The Falcon and the Woke Soldier

 

Yesterday, I started watching the latest episode of Marvel’s miniseries, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  I did not finish the episode.  They are losing me with Wokeist nonsense.

Spoiler alert: This following will discuss the first five episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, as well as other Marvel movies.  If you don’t want to know, stop here.

I was looking forward to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which I expected to entertain with the ongoing adventures of, you guessed it:

  • The Falcon, aka Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie.  Sam is Captain America’s main sidekick in the movies.  He’s the cool black dude with the winged flying suit.  Before this series, I liked the character quite a bit, and I like Mackie as the actor.  At the very end of Avengers: Endgame, the original Captain America (Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans) gives his shield to Sam, suggesting that Sam will be the new Captain America.  I was fully on board with Sam carrying on as the new Captain America.
  • The Winter Soldier, aka James “Bucky” Barnes, played by Sebastian Stan.  Bucky was Captain America’s best friend growing up, pre-WWII.  Bucky was taken by the evil Hydra organization and turned into a bad-guy “Super Soldier,” using a serum similar to the one that made Captain America into a superhero.  There’s been a good story arc about the redemption of Bucky.

Since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a pretty long name, I’ve started calling the show “Sam and Bucky” (mainly to my kids, who have to put up with me).

So they started losing me, as a matter of the plot, with the sympathetic presentation of the new “bad guys,” called the “Flag Smashers.”  They’re basically an Antifa/Occupy Wall Street-style gang of terrorists, with a twist.  They’ve managed to get their hands on some of the Hydra super-soldier serum, so two of them (I think) have super-soldier powers.  Super-soldier powers basically means that they are super-strong, super-fast, and can absorb super-duper quantities of physical punishment.

I had little sympathy with this group of bad guys.  We’re really not supposed to sympathize with the bad guys in Marvel stories.  But here, one of the plot points is Sam having significant sympathy with the terroristic Flag Smasher super-soldiers.  This is despite the fact that they blow up a building occupied by innocent civilian workers.

But this is not the problem.  The problem is the way that they are handling the new Captain America.

You see, Sam does not take on the mantle of Captain America, a decision that rather annoys Bucky.  He gives up the shield, voluntarily.  The powers-that-be then appoint a new Captain America — who seems to be a pretty great guy, a highly decorated US special forces soldier.  The new Captain America (character name John Walker) tries to recruit Sam and Bucky onto his team, but they don’t like him.

Even this is not the problem.

The problem is that, at the end of episode 4, there is a big fight scene involving our supposed heroes — new Cap, Sam, and Bucky, against the two Flag Smasher super-soldiers.  The new Cap has surreptitiously taken the super-soldier serum.  The supervillains kill his sidekick — another cool black dude, who I liked — and then run away.

New Captain America chases one of the super-soldier supervillains out into the street, and kills him.

Kinda par for the Marvel course, isn’t it?  I mean, the superheroes kill the supervillains all the time.  It’s the point of the show, and generally quite emotionally satisfying, like Kevin Kline shooting the corrupt Brian Dennehy at the end of Silverado.

But no.  Not this time.

All of a sudden, there’s blood on Captain America’s shield.  Somehow, when Chris Evans was wielding the old circular vibranium vorpal blade, it never got blood on it.  I thought that vibranium must be like those nifty carpets that resist wine spills.

This is presented as a shocking scandal.  Captain America killed someone!  Yeah, a supervillain bad guy and all that, but he killed someone!

Like he did in every other Marvel movie.  Like the dozens of Nazis, and Hydra bad guys, and miscellaneous terrorists, and all of the people (presumably Americans) in those silly flying aircraft-carriers that rose out of the Potomac in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  The old Cap, Steve Rogers, must have killed hundreds of people by now, and perhaps thousands of miscellaneous aliens and beasties.

Which, by the way, did not make the old Cap unique.  All of the Avengers regularly kill bad guys, usually by the handful, often by dozens, occasionally by the hundreds.

Did I mention that in the opening sequence of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Sam himself kills a bunch of terrorists?  It’s a pretty exciting, if over-the-top, aerial battle sequence, complete with exploding helicopters.

