Captain America 4 Shows Marvel Has Already Forgotten A Key Falcon And The Winter Soldier Lesson

This is exactly what he warned Sam would happen.

Marvel Studios

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was all of three years ago, but the events of Sam and Bucky’s fight against the Flag-Smashers are finally starting to have big implications. Not only is Sam Wilson now well and truly Captain America, complete with his own headliner movie, Captain America: Brave New World, but the upcoming movie Thunderbolts* will finally give John Walker the antiheroic transformation he was promised by Val in the last moments of the show.

But in a presentation at CinemaCon, exclusive footage from Brave New World was shown, and it revealed an entirely new take on an old character — for better or for worse.

According to Entertainment Weekly, the footage opened with Harrison Ford as the recast General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, who is now the newly elected president of the United States. He’s leading a presentation to thank Sam Wilson for all he’s done as Captain America and even asks him to reform the Avengers.

Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

Marvel Studios

But all the goodwill is interrupted when an “old-timey song” starts playing over the loudspeakers. This triggers multiple soldiers in the audience to snap into action, clearly reawakening some previous brainwashing. Among them is Isaiah Bradley, whom Marvel fans met in Episode 2 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Bradley, played by Carl Lumbly, represented everything wrong with the Super-Soldier problem. He was America’s Black Captain America, a Super-Soldier dispatched to help defend America from the Winter Soldier during the Korean War. “You know what they did to me for being a hero? They put my ass in jail for 30 years,” he said. “People running tests, taking my blood, coming into my cell. Even your people weren’t done with me.”

While it’s great that such an interesting character is being reintroduced to the MCU three years later, being used like this is the last thing he wanted. When Sam went to visit him in Episode 5 of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he made this very clear.

Isaiah eventually got recognition from his country, but to him, it was too little too late.

Marvel Studios

“You think I wouldn’t be dead in a day if you brought me out? You want to believe jail was my fault because you got that white man’s shield? They were worried my story might get out,” he said. “So, they erased me. My history. But they’ve been doing that for 500 years.”

Isaiah Bradley was happily retired in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but it looks like Sam did eventually manage to convince him to trust in his country enough to visit the White House. Unfortunately, it looks like his suspicions were correct and someone is using him once again.

Although it’s devastating seeing Isaiah fall victim to the same manipulation over half a century later, it does mean that the fight Sam faces in Brave New World matters that much more. He’s the reason Isaiah came out of hiding, so he has to cope with that guilt. Captain America has always defended his country, but this time, it’s personal.

Captain America: Brave New World premieres in theaters on Feb. 14, 2025.

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