Marvel Studios is officially back in action after kicking off Phase 4 with a thrilling story in their first Disney+ exclusive, WandaVision. After one week without in-universe content, the MCU is hopping right back into the action with its second Disney+ property, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Originally meant to be Phase 4’s first series, this adventure will be a much more grounded look at the MCU after the end of the Infinity Saga (even though half of its core duo is known for flying). The story will begin after the final scene of 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, in which Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers passed the Captain America shield and mantle to Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson.
Marvel CCO Kevin Feige described The Falcon and the Winter Soldier at the Disney Investor Meeting as basically an MCU movie split up into six parts. With a half-dozen episodes full of Captain America-level action and drama, the plot should have fans on the edge of their seats right from the start
Just as we did for WandaVision, The Direct is about to take a step into the past and layout the stories for all the core characters set to be a part of this new entry in Phase 4. New faces will make their MCU debuts through the course of this series, while others have been around as far back as Phase 1 over a decade ago.
Without further ado, here's what fans need to know about the stories behind every leading character in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier!
Sam Wilson (The Falcon)
Played by: Anthony Mackie
MCU Appearances To Date: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame
Sam Wilson was first introduced in the opening moments of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Steve Rogers literally runs laps around Sam during his morning run. The two quickly bond over their service experience before Steve goes off on his mission with Natasha Romanoff.
Wilson is later seen leading a support group for war veterans before he meets with Rogers again, reliving the story of how he lost his wingman, connecting with Steve again as he continues to cope with losing Bucky Barnes. This all comes before Wilson harbors Rogers and Romanoff and reveals to them the true nature of his time as a para-rescue with the Falcon gear.
Wilson helps the Avengers kidnap Jasper Sitwell before the Winter Soldier kills him and engages the trio in battle. He helps save Rogers and Romanoff while they all realize that Hydra has infiltrated SHIELD in the highest levels, all before formulating a plan to expose the evil organization.
Falcon helps take down the three helicarriers before engaging with the Winter Soldier, who rips his wings off and destroys his Falcon tech. Wilson then faces off against Brock Rumlow in the Triskelion, but a helicarrier crashes into it, forcing him to jump into a nearby helicopter with Nicky Fury and Romanoff.
The movie closes with Wilson nursing Rogers back to health before agreeing to help in the search for the now-missing Bucky Barnes.
Avengers: Age of Ultron sees Wilson comfortable in his new role as the Falcon, enjoying the party at Avengers Tower with his best friend, Steve Rogers. He confirms that he’s quite comfortable “chasing down cold leads on [their] missing persons case” as he continues looking for Bucky Barnes.
By the end of this film, Wilson has officially joined Steve Rogers’ New Avengers, fully geared up with a new outfit Stark-tech wings.
Wilson plays a small role in Ant-Man as Scott Lang tries to infiltrate the Avengers facility to steal a piece of Stark tech, with the two squaring off before Lang steals the tech. Wilson is clearly embarrassed by his defeat and expresses how important it is to him “that Cap never finds out about this.”
The start of Captain America: Civil War sees Wilson in Lagos on a mission with his new team in search of Rumlow, who is after a biological weapon. He is also fully equipped with his new drone, Redwing, who helps him with surveillance and taking down Rumlow’s crew.
After Wanda Maximoff takes down Rumlow, killing innocent civilians in the process, the Sokovia Accords are immediately put into effect and signed by 117 countries. Wilson is instantly skeptical of agreeing to them, feeling that it won’t be long before the government “lo-jacks (the Avengers) like a bunch of common criminals.”
By not signing the Accords, Wilson is forced to work with Rogers as a fugitive as they try to locate Barnes, who has just been accused of killing King T’Chaka of Wakanda at the signing event in Vienna. When Barnes engages with T’Challa, the Black Panther, Wilson has to fight them both off before being taken in to the authorities and held under supervision.
Wilson watches Barnes’ interrogation with Rogers and Sharon Carter, then trying and failing to keep Barnes in the building after Helmut Zemo initiated Barnes’ Winter Soldier programming.
In the same scene shown after the credits of Ant-Man, Wilson is having trouble accepting that Barnes is an ally, but trusts Rogers as Barnes tells his story. Wilson then reveals that he may have some back-up for Rogers as they try to go after Zemo and Hydra.
