What a time to be a Marvel fan. Not unlike the conclusion of WandaVision, the seeds for bigger stories and a much larger universe continue to be planted. Without further ado, here are 5 things we’ve learned following 6 episodes of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!
#1 A New HYDRA Has ARRIVED
With Black Widow coming in July, Leviathon is something all fans should be aware of. Serving as the Communist/Cold War version of HYDRA, Leviathan has direct ties to Natasha Romanoff and the Red Room. It’s unclear what is cannon and what is not, but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Leviathan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Leviathon had a quick appearance in Agent Carter. However, let’s spend our time looking forward rather than backward.
This secret organization was revealed when Val, played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, officially made her debut in episode 5 of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Expect to see quite a bit of her character on the big and small screen moving forward, who proposed an offer to John Walker that he could not refuse. What is this secret organization? What exactly is she planning?
Leviathon is a Russian spy agency and rival to HYDRA in the comics.
With HYDRA’s time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the way out, it’s now time for Leviathon to make their presence felt. With John Walker taking the super-soldier serum, it’s clear that Val’s intent is to create a team of super soldiers of her own. Leviathan is directly tied in with the Red Room, a brainwashing and training facility where Natasha Romanoff honed her skills to become an assassin. Expect to see Val’s character when Black Widow debuts in July.
#2 A Villainous Squad is COMING.
One thing is for sure, you can’t talk about Leviathon without bringing up the Thunderbolts. Falcon and the Winter Soldier has done a terrific job at making Marvel fans more excited for upcoming projects. One of those projects is none other than Thunderbolts. Who are the Thunderbolts? Well, I’m glad you asked! We know that the next big bad of the MCU is a long way away. While they prepare to introduce other franchises like X-MEN and the Fantastic four, Kevin Feige will soon introduce the first villain-focused project to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is a crazy, exciting time to be a Marvel fan!
The Thunderbolts are not dissimilar to DC Comics version of the Suicide Squad. They are a government-controlled team of villains, some new and some that have already been established in the MCU. The first character to bring up has to be Thaddeus Ross, who has struggled to make his presence felt with the failed Sokovia Accords and Abomination. Expect Ross’ to make his presence felt in the very near future. In the comics, Ross is the leader of the Thunderbolts and becomes Red Hulk. If I were a gambling man, then I would double down on Ross having a brief cameo in Black Widow.
Who comprises the Thunderbolts?
Based on the finale of Falcon and the Winter Soldier, John Russell’s US Agent will clearly have a role on the team. First up is Baron Zemo, who is surely in a positive emotional state with the end of the Flag Smashers while reading his favorite books on the raft. Zemo was terrific in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and it makes complete sense for him to eventually cut a deal to work with the government, only to use them as part of his larger plan. You also have to expect Emil Blonsky’s Abomination to have a role on the team with She-Hulk currently slated to release in 2022.
Other names to watch out for include Justin Hammer, whom I was hoping to be revealed as the Power Broker during the series finale of Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Yolena Belova is also likely to join with her past getting further fleshed out in Black Widow. Yolena was a member of the team in the comics, and it is extremely likely that we see her take up the mantle of Black Widow in the very near future. Taskmaster, the main villain in Black Widow, is another wildcard who should also have his name thrown into the mix moving forward.
#3 A New Team of Heroes is FORMING.
With the next big Avengers film likely a long, long time away from hitting the big screen, we’ve seen a lot of pieces of the puzzle put into play regarding another team of heroes. As Kevin Feige gets his plan together regarding the Fantastic Four and X-MEN, the Young Avengers will be getting a significant amount of focus in the very near future. Who are the Young Avengers and why is it so important?
Cassie Lang, who was introduced in Ant-Man, is likely to become a member of the team. Wiccan and Speed, who were introduced in WandaVision, could potentially join. Elijah Bradley, aka Patriot and grandson of Isaiah Bradley, had a quick appearance in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Kate Bishop will soon make her appearance as Hawkeye, trained by Clint Barton himself with a series underway. America Chavez, aka Miss America, will also be shortly joining the MCU. She’s already scheduled to join the Doctor Strange sequel and brings super strength and flight to the table.
But the Young Avenger I am most excited for has to be Kamala Khan aka Ms. Marvel.
My favorite shapeshifter is going to be a major player in the MCU, who will not only get her own series but likely get her presence felt in multiple films moving forward. It has already been announced that Ms. Marvel will be appearing in the MCU in more than one film including Captain Marvel 2. Kamala is an incredibly fun character for the MCU to grow and her journey to become an Avenger will be a blast.
What is the purpose of the Young Avengers? In my opinion, I think Kevin Feige intends to utilize the Young Avengers to connect the dots between the Disney+ series as well as future projects moving forward. For example, I think it makes complete sense for Sam Wilson to become a mentor or leader for the team. With alternate dimensions and time traveling soon coming into play with the upcoming Loki series, I could easily see the Fantastic Four getting their first MCU nod in this project. It’s also not out of the imagination to see Miles Morales or a future X-MEN character get a name drop here. The possibilities are endless.
#4 How does FATWS tie into Loki?
Honestly, not that much. WandaVision was mainly utilized to establish Scarlet Witch as the mightiest Avenger and bring fans closer to dark magic. Meanwhile, Falcon and the Winter Soldier successfully brought real-world struggles into the MCU. Similarly, both projects showcased that that Marvel Cinematic Universe soars when it is tackling adult and dark themes. Both projects also featured standout performances from Elizabeth Olsen, Kathryn Hahn, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan.
In contrast, I expect Loki to bring more of what we used to expect from the MCU. I expect it to be a wild, time romp with mystery theme. Why is that so exciting? Because Loki projects as a series that will likely include more than one season. With the MCU focusing on widening the multiverse, Loki will surely have plenty of timelines to visit, fix and/or cause havoc. With so many new and old characters likely joining the MCU moving forward Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is here for the long run. At least until Thor’s journey of self-discovery is resolved.
#5 Secret Invasion is HERE
In the finale, it was revealed that Sharon Carter is the Power Broker. Every bone in my body feels like Sharon Carter is actually a Skrull, which will lead us directly into the Secret Invasion series that is quickly coming together for Disney+. It appears that Emilia Clarke is also in final negotiations to join the show, which centers on a group of shape-shifting aliens infiltrating Earth. “Super soldiers are off the menu,” says Sharon, but with access to so much classified intelligence, there “should be something for everyone.” Who was Sharon Carter speaking to on the phone during the post credit scene? I would double down on a Skrull being on the other line.