Warning - This article contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
What do you mean Captain America can't afford an apartment in Brooklyn? He's Captain America!
Despite being globally-recognized superheroes, the premiere episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier noted that the Avengers are not exactly millionaires.
BALLIN' ON A BUDGET
Saving the world is not exactly the most lucrative career.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's first episode, Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson and his sister, Sarah, head to their local bank in an attempt to secure a loan for their family business. During their conversation with a banker, Sam reveals his avenging earnings come from “goodwill” and “government contracts:”
Banker: “You know what I always wondered? How do you guys make a living?”
Banker: “Is there some kind of fund for heroes? Or did Stark pay you when he was around? My condolences, by the way.”
Sam: “Thank you, but no, it doesn't really work like that. There's a tremendous amount of goodwill and because of that people are inclined to help, which applies to the business (Wilson's business).”
Banker: “Right, but you couldn't have been living off of goodwill all this time?”
Sam: “I have government contracts.”
AVENGER$ EMPTY WALLETS
They may be larger-than-life figures, but the Avengers are not exactly making an athlete's salary.
Most of the roster doesn't come from money to begin with. While the Tony Starks and T'Challas of the MCU can affordably designate time to crime-fighting, other Avengers don't exactly have that luxury. As seen with the Wilson family situation, Sam can't even coerce the bank into refinancing their loan.
Beyond that, the banker has zero sympathy for Falcon's five-year gap in income. Despite it literally being impossible for Sam to make a buck while he was dusted, the banker does not consider that a worthy excuse. If even an Avenger can't work his way around a half-decade pause in wages, how will an everyday civilian?
Looking at Sam's income options, the Falcon might be getting more desperate sooner rather than later. Considering this bank's lack of sympathy when it comes to the five-year wage gap, it's doubtful the Avengers will be getting that “tremendous amount of goodwill” that they were accustomed to pre-snap. People are going to have to fend for themselves, and donations are likely going to be few and far between.
As for those government contracts, the White House seems to have found a new golden boy. While Sam will still likely get to clock in with the odd Air Force mission here and there, most star-spangled avenging looks to be reserved for the U.S. Agent for the foreseeable future.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's premiere episode is streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.