Wilson, Rogers, and Barnes complete their team with Wanda Maximoff, Clint Barton and Scott Lang, who came at Wilson’s recommendation. They all jump into battle as Wilson does his part in the action, ecstatic when Lang turns into Giant-Man to help Rogers and Barnes escape.
After being taken into the raft with Maximoff, Barton and Lang, Wilson tells Tony Stark where Rogers and Barnes are under the condition that Stark goes “alone, and as a friend.” In the end, Rogers frees Wilson and crew from the Raft before going on the run for two years.
Avengers: Infinity War sees Wilson as a full-blown fugitive with Steve Rogers, first helping save Wanda and Vision from Proxima Midnight and Corvus Glaive before regrouping at the Avengers compound. He then flies with the team to Wakanda after picking up Bruce Banner, where they try to remove the Mind Stone from Vision’s head without killing him.
Wilson dives into battle against Thanos’ Outriders, even attacking Thanos himself before the Mad Titan grounded him with the Power Stone. As Thanos snapped his fingers with the Infinity Gauntlet, Wilson was one of those that turned to dust for five years.
In Avengers: Endgame, Wilson's voice was the first one that Steve Rogers heard after Bruce snapped half the universe back to life, with Wilson saying “on your left” to Rogers as the portals began opening around him. Wilson joined the battle and helped clear the way for the Avengers’ victory, and he was present at the Stark cabin for Tony Stark’s funeral.
After Steve Rogers went back in time to return the Infinity Stones, Sam was confused by how long it took for Rogers to come back before an older version of Steve Rogers appeared near him. Rogers then passed the mantle and shield of Captain America onto Wilson, with Wilson telling Rogers “I’ll do my best.”
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will see Sam Wilson continuing as the Falcon while also seemingly struggling with taking on the responsibility of being Captain America. He will play a key role in his first headlining appearance in the MCU.
James “Bucky” Barnes (The Winter Soldier)
Played by: Sebastian Stan
MCU Appearances To Date: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man (post-credits), Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther (post-credits), Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame
James Buchanan Barnes was first seen in Captain America: The First Avenger helping Steve Rogers get out of trouble before informing Rogers that he's been assigned to the 107th division of the US Army, shipping out to England for World War II. In one last night on the town, the two take dates to the World's Fair in New York City, watching Howard Stark's flying car presentation before Steve bolts and tries to enlist himself.
Barnes says goodbye to Steve before leaving for the war, and their next meeting is after Bucky had been tortured by Arnim Zola and Hydra. Steve helps rescue him and hundreds of other men from the Hydra base, returning to their home base before forming the Howling Commandos.
Barnes helps Rogers and his team take down multiple Hydra bases all over Europe before they find a train transporting Zola. In that mission, Barnes falls out of the train seemingly to his death in the frozen tundra.
Barnes makes a shocking return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, surviving his fall but being captured by Hydra and turned into a brainwashed assassin. Barnes was said to "credited for over two dozen assassinations in the last 50 years," including that of Nick Fury, as revealed by Natasha Romanoff.
Barnes killed Jasper Sitwell while he was in the custody of Rogers, Wilson, and Romanoff before engaging the three in battle. Rogers and Romanoff were his next targets assigned by Secretary Alexander Pierce, and he ends up shooting Romanoff non-fatally.
During this battle, Rogers realizes that Barnes is the Winter Soldier when his mask falls off before Sam Wilson knocks Barnes to the ground. Barnes escapes and is taken back to Hydra for another round of torture by Alexander Pierce, although some of Barnes' memories come back as he realizes he knew Steve Rogers somehow.
After being forced back into mind control, Barnes storms the Triskelion in order to stop Rogers, Wilson and Romanoff from taking down Hydra. He fights Rogers on the third helicarrier, nearly defeating him a couple of times before Rogers gives in and says that he won't fight his best friend.
As Barnes is pummeling him, Rogers accepts defeat by telling Barnes "I'm with you to the end of the line" as he falls out of the helicarrier. After falling into the Potomac River, Barnes saves Rogers before walking away on his own journey.
The post-credits scene of this movie shows Barnes in the Smithsonian memorial to Captain America as he tries to learn more about his true past before the Hydra experience.
Captain America: Civil War sees Barnes in Romania, still on the run before Steve Rogers finds him once again. The German police find them in Barnes' home before Barnes escapes and leaps off the building, only to be met by the newly suited up Black Panther.
