Falcon and Winter Soldier series might introduce original Black Captain America

Marvel’s The Falcon and The Winter Soldier series is expected to explore what it means to be Captain America now that Sam Wilson has inherited Steve Rogers’ shield, but the latest casting addition could take that theme to another, deeper level.

Supergirl and Doctor Sleep actor Carl Lumbly (pictured below) has joined the cast of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, according to Deadline. While the character he’s playing remains unidentified, the veteran actor is strongly rumored to be playing Isaiah Bradley, an early, lesser-known Captain America who was one of the country’s first Black superheroes in the comics.

First introduced in 2003’s <em>Truth: Red, White, and Black</em> limited series, Isaiah Bradley was one of 300 Black soldiers subjected to a secret program intended to re-create the super-soldier serum that gave Steve Rogers — the hero known as Captain America — his powerful abilities. Only five soldiers survived the Tuskegee-like experiments, which were hidden by the U.S. government.

In Marvel Comics lore, Bradley was the only soldier from the program who survived the deadly black-ops missions they were sent on during World War II, and he later struck out on his own, stealing a Captain America uniform and shield before embarking on a mission to end the Germans’ super-soldier program.

The military’s experiments eventually took their toll on him, however, and he was left debilitated in both mind and body in his later years.

The Red, White, and Black series had Steve Rogers discover the truth about Bradley’s place in U.S. history and the top-secret program that gave him his powers. He attempted to give Bradley the honor he was denied by the country he served. Bradley is held in high regard by Marvel’s heroes, and is viewed as one of their fictional history’s first Black superheroes.

Lumbly is no stranger to superhero stories, having played the father of the Martian Manhunter on The CW series Supergirl, as well as provided the voice of the Martian Manhunter on the long-running Justice League animated series. Previously, he played the lead role in the short-lived superhero series M.A.N.T.I.S. during the 1990s, which was co-created by Sam Raimi.

If the report proves true, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier will likely feature at least three different iterations of Captain America.

Along with Isaiah Bradley and Sam “The Falcon” Wilson (Anthony Mackie), who inherited the mantle from Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) at the end of Avengers: Endgame, the show will also introduce actor Wyatt Russell as John Walker, a character better known as U.S. Agent in the Marvel Comics universe. In Marvel’s comics, John Walker is another, much-later product of the government’s super-soldier program, but operates under government orders, unlike Steve Rogers.

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier is expected to premiere on Disney+ in August.

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