Friday’s episode of The Falcon and The Winter Solider explored a new city unbeknownst to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But to the trained comic nerd’s eye, the city of Madripoor is a familiar setting most known for its connection to an ageless mutant. IGN details how the introduction of Madripoor brings the MCU closer to the inevitable arrival of the X-Men.
Episode three, entitled “Power Broker,” found Falcon and Bucky following the lead of escaped convict, Baron Zemo. Questions about how the Flagsmashers acquired the Super Soldier Serum led them to the distinct city in Southeast Asia. According to IGN, Madripoor first appeared in Marvel comics as part of the New Mutants narrative in 1985. The nation made up of a single city was founded by pirates, which explains its proclivity to lawless life and illegal activities. Because of its loose laws, the city is the nesting ground for black market aficionados to wheel and deal for lucrative profits. It is also why the inhabitants endure a severe wealth gap between the haves and the have-nots.
IGN reports Madripoor is split into two halves. Atop is the beautifully affluent Hightown, where the wealth boasts one of the MCU’s strongest economies. In drastic comparison, Lowtown sits underneath polluted with severe poverty and crime. It is here that Sam, Bucky, and Zemo posed as criminal masterminds eager to bargain for secrets regarding the sale of the serum. It is also where the X-Men’s Wolverine once dwelled. Check out our heroes enter Madripoor below:
Madripoor is notably linked to Wolverine because of a 1988 Marvel comics run, according to IGN. With the world believing the X-Men have perished, the lone mutant takes refuge in the seedy city’s underworld. Soon he becomes a sort of hero for the citizens, battling corrupt criminals and facing one of his biggest foes, Silver Samurai. Going by the alias Patch, Logan soon befriends a wealthy heir to one of Hightown’s largest banks, Jessán Hoan aka Tyger Tiger. Together they rain law and order upon Lowtown with attempts to rinse some of the innate crime out. In doing so, they collect some formidable foes including the Chinese government and the ever-multiplying Hydra.
In addition to making Madripoor a pivotal setting in the series, the episode dropped a slight easter egg. According to IGN, as our three heroes migrated throughout the city, a sign labeled The Princess Bar was shown. This particular bar was one of Wolverine’s favorites, and it was co-owned by Tyger Tiger herself. While the X-Men, Wolverine, and the mutants are still years in the making for Phase Four, these subtle hints in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier signify the characters exist in the world. The final question that needs answering is how.
According to IGN, theorizing fans have been ever-so eager for a mutant reboot since Disney acquired Fox back in 2019. And since WandaVision didn’t seal the deal with the Quicksilver tease, the window is still wide open on how this world welcomes the beloved comic characters. For starters, if Marvel chose to repeat the Wolverine-as-lead route, his backstory as a super-soldier could be utilized. With the inclusion of Isaiah Bradley in episode two, the MCU could venture into the history of Weapon Plus, the government organization behind Steve Rogers becoming the first soldier experiment. Wolverine himself was a product of this entity’s testing, and was known as Weapon X or “Weapon Ten.” The United States’ attempts to replicate Rogers’ formula could be the key to unlocking the mutant gene in the MCU. But only time and Kevin Feige will tell.
Catch new episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Solider every Friday on Disney+.