Here we stand on the precipice of glory…
Tomorrow is the big day. Well, tonight at midnight if you’re on the west coast and 3 am if you’re under eastern standard time, but tomorrow nonetheless. On the freshly unhexed heels of WandaVision comes Marvel’s newest Disney+ streaming series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s pretty interesting that we have to talk about FAWS, as we affectionately call it, in the context as a follow-up to WandaVision. As some of you may already know, Sam Wilson (Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier) were initially scheduled to be the first superhero ship to set sail on Disney+ but like many things last year, the COVID-19 put a banana in that tailpipe. But timing is everything and we would argue that now is the perfect time for us to get 6 hours of high-flying, action-packed, scream-at-the-TV Marvel content. The warm weather is near, vaccines are going into arms, and it won’t be long before we can all gather again in-person and talk about our current scenes.
Thanks to the folks at Disney+ I (Jason “Jah” Lee) was given access to the premiere episode last week. I watched, picked up my jaw from the floor, then I watched it at least fifty-leven more times before the link expired. If you’re like me, the hype is already on ten and a little pre-game pep talk is just the extra oomph you need to completely lose your mind. That said, this will be a SPOILER-FREE review of episode one of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
THE FIRST TEN MINUTES OF THIS SHOW ARE LEGENDARY! I want to be very clear, anyone who complained (losers and lames) about WandaVision being “slow” or “boring” is a moron. However, if that was you, then FAWS is the elixir that will cure what ails you. We’ve seen Falcon do his thing in several films now but you’ve never seen him this…electrifying. This isn’t Captain America’s co-pilot. This is a grown-a** man with big a** wings who can fly, fight, and leave foes aflame in a way that will have you standing on your couch cursing at the television. Please, put respect on Sam Wilson’s name. If you don’t believe us, record yourself reacting to the opening scene then send it to us on Twitter @Bossip. Not to be outdone by the fly guy with the cool gadgets, The Winter Soldier is in rare form as well in a scene that we won’t go into but we can guarantee goosebumps when you see him for the first time. It ain’t the wise-cracking Bucky Barnes that’s for damn sure. The physical performances by Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are tremendous and if this the just the tip of the iceberg then we’ve never been so happy to be on the Titanic.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about what FAWS is really about. We’ve watched these two men play BFF to Steve Rogers for quite some time and Bucky has had the benefit of a much more nuanced role that gives us fans a deeper look at who he is both under HYDRA hypnosis and outside of it. Sam, on the other hand, hasn’t gotten much character development love from the MCU’s scriptwriters, and now we have that opportunity. We already know that he’s made of the tough stuff that it takes to battle the world’s greatest enemies but now we get to see what he’s made out of as a Black man who has been charged with taking up the mantle of America’s favorite white man. A daunting task to say the very least. Without being too heavy-handed or corny, FAWS straightforwardly addresses Blackness in a way that we’ve never seen before through the Marvel lens. Simple conversations carry so much meaning and we have a feeling that a great many of us will relate to the things that Sam is dealing with at the job and at home with his family. Head Writer and Executive Producer Malcolm Spellman sets a masterful tone and we are told directly from him that it only gets more intense as the series unfolds.
For Bucky’s part, well, he’s a 106-year-old enslaved assassin with more bodies than ten morgues. He’s seen some things and despite his return to civilian society, he’s not done seeing them. Bucky is haunted and awkward and really has no idea how to just be a regular guy. From what we can tell in the first episode, his coming to terms with his past and adapting to his new life will be a major part of this story.
That’s about all you’re getting from us. Perhaps we will discuss the show in more depth as the weeks progress. For now, buckle-up tight and get ready because we’re all about to go on one helluva ride.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier begins streaming on Disney+ tonight (tomorrow) at midnight on the west coast and 3 am out east. Enjoy!