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Madripoor In The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Means A Lot More Than You Realize

Contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3, "Power Broker"

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has officially reached its halfway point, and things are starting to heat up for Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3, the duo team up with Daniel Brühl's Helmut Zemo and take a trip to the sprawling metropolis of Madripoor to trace the source of the latest batch of Super Soldier Serum, leading them to bar owner Selby (Imelda Corcoran) and serum-crafter Dr. Nagel (Olli Haaskivi).

While the bustling, neon-drenched streets of Madripoor certainly make for a stunning backdrop for Sam and Bucky's latest adventure, the fictional city's first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already sent fans into a frenzy. And there's good reason for that. 

Here's why Madripoor means more than you might realize.

In the Marvel Comics world, Madripoor is a hot bed of mutant activity

For one thing, Madripoor may end up serving as the gateway into the MCU for some of Marvel Comics' most famous super-powered heroes and villains — specifically, the X-Men.

The island has been a hotbed for devious doings in the pages of Marvel Comics for years now, and that includes a few major story arcs involving characters like Madame Hydra, Mystique, and Magnet behaving in rather unsavory ways. As you'd expect, many mutants from Professor X's crew — Wolverine, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Storm, and more — have also frequented Madripoor in hopes of preventing those dastardly deeds.

Of course, as that infamously debunked WandaVision Quicksilver theory recently taught us, it's probably still too early to presume The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be the MCU project that finally brings mutants into the fold. But the X-Men are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point in the future thanks to Disney's acquisition of Fox.

With Madripoor potentially serving as the "where" in the mutant MCU entry equation, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier's current narrative might also be opening the door to the "how." As it is, the freedom granted to scientists on the island to work outside the parameters of more morally and ethically inclined societies has already led to the re-development of Super Soldier Serum. It's safe to assume there are more shady doctors working on other projects on the island too — not just Dr. Nagel. And if you'll allow a bit of conjecture, such experimentation may or may not lead to the development of Mutant Growth Hormone, which grants mutant powers to any and everyone it encounters in Marvel-land. 

Hawkeye might also make a trip to Madripoor in his own Disney+ series

It remains to be seen, however, if The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will actually provide the first legitimate teases of mutants in the MCU. Even if it doesn't, the very fact that Madripoor is officially in the picture seems to suggest that it's only a matter of time before X-Men make an appearance. And even if Sam and Bucky don't uncover the origins of mutant citizens in the course of their own show, the MCU may be heading back to the notorious island of Madripoor sooner than expected.

That's because Clint Barton (aka Hawkeye, played in the MCU by Jeremy Renner) and his protégé Kate Bishop (to be portrayed on screen by Hailee Steinfeld) had their own Madripoor adventure in the pages of Matt Fraction's and David Aja's Hawkeye, which is reportedly being used as source material for the arrow-slinging hero's standalone Disney+ series starring Renner and Steinfeld. In Fraction and Aja's graphic novel, Clint and Kate head to a prominent hotel in Madripoor to stop the auction of a damning (and doctored) piece of video evidence apparently featuring Clint carrying out a very illegal political assassination. 

Obviously, it's way too early to know if the upcoming Hawkeye series will feature that particular storyline or not. But with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier having ushered Madripoor into the MCU location fold, it would seem exceedingly unusual for Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team to not utilize the island in as many ways as they can.