Audiences unfamiliar with the extensive Marvel Comics lore may have never heard of Isaiah Bradley before he appeared in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but viewers aren’t going to forget him in a hurry. Carl Lumbly only turns up in a handful of scenes across the Disney Plus series, but his emotionally-charged performance was one of the undoubted highlights.
Isaiah’s backstory is one full of tragedy, after he was experimented on by the government and sent into battle during the Korean War, before being imprisoned for 30 years and swept under the rug as his very existence was denied. There was clearly little love lost between him and Bucky, and it was revealed that he’d even defeated the Winter Soldier in combat during the conflict.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get much more than that, but we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us the Mandarin would be retconned as the title hero’s father in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings long before it was confirmed – that the in-development Captain America 4 will reportedly explore what happened between Isaiah and Bucky back in 1951.
Admittedly, the film was only announced a few days ago, so a lot can change between now and whenever it hits the big screen, but it would be great to see Lumbly back as Isaiah, and a 1950s flashback in war-torn Korea has the potential to be an exciting section of the movie that would require either recasting a younger version of the super soldier or some judicious de-aging. However, if Marvel Studios wanted to get back into the One-Shot business on Disney Plus with bigger budgets and longer running times, then seeing Bradley and Bucky square off during the Korean War would definitely be an installment worth looking into.