John Walker is named Captain America, and Sam and Bucky team up against a rebel group.
Looking back on last week’s episode of TFATWS (reviewed here) it feels like that episode really acted as a prologue for the adventure that Sam and Bucky now find themselves on. Episode one presented the series two leads at very different points in their lives. But also in very separate places. With the two not sharing a single frame of screen time it really amped up the sense of setting the scene.
With only five remaining episodes it felt like “Star-Spangled Man” needed to up the pacing in order to get things moving. But whilst it isn’t the most action-packed or fast moving episode, it certainly does not disappoint when it comes to showing fans what TFATWS is capable of.
As expected, the series is much more serialised that WandaVision. Rather than telling us a new contained story this week we got more of the same this week. With Wyatt Russell’s John Walker now unveiled as the new Captain America it quickly brings Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky (Sebastian Stan) together. Kari Skogland’s grip on the narrative as the series’ director seamlessly transitions from Malcolm Spellman’s writing last week to Michael Kastelein this week. The narrative flow is thus that I couldn’t tell “Star-Spangled Man” was written by someone different.
The ghost of Chris Evans’ Cap looms much less this week. Instead the series opens with much more focus on John Walker and his introduction to the world as the new Captain America. The episode does skip us forwards in his story. He’s been on a national tour, similar to Cap, and is now revisiting his old high school. It reflects story elements from Captain America: First Avenger brilliantly. The callbacks to Cap’s tour and how his presence was merely a promotional tool give a sense to the hollowness of his appointment. The difference here is that Walker does also get involved in the fight but without the cameras and the entourage following him.
Walker’s presence offers up problems for both Sam and Bucky. For Sam, as it did in the climax of last week’s episode, it reflects his reluctance to take on the role. The gravity of his decision to give up the shield weighs heavily on him and Mackie plays that weight flawlessly. For Bucky there’s an annoyance that Sam chose not to take up the shield given to him by Steve in Avengers: Endgame. It creates a kind of buddy-cop dynamic which Mackie and Stan appear to revel in playing. They bicker like an old married couple and play in to Marvel’s comedic sweet spot.
“Star-Spangled Man” also ups the ante on the series’ action. We had the excellent opening sequence with Falcon last week. This week it’s the fight atop a series of moving trucks which has been teased in the trailers. Though the green screen feels a little off at times, the scene itself is incredibly well choreographed. It confirms that TFATWS is the stylistic follow-up and maturation of Captain America: Civil War. Honestly that was my biggest hope for this series and it has been confirmed so easily by this one, gritty, brawl.
The final tease these week has the Flag Smashers in the wind, S.W.O.R.D. cropping back up and Zemo ready to appear. The stage is set for TFATWS to become the epic adventure we all know it can be.
With all the pieces moving nicely around the board, “Star-Spangled Man” is a flawless follow up to last week’s series premiere.
The six-part limited series is directed by Kari Skogland and stars Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes. Emily VanCamp returns as Sharon Carter alongside Daniel Brühl as Baron Zemo, and Wyatt Russell as John Walker/USAgent.
DC Comics Announces THE MYSTERY OF THE MEANEST TEACHER: A JOHNNY CONSTANTINE GRAPHIC NOVEL
PORTAL (2021) Review
The Omega Rangers Team With Astronema In POWER RANGERS #6 Preview
Mads Mikkelsen Reportedly Joins Cast Of INDIANA JONES 5
Check Out New Stills From Today’s THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER
Sold Out BRZRKR #1 To Return With Second Printing Variant
GODZILLA VS KONG teaser reveals new look at [Spoiler]
THE SUICIDE SQUAD Trailer Is here!
Netflix to Develop Live-Action Film Based on Keanu Reeves’ Comic Book BRZRKR
THE TOLL: Take a detour in this new clip
BATWOMAN Goes Fast & Furious In New Episode Promo
Blue Finch Releasing Debuts I BLAME SOCIETY Trailer
The Galaxy Faces A New Threat In STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Season 4 Trailer
Shudder Release New Trailer For THE BANISHING Ahead of Launch
STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS Returns For Season 2 In August 2021
Review2 years ago
STAR TREK: DISCOVERY S02E10 “The Red Angel” review
News7 months ago
LEGENDS OF TOMORROW add Lisseth Chavez for season 6
News8 years ago
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ announces third episode title!
Anime5 months ago
MY HERO ACADEMIA Movie confirmed
News5 months ago
Want the latest news direct to your inbox? Sign up to our NEWSLETTER
Comics News8 months ago
Dark Horse set to release MIKE MIGNOLA – THE QUARANTINE SKETCHBOOK in March 2021
Film News1 year ago
Take a deep dive on BIRDS OF PREY’s animated opening sequence
News1 year ago
Meet the Scooby gang like you’ve never seen them before in MYSTERY INCORPORATED trailer