Y’all, there were so many comic book references in this episode.
First, you can spot that John Walker’s high school football number was #10, and you can see that the school has his jersey displayed.
John remarks that all he has been doing as Captain America so far is a lot of speeches and meetings, which is essentially the modern-day equivalent of Steve’s tour in Captain America: The First Avenger.
The marching band at John’s old high school is playing an updated version of “The Star-Spangled Man,” which was heard in Captain America: The First Avenger when Steve was touring America.
Also, the episode is titled “The Star-Spangled Man,” just to really drive home the point that John is embarking on his own tour as Captain America, just like Steve did.
We learn that John attended Custer’s Grove High School in Georgia, which is something pulled directly from the US Agent comic books.
While being interviewed, John says that he has “guts,” which is something Captain America “always had.” In Captain America: The First Avenger, Col. Phillips says wars are won with guts right before he throws the grenade that Steve jumps on.
Sam makes a joke about Bucky’s time in Wakanda, and Bucky reveals that his nickname is “White Wolf,” which is a nod to what T’Challa and the Wakandans called him.
It happens quickly, but you can see that Bucky catches Cap’s shield the same way he did in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Bucky asks John if he’s ever “jumped on top of a grenade,” which is, of course, a callback to the moment when Steve jumped on a grenade in Captain America: The First Avenger, aka the moment he was chosen to be Captain America.
John talks about the Global Repatriation Council and how they are helping manage resources for refugees after The Blip, and you can actually spot the “GRC” logo on the vaccine crates the Flag Smashers stole.
Lemar Hoskins, aka Battlestar, is a character directly from the comics. He’s a good friend of John Walker and ultimately becomes his sidekick when he becomes Captain America and later US Agent.
We learn that Karli Morgenthau is the leader of the Flag Smashers. In the Captain America comics, the Flag Smashers are led by Karl Morgenthau, who wanted to rid the world of national rule.
Bucky suggests just taking Cap’s shield from John, and Sam reminds him what happened last time they stole it. Of course, he references Captain America: Civil War and how Sharon helped them all escape custody.
When the kid refers to Sam as “Black Falcon,” this references the names Black Marvel heroes were given in the comic books, namely Black Panther and Black Goliath.
Bucky introduces Sam to Isaiah, who is another character from the comics. Isaiah Bradley was one of the 300 Black soldiers who were used as test subjects to try and re-create the super-soldier serum.
Also, Isaiah mentions that he was put in jail for being a hero. In the comics, Isaiah uses the Captain America mantle to go fight in WWII, but the government saw it as treason and put him in jail for stealing Cap’s costume.
While he’s not mentioned by name in the episode, I’m running with the theory that we meet Isaiah’s grandson, Eli, and I am freaking out. In the comics, Eli goes by Patriot and he’s a member of the Young Avengers.
So, this means we’ll have been introduced to most of the Young Avengers during this phase of the MCU. Alongside Eli, we met Billy and Tommy in WandaVision and Cassie Lang in Ant-Man. Meanwhile, Kate Bishop will appear in Hawkeye and America Chavez will be in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Flag Smashers mention that they are running from the Power Broker, who is yet another character from the comics. The Power Broker, aka Curtiss Jackson, is a man who tried to re-create the super-soldier serum.
It’s also important to note that in the comics, both John and Lemar become super-soldiers thanks to the Power Broker’s experiments. So, yeah, that’s a thing to possibly look forward to.
Bucky mentions Siberia, which is a reference to the secret Hydra base Bucky was held captive and where he was brainwashed. It was also where Iron Man and Captain America’s final fight in Captain America: Civil War took place.
You can see that Zemo is being held in cell number “2187,” which is a reference to Princess Leia’s cell number in Star Wars: A New Hope.
And finally, because I’ll just keep finding details in the closing credits, you can see “Where do we go, now that they’re gone?” which was on the poster in Avengers: Endgame when Steve is at his support group meeting.
Did you catch any other Easter eggs or cool details? Have a better theory for one mentioned above? Tell me everything in the comments below!
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