Barnes and T'Challa fight each other as Rogers and Sam Wilson try to deescalate the situation, with Barnes pulling off some incredible moves to try to save himself. In the end, he's taken down by T'Challa and taken in with Rogers and Wilson, and he is taken to a psych evaluation with a reported Dr. Theo Broussard.
Broussard is actually Helmut Zemo, who talks Barnes into a false sense of security before activating his Winter Soldier programming. Barnes then fights through Rogers and the rest of the Avengers in the building, including the Black Panther, before stealing a helicopter as Rogers tries to stop him.
Rogers finds a way to take down the helicopter with sheer strength and willpower, knocking Barnes out before dragging him out of the water and getting him to a hidden location. This is where the story picks up from the post-credits scene of Ant-Man where Barnes and Rogers are working out their next moves with Wilson.
Barnes gives a brief history and explanation behind the Winter Soldier program, explaining how deadly they are and how Zemo wants to use them in his plans. This all comes before Wilson suggests they bring Ant-Man onto the team.
Barnes then teams up with Rogers and his half of the Avengers as they engage in the airport battle against Tony Stark and the other members of the team. Barnes has his moments against Black Panther and holds his own before he and Rogers escape to the Quinjet, with the help of Scarlet Witch, Giant-Man, and even a turned Natasha Romanoff.
After doubting his own worth, Barnes and Rogers get to the Hydra facility in Siberia where the Winter Soldiers are being kept on ice before Tony Stark drops in, trying to help them. Moments later, Helmut Zemo reveals the video footage of Barnes killing Howard and Maria Stark, inciting Tony's full rage as he goes after Barnes.
Barnes ends up losing his metal arm in the battle before Rogers pins Stark down, and Rogers helps Barnes out as they plot their next move. The post-credits scene of the movie shows Barnes going back into cryostasis in Wakanda as he tries to get back into his right mind once again.
Avengers: Infinity War shows Barnes getting a brand new vibranium arm before Rogers comes with his rogue Avengers to Wakanda to prepare for the imminent battle. Barnes has his stand-out moments in that battle against Thanos' outriders, including spinning Rocket Raccoon around as another sidearm and even trying to go after Thanos one-on-one.
Barnes ends up as part of the half of humanity that is wiped out of existence along with Sam Wilson after Thanos' snap, only coming back after Bruce Banner snapped everybody back to life in Avengers: Endgame. Barnes arrived to the final battle through Doctor Strange's portals right next to Groot before charging at Thanos' army once again.
After the Avengers' win, Barnes came to pay his respects with Wilson and Wanda Maximoff at Tony Stark's funeral before joining Steve Rogers as he set to travel back in time to return the Infinity Stones. The two best friends had one final moment together before Rogers left, and Barnes saw Captain America return as an old man moments later before he passed the Captain America mantle and shield to Sam Wilson.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier picks up after these events when Barnes is still trying to recover from decades of unimaginable pain and torture. The Winter Soldier will be on a whole new journey with Rogers gone as the former assassin teams up reluctantly with his new partner, Sam Wilson.
Sharon Carter (Agent 13)
Played by: Emily VanCamp
MCU Appearances To Date: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War
Sharon Carter first came into the MCU as Steve Rogers’ neighbor, operating under the fake name Kate. When Nicky Fury was shot in Rogers’ apartment, she revealed her true identity as Agent 13 and took Fury in as Rogers went after the Winter Soldier.
Carter was assigned to protect Rogers by Nick Fury, whose reported death was then blamed on Rogers himself. When Secretary Alexander Pierce ordered the manhunt to bring Rogers in, Carter demanded to know the reasoning and stuck behind Captain America in secret.
When Hydra came out of the shadows to take over the Triskelion, Carter instantly proved her loyalty to SHIELD by standing up to Brock Rumlow and fighting him and his cohorts off. After the battle left SHIELD nearly destroyed, Carter found a job with the CIA’s, helping head the joint terrorism task force in the early parts of Captain America: Civil War.
After the passing of former SHIELD agent and director Peggy Carter, Sharon gave her eulogy and revealed herself to be Peggy’s niece. Her memorial to her aunt seemed to be directly aimed at Steve Rogers, especially as her message resonated with Captain America in the immediate aftermath of the Sokovia Accords. She also explained to Rogers why she didn’t reveal her family history until then, and the two began to bond.
