The Falcon and the Winter Soldier premiered on Disney+ this weekend, and it showed what Sam Wilson/Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) have been up to since the events of Avengers: Endgame. The first episode introduced the Flash Smashers, an anarchist group who believe that the world was better and more united after Thanos decimated half of all life. The episode reveals that the group wants a world that's "unified without borders." During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the show's head writer, Malcolm Spellman, goes into more detail about the Flash Smashers and director, Kari Skogland, explains how they're taking a different direction from the comics.
"All the villains in this series believe they are heroes," Spellman explained. "They can eloquate what they're fighting for in a way that even the heroes are like, 'Damn! That is a really, really good point,' because they all exist in a world that's very similar to the world we exist in today. Thanos has been dispatched and half the population has disappeared and come back. That's created a global crisis, just like the global crisis today. And from that global crisis are these various antagonists born, but they're responding to something the heroes also agree with and the citizens of the world are like, 'Hey, man, this is a tough situation. Maybe they're not wrong.' That conflict leads to some pretty amazing scenes because what do you do when the heroes identify with the villains?"
"The comics are a great source, but our stories are unique," Skogland explained. "They might draw from the comics, but they aren't actually in the comics so our characters can be unique and evolved and not be tied. We're not duplicating a story and we're not duplicating a character. That means if we come up with a group and we need a name for them, then, yes, we might go deep and find something that's relevant."
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's premiere is now streaming on Disney+, and you can watch it right here. The rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's 2021 line-up includes Black Widow in theatres on May 7th, Loki debuting on Disney+ on June 11th, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings in theatres on July 9th, What If... on Disney+ this summer, Eternals in theatres on November 5th, Hawkeye and Ms. Marvel is coming to Disney+ later in the year, and Marvel's Spider-Man: No Way Home in theatres on December 17th.