Falcon and Winter Soldier's Big Cameo Could Set Up a Little-Known Marvel Comics Team
Falcon and Winter Soldier's latest addition brings with it the possible introduction of an all-female super team known as Femme Force.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 5, "Truth," now streaming on Disney+.
There is no doubt that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is overdue for more female representation among its heroes, and the franchise has made strides in that direction. With solo stars like Captain Marvel and heroines sharing title credits with their male companions in Ant-Man and the Wasp and WandaVision, progress comes ever slowly to the MCU, and it may be just about to come all the faster to the world of espionage.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's latest bombshell cameo opens up the doors to Femme Force, and given the sinister bent of their membership, this may not just be a step forward for heroines. It could open a whole new world for villainesses.
The reintroduction of Sharon Carter to the MCU opened up several intriguing possibilities, especially given her darker edge. Whereas villains like Zemo wear their sinister qualities on their sleeve, Sharon Carter was an ally of Captain America, who formerly has done nothing but help the heroes of the MCU. In her more private moments, talking to a personal driver or setting up dealings with Batroc, she takes on a more conspiratorial approach, and the latest new cameo may further enhance this villainous edge.
La Contessa Valentina Allegra de la Fontaine's introduction to the series stands as an intriguing connection to Carter's past in the comics. Both characters were elite agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in high standing with the organization. Their skills were such that in Captain America #144, they were chosen along with other female furies to serve on an all-female squadron of agents known as Femme Force. With just a handful of appearances to their name, this comes as a deep cut from the comics. In fact, those comics are so old that it was President Richard Nixon who put Femme Force together, demonstrating just how obscure the reference is.
But whereas Karli Morgenthau stands out as a more straightforward antagonist, Fontaine and Carter alike seem to be working from the background. When Fontaine approaches John Walker, its with all the delicious menace of a woman who knows she is a villain, and when she hands him a seemingly blank business card, it's clear she knows how to cultivate an air of mystery. This stands in stark contrast to the comics, where Fontaine's character seemed to sincerely serve as hero for years before she took up a sinister mantle. Eventually, she became the new Madame Hydra, but the MCU may just be hitting the ground running when it comes to that heel turn.
With the way that Falcon And Winter Soldiersets up events, it could be Carter's character doing the heel turn, and indeed she seems primed and ready for it. Her dealings with Batroc connect her to Karli's own plans with the Flag Smashers, and it's clear that events are far more complicated than either Sam Wilson or Bucky Barnes currently realize. This could standout as the perfect debut opportunity for Femme Force, and there's no doubt they would make an impact.
Carter's had her share of emotional moments in the wake of her perceived betrayal by the superhero community, leaving her a fugitive due to the Sokovia Accords. The character's interesting development primes her to lead her own force to be reckoned with, and the Femme Force could be the perfect shape for that to take.
While so much of the conversation around representation focuses on propping up strong female heroes, it is in a lot of ways just as important to show a diverse range of capable female villains as well. People come across all parts of the moral spectrum, and in Falcon and Winter Soldier, that spectrum appears to be grayer than ever.
Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly and Daniel Brühl. New episodes debut on Fridays on Disney+.