After The Falcon and the Winter Soldier left Sam Wilson as the one true Captain America, future stories featuring the character are likely to focus on his lack of superpowers, according to that series' showrunner Malcolm Spellman.
"I believe that's going to be his conflict moving forward, too... And it's appropriate," Spellman told the Everybody Loves a Story YouTube channel (opens in new tab) (via Comic Book), when asked about all the supervillains who are going to come for his head now he's carrying the shield.
Spellman compared Wilson to Bruce Willis's John McClane in Die Hard. "And you forget, right, in the action genre, what made Die Hard a classic wasn't who Bruce Willis beat, it was what he went through to beat them. He's walking through glass with no shoes on... He's taking that beating because that's what people can identity with."
"What better hero to root for, than that?"
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Elsewhere in the interview, Spellman said that the addition of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Madame Hydra was Marvel's suggestion, and that her character – who recruits off-brand ex-Captain America John Walker to a mystery cause in the show's final episode – was originally written as a stock character. "That was their suggestion. We wrote a shady-ass CIA character, and Marvel was like, 'that should be Val'."
Spellman thought the character left such an impact because "she entered the show like an Easter egg, which adds that magic to it."
What next: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier season 2 or Captain America 4?
Marvel has not officially said how Sam Wilson's story as Captain America will continue. There are two possibilities: Marvel's Nate Moore has floated the potential of a second season on the record in an interview with IndieWire (opens in new tab). "Hopefully at the end of this season, you will see the potential for what we could tell in a subsequent season," Moore said, which sounds fairly direct about the possibility of a follow-up.
Next, though, just as the show wrapped up its final episode, the ever-reliable THR (opens in new tab) reported that a fourth Captain America movie was planned – and that showrunner Malcolm Spellman was co-writing the screenplay with Dalan Musson, another writer on the series.
"I don’t know what’s gonna happen in Cap 4," Spellman subsequently told Unilad (opens in new tab).
Where we'll see Sam and Bucky turn up next, then, is something of a mystery – there's nothing on Marvel's release schedule that looks like a perfect fit for the pair, other than perhaps the crossover event Secret Invasion on Disney Plus.
Analysis: Heroes with no powers are an MCU fixture
It's not just Sam Wilson who's technically lacking superpowers in the MCU – Natasha Romanoff and Clint Barton have been fighting space aliens and other baddies since the first phase of these movies. There's precedent, then, of superheroes taking on all kinds of escalating threats without having any powers to back it up.
If you're really good at beating people up, that might be enough to see you through. It was for Batman, anyway.
Whether Sam Wilson turns up again on the big screen or Disney Plus, it's exciting to see such a long-running Marvel hero get some serious development like this. Let's just hope we don't have to wait years longer to find out what happens next.