Despite being an introduction to Marvel’s Phase 4, ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ feels a lot like a closing piece to Phase 3.

  By Julie Weyant

  Published 5 hours ago

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  As Marvel’s Disney Plus series have continued to see success, it’s quickly become obvious that WandaVision and Loki are setting up the MCU for Phase 4. Both of these series are obviously very multiverse-focused, and between Wanda’s newfound ability to manipulate time and space, alongside Loki’s antics at the TVA, these characters will be major players during the upcoming multiverse war. WandaVision and Loki have also been experimenting with formats much different than anything Marvel has done before, setting them apart from other projects in the past.?

  The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was received by fans just as spectacularly, but it followed the more traditional guidelines the MCU has used in previous movies. Sam and Bucky don’t have magical powers or personal connections to the all mighty timekeepers, and the most recent part of their journey felt like a closing piece to Phase 3, rather than an introduction to Phase 4.?

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  With Steve passing on the Captain America mantle to Sam at the end of Avengers: Endgame, and Bucky just now being free from Hydra for the first time in over a century, a lot of their problems in the series stemmed from the catastrophic events of the Infinity Saga. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was created to remedy those problems, which it did, but it also didn’t leave many unanswered questions to be solved during Phase 4.?

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  Neither Sam nor Bucky have been exposed to time travel elements the same way Loki, or even the Avengers, have been in recent times. They don’t possess any special powers, or even come close to Wanda’s ability to jump between realities. Since other heroes like Doctor Strange are going to be spearheading the future of the MCU, these fantasy elements will be the driving force behind the characters fighting the impending multiverse war, or even the Timekeepers themselves.

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  Sam and Bucky are more grounded in reality than the other Phase 4 heroes, and fans are starting to notice connections between Wanda and Loki’s stories. Viewers suspect that the Scarlet Witch and the God of Mischief will have a huge impact on the next decade of Marvel movies, while The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is slowly being forgotten.?

  The Falcon and The Winter Soldier had much more to offer in terms of relevance because it touched on serious themes that the MCU hasn’t delved into before. By exploring systematic racism and showing the struggles refugees go through just to find safety in a country that doesn’t welcome them, Sam and Bucky’s story is deeply connected to real-world issues that need to be resolved. Addressing these matters is extremely important, but right now, it seems as if Sam and Bucky will have no place in the chaos of the multiverse.?

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  Sam and Bucky in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

  After spending so much time developing these characters, it would be a waste to forget about everything Sam and Bucky have done, and push them towards the back burner to make room for the fantasy elements influencing future projects. While this newfound sense of magic in the MCU has been both creative and unique, Marvel needs to carve a place in the multiverse for Sam and Bucky, to avoid making their story nothing more than a blip in time for Phase 4.

  Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan have both expressed interest in continuing their journey throughout the MCU, even though they aren’t sure how much longer their characters will be part of the franchise. The stars have their hopes that they’ll stick around for much longer, and now that they’ve changed the legacy of Captain America forever, Marvel needs to keep Sam and Bucky around to show fans how the rest of their story plays out in a world that has continually turned their backs on people like them.?

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  Sam’s new title as Captain America holds a great deal of meaning to a lot of Marvel fans, and Bucky has always been extremely popular amongst viewers. The multiverse allows for a plethora of opportunities where these two can encounter new enemies, while still looking out for the “little guys” bound to Earth.? Now that Loki has introduced the possibility of variants, perhaps Bucky will stumble upon a version of The Winter Soldier that never left Hydra, or Sam could find himself in a universe where he never met Steve Rogers. At one point in the Marvel Comics, Bucky picked up the Captain America shield instead of Sam, so maybe there’s a timeline out there where Bucky was the one to take up the mantle and carry on his best friend’s legacy.

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  No matter what route the MCU decides to go in, there are plenty of chances for them to take Sam and Bucky’s story somewhere deep into the multiverse. There haven’t been any official announcements yet as to where the two will end up during Phase 4, but fans are hopeful they won’t be lost amongst all the time-traveling mayhem. It might be a few years before Sam and Bucky can make their return, but when they do, they better come back with a bang.

  MORE: Check Out This Real Bouncing Captain America Shield

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