Unlocking Captain America 4: Avengers’ Ignored Solutions to the Super Soldier Dilemma

Captain America: Brave New World is set to continue themes from the very beginning of the MCU, but these problems could have been avoided many times.

Bucky Barnes' Winter Soldier and Sam Wilson's Captain America in the MCU

Marvel Studios’ super soldier threat is set to continue in Captain America: Brave New World, but these problems could have been avoided on multiple occasions in the history of the MCU. Shortly after the release of Phase 4’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+, Marvel Studios confirmed the development of Captain America: Brave New World, which will mark Anthony Mackie’s theatrical debut as the MCU’s new Captain America. Captain America: Brave New World’s cast features the returns of Betty Ross, Samuel Sterns, Thaddeus Ross, and characters from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Joaquín Torres and Isaiah Bradley.

At 2024’s CinemaCon, Marvel Studios revealed new footage, first-look images and story details for Phase 5’s upcoming Captain America: Brave New World. As well as providing new looks at Sam Wilson’s Captain America and Harrison Ford’s President Ross, the new footage from Captain America: Brave New World revealed that the project will continue a story that dates back to the beginning of the MCU. At some point, sleeper super soldiers, including Carl Lumbly’s Isaiah Bradley, will be activated with a song, transforming into mindless villains, which has been a popular theme in the MCU’s history, but could have been avoided.

Captain America 4’s Super Soldier Plot Was Consistently Foreshadowed To The Avengers

Zemo with the super soldier serum in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Super soldier antagonists have been a popular addition to the MCU since Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky was transformed into the Abomination in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. More often than not, super soldier experiments in the MCU are carried out in an effort to replicate Dr. Abraham Erskine’s successful experiment on Steve Rogers, who became the super soldier Captain America in the 1940s. This storyline has been integrated into a huge number of MCU projects, with various members of the Avengers having fought super soldiers on many occasions, meaning the opportunity has repeatedly been there for this issue to be eliminated.

Earth’s Mightiest Heroes could have seen how big a problem the rise of super soldiers was back in The Incredible Hulk, or in the wake of Captain America: Civil War after Baron Zemo had killed HYDRA’s other Winter Soldiers and their creator, Vasily Karpov. This problem also contributed to the Extremis soldiers in Iron Man 3, the Centipede Project in Agents of SHIELD, and various experiments that created several villains in Marvel Television’s Defenders SagaThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw a refined super soldier serum enhance Karli Morgenthau and the Flag Smashers, but this evolution was still ignored.

Captain America 4 Reveals The Avengers’ Biggest Mistake Was Worse Than Infinity War

Isaiah Bradley speaking to Sam Wilson in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuted Carl Lumbly as Isaiah Bradley, an African-American soldier who was successfully given a super soldier serum during the Korean War. Fearful of the impact an African-American super soldier could have on the world, the United States government imprisoned Bradley for three decades, during which time he was experimented on, before his death was faked and he was freed in the 1980sThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier saw Sam Wilson orchestrate an exhibit memorializing Bradley’s heroics at the Smithsonian, but Captain America: Brave New World will put a dangerous spin on Bradley’s character.

Isaiah Bradley is one of the super soldiers awakened by the mysterious song in Captain America: Brave New World’s new footage from CinemaCon. This sequence sees Bradley, as well as others in the room, attack President Ross and fight Captain America, and while this will show off his sheer power more than The Falcon and the Winter Soldier did, this could have been avoided had the Avengers not ignored the world’s super soldiers. Sam Wilson discovered Isaiah Bradley was a super soldier in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but did nothing to assess the threat this could have posed.

Captain America 4 Can Finally Address Just How Complicated The MCU Super Soldier Problem Is

Sam Wilson in his new Captain America costume in Captain America Brave New World

During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Anthony Mackie delved deeper into the themes of Captain America: Brave New World. Suggesting that the stories in the Infinity Saga were always “good versus bad,” Mackie noted that Brave New World would be taking a different route. “When the bad guys reappear, in what form are they reappearing?,” Mackie wonders, implying that Captain America: Brave New World will see friends become new enemies, and perhaps vice versa, suggesting the MCU’s long-running super soldier problem may finally be addressed in Sam Wilson’s debut feature film as the star-spangled man-with-a-plan in the MCU’s Phase 5.

The title implies that there’s a new, bigger enemy now; there’s a new frontier that we have to conquer. From Captain America: The First Avenger to Endgame , the enemy was always good versus bad. Now that we’ve conquered that, where do we go from here? When the bad guys reappear, in what form are they reappearing? It is a new storyline with new characters, with new beliefs, and it creates a new idea of this new world that we’re going into.

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