Dalan Musson, who penned the hard-hitting "Truth" episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, will co-write Captain America 4 for Marvel Studios with series creator Malcolm Spellman. The feature, revealed just hours after Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) took flight for the first time as Marvel's new Captain America in the series finale "One World, One People," will focus on Mackie's former Falcon in the mantle he officially adopted after "Truth."
After inheriting and then relinquishing the star-spangled shield given to him by an aged and retired Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) in Avengers: Endgame, Sam and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) forcibly reclaimed the blood-stained shield from an unhinged John Walker (Wyatt Russell) in Episode 5 of the Marvel Studios series. Sam spent most of the six-episode series wrestling with the "complicated" legacy of the shield, only fully accepting the symbol in "Truth," the penultimate episode.
"The legacy of that shield is complicated, to say the least," the shield-wielding Sam tells Bucky during training in his native Louisiana.
"When Steve told me what he was planning, I don't think we understood what it felt like for a Black man to be handed the shield," Bucky responds about an off-screen encounter during the events of Endgame. "How could we?"
This same episode marks Isaiah Bradley's (Carl Lumbly) return, a Black Super Soldier whose existence was kept secret until Episode 2, "The Star-Spangled Man." Isaiah spent 30 years as a prisoner-slash-test subject after he defied top-brass orders to save his men, other experimental Super Soldiers turned POWs, before the government could destroy all evidence of their failed attempt to recreate Captain America.
"They were worried my story might get out. So they erased me. My history. But they've been doing that for 500 years," Isaiah tells Sam during their emotional encounter in "Truth." "Pledge allegiance to that, my brother. They will never let a Black man be Captain America. And even if they did, no self-respecting Black man would ever wanna be."
The Musson-scripted episode, which culminates in Sam deciding to "stand up and keep fighting" as a stars-and-striped Cap, is tied with "The Star-Spangled Man" — another installment featuring Isaiah — as the only chapter of Falcon and Winter Soldier to earn a 100% "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes.
"Sam being a Black man can't in good conscience just accept that symbol, without serious consideration to both sides of whether it's appropriate for him to don it, and we wanted that argument about not doing it to be legitimate," Spellman previously told Geek Culture after Sam gave up the shield of Captain America in the series premiere. "If you're going to tell an honest story — it's not even about politics. You can't write a character who's a woman, you can't write a character who's Muslim or Catholic, or Jewish and just ignore that. Sam is a Black man and that is going to be at the forefront with those stars and stripes."
Sam's story continues when Captain America returns in the feature film side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios has not announced a director or release date for the as-yet-untitled Captain America 4.
All episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are now streaming on Disney+.
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