Is Joaquín Torres the next Falcon?

*Alert: Spoilers ahead!*

In typical Marvel fashion, events are coming to full circle in the final two episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. There is a palpable tension that has built up in regards to the Flag-Smashers’ attack in New York to foil the GRC vote. But it is the semi-confirmation of reshuffling of superhero roles that have gotten us super excited for the general future of the MCU. By now even casual fans know that Marvel is very intentional in the way it gives screen time to any character, whether main or secondary. So while we suspected that Joaquín Torres was going to play a crucial role in the plot, it was not a surety that he would inherit the Falcon legacy. So is Joaquín Torres the next Falcon? Here’s everything you need to know.

Who is Joaquín Torres in the comics?

Image Credit: Marvel Database

The comic version of Joaquín Torres was not a lofty army guy who supported The Falcon. There is a much darker origin story for this Torres who gets kidnapped by a racist group called Sons of The Serpent and is taken to Dr. Karl Malus. Unsurprisingly, the doctor ends up performing genetic experiments on this young teenager using Redwing’s genetic material. As a result of all the nasty experiments, Torres ends up with regenerative abilities, real human-sized falcon wings, and a psychic link to Redwing. Torres is eventually rescued by The Falcon/New Captain America and this is how their relationship as hero and sidekick begins. Thanks to the psychic link that allows Sam Wilson and Torres to communicate as well as Torres’ mutations, it was a natural progression for Torres to become the next Falcon in the comics.

The seventeen-year-old Torres is the ultimate good guy. As a kid, he immigrated to The States with his mother and grandmother and despite being an illegal immigrant, managed to make a good life for himself. He graduated high school with honors and journeyed back to the Mexican border to distribute food and water for immigrants who were coming through. It was during this time that he got kidnapped and delivered to Dr. Malus for the experimentation that would turn him into the next Falcon in the comics.

Who is Joaquín Torres in MCU?

Image Credit: Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

In MCU, Joaquín Torres appears in the first episode of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as Sam Wilson’s teammate. We see him for the first time when he provides ground support to Sam Wilson during the Vasant rescue mission from a Humvee. In the show, it is Torres who alerts Sam Wilson about the existence of the Flag-Smashers, a newly-formed terrorist group that had been steadily garnering support for their belief that the world was better off during the Blip.

Unlike the comics, Joaquín Torres in the show is a much order united Air Force lieutenant and intelligence officer. He and Sam also appear to be good friends with instances of Sam relying on Torres to take care of things and keep him updated regarding the activities of the Flag-Smasher. Torres is also undoubtedly a fan of Sam Wilson as The Falcon, as we can see from his earnest questions about the wingsuit and its maintenance.  

Is Joaquín Torres the next Falcon?

Marvel likes to keep us on our toes until the very end. Short of Torres wearing the wings and making a heroic entry, it’s pretty much a sure thing that he is the next Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In episode 5, after their fight with John Walker, the former Captain America tears the Falcon’s wing quite brutally making the wingsuit pretty useless. Fortunately, Sam Wilson and Bucky managed to take the shield from him and leave the scene. Later on, when Sam Wilson catches up with Joaquín Torres, he leaves behind the backpack with the damaged wings and chooses to take only the Captain’s Shield.

It is not, however, the scene itself that convinced us about Joaquín Torres as the next Falcon. It is the fact that Sam Wilson began prepping for his role as Captain America that had us convinced that a new Falcon is about to make an appearance. The fact that Joaquín Torres fits the bill perfectly would not have mattered if Sam Wilson was not ready to embrace his role as the new Captain America. Now that we can be certain about Sam Wilson’s mind, Torres becoming the successor of the Falcon persona is only a matter of time.

The thought of a new Falcon is quite exciting but also telling of Marvel’s intention to embrace real-world topics in their fictional narrative. While Sam Wilson’s arc is their way of shedding the light on racism in America, Joaquín Torres is a powerful representation of the minorities. As the new Falcon’s story will be unveiled, it will interesting to see how Marvel tackles this subject. One thing that we can be certain of is that they will do it very gracefully.