The Falcon and the Winter Soldier launches this week on Disney+ with Steve Rogers' partners — Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes — keeping Captain America's legacy intact. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Steve Rogers chose Sam Wilson to be his successor, both Sam and Bucky have taken up Cap's mantle at different times when Steve Rogers couldn't carry the shield. In addition to being a symbol of American ideals, Captain America is one of the most recognizable Avengers, often leading the team into battle with his signature cry of "Avengers Assemble." That means that Sam and Bucky, each already with ties to Earth's mightiest heroes, became even more involved with the team during their tenures as Captain America
To celebrate The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's debut, ComicBook.com has compiled a list with a handful of Avengers adventures showcasing each of the three shield-bearers in Avengers roles. We've also included some stories featuring The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's supporting cast, such as Baron Zemo delivering "justice like lightning" in Thunderbolts.
Are you ready to dive into Avengers stories featuring characters from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? You can keep reading to see our picks.
Uncanny Avengers: Counter-Evolutionary
Suppose you're looking for a comic book story to bridge WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's gap. In that case, Uncanny Avengers: Counter-Evolutionary by Rick Remender (who debuted Sam Wilson as Captain America) and Daniel Acuña will do the trick. Back in 2012, in the wake of a war between the X-Men and the Avengers, Steve Rogers decided to form a new Avengers team called the Avengers Unity Squad made up of both mutants and Avengers. Counter-Evolutionary collects all five issues of the second series starring that team, taking place after Sam Wilson takes over as Captain America and joins the squad.
The team also includes Vision, the Scarlet Witch, and her brother Quicksilver, taking place not long after the Maximoff twins learned that they are not Magneto's children, as they had once believed. The story sees Cap leading the Avengers on a search for Wanda and Quicksilver and uncovering the truth about their origin, all as drawn in Acuña's incomparable style.
Considering how much curiosity there is about the Scarlet Witch after WandaVision, this story offers Marvel Cinematic Universe fans the opportunity to see how the comics handled that mystery. It also gives them a taste of Sam Wilson as Captain America ahead of his fully embracing the role, presumably, in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.prevnext
Why settle for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier when you can get the Falcon, Winter Soldier, and Captain America? The three Caps are central to this Avengers crossover primarily orchestrated by Nick Spencer and leading into his — some would say infamous — Captain America run with Steve Rogers once again taking over the role.
The story begins with Rogers, feeling his age after losing the super-soldier serum's benefits, tracking down Bucky, who has been striking at SHIELD facilities without cause. It turns out Bucky is leading Steve and Sam Wilson, then acting as Cap, to discover a secret faction of SHIELD conducting unauthorized experiments and operating an off-the-books supervillain prison.
Avengers: Standoff is a story that should be right up the alley of fans of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but with an expanded cast of multiple Caps and other Avengers. In addition to leading into Spencer's Captain America: Steve Rogers run, it also sets up the second portion of his run on Sam Wilson's Captain America series and the new Thunderbolts series with Bucky in the leadership role.prevnext
The launch of Thunderbolts was one of the biggest Marvel surprises in decades and has since become a critical darling when looking back at major events like Age of Apocalypse and Secret Wars. Spinning out of the deaths of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers and their pseudo-revival in "Heroes Reborn," the mysterious team dubbed the Thunderbolts appeared in a new title by artist Mark Bagley and writer Kurt Busiek under the guise of filling a major Marvel void. But those "heroes" were anything but, and the first issue had the masterful reveal that the team was actually the Masters of Evil in disguise, led by Baron Zemo himself.
With Zemo set to return in a villainous role for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, it looks like there's no better time to check out this series whether it's your first time or refreshing your memory. Thunderbolts contains bombastic superhero action loaded with key character moments that's the perfect bridge between superhero eras of the '90s and the 2000s.
As Zemo is being positioned as a maniacal mastermind set to torment the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the future, don't be surprised if he positions himself as a new kind of "hero" with his own team in a future project. The Avengers are no more, and now is the right time for the Thunderbolts.prevnext
While Ed Brubaker's run on Captain America is widely regarded for its role in reviving Bucky Barnes and creating a politically-charged espionage thriller, the tail-end of his Marvel tenure saw him team up with Mike Deodato for a widescreen action-adventure in the underbelly of the superhero universe. Secret Avengers kicked off a long-running franchise that continues to reverberate in the present day, with the resurrected Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter creating a team of experts throughout the Marvel Universe, teaming up for international (and intergalactic) adventures to prevent the destruction of all life.
The comic applies Brubaker's approach from his Captain America run to an ongoing Avengers serial where Rogers requires the specific skillsets of heroes like Valkyrie, Moon Knight, Beast, Black Widow, and more as they try to learn more about the threat of the Shadow Council. And while Brubaker's time on the series was short, it did set the stage for more creators to apply the Avengers concept in atypical storylines for the Marvel Universe.
While we caught a glimpse of Cap's own "Secret Avengers" in Avengers: Infinity War, it appears like that idea could be further fleshed out in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier with a new team of Sharon Carter, Sam Wilson, and Bucky Barnes.prevnext
Generations: Captain America
Marvel united many legacy heroes with those who came before in the recent comics storyline Generations, which saw heroes like Jane Foster, X-23, and Kate Bishop team up with the Thor, Wolverine, and Hawkeye in a strange parallel reality/time-traveling adventure. The event was meant to bridge the gap for fans, showing what came before in the Marvel Universe while paving the way for the future. And for Captain America, it was a much more in-depth examination of Sam Wilson's life and legacy.
Generations: Captain America showed Sam Wilson travel back in time to the era of World War II. Much like Steve and Bucky, Sam enlisted in the army but experienced very different circumstances as a Black man in the military. Though he uses his trademark wings and shield, he sticks to the shadows while Steve Rogers takes the spotlight.
Sam goes on to live a full life in this alternate timeline, growing old after winning the war and waiting for Captain America's return from being frozen in ice. Eventually, Sam comes to realize that he's created his own legacy free from the burden of being Cap, and he even recognizes that he's influenced Steve's life as much as Steve influenced his. This story eventually leads Sam Wilson to give the shield back after he returns to his own timeline and reality, becoming the Falcon once again. Living up to a legacy is one thing, but forging your own might be more important.
Additional contributions by Joe Schmidt.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ beginning Friday, March 19th.0comments
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