Since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier acts as “Captain America 3.5,” and since Marvel is now developing Captain America 4, I will treat the following analysis as a fourth entry in my “Captain America, Conservatism, and Modern America” series, which concerns the conservative values represented in the original Captain America trilogy. For context, I recommend reading my preceding work (here, here, and here) before proceeding. Please also note that the following analysis contains full spoilers.
Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a thinly-veiled piece of political propaganda. In utter defiance of its predecessors, the show disparages the United States and pushes globalism and racism, tearing down Captain America’s legacy and doing young viewers a tremendous disservice. Meanwhile, the show’s non-political components do nothing to redeem its agenda-pushing. The show is an abject failure.
Captain America Degenerates into Captain Racism
One of the greatest strengths of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the continuity of its characters and their arcs. Tony Stark and Steve Rogers enjoyed fantastic arcs across the MCU, from their introductory films to Endgame, and this holds true for the universe’s other characters. Across the films, characterization is consistent, no matter who is writing or directing.
Falcon completely breaks this trend. At one point, Sam Wilson/Falcon is called “Black Falcon” because he is an African-American. Sam’s designation as Black Falcon demonstrates that his race is one of the series’ central “conflicts,” despite this characteristic never being mentioned in the previous films.
Before Falcon, Sam was an American hero cherished for his accomplishments and service, not someone superficially defined by his immutable characteristics. However, Falcon’s writers willfully defy the norms of the MCU, promoting racial essentialism over consistent and quality characterization.
As a consequence, Sam’s race suddenly takes center stage. The series’ first episode suggests Sam cannot obtain a loan because of his race and, in the second episode, the police racially profile him. Both instances are erroneously used in an attempt to portray America as “systemically racist.”
The fifth episode goes even farther in pushing a racial agenda. An African-American supersoldier, Isaiah Bradley—who is also a Korean War veteran who the government experimented on for 30 years—tells Sam that an African American man cannot, and should not, be Captain America. According to Bradley, Captain America’s shield is a “white man’s shield” and Americans “will never let a black man be Captain America.” Bradley further declares that “no self-respecting black man would want to [assume the role].”
In contrast, Steve Rogers, a hero praised by the world, believes that Sam should be Captain America. However, Bradley says Sam has no self respect if he takes the mantle, a complete ideological reversal to Steve’s. For some reason, Sam doesn’t really push back against Bradley’s slanderous words against Steve, a hero of the entire universe and, more importantly, Sam’s friend.
Strangely, the show thus presents only one impediment to Sam becoming Captain America: Bradley, a fellow African-American. There is no character who actively works against Sam becoming Captain America except the race-obsessed Bradley. Throughout the series, America is consistently portrayed as irredeemably racist.
The show’s racialized, anti-American sentiment is unsurprising. The show’s head writer, Malcolm Spellman (who is very successful writing stories about how he is oppressed), recently alleged that African-Americans “accept that the game is rigged, but now, [white Americans are] getting irresponsible in how much they’re taking from us, and people just have to push back.” With respect to the show’s loan scene, Spellman added that “Sam was black before he’s the Falcon.”
Racialized rhetoric like Spellman’s stems from critical race theory (CRT), which slanders America by erroneously asserting that America is founded upon racism, remains institutionally racist, and denies African-Americans the ability to change the status quo. CRT also alleges that white Americans are irredeemable, evil oppressors and that African-Americans are helpless victims.
Frustratingly, Marvel executives continue to push this type of divisive rhetoric, despite strong evidence that CRT is actually racism in disguise.
After all, CRT separates people solely along racial lines and it institutionalizes racism while claiming to be “against racism.” Instead of trying to heal the wounds of actual American racism and recognizing America’s past century of incredible progress, CRT intentionally divides us. Case in point: African-Americans who stand up for MLK’s dream have racial slurs hurled at them, while white Americans are praised by leftists for “being less white.” CRT helps no one except the racial grifters who profit off of it, and harms everyone else it encounters.
