The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 4 Ending Echoes Chilling Marvel Comics Moment
The death of Battlestar and a flag destroyer
John’s worst fear comes true, and he experiences his greatest failure as Captain America, when Lemar dies on his watch after inflicting a super soldier serum punch on the chest that caused him to fly into a stone pillar. While it was Karli who dealt the fatal blow, Walker flies off the hilt and brutalizes and eventually kills one of Karli’s fellow flag destroyers in front of a horrified crowd.
It’s a moment that was foretold throughout the episode. Previously, when John and Lemar confronted Sam and Bucky on the street, you could see two men lurking in a doorway filming the encounter on their phone, even though nothing terribly interesting or dangerous was taking place. Similarly, John is recognized and asked for an autograph when John and Lemar are heartily delighted at the horrors they saw in the war. Seeing him in full costume using this symbolic shield to brutally murder a defenseless man is going to have some ramifications to say the least.
And while it’s a safe bet that this is the event that finally brings Sam to understand that not everyone can wear the shield, the moment that will divert public opinion from John as Captain America and which will likely see the U.S. Government will give second thoughts on their new cap. And given how human Russell’s portrayal of Walker was, we’ll likely see that prey in his head no matter how justified he felt in the heat of the moment.
And the way this affects Walker may be reminiscent of a Captain America comic book story from the same run that inspired so much of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
Should Captain America Kill?
As to whether Captain America should kill is a philosophical debate that has raged in the comics for decades. For most of the character’s history, however, it was explicitly stated that Steve Rogers had an anti-killing code, much like Superman and other “lawfully good” type superheroes. It’s admirable, but considering that a key element of Captain America’s identity is that he actually fought in World War II, it never seemed as believable at first (this was later reconnected, initially with an understanding that Cap was im Generally not carrying a gun and only killed when it was inevitable, and later, when Ed Brubaker revealed that Bucky, even before he was the Winter Soldier, was a deadly and well-trained commando, often doing the dirty work America didn’t want, that his patriotic symbol was seen).
However, in the Marvel Comics of the 1980s, Cap’s Code Against Killing was firmly and undeniably in force. That is, until 1986 Captain America # 321, an early appearance by the original flag smasher, Karl Morgenthau, and the first appearance of his team ULTIMATUM (Underground Liberated Totally Integrated Mobile Army to unite humanity … see, it was the 80s). As well as The falcon and the winter soldierKarli Morgenthau is the MCU version of Karl, the flag smashers of the MCU correspond to ULTIMATUM. Well, get that out of the way …