When The Falcon and the Winter Soldier debuted in March, the MCU's second streaming TV series reportedly became the most-watched original premiere of any television series on Disney+. With a more straightforward Marvel approach than WandaVision's genre-mashing madness, Falcon and Winter Soldier delves into not only large-scale superhero plotting and action, but also smaller character moments that tap into the inner psyches of Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes. Many fans have responded to the drama's depiction of Sam's post-Blip problems, and that element was apparently one of Kevin Smith's favorite moments from the premiere.
MCU fanatic Kevin Smith talked about all things The Falcon and the Winter Soldier on an episode of his podcast Fatman Beyond with co-host Marc Bernardin featuring special guest and comic book virtuoso Robert Kirkman, of Walking Dead and Invincible fame. And there were two times during that conversation when Smith brought up how much he enjoyed the way Sam's bank loan scene echoed the Golden Age of Marvel Comics' characters and storytelling, while Bernardin slid the blame for it onto Tony Stark as Iron Man. In their words:
SMITH: What I loved watching this episode was how true to Marvel comics they were in presenting a hero with a financial problem. That felt so Peter Parker to me. That felt so like Stan and Jack: “Let’s give him some real issues to deal with.' And as we saw and learned, the Avengers don’t make money, there’s no payroll or whatever. Essentially what they are establishing is, like, they are superheroes...
BERNADIN: Tony Stark is a bit of a dick. Like, Tony Stark is very much the Jeff Bezos of this universe.
As one might have expected, Kevin Smith was tickled by the idea of calling Tony Stark a dick for not utilizing his vast wealth to give his fellow Avengers a living wage for their heroics. It's especially unfortunate for a character like Sam Wilson, who doesn't have any superhuman abilities but does have his extremely technical and definitely expensive Falcon suit to worry about damaging. Where is Sam supposed to go when things get destroyed? Certainly not the bank, it seems.
Fans everywhere celebrated the bank loan scene, with many on social media discussing the rarely showcased notion of superheroes' financial situations. Obviously characters like Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne are outliers with bazillions of dollars to play around with, but so many others within Marvel's long history were far less privileged. And even though those details can get glossed over on the page (and even in some of the live-action projects), there's only so much an income-less vigilante can do.
Later in the podcast, Kevin Smith returned to that particular subject and how it truly reflected Marvel's glory days with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby largely guiding the ship. In Smith's words:
I really grooved on Sam not being able to get a loan. That felt like true Marvel to me. And then when they started talking about the finances of the Avengers and what not, I was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so in the spirit of what the Bullpen would do back in the day.' You know, they’re telling us a superhero story, but it’s more hero than super. They're telling a Superman story, but it's more man than super. It's 'Look at these abilities I have, but how come I can't fucking get a loan?'
A superhero could have all the talent in the world and it wouldn't do much good without any money to back the cause. It's hard to save a city when you can't even afford two square meals a day. Not that Sam is living in poverty or anything, but he very well could be at a certain point unless someone steps in to offer some financial aid. Can we blame Wyatt Russell's John Walker for all this, or no?
Action-packed new episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier air Fridays on Disney+, and Kevin Smith's Fatman Beyond is quick on the reaction episodes each week as well.