The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Warning: MCU spoilers
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) expanded quite a bit in 2021. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (TFTWS) premiered this year on Disney Plus as a part of Phase 4 of the MCU. TFTWS was the second of four miniseries released in 2021 and stars Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan in their roles as Sam Wilson, aka the Falcon, and James “Bucky” Barnes, aka the Winter Soldier, respectively. The unlikely pair work together to dismantle a movement led by a team of self-created super soldier revolutionaries.
According to the “Marvel: Assembled” episode “The Making of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” the series was originally set to film in Atlanta and Puerto Rico in 2020, however, a combination of earthquakes and the pandemic delayed filming. During this time the writers were able to further develop the story and eventually, the crew was able to resume filming – this time between Atlanta and Prague.
The 6 episode season was filled with suspense and action-packed scenes following the blip and the loss of Steve Rogers as Captain America. The series tackles a variety of complex issues including identity, redemption and legacy. Wilson struggles with racial identity and carrying on Roger’s legacy after being gifted Captain America’s shield. Bucky attempts to make amends with those he affected during his time as the Winter Soldier and grieves the loss of his longest friend.
The series brings back former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Sharon Carter and villain Helmut Zemo and features cameos from James Rhodes, Ayo and the Dora Milaje. Various new characters from the comics are introduced, including John Walker, Lemar Hoskins, Isaiah Bradley, Valentina Allegra de Fontaine and Karli Morgantheau (a spin on the original comic character Flag-Smasher).
“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” broadened the Marvel franchise on Disney Plus and allowed fans to gain further insight into the lives of these beloved characters, making it one of the best and most impactful series of 2021.