Sharon went to work with the CIA after the Accords signing event was bombed, secretly helping Rogers and Sam Wilson try to find Bucky Barnes, who was accused for the attack.
When Rogers and Barnes were taken in with the Black Panther in Berlin, Carter introduced them to Everett Ross before taking the heroes to a briefing room. She sneakily allowed them to listen in on Bucky Barnes’ psych evaluation with the man who revealed himself to be Baron Helmut Zemo.
Carter assisted Rogers and Wilson in getting to Barnes after his Winter Soldier program was triggered, even trying to stop Barnes herself alongside Natasha Romanoff.
Her last moments in the story showed her assisting Rogers, Barnes, and Wilson after escaping the facility in Berlin by giving them their gear back. She and Rogers had a romantic moment, kissing for the first time before leaving them to finish their mission.
Carter was later part of the half of life that was snapped out of existence in Avengers: Infinity War before coming back in Avengers: Endgame, and she now goes back to life on the run in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Her story is a mystery as this series starts, but she will be an exciting addition to the plot as she assists Wilson and Barnes in their next adventure around the world.
Baron Helmut Zemo
Played by: Daniel Brühl
MCU Appearances To Date: Captain America: Civil War
Baron Helmut Zemo first arrived in Captain America: Civil War searching for something called “Mission report, December 16, 1991.” Zemo interrogated an ex-Hydra agent for the information, torturing and killing him as he revealed that he no longer worked for Hydra himself.
Zemo also stole a book from the deceased Hydra leader which contained the programming code from the Winter Soldier. Uttering this series of words would instantly activate any of the soldiers’ programming and put them under mind control
Zemo then caused the bombing at the UN meeting in Vienna impersonating Bucky Barnes, framing the Winter Soldier for the attack before Black Panther and the Joint Terrorism Taskforce took in Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers. Zemo then came into the Task Force’s center in Germany under the guise of Dr. Theo Broussard, who was called in to do a psych evaluation on Bucky Barnes.
Zemo tried to speak with Barnes about his past before using the Winter Soldier book to trigger Barnes’ programming. He then asked Barnes for “Mission report, December 16, 1991” before revealing to Steve Rogers that he wanted “to see an empire fall.”
Zemo escaped to Serbia to find the old Winter Soldier facility, where multiple trained soldiers were being kept in cryostasis in the same fashion Barnes was. As he was discovered by Rogers, Barnes, and the newly allied Tony Stark, Zemo revealed that he killed the soldiers in their sleep.
Zemo then played a videotape from 1991 that revealed Barnes to have murdered Tony Stark’s parents as the Winter Soldier, inciting Stark to go after both Barnes and Rogers. Zemo retreated outside as Black Panther found him sitting in the snow.
Zemo revealed that his wife and son were killed in the attack on Sokovia in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which led him to tear the Avengers apart in this story. Black Panther then turned him in to Everett Ross, where Zemo simply confirms that he succeeded in his mission.
Zemo’s story is mostly unknown from this point, although he seems to be returning with a vengeance in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
James “Rhodey” Rhodes (War Machine)
Played by: Don Cheadle
MCU Appearances To Date: Iron Man (played by Terrance Howard), Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame
Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes first came into play in the MCU's debut movie, Iron Man, as Tony Stark's best friend and close ally in his work. The two go through some frustrating times together, mostly for Rhodes, thanks to Tony's playboy antics before they travel to Afghanistan for a weapons presentation.
Tony is taken hostage after this presentation, and after three months, Rhodes finds him and brings him back to the United States. After surprising the world by "shutting down the weapons manufacturing division of Stark International," Stark comes to Rhodes for help on a new secret project, but Rhodes turns him down for the time being.
While Stark is in the process of taking down terrorists with Stark weapons in Gulmira, where he was kept hostage, Rhodes sees the events and attempts to shoot the Iron Man suit down before realizing it was Stark all along. Rhodes passes it off as "an unfortunate training exercise" to the media while claiming plausible deniability to keep Stark out of trouble.
