As viewers of the first episode can see, however, “FAWS” is in many ways just as connected to the world we live in now as “WandaVision.” For one, Sam has to deal with being a black man who is handed the mantle of Captain America by (a very old) Steve Rogers, at a time when issues of race and representation are at the forefront of a fraught national conversation. And the premiere also makes clear that as the series continues, both Sam and Bucky will have to confront how the Blip put the entire world in turmoil, while a resistant group called the Flag-Smashers tries to bring back a world without nationalist borders. Sound familiar?
Something tells me no matter what the structure, these Flag-Smashers won’t be a metaphor for leftists, if that’s what they’re implying, and there’s little chance the producers would be willing to script an honest metaphor for the current border crisis anyway, as a later passage of the interview hints. For now, what is worrisome is how they rely on an approach of making it look like the whole country is irredeemably racist as a result of “right-wing” politics. It doesn’t get better with the following:
The episode ends with the reveal that the government lied to Sam, and used Steve Rogers’ shield to create a new, white Captain America — after Sam had publicly set that mantle aside. That felt pointed to me…
Oh, it is. [Laughs] I think this is going to be an extremely relevant show in a lot of ways, and that is not by accident. The magic of embracing diversity in the writers room and having an almost all-Black staff allows you to tap into pop culture. I mean, Black folk are the masters of it, and when we get a shot, to do what we do, it is universal for everyone because our struggle and our point of view is a concentrated version of the greater human struggle. So it is yeah, those moments you’re talking about are pointed, and we dig deeper and deeper and deeper as the series progresses.
This does little more than imply white people aren’t very talented at anything. Some message they’re conveying alright. As a result, they’re digging pretty deep already. And then:
You had a banker ask Sam how he made his money — that’s a question that I’ve always wondered about and I imagine you had, too. Did you ask that of Kevin Feige?
Adam, it’s funny. Every single person I’m sitting with went crazy over that scene. It satisfied something very deep for people. What’s a trip is when we got to that moment, and that question came about naturally, the entire Marvel structure chimed in. That was a really, really fun moment, where what was supposed to be a scene that mostly dealt with the issues of, you know, a Black family from a certain background dealing with a bank loan, and the fact that him being a celebrity does not transcend him being Black, turned into way more fun of, Wait, how do superheroes make their money? I can’t tell you the volumes of documents that came out in building what is this much dialogue [holds fingers inches apart] in the episode.
Let me get this straight. Sam Wilson doesn’t get a bank loan because of his racial background?!? Very farfetched in this day and age in the USA. But that’s the wokeness narrative for you when leftists who’d rather everybody think this is a world where racism still comes way out in the open, not under the table, are in charge of the proceedings. One of those lefties being none other than Feige, who’s already dismaying plenty.
In the in the context of Bucky, it seems like your show is going to be a lot about regret and making amends. What about these characters did you want to be able to pick apart and explore?
That was the primary reason I showed up, which was for Sam, the idea of a Black man confronting the stars and stripes is whether it’s even appropriate to carry that shield. The audience will find out very quickly that he has strong opinions that are going to surprise them. For Bucky, it was so obvious to me how crazy this dude’s life has been. He’s only got short moments in a million different movies, right? And Sebastian, being such a good actor, was able to wield all the trauma of his backstory, and bring him to life. It was like this character walks through your door, and he’s like, hold on, let me bring my baggage with me. And it’s 37 bags stacked high that we had the pleasure of unpacking the series. So what we tried to do was imagine every person Bucky killed while he’s under the control of Hydra. Take the fact that he’s 106 years old, and find one storyline that personalizes all that and forced him to confront it, and allowed Sebastian to show his chops.
I don’t like the sound of this either. Bucky suffered enough in the comics since the late 2000s, when he was resurrected. This is only compounding the damage, right down to how the Cap legacy is more or less ragged on in this rendition. And then, there’s this fishy bit:
One of the villains established this in this episode are the Flag-Smashers. In the comics, Flag-Smasher’s end goal of doing away with nationalism is something one might want to strive for, especially considering we’re living through a very nationalist time in the world. How did you decide you wanted Flag-Smasher to be a part of the show?
We really wanted this to be a series that presents superhero mythology of the times. We wanted it to be relevant. We wanted it to be forward facing. Look at what happened in MCU. Thanos disappeared half the planet’s population — gone for five years, then they reappeared. That is a global problem, right? That’s a problem everyone on the planet had to deal with. That’s also happening in our real world today. So all the villains were born from that spirit, and villains who actually believe they’re heroes, because they’re responding to the state of the world, as opposed to some personal agenda, or a quest for power, or I want a million dollars, you know?
Here it’s the interviewer who comes off sounding awful, and the interviewee does little to improve upon him. So anybody who cares about the state of the world and wants to better it is not a hero, but a villain? Weirdly enough, this is another story reminding me of the premise for DC’s Zero Hour crossover from 1994, where corrupted Hal Jordan, IIRC, was depicted behaving almost like what they envision. To think that superhero franchises have since been taken over by people with a warped notion of who or what makes a good superhero and belief system, or rather villains, is devastating, much like the regrettable politics the Falcon & Winter Soldier producers are. This certainly does confirm their motivations aren’t altruistic.
Originally published here.