Danny Ramirez's Torres From The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Is the Future of the MCU
It's been a dour week for superheroes. Tonally, to be specific. Somber. We finally saw Zack Snyder's four-hour-long version of Justice League, which wasn't exactly a big bag of laughs. Then, on Friday, Marvel dropped the first episode of Falcon and the Winter Soldier on Disney+. That one? A little sad too! Wouldn't exactly count commentary on racial discrimination and how this country treats its veterans as a gleeful Marvel romp.
Thankfully, we had one lone beacon of fun, in the form of a new character: Falcon and the Winter Soldier's Torres, the fresh-faced military man played by On My Block's Danny Ramirez. We meet Torres in one of the opening scenes, when he's tasked with watching the ground while Sam Wilson, as Falcon, throws guys out of helicopters above him. Then, he has a drink with Wilson, makes a few wise-cracks and shows an interest in monitoring some alt-right-reminiscent trolls on web forums. Near the end of the episode, Torres tries to bust up an in-person meeting of those folks, which quickly turns into a terrorist attack. He promptly gets his face busted in.
Now, you know Marvel would never give that much airtime to a rando. No. If you look at the comics, it's pretty clear where Torres is headed: Straight to the Avengers complex as the new Falcon.
Ramirez seems to be playing Joaquín Torres from Marvel's comic books—specifically in 2015's Captain America: Sam Wilson. The series depicts a powerful immigrant story, with Torres coming to the United States from Mexico with his mother and grandmother at six years old. He was captured by an evil group hellbent on experimenting on people trying to cross the border. Captain America eventually saves Torres, but not before he turns into a literal falcon/vampire hybrid that makes him able to fly and heal quickly. As for Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we will likely not see Torres turn into a vampire and/or sprout wings from his back. He'll probably just borrow the Falcon machinery he clearly already knows his way around.
As for the MCU going forward, it's good to see that—whatever happens to Sam Wilson, and whether or not he takes up the shield by the show's end—the Falcon mantle likely won't fall by the wayside. And we can't think of anyone better to don those robo-wings than Ramirez.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.