Rhodes then rushes over to Stark's home after Obadiah Stane removes his arc reactor to try to help Stark stop his former business partner after a call from Pepper Potts
Rhodes holds his men off from shooting down Stark once again as Iron Man and Iron Monger do battle before Stane is defeated. The movie closes with Rhodes helping Stark through his press conference, which turns out to be pointless in the end as Stark reveals himself to be Iron Man.
In Iron Man 2, Rhodes first appears during Stark's hearing in Washington, D.C., as he tries to help back up Stark in terms of his development of the Iron Man suit at the United States Congress.
Rhodes later finds Stark at his house and admonishes him over the fact that the US Armed Forces are planning to take everything Stark had built. Rhodes becomes increasingly worried due to Stark's issues with the arc reactor technology, which is slowly poisoning his blood and killing him, even though he plays it off to Rhodes and says he's fine.
Tony becomes increasingly erratic and unhinged at his own birthday party, where Rhodes sees him drunk and belligerent while wearing the Iron Man suit. This leads Rhodes to steal one of Tony's older suits and subdue him with force before flying off with the suit back to the US Army base.
Rhodes then calls upon Justin Hammer to weaponize the Iron Man suit, telling Hammer he'll take "all of it" when offered his choice of upgrades. This comes before the very first War Machine armor is debuted at Hammer's weapons presentation at the Stark Expo.
Rhodes' suit is then taken over by Ivan Vanko, who seizes control of all the Hammer drones and forces them to go after Iron Man. After a tough battle, Natasha Romanoff reboots Rhodes' suit and gives control back to him as he teams up with Stark to defeat the rest of the Hammer drones and a fully-powered Whiplash.
The movie concludes with Rhodes dropping in on Stark's first kiss with Pepper Potts, saying they look like "two seals fighting over a grape." Rhodes then keeps the War Machine suit for himself before flying off into the night.
In the final scene of the movie, Rhodes receives a medal from the White House for his bravery alongside Stark, having the award presented by a clearly agitated Senator Stern from earlier in the film.
The story for Rhodes picks up again in Iron Man 3, where War Machine has been rebranded by the President of the United States as the Iron Patriot. Getting a red, white and blue paint-job added to his armor, it's evidently clear that his friend Tony Stark is not a fan of the rebranding.
Rhodes then talks to Stark about the attacks by the newly revealed Mandarin, giving Stark intel but also telling him to try to avoid any trouble. He's concerned about Stark after the events of The Avengers, in which Stark almost died, and he sees that Tony is still having major issues dealing with those memories.
Rhodes is sent off around the world to hunt for the Mandarin and his crew, but he is also keeping track of Stark when after he's deemed missing following the Mandarin's attack on his Malibu mansion. Rhodes receives an unexpected call from Stark and helps Stark figure out that AIM is behind the madness happening all over the world.
After being alerted to a potential location for the Mandarin, Rhodes touches down and holds up what appears to be a sneaker-making facility before being subdued and taken in by Aldrich Killian's henchmen. Killian takes control of the Iron Patriot armor in his attempt to kidnap President Ellis before Stark rescues Rhodes from his predicament.
The two of them learn of the fake Mandarin, Trevor Slattery, before taking a speedboat and warning Vice President Rodriguez of the imminent attack on the President, although Rodriguez was in on the coup. Rhodes helps Stark save everybody on Air Force 1 before they hightail it to a Roxxon ship where Killian is setting up his ultimate display of power.
Rhodes helps save President Ellis as Stark and Potts defeat Killian before Vice President Rodriguez is arrested. Rhodes' story in this film closes as he watches Tony Stark in surgery to get the shrapnel removed from his heart after years of needing the arc reactor to live.
Avengers: Age of Ultron first sees Rhodey at Tony Stark's Avengers Tower party after defeating Baron Von Strucker. Rhodey is trying to have a fun time at the party, telling his War Machine story to Stark and Thor before sharing it with a group of ladies and getting them to laugh with "Boom! You lookin' for this?"
Rhodes then stays behind with the rest of the Avengers as they try to challenge the "worthiness clause" of Thor's hammer, Mjölnir. Rhodes even teams up with Stark as they both try to use their Iron Man armor to try to lift the hammer, but even their combined strength doesn't make it budge one inch.
This all comes before Ultron attacks the team, with Rhodes helping defeat the Iron Legion suits that the villain had taken control of. Rhodes realizes the severity of the situation as he and the Avengers formulate their next plan to try to take down the genocidal robot.
