Falcon and Winter Soldier Creator Reveals Why Isaiah Bradley Did Not Salute His Own Statue

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Isaiah Bradley Statue Falcon and Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explored the heroic transformation of Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson into Captain America, but the show also revealed more secrets from the Star-Spangled mantle. One of these unearthed mysteries was the MCU's first Black super soldier in the form of Carl Lumbly's Isaiah Bradley.

Created by Malcolm Spellman, the six-episode Marvel series tackled themes such as racism and political issues, but this was further amplified by expanding the storyline of Isaiah in the MCU. The introduction of the forgotten super soldier became an essential part of Sam's journey in the series while also revealing a gut-wrenching truth to viewers. 

At first, Isaiah advised Sam to not take the Captain America mantle due to his tragic past, but the titular lead ignored his advice to pick up the shield and protect New York from the Flag Smashers. The bond between the pair didn't stop there since the finale unveiled a special moment to give a fitting closure to Isaiah's heroism

Now, Spellman has addressed that key moment by revealing why Isaiah decided to hug Sam instead of a salute to the tribute. 


Isaiah Bradley Statue

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier creator and head writer Malcolm Spellman recently sat down as a guest in ILACOIN's Everybody Loves a Good Story YouTube show to talk about the hit Marvel series. 

One of the topics that were discussed was the emotional moment between Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson and Carl Lumbly's Isaiah Bradley during the finale of the show. 

To recap, Sam presented Isaiah with a dedicated section of his heroics inside the Smithsonian's Captain America museum. Isaiah broke down and hugged Sam for his actions, serving as a fitting end to the tragic past of the unsung hero. 

During the interview, Spellman admitted that “there was some discussion” whether the scene would've ended with Isaiah saluting his statue instead of hugging to Sam. The head scribe pointed out that the salute was unnecessary, considering that Isaiah will not let go of what the country did to him: 

“There was some discussion about whether or not to have him salute the statue and we were like, nope. He [Isaiah Bradley] appreciates what Sam did for him, but he ain’t never letting go of what they [the United States] did to him. So he hugged him. That’s why it was a hug and not a salute.”

Isaiah Bradley Hug Falcon and Winter Soldier



It's no secret that a memorable moment from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's finale is the touching tribute of Sam Wilson to Isaiah Bradley. Spellman's comments revealed that the writers made sure that the sequence showed Isaiah's appreciation to Sam while also standing firm in his feelings toward the government. 

Many would agree that a salute from Isaiah would be detrimental to his character arc, and it's good to know that Spellman and the rest of the writers decided to place the focus on the hug instead. This goes to show that the pain is still there for Isaiah, but there's a sense that Sam's actions effectively lessened the agony from the super-soldier. 

It remains to be seen if Carl Lumbly's Isaiah will return in a future MCU project, but there's a good chance that he will, especially now that he forged a strong bond with Sam. From a second season of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to the reported Captain America 4 film, there are multiple ways for Isaiah to return down the line.

If he does return, it will be interesting to find out if there are more secrets from his backstory. In addition, with Sam picking up the Star-Spangled mantle, it's also possible that Isaiah will become a mentor to him, giving the new Cap some valuable insight on how a Black man can change the world by serving as a beacon of hope. 

All episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are now streaming on Disney+.

The full interview can be seen below:


Release Date
March 19, 2021
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.