The latest Marvel series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, poses a lot of questions. What’s John Walker’s deal? What’s up with the Flag Smashers and what’s their plan? And how do Marvel superheroes make their money?
Well, as far as that last question is concerned, the answer appears to be: not through superheroism. In the pilot episode, Sam Wilson, aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie) goes to the bank to try and get a loan to keep his family's seafood business from sinking. Unfortunately, as big a fan as the loan officer (Vince Pisani) is, he can’t give Sam the loan he desperately needs. So, clearly Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are not given a salary or pension, as Sam confirms that there’s no (in the loan officer’s words) “fund for heroes.”
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, series creator and showrunner Malcolm Spellman explained that he believes that the reason the scene resonated so much with viewers is that “you got to see a moment where a superhero is truly a regular person, and hopefully we answered the question to some degree, that it ain't easy being [superheroes].”
Added Spellman: “A lot of superheroes are broke, especially now that Tony Stark is gone.”
The scene at the bank also “ended up triggering everybody at Marvel,” with all the top brass at Marvel Studios, including Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and co-president Lou D'Esposito, wanting input.
Another aspect Spellman discussed was Wyatt Russell’s character of John Walker, aka the new Captain America. Said Spellman: “He’s going to have a big impact on the MCU and he’s emerging as a major figure. I think the fans are going to be pretty surprised when they watch that first episode and see how.”
Spellman also said that Walker is going to veer off from his origins in the comics; as Super-Patriot, later U.S. Agent, he is more of a supervillain. “His evolution as a character started off close to the books and then completely morphed into something very ... different.”
How different? Guess we’ll just have to keep watching to find out. Hey, new fan theory: maybe he leads a double life as a loan officer for superheroes?
New episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier air Fridays on Disney+.