But all of a sudden, apparently because the new series wants to paint the new Captain America as the quintessence of police brutality, poor new Cap/John Walker is treated like a war criminal for killing one . . . single . . . guy.

A guy who was, to repeat, one of the super-soldier supervillain Flag Smasher terrorists.

They’ve lost me.  It seems, to me, that the whole BLM/Antifa nonsense is invading the Marvel universe, carrying with it the typical inversion.  They cannot tell the good guys from the bad guys.

This ideology wrecks everything.

Wokeism delenda est.

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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I stopped paying attention to any of the Marvel stuff, really, when I heard about plans to make Captain America evil, actually a member of Hydra, and not just that he BECAME a member of Hydra, but that he actually was all along!  Maybe that only happened in some of the comics, I don’t know, but I don’t really care either.

    • #1
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: But all of a sudden, apparently because the new series wants to paint the new Captain America as the quintessence of police brutality, poor new Cap/John Walker is treated like a war criminal for killing one . . . single . . . guy.

    Reminds me of Arrowverse. The hero has a personal reason to kill the superduperextreaevil bad guy. So he mows down a dozen henchmen impersonally, and then has to face some moral struggle to not kill the superduperextraevil bad guy. Apparently pacifism is a virtue or something. But it only kicks in at the emotional climax of the story.

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…: But all of a sudden, apparently because the new series wants to paint the new Captain America as the quintessence of police brutality, poor new Cap/John Walker is treated like a war criminal for killing one . . . single . . . guy.

    Reminds me of Arrowverse. The hero has a personal reason to kill the superduperextreaevil bad guy. So he mows down a dozen henchmen impersonally, and then has to face some moral struggle to not kill the superduperextraevil bad guy. Apparently pacifism is a virtue or something. But it only kicks in at the emotional climax of the story.

    Many times it seems to come from “but we’re really so much alike!”

    • #3
  4. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    FatWS isn’t nearly as good as Wanda vision for many of the reasons that you mention. I’m not certain that the Flag Smashers are bad guys, but rather the GRC. It’s lazy TBH, they set up the GRC as the bad guys, and Cap works for them not the Avengers or Shield anymore. They get to promote a borderless world as the underdogs who only resort to crime and killing and use of the independently developed super soldier serum because after the blip all these people who were welcomed into the first world countries to make up for the 50% of the population that disappeared. Now that everyone is back these people are being told to go back home and they aren’t wanted. Hmm…

    You are right that the Avengers kill many people, but what Walker did wrong was to not accept a surrender and kill the person in vengeance (on camera to boot). That’s also lazy writing as well because it’s extremely likely that lots of people died in their fights (like Sokovia), but it’s mostly ignored.

    They could have just had Falcon become Cap but instead we got this series…I’m not convinced it was worth it. 

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    FatWS isn’t nearly as good as Wanda vision for many of the reasons that you mention. I’m not certain that the Flag Smashers are bad guys, but rather the GRC. It’s lazy TBH, they set up the GRC as the bad guys, and Cap works for them not the Avengers or Shield anymore. They get to promote a borderless world as the underdogs who only resort to crime and killing and use of the independently developed super soldier serum because after the blip all these people who were welcomed into the first world countries to make up for the 50% of the population that disappeared. Now that everyone is back these people are being told to go back home and they aren’t wanted. Hmm…

    You are right that the Avengers kill many people, but what Walker did wrong was to not accept a surrender and kill the person in vengeance (on camera to boot). That’s also lazy writing as well because it’s extremely likely that lots of people died in their fights (like Sokovia), but it’s mostly ignored.

    They could have just had Falcon become Cap but instead we got this series…I’m not convinced it was worth it.

    I’m a bit tired of the whole idea that you always gotta accept a surrender.

    I rather liked Danny Glover’s response to Joss Ackland’s claim of “diplomatic immunity” at the end of Lethal Weapon 2.

