Veteran TV actor Carl Lumbly has joined the cast of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier in an undisclosed role, according to Deadline. When it debuts in August 2020, the series will be the first Marvel production to hit the Disney+ streaming service, and if the speculation surrounding Lumbly’s casting is correct, the show is taking a bold step.
According to Deadline, the fan consensus is that Lumbly could be playing Isaiah Bradley better known as the Black Captain America from the 2003 comic book series Truth: Red, White, & Black by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker. Set in 1942, the story centers on an attempt to recreate the super-soldier serum that transformed Steve Rogers into Captain America. However, unlike Rogers’ heroic outcome, the events more closely parallel the Tuskegee Experiments complete with tragic results for its African-American test subjects. Granted, Bradley survives the grueling ordeal and launches a one-man mission to stop similar experiments being conducted by the Nazis, and his legend is barely known to white Americans, and he dies slowly from brain damage, but not before receiving a visit from Steve Rogers who pays honor to Bradley’s bravery.
Because the internet is gonna internet, Truth: Red, White, & Black was surrounded by controversy during its release as some opinionated comic book fans were not thrilled at the idea of a Black Captain America or what they perceived as a “tarnishing” of Steve Rogers’ legacy. However, in an interview with CBR, former Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said most readers reversed their position after reading the story and appreciated that its overall message was “building bridges between people, not burning them.”
If Lumbly is playing Bradley in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which tracks with the overall story of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) assuming the mantle of Captain America at Steve Rogers’ request, it’ll be very interesting to see how Marvel adapts Bradley’s origin for Disney+ audiences. Will the series go out of its way to avoid a political minefield or charge full speed ahead? We’ll find out in August.