The Falcon and The Winter Soldier season one has nearly reached its end. But in the penultimate episode, titled “Truth,” we got to see some emotionally resonant moments, some boat DIY, and a fair few interesting comic book Easter eggs. Of course we’re mostly here to talk about the latter. So strap in, grab your partner, and get ready to adventure into serious Egg heaven.
“I am Captain America”
We start this week with a powerful image: John Walker as Captain America kneeling with his shield and looking very emotional. This has been a recurring thread in Cap comics, with this shot echoing some famous images from Civil War and more. But after much soul and internet searching, it’s likely a visual reference to Captain America #4. The Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting series has been a huge influence on the MCU. Not only was it the origin of Bucky as the Winter Soldier but it also impacted this series in a massive way tonally.
Blood on the shield
From the final shocking moments of last week, we see blood cover the shield. This is not only an obvious statement on John Walker and the imperialist violence of America, but is also a visual nod to the Civil War comics. The stunning imagery of the bloody shield was a recurring sight during the shocking comic book series.
“You don’t want to do this”
As Sam and Bucky face down John Walker he tells them, “You don’t want to do this.” It’s a refrain we’ve heard before in the MCU. So what is it calling back to? Tony says it during Iron Man 2, and we hear it not once, but twice, in Avengers: Endgame.
Bucky’s back, baby!
We get a moment during this episode where Bucky picks up the shield. We’ve seen him wield it in the MCU as the Winter Soldier, but never as a hero. In the comics, he’s been Captain America and has had the shield in numerous books. Here he gave it back to Sam, but many fans were likely happy to see it in his hands again.
Foreshadowing the Falcon
Torres is back! After not seeing hide nor hair of the young soldier for a while, Joaquín Torres returns this week. After John Walker broke Sam’s wings, Torres appears. In a moment that echoes the famous Iron Man “next time” scene with Terrence Howard, Sam tells Joaquin to keep the broken wings. It’s foreshadowing the fact that in the comics the young Latino man becomes the next Falcon when Sam takes on the mantle of Captain America.
John Walker on trial
While it probably should have happened in the comics, John Walker was never properly put on trial or decommissioned. Instead, he stepped down from being Captain America. Then he soon took on the mantle of U.S. Agent. But the fact that Captain America is on trial here means we have to look at this as a possible reference to The Trial of Captain America comic arc. Another Brubaker story, this comic featured Steve and Bucky fighting over who will be Captain America. That seems like a very story relevant here even if some of the characters have changed.
A jaw-dropping cameo
Julia Louis-Dreyfus showed up this week. It was a most unexpected surprise, especially as she played a truly deep cut character. Her name is Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine. In the comics, she’s a spy who has been Nick Fury’s lover. Then she later became Madame HYDRA. A Skrull impersonated her for a really long time in the comics as a key part of Secret Invasion… so expect that to come into play.
After meeting Bucky at the Sokovia memorial, Zemo gave himself up to the Dora Milaje. But instead of taking him to Wakanda, they took him to the Raft. Remember the high security prison from Civil War? Yep! Now Zemo will be able to potentially assemble a team of nefarious criminals who could become the Thunderbolts!
“They’ll never let a Black man be Captain America”
During one of the show’s most powerful moments, Sam talks to Isaiah Bradley. In the show, Isaiah has a lot of strong thoughts about being a Black man and taking on the mantle of Captain America. He doesn’t think it’s going to happen. But in the comics Isaiah Bradley did become Captain America. He even fought Hitler! If this character has spoken to you this season, make sure to check out Truth: Red, White, and Black by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker to learn the tragic and powerful origin of the first Black Captain America.
Carl Lumbly’s Isaiah Bradley references the Tuskegee airmen and their real regiment, the 332nd. This not only pays respect to the heroes, but also references the influence the horrifying Tuskegee experiments had on Truth: Red, White, and Black. In an interesting coincidence, Captain America #332 is a key Captain America issue. Titled Captain America: No More, the story centers on the government deciding whether Captain America belongs to them. It also features John Walker under his original villainous mantle Super-Patriot before he became Captain America.
Well, damn! It took them long enough. In the comics, Sam’s wings were never military and came from Wakanda. It seems like at the end of this episode we see him finally get the wings he should have had all along. This was first introduced in Captain America #170.
The Death of Captain America
While that is a cool title of a comic book, what we’re referring to here is the fact that it seems like Steve is dead in the MCU. Bucky and Sam refer to him in the past tense and Sam even says, “Steve is gone.” This was something many fans had guessed after the first episode where it seemed like Sam was giving a eulogy to his former friend.
A shocking reveal
In one of the most unexpected twists this season, the episode reveals that Batroc works for Sharon Carter. That goes back to that first episode where he was being sent to capture an asset. We now know it was Sharon who hired him. Is she Power Broker? Is she just mad that America and the Avengers abandoned her? We don’t know, but we do know that Batroc, Sharon, and Flag-Smasher are now working together to kill Sam. This is a really interesting twist in the context of the comics, where Batroc tried to kill Sharon more than once.
John Walker DIY
During the mid-credits scene we see something truly ominous. John Walker is creating his own Captain America shield. Well, to be more specific it looks like he’s building a shield that will likely be his version of the U.S. Agent shield from the comics.
New creator names
Only one new name we noticed this week: Jim Steranko, the sole creator of Valentina Allegra de Fontaine.
Featured Image: Marvel Studios