giving him a place to stay in Wakanda. Sam (Falcon) on the other hand went into hiding with Captain America, with both being labeled as fugitives for refusing to sign the Sokovia Accord. 

The ‘Infinity War’ to ‘Endgame’ Events

The world needed saving once again when the giant purple villain, Thanos (Josh Brolin), threatens to wipe out half of the entire universe in Avengers: Infinity War. This resulted in the Avengers putting aside their differences to fight against the impending doom which once again saw Sam and Bucky fight side by side as allies. 

Unfortunately, the war was lost with Thanos achieving his goal with just a single snap after collecting all the infinity stones causing half of the universe to “disintegrate”. Both Falcon and the Winter Soldier also got “blipped” alongside other avengers, ceasing to exist. 

Bucky Disintegrating 

Sam and Bucky both returned to the scene when Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) made use of the infinity stones in Avengers: Endgame to bring back the blipped population. Falcon and the Winter Soldier then joined the rest of the Avengers, fighting side by side once again, defeating Thanos this time around. 

After the final battle in Avengers: Endgame, Captain America traveled back in time to live his best life with the woman he loves; Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) before reappearing in the present as a very old man. Captain’s reappearance saw him hand over his shield to Falcon, suggesting Falcon to be the new Captain America which directly sets up The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Captain America handing his shield to Falcon. Via Marvel Studios.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier occurs right after Avengers: Endgame. However, it is uncertain if it happens simultaneously, occurs before, or takes place after the ‘Westview’ occurrence of WandaVison. But whatever the case may be, the action series promises to be filled with action heroics coupled with lots of humor. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Via Marvel Studios.

From the trailer, we can see Falcon wielding the vibranium shield gifted by Captain America while Bucky looks great with the polished vibranium arm fixed at Wakanda during the infinity war. What we are about to see are Vibranium Bros. forming a partnership to save the world even though they claim not to be friends. 

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is scheduled to premiere on March 19, 2021, and will run for six episodes until April 23, 2021.

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