Rhodes comes into play later during the movie's final battle, helping defeat Ultron's robots once again while the Avengers worked to save Sokovia and its people. Eventually, after some solid quips with Stark and marveling over Vision, Rhodes helped the team save the day once again before officially joining the New Avengers to close the film.
Captain America: Civil War puts Rhodes firmly on board with the Sokovia Accords, as he explains to his Avengers teammates why these rules need to be in place. Siding firmly with Stark, Secretary Ross, and 117 nations around the world, Rhodes is confident in his decision that the Avengers "need to be put in check."
Rhodes directly engages in the battle in Romania, holding up Bucky Barnes and the Black Panther before the King of Wakanda reveals himself by taking his mask off.
After Barnes and Rogers escaped again, Rhodes joined up with Stark in full force for the airport battle in Germany as they tried to stop Captain America and his side in their tracks.
War Machine took some major damage but also dished out a beat down on several heroes in Germany as the stakes were raised. While chasing Rogers and Barnes in a quinjet, Rhodes is accidentally hit by one of Vision's Mind Stone beams, rendering his suit useless and sending him falling to a nasty crash.
Rhodes ends up paralyzed from the waist down thanks to this attack, and the movie ends with him slowly working himself back to walking again with the aid of Tony's prosthetics. At this point, Rhodes still hasn't changed his mind on the Accords, even after the damage he sustained.
Rhodes comes back in Avengers: Infinity War on a call with General Ross, fully regretting his decision to sign the Accords in the first place. He is resigned to being court-martialed as he takes in Captain America and the rogue Avengers, all before they travel to Wakanda to see if T'Challa and Shuri can help remove the Mind Stone safely from Vision's head.
After arriving in Wakanda, Rhodes suits up as War Machine once again as the Avengers prepare for the fight of their lives against the Outriders. Using every bit of firepower available to him, Rhodes gives it his all against Thanos' army, even taking a shot at Thanos himself before he's taken down by the Space Stone.
After Thanos' snap with the Infinity Gauntlet, Rhodes lives but sees all of his friends and teammates turn to dust around him.
Avengers: Endgame has Rhodes back at the Avengers facility when Captain Marvel brings Tony Stark and Nebula back to Earth. Rhodes tries to help Stark, taking care of him as Iron Man collapses to the ground out of pure exhaustion.
Rhodes then questions Captain Marvel for a moment after she proclaims herself the missing link to defeating Thanos. Despite this, the team flies up to The Garden to take down the Mad Titan, only for them to find out he's destroyed the Infinity Stones before Thor chops his head off.
Five years later, Rhodes is still trying to do his part to keep some kind of order in the world, even helping Natasha Romanoff as she searches for Clint Barton. Rhodes is worried that Barton has gone off the deep end, but still agrees to try to track him down.
Rhodey then returns during the Avengers' plan to initiate the Time Heist to go back and retrieve the Infinity Stones to bring everybody back to life. During all this, War Machine is somewhat skeptical of this plan and the probability of its success.
He suggests going back further in time to kill baby Thanos before listing off over half a dozen time travel movies in order to prove some of his points. Eventually, he concedes and rolls with the plan, especially after Clint Barton's test run proved that it was going to work.
Rhodes teamed up with Nebula for this mission before the living Avengers enacted their plan and traveled back to three different points in time. This pair traveled back to 2014 with Barton and Romaoff, who split off to retrieve the Soul Stone on Vormir while Rhodes and Nebula searched for the Power Stone.
After learning of Peter Quill's idiocy, Rhodes knocks him out and helps Nebula enter the temple of the Power Stone, being extra cautious in case of some Indiana Jones-level obstacles. The two bond over the permanent changes they've both had to go through after retrieving the Stone, all before they travel back to 2023 and meet the rest of the team with the other five Infinity Stones.
After bringing everybody back to life, Rhodes has to immediately jump into action to save Rocket with the Avengers facility building crushing him and Bruce Banner. Eventually, they blast their way out of the rubble to join the rest of the Avengers in the final battle against Thanos and his army.
Even though the Avengers won, Rhodes had to witness Tony Stark sacrificing his life by using the Infinity Stones to defeat Thanos and his army. Rhodes' face was one of the last ones that Stark saw along with Peter Parker and Pepper Potts, with Rhodes trying to comfort Stark the best he could before Stark died.
