The Falcon and the Winter Soldier revealed there’s at least one more super-soldier out there, but Bucky kept this secret and never told Steve.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 2 revealed Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers aren’t the only super soldiers out there, but Bucky was the only one who knew that and kept it a secret from Steve – but why? The highly-anticipated Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially begun with WandaVision and is now moving forward with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. What’s exciting about this new wave of content is that the TV shows will be linked to upcoming movies and will have an impact on the MCU, unlike Netflix’s Marvel shows.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set approximately six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame and follows Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) as he struggles to decide whether or not to take the mantle of Captain America as Steve Rogers intended, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), who continues to deal with the demons of his past as the Winter Soldier. Together they will come face to face with a radical group called the Flag-Smashers, who appear to have enhanced abilities that could be linked to the super-soldier serum that gave Bucky and Steve their super skills.
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Bucky took Sam to meet Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), a former soldier who also underwent experiments with the super-soldier serum, but his story was completely different from that of Steve and Bucky. Isaiah Bradley seems to have been isolating himself for years and refused to tell Bucky and Sam anything about how he came by his powers and how the super-soldier serum could have landed in others’ hands. Clearly, Isaiah is still haunted by his memories of the war that were made a lot worse thanks to the experiments he went through and how he was used as a super-soldier, which is Bucky’s excuse when Sam questions him about not saying anything about his existence prior to this meeting – but Bucky might have kept Isaiah’s story a secret from Steve and the rest for other reasons.
Although Steve’s story wasn’t easy either, it was less traumatic and difficult than those of Bucky and Isaiah. Steve was modeled as a hero, a role he fully embraced later on and for many, many years, but Bucky was subjected to various experiments, memory wipes, and brainwashing, and Isaiah’s road to becoming a super-soldier surely wasn’t easy either – for instance, he was able to tear off Bucky’s arm during their battle, which says a lot about his abilities and temper. Bucky, then, could be seeing a parallel in himself and how different Steve’s experience as the super-soldier Captain America was from his journey as the Winter Soldier and Isaiah’s experience as well, and knowing Steve as well as he did, Bucky knew that if Steve learned about the existence of other super-soldiers it was going to affect him deeply.
Bucky sees both sides of the coin: he witnessed how the super-soldier serum turned his best friend into a hero, but he also saw the rougher side of it in Isaiah and experienced the not-so-heroic side of it himself. As The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is only getting started, it remains to be seen if Isaiah Bradley will play a bigger role in the series (and perhaps the MCU in general) and if his story will be made public at some point.
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