The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 2 "Star-Spangled Man" gets all too real about what the symbol and legacy of Captain America is all about in the context of the modern world. The premiere episode ended with the reveal that the US government pulled a fast on on Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) by giving the shield Sam kindly donated to honor Steve Rogers' memory to a new government-sanctioned Captain America, John Walker (Wyatt Russell) This new Cap hits Sam and Buckyjust as they uncover that some new Super Soldiers are running amok, which all leads to the backdoor introduction of one of Marvel's future Young Avengers!
Warning: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 2 SPOILERS Follow!
Falcon and Winter Soldier chase down a lead on the mysterious Flag Smasher anarchist group to Europe, where a confrontation with the Flag Smashers reveals that the young rebels indeed seem to be enhanced from some kind of Super Soldier Serum variation. In order to investigate how new Super Soldiers are now running amok, Bucky has to bring Sam in on a piece of history few know: there was a Black Captain America active in the decades while Steve Rogers was encased in ice.
Turns out the Black Captain America (aka Isaiah Bradley) is hiding out in seclusion in inner-city Baltimore. When Bucky and Sam arrive at Isaiah's door, they are met by his not-so-welcoming grandson, Eli Bradley (Elijah Richardson). Although Eli's role in the episode is a minor one, Marvel fans are shooting up in their seats and taking notice: another Young Avenger character has officially arrived in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
In the comics, Eli becomes the young hero "Patriot" to honor his family's legacy. At first, Eli has no powers and lies about that fact to be recruited onto the Young Avengers; in order to keep up the lie of being a super-soldier like his grandad, Eli uses a Super Soldier Serum knock-off drug to give himself temporary boosts of powers on missions. Eventually, the lie catches up to him, and Eli is nearly killed. Isaiah gives his grandson a blood transfusion that actually does endow Eli with enhanced abilities.
Patriot is one of the core members of the Young Avengers - a team that Marvel Studios is clearly building up to in Phase 4. Along with Eli Bradley we now also have Hawkeye's Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld); WandaVisioni's Billy and Tommy Maximoff; Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani); Ant-Man 3's Cassie Lang (Kathryn Newton); possibly America Chavez in Doctor Strange 2... the bread crumbs are leading somewhere pretty clear.
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