Disney+ is set to expand the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe later this year with two new television series, The Falcon And The Winter Soldier and WandaVision. The first series, which is set to debut this August, follows Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in the wake of Avengers: Endgame as they deal with the return of Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl) and honor the legacy of their friend Steve Rogers (Chris Evans). If you’re excited about the show or want to learn more about Sam and Bucky, here are five tales featuring the Sentinels of Liberty.
All-New Captain America, Vol 1: Hydra Ascendant
Rick Remender, Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Marte Garcia
All-New Captain America, though a short-lived series, was Sam Wilson’s first adventure as Captain America. He finds himself up against the hordes of Hydra; only this time, the terrorist organization has worked its way into every level of society. Anyone could be a threat, even his friends and fellow heroes. Remender expertly delves into Sam’s head, showing how his past shaped him into the hero he’s meant to be and how he’s struggling to live up to his friend’s legacy. Immonen also draws several jaw-dropping action sequences, especially when Sam battles the vampiric Brother Blood.
Sam Wilson: Captain America, Vol 1: Not My Captain America
Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna, Paul Renard, and Joe Bennett
In the wake of the Secret Wars maxiseries, writer Nick Spencer and artists Daniel Acuna, Paul Renard, and Joe Bennett took over Sam Wilson: Captain America. After a falling out with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Steve, Sam decides to operate solo as Captain America, assisted by Misty Knight and a new Falcon, Joaquin Torres. Spencer’s handling of Sam is wonderful and managed to touch on some timely issues, especially the issue where Sam battles the Sons of the Serpent, a white supremacist group.
All-New, All-Different Avengers
Mark Waid, Adam Kubert, Mahmud Asrar, Alan Davis, Sonia Obrack, and Dave McCaig
While he was Captain America, Sam also helped found a new team of Avengers, consisting of Iron Man, Thor (Jane Foster), Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Sam Alexander/Nova, and the Vision. Writer Mark Waid showcased his talent for utilizing the history of a fictional universe to craft new stories, backed by the artistic talents of Adam Kubert, Mahmud Asrar and Alan Davis. The All-New, All-Different Avengers faced threats such as Annihilus and Kang the Conqueror, and even gained a new member in Nadia Van Dyne, aka the Wasp. Unfortunately, in the wake of Civil War II, Kamala, Miles, and Nova left the team, though Sam continued to lead them.
Winter Soldier: The Complete Collection
Ed Brubaker, Butch Guice, and Michael Lark
Ed Brubaker is the writer responsible for elevating Captain America into a household name with the Winter Soldier storyline which resurrected Bucky Barnes as a shadowy assassin. He reunited with longtime collaborator Michael Lark, as well as Butch Guice, to tell a new tale featuring Bucky. After the events of Fear Itself, Bucky and his girlfriend Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow, track down a cadre of sleeper agents that Bucky trained while he was under Hydra’s control and even battle Doctor Doom. This series tied into the theme of redemption, as Bucky seeks to atone for his past actions, and is a compelling espionage tale with superheroic elements.
Winter Soldier: Second Chances
Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis
Bucky’s search for redemption would continue in a new miniseries by Kyle Higgins (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers) and Rod Reis (Doctor Strange: Damnation). Bucky had set up a witness protection program where he helped people escape from dire situations and set up a new life. Complications arose when RJ, a teenage assassin groomed by Hydra, is sent to kill him. Seeing something of himself in the boy, Bucky takes it upon himself to train and take care of RJ. Higgins’s writing deftly touches on the nature of redemption and how it’s an ongoing journey, and Reis’ beautifully painted artwork intertwines action and sound effects.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier definitely looks like it’ll continue to bring a new take on the Captain America mythos and endear fans of both Bucky and Sam. I hope that this series will drive new fans to seek out these and other tales featuring this dynamic duo, especially a new miniseries that debuts this week from writer Derek Landy and artist Federico Vicentini. Do you have any favorite comics featuring the Falcon, Winter Soldier, or other Captain America characters?
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be out exclusively on Disney+ in August.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.