This week marks the end of THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER, the new series from Marvel Studios. Far from the universe previously painted by the nugget Wandavision, this production ultimately turns out to be the most political of the MCU.
Diametrically opposed to the universe of Wandavision which had fascinated many spectators during its broadcast, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER finds a narration more faithful to the productions of the studios Marvel. In front of the camera of Malcolm Sellman, Anthony mackie and Sebastian stan resume their roles as Sam Wilson / Falcon and Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier to face a disoriented world after the disappearance of Steve Rogers / Captain America. While the characters of Wandavision were living in a city behind closed doors far from the world after the Blip (event in which half of all life in the universe was wiped out), the duo face a new reality now that half the world has returned.
our review of Wandavision
So, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER is based on a successful cocktail by combining action scenes with the genre of buddy movie. Yet very few characters in the MCU universe are as opposed as Sam Wilson / Falcon and Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier. While the former evolved in symmetry with Steve Rogers / Captain America, the second seemed to have found his partner with Rocket Raccoon. Nevertheless, the profusion of jokes and punchlines allows them to create a rather particular chemistry between these two characters in mourning since the disappearance of the symbol of America. The opportunity to learn more about these heroes but also the opportunity for the MCU to offer two new idols to an audience orphaned since the disappearance of Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Junior) and Steve Rogers / Captain America (Chris Evans). But behind this staging, the series is also revealed through its rather daring political point.
Indeed, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER takes on a much deeper reflection that moves away from the thoughts that superhero movies may have grown accustomed to. The MCU had previously questioned the morale of its viewers during the events of the last two Avengers (Infinity war, 2018 and Endgame, 2019). At the time, the protagonists faced the potential demise of half of humanity and had to weigh the sacrifices they were willing to make to prevent this cataclysm. Now that part of the world has returned and the heroes must face the emergence of new nationalist threats. Thus, beyond the evocation of post-traumatic stress disorders addressed by the character of Bucky barnes, the series asks a worrying question: How to find your place in a society that has forgotten you?
As Romain Gary would say, patriotism is love for one’s own people and nationalism is hatred for others. But in this post-apocalyptic universe, who embodies whom?
As the government creates a new Captain america tailor-made in order to embody its values, America oscillates dangerously between patriotism and nationalism to the point of sinking into a violent obsession. So the world of THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER seems to be shaken by the symptoms of a post-Donald Trump era in which white America no longer survives its own contradictions. Youth, embodied by Karli Morgenthau (Eryn Kellyman), tries to find a place there through the Flag-Smashers, an underground movement sometimes described as revolutionary or terrorist. In front of her, during a fascinating confrontation, Sam Wilson / Falcon alone embodies all the questions that can emerge around the figure of a black superhero to embody America. Is the country ready to embrace the vision that had Steve rogers by entrusting his shield to Sam wilson ?
Much more complex than it seemed to be, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER recalls that culture does not have to be elitist to be political. Despite his lack of boldness when it comes to the characters, the creation of Malcolm Spellman manages to renew the productions of superheroes without falling into a dystopian caricature à la Watchmen. Through its issues, the series also helps advance the MCU soap opera that had been on hiatus since Spider-Man: Far From Home. Indeed, Wandavision took place in a vacuum and the next Black widow seems to respond more to a fan whim to learn more about Natasha Romanova (Scarlett johansson) rather than actually changing the story.
In a few hours, Sam wilson could maybe finally lift the shield of Captain america, symbol of the American vigilante. While the police officer responsible for the murder of George Floyd has just been convicted, THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER could well become the most political series of Marvel studios by showing a new mythology whose model would now be an African-American man.
• Original title : The Falcon and the Winter Solder
• Creation: Malcolm Spellman
• Actors: Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Daniel Brühl, Erin Kellyman, Wyatt Russell
• Release date : March 19, 2021
• Duration: 6×49-60 minutes