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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier tucks Sam Wilson easter egg into Smiling Tiger reference

Sam Wilson in Falcon and the Winter Solider.
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3 is packed full of easter eggs. One of the biggest parts of the episode – titled Power Broker – was the inclusion of Madripoor. It could be a mere coincidence, but perhaps writer Derek Kolstad is aware of one of Sam Wilson’s origin stories which featured him as a pimp. 

As the trio of Bucky, Baron Zemo, and Sam make their way to the Princess Bar, owned by Wolverine in the comics, Sam comments on his chosen attire, making him look like a pimp. Zemo tells him no one would think that, and the gentleman he is posing as wouldn’t care too much for the comment. That gentleman is Conrad Mack, who also goes by the Smiling Tiger, a character in Marvel comics who once crashed the Avengers quinjet in Madripoor. 

Let’s get back to Sam and his comment about his club look. Sam’s comic origin story has been retconned a few times. When he was first introduced in Captain America #117, he was an unnamed ornithology enthusiast from Harlem who adopted a wild falcon he trained and named Redwing. It wasn’t until the next issue, Captain America #118, that we finally learn his name is Sam Wilson and that he ended up on the Isle of Exiles after a group of men on the island hired him so they could use Redwing. Wilson soon learned the group of men were former Nazis in league with the supervillain the Red Skull. 

Falcon and The Winter Soldier

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

He escaped but remained on the island to organize the natives to confront the Exiles. At the urging of Steve Rogers, whom he later learned was Captain America, Wilson took on the costumed identity of the Falcon. He then underwent training with Rogers to better inspire the villagers and lead the fight, remaining there until we see him back in Harlem in Captain America #126.

Writer Steve Englehart then retconned this origin story in Captain America #186. Instead of a bird-loving former social worker who was motivated by a desire to better the lives of the people in his community, he is revealed as a mob-connected street-hustling pimp – who went by the name Snap Wilson – whose memories were altered by the reality-warping Cosmic Cube. 

Snap Wilson in Captain America #186

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Decades later, Sam’s origin story was retconned again using the Cosmic Cube in All-New Captain America #3. This time around, Sam is confronted by the Red Skull’s daughter Sin, and she shares his history with him with the use of the Cosmic Cube showing him now as a drug runner who ended up on the Isle of Exiles because he was expanding his business. During a confrontation, it is revealed that the Snap identity was a fake memory implanted into Sam by the Red Skull to discredit the hero through racism. 

So, there was some truth to Sam’s comment in the episode about someone thinking he was a pimp or something to that effect because, well, at one time in his comic history, he was one. 

There are three more episodes left in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, and it'll be interesting to see how many more easter eggs they can pack in before the end. Catch up on the MCU so far with our guide on how to watch the Marvel movies in order.