Things are not copacetic at the moment and there’s a lot of baggage to unload between Bucky, Sam, and John Walker, the new Captain America. Walker’s friend and sidekick, Hoskins, is kind of just there at the moment but doesn’t appear to have much of an emotional stake in the matter aside from supporting his buddy Walker. In fact, if anyone’s having a serious issue about who the shield should go to, it’s Bucky, though Sam obviously has a couple of reservations even if he doesn’t want to admit to them just yet. In the short-term, the appointment of a new Captain America makes it a little too obvious that the USA can’t or refuses to move on from the idea of having a Captain America at the helm, so they turned to someone that has an unprecedented three medals of honor and other prestigious notes in his file to take up the suit and shield, and it’s not sitting well with Bucky or Sam, since Walker is a bit of a braggart who still knows that what he’s taken on is beyond him, even if he’s doing his best to fill the role. In the comics, John Walker would go on to become US Agent, and so far it’s looking as though the road might be paved for that route soon enough, as his temper came close to flaring just once when he told both Sam and Bucky to stay out of his way when they refused to work with him.
One thing that’s been made obvious is that race is playing a part in this show since the moment that Bucky took Sam to meet a recipient of the super-soldier serum, a black man named Isaiah Bradley, who comes straight from the comics. Before even getting to the house a kid on the street recognizes Sam as ‘the Black Falcon’, to which Sam replies by telling him that it’s just ‘Falcon’. When the boy replies that his father calls him ‘Black Falcon’, it’s a bit too obvious that we’re going to see plenty of this. The fact that Isaiah was thrown in prison for 30 years after being subjected to the super-soldier serum and then taking on the mantle of Captain America during a mission is another sign of discrimination that is bound to keep popping up, but the old man’s story does coincide with Bucky’s since apparently the two tussled and Isaiah managed to get the better of Bucky. But he’s so adamant to avoid talking about those days that the two find no help, and upon leaving are stopped by the police, who demand ID from Sam before recognizing him. Right now it would appear that Disney is bending their knee as hard as they can in order to show how bad things can get for a POC, and as of now, it would appear that some folks have something to say about it.
But moving forward, we now know that the Flag Smashers are more than just a group that wants a united world, which is hard to argue with since the idea is one that does promote a lot more peace, but they’re also super soldiers. This is evidenced by the way they managed to handled two seasoned fighters and fought off the new Captain America and Hoskins without that much trouble. So there are more super soldiers running around when it was assumed that Steve Rogers, Bucky, and a few others might have been the only ones. Obviously the Marvel universe found a much wider and more receptive audience for the super-soldier serum than was initially believed, and as of now, it’s up to all four men that are involved in the hunt to find them and bring them to justice, if they can find a way to work together. That might be a problem since Sam and Bucky aren’t exactly friendly, and John, while he is trying, isn’t really doing much to gain the faith of either man. As of right now, the Flag Smashers have the upper hand despite the fact that they’re being chased and have lost one of their number in their bid for freedom. Their continued movement is enough to make it clear that they’re far from defeated and will continue to spread their message, especially since they’re being helped by those that believe in their cause, which is to keep the world powers from reverting back to the way things were before the blip.
So far the series has taken a very gritty look at the idea of how much dirt there is to uncover on the USA and its treatment of various individuals, as well as the need of the country to push a symbol that while meaningful appears to be up for grabs when it comes to someone filling the role of Captain America. As things progress it will be interesting to see what happens as John Walker takes on even more responsibility, and Sam and Bucky realize that they have to rely on each other.