One of the most powerful moments in this week’s episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was the introduction of Isiah Bradley. A relatively minor figure in the history of Marvel Comics but a hugely important one nonetheless, actor Carl Lumbly was incredible in his brief scene opposite Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, and the encounter could have some serious repercussions moving forward.
Not only is it going to weigh heavier and heavier on Sam Wilson that he willingly gave up Steve Rogers’ shield before discovering a black super soldier had been swept under the rug and imprisoned for decades, but tipster Mikey Sutton is now claiming that the storyline development might be used to sow the seeds for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s rebooted Luke Cage.
“On his Netflix show, Cage was an imprisoned black man who was tested on, eventually resulting in his powers,” says Sutton. “Apparently, Luke Cage’s new origin for Marvel Studios will be connected somewhat to Bradley’s in the utilization of the super-soldier serum.”
ComicBook.com, meanwhile, also believes that the door has been opened for Cage, and here’s why:
Bradley was given a version of the Super Soldier Serum, turning him into an American asset used in the Korean War. Though his comics origin differs slightly time-wise from what we see in the show, everything else largely remains intact. He was wrongfully imprisoned and subsequently experimented on by the United States government.
It’s an origin story similar to that of Power Man, another character that was imprisoned and experimented on, granting them superhuman abilities against their will. In fact, there have even been scientific studies done by scholars comparing the origins of both Bradley and Cage to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments.
There are definitely similarities in the origin stories of Bradley and Harlem’s guardian angel, both of whom were given powers as a direct result of unethical experiments conducted by the shady high-ranking officials. Not only that, but Sutton goes on to say that Kevin Feige wants Mike Colter to return as Luke, though the last time the actor publicly commented on the matter, he hadn’t spoken to anyone from the studio.
It would also require a full retcon to reintroduce Luke Cage in the form of Colter while ignoring everything that happened on Netflix, but with the multiverse in play, we know better than to rule anything out. In any case, Isiah Bradley’s subplot doesn’t appear to be anywhere near resolved as of yet, and if Sutton’s prediction pans out, it could end up running much deeper than just The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to inform numerous future projects either on the big screen or Disney Plus.