This article contains spoilers for The Falcon And The Winter Soldier.
The second episode of show The Falcon And The Winter Soldier further developed the plot, introducing us to a few new intriguing characters who could play a large role in the series, and possibly in the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) too.
Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes were finally reunited after being apart for the first episode, and so The Star-Spangled Man delivered on the show’s promise of a funny dynamic between the pair, also developing their characters further in a therapy session which showed their vulnerable sides.
We didn’t just get to know the duo better though, as a few new players were also introduced for audiences to acquaint themselves with.
But who are Isaiah Bradley, Eli Bradley and Lemar Hoskins? Let’s dive into it.
Who Is Isaiah Bradley?
During the episode Bucky tells Sam that there is someone he has to meet, taking him to Baltimore to see a man named Isaiah Bradley, played by actor Carl Lumbly.
Reluctant to welcome the pair into his home, when the three do talk it’s uncovered that Isaiah is a super soldier, as revealed during an angry outburst where he showed his strength.
We also learn how Isaiah knows Bucky. During the Korean War, Isaiah was sent by the U.S. military to take care of Bucky, who at that time was the Hydra-brainwashed agent The Winter Soldier.
During the fight in Goyang-si, South Korea, Isaiah managed to take half of Bucky’s metal arm but ultimately failed in his mission, resulting in him spending 30 years in jail where he was subjected to continual experiments.
We don’t know why Isaiah was imprisoned or who by – either it was by HYDRA after he was captured by the enemy, or the U.S. government themselves, maybe to cover up the experimentation and the fact he’s a super soldier.
Either way, it’s very clear Isaiah is hesitant to help Sam and Bucky, but given that he plays an important role in the comics and that his introduction in the show is emphasised, we reckon he’ll be back.
Talking of his role in the comics, Isaiah was first introduced in 2003’s Truth: Red, White And Black #1 as one of roughly 300 black American soldiers who were experimented on by the U.S. Army during World War II.
Rooted in the true story of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (which saw the government trick African-Americans into testing their blood telling them they were receiving free healthcare), in the comics the army was attempting to recreate the Super Soldier Serum with the hideous experiments, which resulted in nearly all the men dying.
Isaiah was one of five survivors, all of whom now had super strength and reflexes – hence he is known as the black Captain America.
When his battalion were shipped off to Germany on a mission, Isaiah stole a Captain America outfit and a shield. So although he succeeded in his mission of stopping a Nazi plot, the U.S. government sentenced him to 17 years in prison for what they saw as an act against them. They also kept his existence a secret.
Eventually he would be pardoned in the ’60s, not that it made up for all the trauma Isaiah went through. It will be interesting to see whether his backstory is explored in the show, and what further role he will play.
Who Is Eli Bradley?
Okay, so you are probably thinking ‘who’ as Eli only briefly popped up in the episode. But trust us when we say that the kid who answered the door when Sam and Bucky visited Isaiah could be a crucial character.
As confirmed in the credits, that kid is Eli Bradley, played here by actor Elijah Richardson, and he is so much more than just Isaiah’s grandson.
That’s because in the comics Eli goes on to become Patriot, a superhero similar to Captain America who is a member of the team the Young Avengers.
Wanting to continue his family’s tradition, Eli took on the mantle of Patriot but he had no powers, so instead would enhance his natural abilities using a dangerous stimulant called MGH.
Eventually though he would receive superpowers when he gets a blood transfusion from Isaiah, who of course is a super soldier.
It wouldn’t be surprise if Eli goes on to play a big role in the MCU given that the franchise seems to be putting together a team of Young Avengers, of which he is a member.
WandaVision introduced us to Wiccan and Speed, we have already met Cassie Lang in Ant-Man, Hawkeye is set to introduce Kate Bishop, and America Chavez will debut in the Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness.
Although no Young Avengers project has been announced yet, it’s pretty clear the MCU is heading in that direction.
Who Is Lemar Hoskins?
During today’s episode we got to know John Walker, who is accompanied by his army buddy and now sidekick Lemar Hoskins, played by actor Clé Bennett.
First meeting Hoskins in the locker room scene, we go on to see him in action as he fights the Flag-Smashers alongside the new Captain America.
During a conversation with Bucky and Sam, Hoskins reveals that his code name is ‘Battlestar’, at which point Bucky has clearly had enough, calling for the car to pull over and storming off.
But who is Battlestar?
In the comics Hoskins debuted in 1986’s Captain America #323 alongside Walker. When the latter went by the alias Super-Patriot, Hoskins would lead a trio of wrestlers called Buckies (short for Bold Urban Commando) whose job was to play bad at rallies, to have Walker the save the day proving himself as a hero.
Crucially like Walker, Hoskins also acquired super soldier powers by going through a villain known as the Power Broker. It is unclear whether in the show the pair have these superpowers.
When Walker became the new Captain America, the government deemed Hoskins as the only non-shady member of the Buckies and so he was given the role as Cap’s official sidekick. He was given given the codename Bucky as well as his classic outfit!
However, the name ‘Bucky’ is considered to be a racial slur, and so Marvel introduced Hoskins to an older African-American man who told him it was used against black people in the 19th century. And so Hoskins changed his codename to Battlestar.
Hoskins would go on his own adventures after serving alongside Walker, becoming a member of Silver Sable’s mercenary group the Wild Pack in the ’90s. Since then he’s popped up in crossover events such as Civil War and Secret Empire.
In the show though, we expect him just to follow wherever Walker goes as his sidekick.
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier airs exclusively every Friday on Disney+.