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Why Sam Wilson's Captain America Costume Makes No Sense

The second Disney+ Marvel Cinematic Universe show, "Falcon and the Winter Soldier," bears the rare distinction of ending with a different title than the one it starts with. By the time the final episode ends and turns the show into "Captain America and the Winter Soldier," the viewer has witnessed Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) finally embrace the mantle of Captain America like his predecessor (Chris Evans) wanted, and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) has finally made a modicum of peace with his bloody past. What's more, the two frenemies have learned to trust each other — and to cooperate in a formidable fashion, which no doubt spells bad news for enemies of the Earth whenever the Avengers once again assemble. 

The show contains plenty of other great things, too — hi, Val (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and John Walker (Wyatt Russell) — but the biggie is obviously the fact that the MCU now has a new Captain America. While there's no doubt that Sam Wilson is a fantastic fit for the mantle, the same can't really be said about one very particular aspect of his costume. Let's see why Sam's Cap costume makes no sense. 

A flying Captain America could do with some head protection

Sam Wilson's power set is very different from that of his predecessor. He doesn't have the benefit of Steve's supersoldier serum powers, but his winged suit allows him to pull off complex, super-fast maneuvers that the First Avenger couldn't dream of. Yet, somehow, it's Steve whose iconic costume features a helmet, while Sam — a non-powered guy whose main method of transportation is flying headfirst at the enemy — zips around with an unprotected cranium. 

Of course, Sam doesn't really have any say in the suit's design in "Falcon and the Winter Soldier," since it's Bucky who commissions the costume, and let's face it, one wouldn't put it past Mr. Barnes to include a design flaw like this as a practical joke. However, the Falcon costume has the exact same issue. It's not like Sam doesn't need a helmet, either. On the contrary, he charges headfirst into things all the time. In the first episode of "Falcon and the Winter Soldier," Sam performs all sorts of speedy, death-defying aerial stunts while chasing Batroc's (Georges St. Pierre) men — who, incidentally, are perfectly happy to wear helmets with their more conventional wingsuits. In the season finale, one of Sam's first actions as Captain America is to somersault-soar through a broken pane of glass.   

Considering the kinds of bumps Steve Rogers has taken as Cap, it would seem obvious that the considerably less durable Sam Wilson would play it safe and protect his skull. Granted, Sam's Captain America costume is extremely comic book accurate, but in the interest of his long-term safety, he might want to attach a proper helmet to that cool cowl at some point down the line.