Falcon subscribes to CRT’s racism, reducing Sam to an immutable characteristic. Instead of telling the inspiring story of a great hero (who happens to black) taking up the mantle of Captain America, it exploits the tensions of an already divided America.
In short, Falcon pushes an apparition of racism to support critical race theory, but provides no evidence of actual racist conduct. The series has nonetheless been hailed as “mature social commentary.”
Falcon Will Have Pernicious Effects on America’s Youth
I saw the first Captain America film when I was eight and the conclusion to Steve’s story when I was sixteen. To say that his character inspired me would be a gross understatement. And, just like me, there will be young men and women of all races who watch Falcon for inspiration. However, instead of seeing an African-American man as Captain America and realizing that his race does not matter, new generations will be trained to embrace a racialized narrative of victimization.
African-American viewers in particular will be told divisive lies. They will hear that there are invisible forces of “racism” fighting them and that, if they aspire to greatness in America, they do not have self-respect. Young Americans will either be told that they oppress others or that they’ll never succeed, no matter how hard they try to be good, prosperous humans. They will be told, by a former hero Sharon Carter, that heroes like Bucky “buy into all that stars and stripes s—t.” Clearly, these lies are a complete contradiction of what superheroes normally represent.
Sam was previously an Avenger and hero defined by everything but his race. Conversely, Sam in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is “black Captain America” and not “Captain America,” a betrayal of his character and of superheroes as a whole.
For Falcon, Evil is Heroism
As if the racial essentialism of Falcon weren’t bad enough, the show pushes anti-American globalism as well.
During the Blip, the period in which half the universe was killed by Thanos, there were no borders and no governments. As everyone comes back from the Blip, however, this all changes. The world tries to reorder itself, eerily paralleling our current “return to normal” from the COVID pandemic.
An international organization forms in order to facilitate the re-establishment of countries and governments. The Flag Smashers, a Blip-revering movement of globalist supersoldiers who kill anyone who stands in their path, form to oppose this organization and the return to normal. Throughout Falcon, the Flag Smashers movement is united by the phrase, “One world. One people.”
The Flag Smashers are clearly villains. They stand against America, oppose national sovereignty, and kill innocents to enact their goals.
However, according to head writer Spellman, Karli Morgenthau, their leader, was written “as a hero [… who] goes bad.” Spellman claims that Morgenthau’s main priority “is making sure that everybody [who’s] been affected by the Blip is safe and in warm places and have medical supplies and food to eat,” contradicting Morgenthau’s actions.
Morgenthau steals medical supplies from those in need. She supports the displacement of millions, by arguing that squatters should maintain the residences they inhabited, amid the disappearance of legal homeowners during the Blip. Furthermore, Morgenthau demands that people conform absolutely to her ideas, making her dialogue sound like a self-righteous Twitter rant.
In Civil War, debate between Iron Man and Cap occurs intelligently. In Falcon, the main villain of the show is deceptively written as a “hero gone wrong,” and dissenting opinions are never considered. This is a mockery of both Civil War’s strides towards bipartisanship and everything that Captain America stands for.
Steve Rogers is a hero who fights for liberty; Karli Morgenthau is a despicable villain who fights for globalist anarchy.
Falcon Taints Captain America’s Legacy
At the end of the fourth episode, John Walker, the man appointed to be Captain America by the government, demonstrates why he is not worthy of the shield when—in a fantastic symbolic moment—he stands with Captain America’s bloody shield after brutally killing a man with it.
In an ironic twist, this scene is a meta-representation of the entire series: a powerful representation of America and conservative ideas is twisted into a propaganda machine for CRT and globalism. In the process, the show loses what historically makes Captain America so compelling.
The blood is a taint on the shield; Falcon, with its adoration for CRT and anti-Americanism, is a taint on Captain America’s legacy.
*The views expressed in this article solely represent the views of the author, not the views of the Chicago Thinker.