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    FatWS isn’t nearly as good as Wanda vision for many of the reasons that you mention. I’m not certain that the Flag Smashers are bad guys, but rather the GRC. It’s lazy TBH, they set up the GRC as the bad guys, and Cap works for them not the Avengers or Shield anymore. They get to promote a borderless world as the underdogs who only resort to crime and killing and use of the independently developed super soldier serum because after the blip all these people who were welcomed into the first world countries to make up for the 50% of the population that disappeared. Now that everyone is back these people are being told to go back home and they aren’t wanted. Hmm…

    You are right that the Avengers kill many people, but what Walker did wrong was to not accept a surrender and kill the person in vengeance (on camera to boot). That’s also lazy writing as well because it’s extremely likely that lots of people died in their fights (like Sokovia), but it’s mostly ignored.

    They could have just had Falcon become Cap but instead we got this series…I’m not convinced it was worth it.

    I’m a bit tired of the whole idea that you always gotta accept a surrender.

    I rather liked Danny Glover’s response to Joss Ackland’s claim of “diplomatic immunity” at the end of Lethal Weapon 2.

    Or, Charles Bronson at the end of “10 To Midnight:”

     

    • #6
  7. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    I’m a huge Marvel Comics fan. As hardcore as they come. But the new live-action stuff has really turned me away. I stopped watching Falcon and the Winter Soldier after episode two.

    I was cautiously optimistic about this series since it looked like they were going to pull from a lot of Mark Gruenwald’s classic Captain America run, late 80s, early 90s.

    The not-subtle-at-all racism crap was such a turnoff. I can buy the flying jet packs, the super-soldiers and the rest, but the racism is too unrealistic. It just takes me out of it.

     

     

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Anyway, didn’t Cap require not only serum, but that special energy-infusion machine too?

    • #8
  9. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    It sounds like they really messed up Flag-Smasher.

    In the comics, he is one man (not a teenage girl, ugg…). However he does emply his own flunkies. It sounds like the live action version(s) are just Antifa clones. How boring.

    In the books, Flag Smasher is an anti-nationalist. He hates borders and hates national pride as he believes the path the world peace lies in the abolition of nations that make groups of people feel superior to others. He is vehemently opposed to ethno-nationalism and tribalism. You could probably say he’s an anarcho-capitalist.

    “What? I’m not a communist. Weren’t you people listening? I hate what the Soviet Union stands for as much as I hate what America stands for!”

    This would be far too nuanced an issue for Disney to adopt and adopt without insulting the audience’s intelligence. I’m guessing their one-world-governmemt overlords probably weren’t too keen on giving the idea a platform, either. Unfortunate,  because there’s a lot of interesting directions you could take. It sounds like Disney went for the lamest, most dumbed-down version possible.

    • #9
  10. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Look I have pretty much given up on marvel.  I cant stand a world without consequences.

    In 1941, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, 5 years later the USA is nuking Japan.

    In 2001, the World Trade Centre is destroyed, and they chased Al-Queada to the ends of the Earth.

    If Aliens came and killed 150 million Americans.  The USA would have deep space battleships and x-ray lasers.

    The world as we know it, would radically change.  And Marvel just thinks people would go back to normal.  That is the most unrealistic part of the show.

     

    • #10
  11. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Look I have pretty much given up on marvel. I cant stand a world without consequences.

    In 1941, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor, 5 years later the USA is nuking Japan.

    In 2001, the World Trade Centre is destroyed, and they chased Al-Queada to the ends of the Earth.

    If Aliens came and killed 150 million Americans. The USA would have deep space battleships and x-ray lasers.

    The world as we know it, would radically change. And Marvel just thinks people would go back to normal. That is the most unrealistic part of the show.

     

    The appeal of Marvel is that it’s “the world outside your window.” It takes place on our earth, with some fictional locations. It has a New York, it had a WW1 and WW2, it has our history and culture. Spider-Man watches the same TV shows and listens to the same music that we do. Super heroes are fantasy, yet they always at least attempted to explain things in a pseudo-science way that made sense. A multi-billion dollar Iron Man suit is something that doesn’t seem completely impossible in our world.

    But the five year gap stuff was a huge mistake. It’s too far removed from the real world. If something like that happened, the after effects would be catastrophic. And yet, they played it off as a joke in the last Spider-Man movie. Comics have gone through so many changes over the decades, with creative teams changing all of the time. Good creators made changes, but generally put the toys back in the box when they were done so that future creators had something to work with. In the movies, they made the post-Endgame future of their universe unworkable.

