Marvel shows on Disney+ launch a new era for the cinematic universe

Illustration by Mattheau Faught/The Et Cetera
By Anthony Hernandez

@TheEtCetera

“The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is the second Marvel TV show exclusively streaming on Disney +. In this six-episode series, we follow Sam “Falcon” and Bucky “Winter Soldier” after the events of “Avengers: Endgame.” 

Captain America has just passed his shield to Sam, and the series starts with Sam feeling unworthy to handle the shield and struggling with the pressure of living up to Captain America’s legacy. Ultimately, the conflict motivates Sam to turn in the shield. This causes tension between him and Bucky as they try to stop a vigilante group of superheroes.

Marvel’s new story, also known as “phase four,” is the first time many of these characters’ storylines are played out on television instead of the big screen. 

Marvel’s first television series to stream on Disney+ this year was “WandaVision,” which ran from Jan. 15 through March 5. It showcases Wanda Maximoff’s slow mental breakdown after losing the love of her life, Vision, during Thanos’ quest to acquire all six Infinity Stones.

Wanda’s chaos magic creates a world of her own where she and Vision live their lives just as they wanted, but at what cost? 

“WandaVision” is a unique and refreshing introduction to Marvel’s new take on TV shows. Each episode replicates the aesthetic of the sitcom that inspired it while hiding a dark mystery that makes each chapter feel different and captivating. 

“WandaVision” fleshes out the character of Wanda as she grieves the loss of Vision, which helps us understand, though not agree with, her decisions throughout the show. 

The series begins and ends with a completely different version of Wanda, setting her up for her next appearance in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” which is scheduled for release next year, and advancing Marvel’s timeline to “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”

Despite being a television series, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” have many of the same qualities you would expect from a movie. The action and fight choreographies are always at their best, reminding viewers of Sam and Bucky’s first appearance in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

Marvel made a great call by releasing new episodes weekly, allowing for the hype and the enthusiasm to build. Shows like “Stranger Things” usually drop all their episodes at once, which can lead to people forgetting about them after the first couple of weeks.

The series has a total of six episodes, with each episode lasting for 50-60 minutes.  

Marvel is not afraid to use real social issues in their shows. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” shows the experience of a Black man in the United States and explores who can truly represent Captain America. Even in a fictional Marvel world, the tough reality of today’s America is not avoided. 

After Marvel dominated the big screen for the last ten years, “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” gives an opportunity for lovable side characters like Sam and Bucky to lead a story of their own. The series furthers their characters’ previous roles and prepares them for journeys ahead.

Other characters familiar to MCU fans will make an appearance on Disney+ this year. “Loki” is scheduled to premiere on June 11 and “The Black Widow” on July 9. 

The Hollywood Reporter also confirmed a fourth Captain America movie is in development, leaving us with the expectation that “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” might not be Sam and Bucky’s last time together. 

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