The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is setting up the MCU for the next iteration of the Avengers, the Young Avengers by introducing America’s first super soldier, Isaiah Bradley, and his grandson, Eli.
Episode 2, ‘The Star-Spangled Man,’ brings the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) in contact with Bradley (Carl Lumbly), who was treated as a test subject after getting injected with the super-soldier serum. Bradley’s grandson Eli (Elijah Richardson) is also present as Bradley forces Falcon and the Winter Soldier out of his home.
Eli isn’t just Isaiah’s grandson; he’s one of the founding members of the Young Avengers. Eli becomes a superhero named “Patriot” in honor of his grandfather in the comics. But to live up to his grandfather’s legacy, Eli gives himself the super-soldier serum and nearly dies. While the serum didn’t give him his grandfather’s powers, Isaiah’s blood, given to Eli during a blood transfusion, does give Eli the powers of a super-soldier.
With Eli’s introduction, the building blocks for the Young Avengers are nearly complete. Hailee Stanfield has signed on to play Kate Bishop, aka the next Hawkeye. Iman Vellani has been tapped to play Ms. Marvel and WandaVision has given us Wiccan and Speed, aka Billy and Tommy Maximoff (Julian Hillard and Jett Klyne). Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is primed to introduce America Chavez and there is the Ironheart Disney+ series that will star Riri Williams.
The Young Avengers have also been hinted at years prior to now, with Abby Ryder Fortson portraying a young Cassie Lang in the Ant-Man franchise, with Emma Furhmann taking over the role in Avengers: Endgame. Kathryn Newton has been cast as an older Cassie in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which could have Cassie take on the moniker of either Stature or Stinger, names Cassie went by in the comics.
As for the Avengers, Monica Rambeau, portrayed by Teyonah Parris in WandaVision and the upcoming Captain Marvel 2, has also gained her powers, so she could be introduced as the next leader of the Avengers. As the leader, Rambeau could either be going by her superhero name Photon or as the next Captain Marvel. Sam Wilson’s Captain America, which will likely be set by the end of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could also be the leader.
Now that the stage has been set, it’s only a matter of time when the new set of superheroes come together as a superhero fighting group. You can watch more of that development take place on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, currently streaming on Disney+.