After watching a pre-recorded message from Stark in his cabin, Rhodes joined the rest of the Avengers next to the lake as they said goodbye to Iron Man for the last time.
It's still unclear what Rhodes will be up to during the course of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but he will surely play an interesting role as the government connection for Sam and Bucky. This will also come before he stars in his own Disney+ series, Armor Wars, in 2022.
Georges Batroc (Batroc The Leaper)
Played by: Georges St-Pierre
MCU Appearances To Date: Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Georges Batroc plays a small role in the early stages of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, holding the Leumerian Star and its passengers hostage along with a team of 25 pirates. Batroc holds the hostages and demanded a ransom of $1.5 billion, but he found out his team was slowly being taken out by Captain America and the Strike team from SHIELD.
Captain America engages with Batroc in a tough physical battle before defeating him and pushing him into the ship's control room, where Natasha Romanoff is downloading the ship's hard drive and finding information about Project Insight. Batroc then throws a grenade at the two Avengers, blowing up the control room after Romanoff gets her information.
Batroc is then interrogated after being picked up "in a not-so-safe house in Algiers," and Secretary Alexander Pierce reveals to Steve Rogers that Fury hired Batroc to take the Leumerian Star hostage. This all came before Hydra revealed themselves to have infiltrated SHIELD slowly and methodically over the previous 70 years.
Batroc is confirmed to be returning in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, although his status is unknown after nine years absent from the MCU timeline. He will likely be up to his old tricks again as Falcon and Bucky learn his true intentions in this Phase 4 journey.
John Walker (US Agent)
Played by: Wyatt Russell
John Walker, aka US Agent, will make his first appearance in the MCU, portrayed by up-and-coming actor Wyatt Russell. This is a second-generation casting in the MCU after his father, Kurt, played the role of Ego the Living Planet in 2017's Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
US Agent has gone back and forth in the comics from acting as a hero, a villain, and something in between. When he was initially introduced in 1986, creator Mark Gruenwald described making a character that was similar but opposite to the classic Captain America, somebody who embodied American patriotism in all the wrong ways.
According to various reports over the past year, Walker comes into play in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as a new, government-appointed Captain America after Steve Rogers retires and passes the shield and mantle to Sam Wilson. While it's still unknown how US Agent gains possession of the shield, it's clear that his intentions are not completely pure upon his arrival.
Rumors have pointed to US Agent potentially playing the role of not quite a true villain, but someone that will give Wilson and Bucky Barnes their fair share of trouble through the course of this show. With so little known about the plot, his story is still a mystery, but he will certainly make for an intriguing new personality in this continuation of Captain America's legacy in the MCU.
The Flag Smashers
The Flag Smashers will be making their MCU debut in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, with plenty of history from Marvel Comics to help lead them into this next adventure.
Originally a singular being in the comics, the Flag Smashers will come in as a sort of anarchist group causing mayhem all around the world. Erin Kellyman will play the role of Karli Morgenthau, a reworked version of Karl Morgenthau from the comics who originally held the Flag Smasher title himself.
While not much is known about these characters in the MCU yet, their skills appear formidable from what has been shown in the trailers thus far. They are excellent in hand-to-hand combat, and they seem to have a knack for causing trouble and chaos wherever they roam.
Sam and Bucky will certainly have their hands full dealing with this new group of terrorists, even though it's unclear whether they have a connection to either Georges Batroc or Helmut Zemo in the series. It's likely that fans will find out much more about the specifics for this group in the first episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Played by: Adepero Oduye
Sarah Wilson will make her debut MCU appearance in the MCU during The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, filling out the background story for one of the show's co-leading heroes, Sam Wilson. The role will be played by Adepero Oduye, who has made a name for herself in major Hollywood movies like 12 Years a Slave and The Big Short.
Sarah Wilson is Sam Wilson's sister, making her the first member of Sam's family to make an appearance in the MCU after six previous appearances for the Falcon. Their story and history is a complete mystery, but she will bring a new layer of depth to Sam Wilson that hasn't been seen before in his MCU journey.
There aren't many details known yet about Sarah Wilson in the MCU, but it will be exciting to find out how close she is with her brother, especially when fans find out how they both experienced the five years in between Thanos' Infinity Gauntlet Snap.