This article contains WandaVision spoilers and speculation that could lead to spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the rest of the MCU.
While WandaVision is busy keeping everybody guessing with its mysterious sitcom-inflected weirdness, the Super Bowl just reminded us that there’s a more relatively straightforward superhero action show coming to Disney+ next month. Right after WandaVision finishes its nine episode run, Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will hit the streamer on March 19, telling the tale of the uneasy partnership between Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes, and the ongoing quest to fill Captain America’s boots and wield the shield.
The trailer focuses on the buddy cop action elements of the series, and gives us a better idea of what Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo is after, as well as a gang of masked baddies who may or may not have anything to do with Zemo himself. Wyatt Russell’s John Walker/US Agent is still being kept in the background for now, but it’s a safe bet that he’s going to play a major role. But the thing that caught our eye was the inclusion of a major Marvel location that hasn’t yet made an appearance in the MCU: Madripoor.
Check out the trailer here if you haven’t seen it yet…
So yeah, plenty of action, plenty of banter, tension to spare, etc. But there’s a mysterious waterfront city in the trailer, as well, and it seems to match earlier reports that the fictional location of Madripoor would feature heavily in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
What is Madripoor?
Marvel’s Madripoor is an island nation/city in Southeast Asia, one known for having a bit of a roughhousing, semi-lawless nature. It’s a perfect place for heroes who operate on the “international intrigue” end of the MCU spectrum to get into some trouble and have some clandestine meet-ups (and public brawls) with new characters.
But here’s the thing: while plenty of Marvel heroes have found trouble in Madripoor through the years (including both the Clint Barton and Kate Bishop versions of Hawkeye, so don’t be surprised if we return here during their series), it was initially created for and is most associated with mutants and the X-Men. So while there’s still no firm plans for how Charles Xavier’s favorite team of child soldiers might play into the MCU, there are plenty of indications that we’ll see elements of their world start to appear here.
Will The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Introduce Wolverine to the MCU?
And among those mutants, or arguably anyone in the Marvel Universe, nobody loves Madripoor more than Wolverine. Logan has spent dozens of adventures kicking around Madripoor, often in his poorly-disguised alter ego of “Patch” (where…he wears an eyepatch as a disguise). Logan even co-owns a bar there, known as The Princess Bar. Set photos from earlier in the show’s production revealed a number of known Marvel locations which are enough to confirm this as Madripoor (notably the Brass Monkey and a place likely doubling as a safehouse for wayward SHIELD or SWORD agents, but no sign of The Princess…yet).
There’s no mutant more suited to the kind of international intrigue that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is apparently playing towards than Wolverine. Plus, someone with adamantium claws is just begging for a dust-up with whoever happens to be carrying the vibranium shield at that moment. Considering how cameo-crazy Disney+ seems to be with these shows, could we get one of the biggest characters in Marvel history introduced (or re-introduced) on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?
Considering the slow-burn reveal that Kevin Feige and co. seem to want to take with mutants and the X-Men in general, and considering that nobody was more high profile than Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine, we’re gonna say that a Wolverine appearance this early, especially if he’s being recast, seems pretty unlikely. But then again, we didn’t see that WandaVision episode 5 ending coming, either. But if all The Falcon and the Winter Soldier gives us is a clue to the existence of Wolverine in the MCU, whether through visual teases or talk of a mysterious, unkillable brawler who has been known to fight his way through the back alleys of Madripoor, people are going to lose their minds.
We’ll start to learn more when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier arrives on Disney+ on March 19.