    • #11
  12. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    “What? I’m not a communist. Weren’t you people listening? I hate what the Soviet Union stands for as much as I hate what America stands for!”

    That wouldn’t really prove he’s not communist, if he wants communism for the WHOLE WORLD, not just part(s) of it.

    And that’s what communism wants too, isn’t it?

    • #12
  13. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    They lost me when Sam basically admitted the Avengers were unpaid laborers. Otherwise known as slaves. You know, even after the Sokovia Accords.

    Plus, with the blip returning 50 percent of humanity, they couldn’t even garner some consumer protections for the returnees?

    • #13
  14. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    I stopped watching Falcon and the Winter Soldier after episode two.

    Did you stop at the same time everyone else did?

    • #14
  15. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Instugator (View Comment):

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    I stopped watching Falcon and the Winter Soldier after episode two.

    Did you stop at the same time everyone else did?

    The part where the cops almost pulled guns on Sam because he and Bucky were talking loudly in the streets

     

    • #15
  16. Instugator Thatcher
    Instugator
    @Instugator

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):
    I stopped watching Falcon and the Winter Soldier after episode two.

    Did you stop at the same time everyone else did?

    The part where the cops almost pulled guns on Sam because he and Bucky were talking loudly in the streets

     

    I saw the news report. I didn’t see the episode.

    Like guns matter to Sam or Bucky.

    • #16
  17. Casey Way Member
    Casey Way
    @CaseyWay

    I stopped watching too. Just not that engaging. Not missing it.

    They really messed up the Bradley family too. I was a big fan of the Red Black and Blue Cap series. Not trying to start a nerd fight here. But overall it was a well done series and came to a place of acknowledgement and understanding. 

    • #17
  18. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Casey Way (View Comment):

    I stopped watching too. Just not that engaging. Not missing it.

    They really messed up the Bradley family too. I was a big fan of the Red Black and Blue Cap series. Not trying to start a nerd fight here. But overall it was a well done series and came to a place of acknowledgement and understanding.

    IIRC, the not-quite-ready version of the serum Isaiah took left him brain damaged, right? They took a radically different approach on the TV show.

    • #18
  19. Casey Way Member
    Casey Way
    @CaseyWay

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Casey Way (View Comment):

    I stopped watching too. Just not that engaging. Not missing it.

    They really messed up the Bradley family too. I was a big fan of the Red Black and Blue Cap series. Not trying to start a nerd fight here. But overall it was a well done series and came to a place of acknowledgement and understanding.

    IIRC, the not-quite-ready version of the serum Isaiah took left him brain damaged, right? They took a radically different approach on the TV show.

    Yea, and the effect took time to declare itself, so kinda like a dementia. Done the right way, it could have fostered Sam’s growth into taking the shield. Instead it seemed like a narrative throw away to set up the cop scene.

    • #19
  20. ToryWarWriter Thatcher
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    Instugator (View Comment):

    They lost me when Sam basically admitted the Avengers were unpaid laborers. Otherwise known as slaves. You know, even after the Sokovia Accords.

    Plus, with the blip returning 50 percent of humanity, they couldn’t even garner some consumer protections for the returnees?

    When I heard about that I thought it was stupid.  His armor should make his look like a nascar driver with the sponsorships.  It would have made for great tv.

    • #20
  21. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    They lost me back in 2019 when they turned Thor into a 5’2″ bisexual woman.

    • #21
  22. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    They lost me back in 2019 when they turned Thor into a 5’2″ bisexual woman.

    Cheesecake — don’t knock it!

    The movies have never been very faithful to Comic Book Thor; who was, if memory serves, an arrogant a-hole.

     

    • #22
  23. JamesSalerno Coolidge
    JamesSalerno
    @JamesSalerno

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    They lost me back in 2019 when they turned Thor into a 5’2″ bisexual woman.

    There are so, so, so many great Thor comic stories to pull from, and they skipped over all of them in favor of this dud.

    • #23
  24. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):

    They lost me back in 2019 when they turned Thor into a 5’2″ bisexual woman.

    There are so, so, so many great Thor comic stories to pull from, and they skipped over all of them in favor of this dud.

    I think Buffy’s hammer was bigger than that.

     

    • #24