Theory Thursday: ‘THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER’ Will Introduce the Commission on Superhuman Activities to the MCU
Once meant to kick of Marvel Studios slate of Disney Plus streaming series, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier hit a bit of a speed bump in the Spring, pushing it back in the queue. In an alternate universe, the series has completed its run and fans’ imaginations have been running wild with theories about what’s next for the heroes and villains. Here, however, we’re still stuck speculating on what might be and a non-story from last week got my wheels spinning again.
After some official The Falcon and The Winter Solider Mini Mates leaked online last week, word made its way around the internet that they had spoiled the fact that Wyatt Russell would be introduced as Captain America in the series. of course that’s just not right; there is no spoiler here. The Big Game spot that teased the series already showed us Walker in full Cap gear as have many set photos and, most importantly to this theory piece, these posters from the set which made the rounds back in February.
Walker being trotted out as Cap isn’t a spoiler by any means. While they certainly won’t follow the character’s comic arc beat for beat, it’s been pretty evident from jump street that Walker was going to be the guy holding the shield…there’s a reason why the series isn’t called Captain America and The Winter Soldier. What is interesting about the posters that were spotted on set is that they are sponsored by the U.S. Army. Now Walker himself was a military hero but that’s not all that’s going on here. These posters are more than just the U.S. Army celebrating the promotion of one of their own to the role of Cap; these are good ol’ government propaganda and that likely means that, just like in the comics, Walker was hand selected by the government to be the new Cap. There’s probably a whole other theory piece here about why Walker was chosen over Sam, but that’s not what this is. This is about just what kind of group would do the choosing and what role they might play in The Falcon and The Winter Solider and beyond.
If the government is going to do something, you can be damn sure they’re going to form a committee to do so and, theoretically speaking, that committee would be the Commission on Superhuman Activities. In the comics, the CSA’s members came from all over the government: the military, the NSA and the FBI were among the organizations who had representatives on the Commission. Their job, in a nutshell, was to monitor and strategize on how to deal with the ever growing number of powered people. As Vision pointed out in Captain America: Civil War, the strength of the Avengers invites challenge. Given what we know about the series, it seems incredibly likely that we will see the further proliferation of powered people (you can read my ideas about how that might happen here) and see the government response to that. Way back in January of this year, this Connecting the Imaginary Dots piece laid out one possible route the government might take: attempting to reproduce the Super Soldier serum. Now we can’t be 100% sure, but I’m willing to be that one of the big themes of this series is going to be the legacy of Steve Rogers and that serum and that John Walker gets himself a little cocktail to power him up courtesy of the CSA.
The CSA isn’t the Accords, though the formation of the Commission might easily be seen as a natural consequence of the Accords. The CSA would be its own thing and while Thunderbolt Ross might have a hand in its formation in the MCU, it’s very much its own group in the comics and it has a few KEY power players who, should the CSA show up in the MCU, might portend some really big things down the road.
Key among the potential members of the CSA are Valerie Cooper and Henry Peter Gyrich. Dr. Valerie Cooper believed she saw a developing threat in the growing number of powered people (it was mutants in the comics…are we there yet in the MCU) and used the CSA to tap into the that growing number of powered U.S. citizens as part of what she saw as an arms race. In the absence of the Avengers, Cooper created the Freedom Force (composed entirely of mutants who were looking to clear their criminal records) and the group was successful for a time before falling apart. From there, Cooper played an integral role in making sure that John Walker ascended to the mantle of Captain America, under the thumb of the CSA, and bringing in his old Army buddy, Lemar Hoskins, as his partner, Battlestar (you first read about Hoskins appearing in the series right here!). Cooper, or a character like her, seems like sure bet to appear in the series and while her time on the CSA is pretty exciting, wait until you guys go look up the X-Men watchdog organization she headed up (O.N.E.).
A little more well-known thanks to his time as a government liaison with the Avengers, his appearances in numerous animated series and in 2000’s X-Men, Henry Peter Gyrich is an even bigger asshole and a character a lot of fans have been expecting to see in the MCU for some time, so an appearance here as part of the CSA wouldn’t be entirely surprising. Gyrich helped develop and oversee the off-the-books Project: Wideawake which kept an eye on the mutant explosion and, among other things, employed Sentinels against them.
Should one or both of these two appear in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, they could not only be viewed as short terms thorns in the sides of Bucky and Sam but also potentially as some of the first steps that Kevin Feige could be taking towards introducing mutants to the MCU. At the very least, they might be two of the first characters who were previously owned by Fox to make their way into the ever expanding universe (though I think Agatha Harkness might be the first, now that WandaVision is coming ahead of this project). We’ll see how it turns out, of course, but given what we already know about the series, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the CSA make its debut when The Falcon and The Winter Soldier premiers next year.