The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Being Accused Of Queerbaiting

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Image via Marvel Studios

Last Friday’s second episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finally reunited Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes after the premiere kept the title characters apart. And it wasted no time in having a lot of fun with their odd-couple bond. Emphasis on the word couple as, right off the bat, the show is already being accused of queerbaiting, something that’s been levelled at the MCU many times before now.

Previously, a subset of Marvel fans got very angry over the way Steve Rogers and Bucky’s friendship was brushed under the rug in Avengers: Endgame, with many feeling strongly that the characters had been coded as having a romantic attachment to each other. Now, the same thing is starting to happen with Falcon. Episode 2 saw Sam and Bucky forced to attend “couple’s therapy” where they were tasked with intimacy exercises like holding each other’s gazes and sitting in an interlocking position.

You don’t have to dig deep to find the homoerotic undertones here and it stings for some fans who are not impressed with the “very blatant” queerbaiting.

Of course, there’s a vague possibility that Marvel are genuinely teasing a Sam/Bucky relationship, but it’s pretty unlikely.

It’s not 2010 anymore, people.

Marvel fans are holding out hope that the show will supply us with some sort of LGBTQ+ representation, with a few folks wondering if Bucky will come out as bisexual. One line from the premiere, which involved him mentioning seeing a lot of tiger pictures on Tinder, has been interpreted as a possible hint at his sexuality, while it’s also been rumored that the studio is considering going in this direction with the character. However, MCU lovers have been burned too many times before now to get their hopes up.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier airs its third episode out of six this Friday, April 2nd on Disney Plus.