The best thing The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did for the Marvel Cinematic Universe was introduce Isaiah Bradley. The first Black Captain America wasn’t particularly well known among casual superhero fans, but his story in the comics is one of Marvel’s most engaging portrayals of American racism.
So it’s a shame that Isaiah Bradley probably has to die.
What do we know about The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5?
- Thanks to a promo trailer, we know Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes will confront John Walker after he brutally murdered one of the Flag-Smashers in broad daylight with Captain America’s shield.
- We also know to expect some sort of exciting cameo.
- But most important of all, we know Episode 5 is going to “make you cry.”
That’s according to series writer Marcus Spellman via an interview with ComicBook.com, who said in March that he was most excited for fans to see Episode 5.
“Hands down, five, it just gets real,” Spellman said. “And five, you're going to cry.”
A lot of different things could make Falcon and the Winter Soldier fans cry, but there’s a reason I'm thinking of Isaiah Bradley.
Isaiah Bradley and Falcon and the Winter Soldier
In an interview with Vanity Fair’s Still Watching podcast, Marvel Studios producer Nate Moore revealed that there is “more to come” for Isaiah Bradley. The rest of the interview goes into intriguing detail on Bradley’s place in the MCU and how the series changed him from the original comics, but let’s just focus on the fact that his character will return before Falcon and the Winter Soldier is done.
We know Isaiah Bradley will show up at least one more time. We also know that Baron Zemo is on the loose and hates all super soldiers. And we know that Episode 5 is going to make us cry. Are you starting to see where this is going?
Remember Zemo smashing all those serum vials under his boot in Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 4? Now think about where that serum came from.
In the comics, Dr. Wilfred Nagel’s serum gave Isaiah his powers, but in the modernized MCU, Nagel used Isaiah’s DNA to create an even better serum. So if killing Nagel was step one of Zemo’s plan, and destroying the remaining serum was step two, then step three might just be wiping out the source (aka, Isaiah Bradley).
You might argue that Bradley hates the entire Super Soldier program just as much as Zemo. Maybe they’ll even team-up. But it’s hard to imagine Zemo allying himself with yet another super soldier, especially an older one who he could presumably kill without too much effort.
Watching Zemo kill Isaiah Bradley would also accomplish one more important goal. It would remind us that the Sokovian baron isn’t a good guy or even an okay guy with some goofy dance moves. He’s an evil killer who belongs back behind bars when Falcon and the Winter Soldier is over.