The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has begun. The first episode “New World Order”, set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, broods over the legacy of heroes that are no more, showing the quotidian lives of those that survived and a brewing domestic threat.
While Bucky is retired and is trying to make amends for his previous actions, Sam is still very much in the game, serving the Air Force in combat, aided by his lustrous and newly upgraded EXO-07 suit.
It seems like an age has passed since these characters were in the limelight, so there are bound to be a few questions about the particulars, especially about Sam Wilson and how he got the suit. Here’s everything you need to know about the Falcon’s suit going into the show.
Related: Where Is Sam Wilson From?
The EXO-7: Falcon’s Suit in the MCU
The EXO-07 was commissioned by the US Air National Guard and was first donned by Sam to support the troops in Afghanistan. In fact, there were two such suits for the two paratroopers Sam and Riley. Riley’s suit, however, was destroyed when he was shot down in Bakhmala. Immediately afterward, Sam retired from the military which meant the suit was locked away at Fort Meade.
Over the years, the suit has been locked away, appropriated, destroyed, brought back, and later upgraded to the way it appears in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
After his retirement, Sam was called on to help Captain America in the fight against HYDRA. But with the suit still at Fort Meade, there wasn’t much he could do. To that end, the EXO-07 was seized by Captain America and Black Widow to be used by Sam in their fight against HYDRA. During the fight, Bucky, then the Winter Soldier fully under HYDRA’s control, tore off one of the wings and rendered the Falcon useless. This was the first time the suit was damaged enough to call for repairs and additions.
The EXO-07 upgrade brought such things as armor plating, sensors, weapons, and red accents for the wings. But the time had come when they would be plucked yet again, confiscated by the Joint Counter Terrorist Center. This was in Captain America: Civil War when, after violating the Sokovian Accords, the wings became the government’s property. Fortunately for him, the wings were later returned to him by Sharon Carter so that he could aid the Cap during his clash with Iron Man and his allies.
The only other time Sam didn’t have his wings was during the 5-year Blip when he himself was gone. As he was brought back, the EXO-07 returned as well which he used for the battle of the Endgame.
In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we see a slightly different EXO-07 than before. This version of the wings has a closer affinity to the original comic costume, with more red accents around the chest region, and a contrasting red and white for the overall suit.
Sam’s new Falcon suit is seriously beautiful pic.twitter.com/zgEwWjgzHB
— malachi (@MCUMarvels) March 22, 2021
The original design of the EXO-07 was built primarily for flight, with little gadgetry. But the retractable mechanical wings weren’t all that durable and couldn’t withstand ballistic impact, making Sam vulnerable to impact strikes. This was corrected in subsequent upgrades, many thanks to Stark.
The suit gives Sam increased strength, the driving force for which still comes from the wings and the jet engines. The wings can also be used to form a shield in various configurations. This gives Falcon the tactical advantage of using his weapons while being protected from attacks. Being made of impact-resistant carbon fiber material, the wings are basically bulletproof.
The main upgrades to Falcon’s suit come in the form of improved durability, weaponry, communications, and aesthetics. His combat goggles have a number of enhancements, allowing him improved vision and the ability to scan for objects both small and far away.
When it comes to firepower, EXO-07 has had both machine guns and grenade launchers controlled via mechanical aid. New upgrades have seen the suit store guided missiles behind the jetpack. Both these enhancements – the goggles and the weapon systems – are linked to the Redwing, Falcon’s drone. The Redwing provides assistance from afar in tracking down enemies, zeroing in on targets, and reveal the enemy’s vulnerabilities.
The continual updates that the Falcon’s suit has received have not only kept Sam up as a worthy Avenger, it may have also saved his life on a number of occasions. That’s all the information you need to stay updated with the show and all the little trivia about Sam’s gear.