A new Marvel Cinematic Universe production is among us, like Falcon and the Winter Soldier has already had its first episode released on Disney+ this Friday (19). The series promises to explore the two titular protagonists like no previous film in the franchise has ever done, bringing plenty of action and schemes of political intrigue.
With an explosive first chapter full of touching moments, the series has arrived with a bang and many gifts for fans, as the episode is sprinkled with exciting easter-eggs and references. So here we have listed all the main easter-eggs from Falcon and the Winter Soldier!
The Heir to the Shield
The episode begins on a solemn and mature note, showing Sam Wilson getting ready for some special event, wearing gala clothes. When the hero looks at his own bed, he finds the shield formerly used by Steve Rogers, the original Captain America. Sam looks at the shield for a moment and remembers a scene in his past.
It is at this moment that we hear a fantastic dialogue from Avengers: The Endgame, which takes place when Steve Rogers, now old and now having passed the mantle to Sam Wilson, asks him what it feels like to hold the shield, to which Sam replies that “it feels like someone else’s.” This same dialogue is quoted later.
Before going to the event he was preparing for, Sam Wilson ends up being summoned to solve a big problem near Libya. The hero needs to rescue a stolen plane and save one of its passengers. For this, he counts on the help on the ground of Joaquin Torres, a military agent who ends up having another significant contribution near the end of the episode.
What many don’t know, however, is that Joaquín is a character from recent Marvel comics. He is basically known for having been Sam Wilson’s replacement as Falcon when Sam took over Captain America‘s mantle. I wonder if we will still see Joaquín becoming a hero in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe!
Batroc, The Leaper
In the first major action scene of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we have the return of a character who had been initially introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is Batroc, a French thief and mercenary known for raiding ultra-secure locations, always closely followed by his own minions.
In the comics, this character is known as Batroc The Leaper, a secondary villain who has faced several Marvel heroes. He is given this “title” because he always uses kicking blows and can jump very high. Interestingly, Batroc’s actor in the series, Georges St. Pierre, is a former MMA fighter specializing in kickboxing.
Redwing is Back!
While Falcon tries to intercept the plane hijacked by Batroc and his henchmen, we have the return of another “character” very dear to the hero’s fans: Redwing. For those who don’t know, this is the name given to the drone that the Avenger carries on his back and controls in his aerial missions.
In the comics, Falcon is able to communicate with birds and forms a solid telepathic link with a falcon called Redwing. This bird helps him in his missions, always following him closely and carrying out Sam’s orders. For the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this concept seemed unrealistic, so the bird was replaced by a drone.
While Sam Wilson and Joaquin Torres are talking after the rescue mission has gone well, Falcon’s ally says something about an anarchist organization gaining a lot of support in Europe. He says that this organization’s members call themselves Stateless and that their goals are to create a world without borders.
It may look cute on paper, but the Stateless Ones are notorious terrorists willing to kill and die to spread their message of a unified world. Later on, we get to see them in action. In the comics, Stateless is the name of a Captain America villain who also has similar goals to the group seen in the series.
A Secret Base on the Moon
While still playing small talk with Sam, Joaquin asks several questions about Steve Rogers’s whereabouts since the hero has “disappeared” without a trace. He then talks about a popular theory that Captain America is not dead and is hiding out in a base on the moon, watching Earth’s people.
There are two comic book references to be noted here: First, Steve Rogers once set up a moon base with the Secret Avengers, a special team that did missions undetected by other heroes. The other reference concerns the original Nick Fury, who ended up on the moon and became an Earth watcher after killing the Uatu the Watcher in the Original Sin saga.
After the mission and a rest break, we finally see Sam Wilson heading off to his appointment. He goes to the Smithsonian Museum in the US capital, where a memorial of sorts is being made to Steve Rogers and the legacy he left the world as Captain America. It is here that Sam hands over his shield to the US government.
However, I want to draw attention to the setting, not the events themselves. For those who don’t remember, the Smithsonian is the same museum that we see in several scenes in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is even where Steve Rogers “steals” his old battle suit to use in the film’s epic final battle.
Those who think that the two protagonists are the only superheroes from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe to appear in the series are mistaken. Throughout the Smithsonian sequence, we are joined by James Rhodes, the Air Force officer and best friend of the late Tony Stark, who also goes by the name War Machine.
Here, Rhodes does not appear in his alter-ego in armor. Instead, he just comes to greet Sam Wilson as a personal friend. And while respecting his decisions, Rhodes also hints that he thinks Sam should really respect Steve Rogers‘ wishes and become the new Captain America.
Echoes From the Past
In the same scene, still set in the Smithsonian Museum, we can see some items from the exhibit in Captain America’s honor. And many of these objects and artifacts we’ve seen before, such as the motorcycle and the original shield that the Sentinel of Liberty uses in Captain America: The First Avenger.
More than that, we have other very interesting visual references, such as photos from the time when Steve Rogers served in World War II, such as propaganda posters against the Nazis, and even the cover of the first issue where Captain America appeared in the comics, which was honored in another scene from The First Avenger.
The Winter Soldier in Action
As much as most of the episode is dedicated to showing Sam Wilson and his civilian life, we also get a good dose of the Winter Soldier, starting with the scene where we see a bit of the character’s past when he was still an elite assassin, mentally controlled by HYDRA. It’s a pretty impressive action scene.
More than that, this “dream” (as we find out later) is significant for showing more of Bucky Barnes‘ trauma due to all the years he spent acting on behalf of the terrorist organization. His look is identical to the one we saw in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with the big hair and the mask covering his mouth and nose.
During his session with a therapist, while seeking an official pardon from the US government, Bucky Barnes tells her that he has a list of people who have brought him trouble, either by association with HYDRA or by having done some kind of harm to him in the past.
Two findings are fascinating here: in addition to listing his “targets,” the Winter Soldier also lists people who have had their lives affected by his own attitudes while still under mind control. But look closely at the list of Bucky’s “targets,” and you will soon notice Zemo‘s name.
The New Captain America
Right at the end of the episode, we get our first glimpse of Wyatt Russell in John Walker’s role. Going against Steve Rogers‘ wishes, the US government has selected another soldier to serve in Captain America’s post. He then ends up taking the shield that was supposed to be Sam Wilson’s and is introduced at a nationally televised press conference.
In the comics, John is the name of the U.S. Agent, a villain (or hero, depending on the phase) who also uses a shield and an outfit very similar to Captain America’s to fight. In the comics, when he starts acting, he doesn’t use the super-soldier serum, but we don’t yet know if this element will be retained in the series.