The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nod to a beloved X-Men character.
Indeed, the most recent episode of the Disney+ series took viewers to the island city of Madripoor for the first time and by doing so, introduced an alluring new hive of scum and villainy (wait, wrong franchise) for the MCU to play around in. Hidden amidst all the city’s rampant neon lighting and numerous seedy establishments is a business that will be very familiar to Marvel comics fans.
The Princess Bar in Marvel
As a location, Madripoor brings a level of unpredictability and tension to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 previously unseen in the series. As Sam, Bucky, and Zemo make their way to The Brass Monkey Tavern, the episode visually establishes just how dangerous and diverse Madripoor’s Lowtown is by cutting to various ominous buildings and an alarming number of openly armed citizens.
But it’s in the episode’s initial Madripoor sequence that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier packs in a big X-Men Easter egg. The moment in question comes just a few moments before the trio reach the Brass Monkey, as they pass by a neon sign promoting the “Princess Bar.”
It’s a notable Easter egg considering the Princess Bar has some big comic book connections to none other than Wolverine.
Meet Patch (aka, Wolverine)
In the Marvel comics, the Princess Bar is a drinking establishment located in Madripoor’s Lowtown district, just like it is in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. What’s noteworthy about the Princess Bar, though, is that it is a frequent hang-out spot of Patch, who co-owns the establishment. And Patch just happens to be one of the aliases that Wolverine has assumed over the years in the comics.
While posing as Patch, Wolverine sports — as the alias suggests — an eyepatch, and wears the kind of dapper cocktail suits that you’d expect James Bond to wear. It’s a unique look for the typically gruff character, one that helps him blend in quite well with the rest of the crime figures in Madripoor.
So the Princess Bar’s confirmed existence suggests that Wolverine could already exist in the MCU and may even be walking around Madripoor at the same time as Bucky, Sam, and Zemo. Is he just hanging out in a cocktail suit and eyepatch, managing the Princess Bar? Was he literally just down the street from the Falcon and the Winter Soldier? That’s an undeniably fun thought and one that flies directly in the face of many previous depictions of the character.
The Inverse Analysis — Now, it’s unlikely that the Princess Bar’s inclusion in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 is anything more than a knowing nod to comic book fans from Kevin Feige and the rest of the Marvel Studios creatives. However, it doesn’t make it any less exciting, especially given Marvel’s inevitable plans to bring mutants into the MCU at some point in the relatively near future.
The Princess Bar isn’t the only X-Men comics Easter egg featured in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 either, as the city itself has some big mutant ties in the comics as well. So, if nothing else, Madripoor’s role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier just proves that mutants are indeed on the minds of everyone at Marvel right now.
Hopefully, whenever Marvel does finally bring mutants into the MCU, the studio will also revisit Madripoor, a city that already feels deserving of multiple screen visits in future films and TV shows.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming now on Disney+.