Tinsae Shifreaw, Staff Writer
For those of us who are comic book fans, we are familiar with Marvel, the company who has given us heroes like Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther. Marvel is also known for its cinematic universe, the 23 films that all come together in their latest movie Avengers: Endgame which led to many characters leaving the scene by either staying back in time or sacrificing themselves for the greater good. However, Marvel is not stopping at just Endgame. They are still continuing on with movies and TV shows, basing everything on the comics written by the late Stan Lee.
With that, it leads to the discussion of the new Marvel hit show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. While there are two episodes left in the series, the show has covered many dark topics, connecting them to real life while continuing on with the plot. The two main characters, Sam (The Falcon) and Bucky (The Winter Soldier) work together to stop the terrorist group the Flag-Smashers. The characters do that while also dealing with their own different situations, which is shown throughout the show and is an important theme of it.
Bucky Barnes was tortured and controlled by HYDRA, ordered to kill those who stood in HYDRA’s way and has now been released from their control. With this plot point, the discussion of mental health is brought up, especially in relation to veterans with PTSD. We get to witness Bucky attending therapy and discussing his past, showing how HYDRA’s torture destroyed his mental health and lasted into his day-to-day life. These scenes give us a new perspective on how harsh war can be on different individuals.
With Sam, the discussion of racism appears and is highlighted in Episode 2, when two police officers were being hostile towards him until they realized he was an Avenger. Race is mainly brought up in the discussion of the super serum and how it was used in the past, along with Sam giving up the shield. Sam cannot accept the shield because he knew that because he was black, he would face backlash for carrying the shield as he does not represent the people, as well as the fact that the government has never protected black people equally. As for the serum, Baron Zemo says that the serum is used by people with supremacist values, using it to continue their agenda. This is an important line because the serum used for the super soldiers in history has only been used for bad, in exception to Steve Rogers, who was a good person, and why he never truly defends the government.
This show is good to watch because it brings up topics that need to be discussed. Episode 4, however, is the one with the main controversy for the Marvel fans who watched it. The shield of Captain America was used as a brutal weapon for a murder, which hurt many people because the shield was used by Steve Rogers (the original Captain America) as a symbol of hope for the people. With it used as a weapon by John Walker, that image has been ruined and replaced with darkness.
The series shows how power can be destructive in the wrong hands and how those with the right ideas can turn to violence when many try to stop them. An example of this would be the Flag-Smashers who bring supplies for refugees after the Blip, an event of half the population disappearing for five years. The government views them as a terrorist group because their means of collecting these supplies are violent. The Flag-Smashers are also supplying serum to make super soldiers out of those who are willing, which is another form of defying the government.