Black Captain America

In Marvel Studios’ first live-action Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we expect to see Falcon, AKA Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), grapple with the responsibility of becoming the new Captain America after the events of Avengers: Endgame left Steve Rogers an old man in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. But it turns out Mackie may not be the only black Captain America in the upcoming show.

A new report says the series has just hired Alias and Doctor Sleep actor Carl Lumbly, who could potentially be playing a character from the comics named Isaiah Bradley, a contemporary of Cap’s who was experimented on and became a legend in his own right.

Deadline reports that Carl Lumbly has joined the cast of the series, which is filming its first season in Atlanta right now. There’s no official word about who he might be playing, but there’s some speculation that he could be stepping into the role of Isaiah Bradley, who, along with several hundred other black soldiers during World War II, became a test subject in an experiment that aimed to recreate the super soldier serum that turned the scrawny Steve Rogers into the shield-wielding hero the world knows as Captain America. Here’s how Deadline puts it:

The fan-favorite throwback character was introduced in 2003 in the Marvel Comics limited series Truth: Red, White & Black as a super-powered product of clandestine experiments on African-American soldiers. The evocative backstory (depicted with imagery that evoked the infamous, real-world Tuskegee syphilis studies) made Bradley a tragic but noble culture symbol for African-American heroes within the Marvel Universe.

This would be a very cool, organic way to bring serious real-world race issues into a superhero property – something Marvel did with great success a couple of years ago in Black Panther. According to our sources, the series will be about Falcon initially refusing to take up the mantle of Captain America, but ultimately changing his mind after discovering the secret history of the super soldier program by encountering Bradley, who was actually the “original” Captain America. While we can’t say with 100% certainty that Lumbly is definitely playing Bradley, we know that character is a part of the show, so this casting would make a lot of sense.

I remember Lumbly primarily from his days on J.J. Abrams’ Alias, playing CIA agent Marcus Dixon, the partner of Jennifer Garner’s Sydney Bristow. But he also has history in superhero shows, having lent his voice to shows like Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. You may also recognize him as M’yrnn J’onzz from The CW series Supergirl.

Lumbly joins fellow MCU newcomer Wyatt Russell, as well as returning veterans Mackie, Sebastian Stan as Buckey Barnes, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter, and Daniel Brühl as the villainous Baron Zemo. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuts on Disney+ this August.

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