Episode 3 of ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ Referenced the X-Men

Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier spoilers follow.

This week’s edition of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier inched the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever closer to embracing the X-Men continuity.

It’s been two years now since Disney officially gained the rights to the X-Men characters with its Fox purchase, but Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has been cautious about rushing the mutants’ arrival.

The third Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode debuted on Friday (April 2), and included in it was an overt reference to a location X-Men readers will be very familiar with.

In ‘Power Broker’, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) makes the very questionable decision to free Sokovian terrorist Helmut Zemo (Daniel Brühl) to catch an even more dangerous group of terrorists called the Flag Smashers.

Their search leads them to the fictional Southeast Asian principality Madripoor — which, in Marvel Comics continuity, is a pivotal setting for the 1988 Wolverine solo series.

Madripoor is a highly segregated island, where the ultra-rich live lavishly in Hightown while the poorest of the poor live in squalor in Lowtown.

‘Power Broker’ featured a reference to Hightown when Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) admitted that neither himself or Bucky had any allies in that portion of Madripoor given their ties to the Avengers.

Imelda Corcoran also appears as one of Zemo’s contacts, Selby. While there is a mutant also named Selby in Marvel lore, she probably needs a little bit more screen time before the two characters can be linked.

Other Easter eggs viewers may have noticed in Madripoor include a visit to the Princess Bar, a hub of the island’s criminal underworld from the 1988 Wolverine series.

The trio’s search for the mysterious Power Broker also leads them to the Brass Monkey Saloon, which has its roots in a comics arc from the John Walker incarnation of Captain America.

Clearly, this visit to Mandripoor was more than just a cute Easter egg from Kevin Feige — it’s the latest nod to integrating the characters and wider world of mutantkind.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is streaming exclusively Disney+, with new episodes every Friday.

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