Falcon & Winter Soldier: The Book on Eli
Well Marvel True Believers, it’s Saturday, and that means that yesterday saw the release of the second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: “The Star-Spangled Man.”
As always, if you want to avoid spoilers and you haven’t had a chance to see the episode, which was made available for streaming on Disney+ on Friday, March 26th, 2021, then you’ll want to pick up your shield and get out of here! Go on, git!
Who Are the Bradleys?
In the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, “New World Order,” we saw a “new” Captain America wielding the iconic shield.
But it turns out that the story of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to get more complicated still. That’s because in “The Star-Spangled Man,” Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) brings Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) to meet Isaiah Bradley (Carl Lumbly), an important figure in the history of Captain America (read more on Isaiah’s tragic backstory here).
In Truth: Red, White, and Black #7 (2003) by Robert Morales, Kyle Baker, and Wes Abbott, we learn that Isaiah had many children and grandchildren. According to Isaiah’s wife, the Super Solider Serum treatment left him sterile; however, they had had a daughter before he was subjected to experimentation, and she gave them “a passel of grandchildren.”
And based on what we saw in the “The Star-Spangled Man,” it seems as though that is true in the MCU as well, as Bucky and Sam meet Isaiah’s grandson Eli, played by Elijah Richardson.
Who Is Eli Bradley?
Eli Bradley first appeared in Young Avengers #1 (2005) by Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, John Dell, Justin Ponsor, and Cory Petit. In that comic, Eli has taken on the role of Patriot in the brand-new Young Avengers team!
In Young Avengers #3 by Heinberg, Cheung, Dell, Ponsor, and Petit, Eli introduces himself to Steve Rogers, revealing that he’s the grandson of “the first Captain America… The Real Captain America”: Isaiah Bradley. Patriot explains that this is why he wears the original Bucky’s costume in the comic: out of respect for the original Captain America, his grandfather Isaiah.
How Does This Set Up Young Avengers?
In addition to Patriot, we’ve also been introduced to many of the other characters on the Young Avengers team.
First, we’ve already met several of the potential members for the Young Avengers team. There’s Billy as Wiccan (Julian Hilliard) and Tommy as Speed (Jett Klyne). If they’re anything like their comics counterparts, these twin siblings may have different last names next time we see them – I am obligated to point out that Billy’s other mother is named “Rebecca Kaplan” – but the children of Vision and the Scarlet Witch are important members of the Young Avengers team.
We’ve also met Cassie Lang, daughter of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), who becomes Stature (and later Stinger). Although we first met the character in 2015’s Ant-Man, where she was played by Abby Ryder Fortson, in 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, Emma Fuhrmann was recast in the role to reflect the fact that Cassie grew up while Scott was missing in the Quantum Realm during the blip (see: the mid-credits scene of 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp). Then, the role was recast again with Kathryn Newton for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is currently filming.
Meanwhile, other members of the Young Avengers roster have been cast, although we haven’t seen them on-screen yet. These include Kate Bishop as Hawkeye (to be played by Hailee Stanfield in the upcoming Disney+ Hawkeye series) and America, who is meant to be played by Xochitl Gomez in the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
And there are still some other characters on the table who may end up being part of the Young Avengers roster! In the 2013 Young Avengers run by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Mike Norton, Kate Brown, and Matthew Wilson, for example, a teenage Loki is a part of the team… and we know that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki will be playing with time travel in the upcoming Loki Disney+ series, don’t we? Hmm…
Eli: To Be Continued…
We’re on the edge of our seats here at Marvel Blog! Which one of the Young Avengers introduced so far is your favorite? Which one are you most excited to meet? Sound off in the comment section, True Believers!