During a panel at Celebrity Fan Fest in San Antonio, Anthony Mackie shared some thoughts about the character he plays in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Falcon. Mackie was asked which Marvel villain he’d like Sam Wilson to fight. Mackie took his answer in a different direction, explaining that Sam’s history is more important than his villains.
“The best, for me — my favorite timeline of Sam Wilson is the Tuskegee airman experiment timeline,” Mackie said. “I think it’s very interesting to think they took these soldiers and tried out the serum on them before they injected Cap. It’s really, the way it was written is really beautiful and kind of describes America in a very specific way in that period and depicts it truly and honestly.”
Mackie is referencing the comic book Truth: Red, White & Black by writer Robert Morales and artist Kyle Baker. The story reveals that the American government used a regiment of black soldiers as test subjects to try to recreate the super soldier serum. All of the soldiers died except for Isaiah Bradley. Bradley’s grandson, Elijah Bradley, went on to become the hero known as Patriot, a founding member and leader of the Young Avengers.
Mackie went on to praise Stan Lee and Marvel’s handling of the Falcon as a character with a connection to black culture. “I don’t know if I would like to see a certain villain he fights but I really like the idea of, as far Sam Wilson, the timelines in which he lives because he evolved greatly from the first incarnation into where he is now,” Mackie said. “And one thing I give Stan, God rest his soul, every time black culture evolved and change, Sam Wilson evolved and changed. It wasn’t like, ‘No, he was a drug dealer that was this,’ because Sam Wilson was created in a time of black exploitation. So Stan Lee basically wrote a black exploitation character, ya know? And then he became what he is today. So all of that was vision, foresight from an open-minded, beautiful person who didn’t have a bad bone in his body. So, you know, I would like for that, I think its more about those periods of time for Sam Wilson than who he fights.”
Marvel fans will know that it wasn’t Lee alone but the many writers who wrote Falcon’s adventures after Lee that helped make Falcon a living reflection of African American culture, but Mackie’s point remains. Would you like to see the Truth story worked into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Let us know in the comments.
Mackie appears as Falcon in Avengers: Endgame, now in theaters. He’ll reprise the role for the Falcon and The Winter Soldier television series debuting this fall on the Disney+ streaming service.