Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode 1 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, Marvel’s latest live-action television series that will explore the adventures of Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes and Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson, has finally landed on Disney+ (check out our full recap of the episode). After an exciting few months spent following the various mysteries that unfolded in WandaVision, fans have come prepared to launch into another round research and speculation for what’s to come in this six-part action-packed series.
If the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taught us anything, it’s to stick around for the credits. And even if episode 1 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, “New World Order,” doesn’t have a post-credits scene, there’s plenty to pay attention to in the credits themselves. One potentially large implication in particular pops up at 43:54.
Before the text is quickly replaced by the credit for Music Supervisor Dave Jordan, we see the line, “Where do we go, now that they’re gone?” This was a blip-related message as previously seen in Avengers: Endgame.
Though those affected by the blip have returned, there are many other heroes that we lost in Endgame that this message could apply to. However, the background behind this text in the credits is what we’re really here to dive into.
Two lines of text on the wall make reference to someone from the comics — Power Broker. The alias has been taken on by two different figures over the years, the first being the criminal Curtiss Jackson. Jackson would go on to found Power Broker Inc., hiring a mad scientist named Dr. Karl Malus, a man who experimented on superhuman individuals (Netflix Marvel shows versus Disney+ aside, a version of Malus actually did appear in Jessica Jones).
So why is this important? Well, remember that knock-off Great Value Brand Captain America that was introduced in the final moments of the episode, John Walker aka U.S. Agent? Historically, in the comics, John Walker received his powers of enhanced strength from the Power Broker process. And speaking of enhanced strength, take note that there are illustrated blue vials of what is likely super soldier serum in the above image.
Near the end of episode 1, Sam and Torres were discussing the incredibly strong man who appeared to be the leader of the Flag Smashers. They were on the verge of diving further into that thought, but ended up cutting the conversation short. So is somebody out there creating more super-powered individuals? And as for Torres, it’s also worth noting that the comic character Joaquín Torres gained his powers as the Falcon through forced experimentation by … you guessed it, Dr. Karl Malus. More on that here.
Knowing Marvel, this could go one of two ways. It’s either a fun nod to set comic fans on the hunt yet again, or a hint for what’s to come in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and the MCU as a whole.
Stay tuned for our further coverage of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. Episode 2 will premiere exclusively on Disney+ Friday, March 26.