“Power Broker,” the third episode of “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” brought Marvel fans to a location only mentioned in the MCU before but with a lot of history in the comics. The fictional Southeast Asian island of Madripoor is a hotbed of contraband, fugitives and criminal action, but in the comics, is as famous for being home to mutants as to Hydra.
While “Wandavision” teased X-men fans with possible connections to the non-MCU X-men film franchise with its casting of Evan Peters, the second series in the MCU delivered a classic X-men location. Sam and Bucky’s investigation into the new supersoldier serum found the duo teamed up with Baron Zemo, who leads the unlikely partnership to Madripoor. Marvel fans will recognize the island from titles as diverse as “Avengers,” “Iron Man” and, yes, “X-men.”
Madripoor Began As An X-men Locale
While fans just glimpsed the island for the first time in the MCU, longtime readers of the comics were introduced to Madripoor in the pages of “New Mutants.” Since its first appearance in 1985, the creation of writer Chris Claremont and artist Steve Leiahola has been a backdrop for, and even home to, mutants of all stripes.
Over the years since then, the former pirate haven housed the team known as X-men Blue and even had its own version of the famous X-mansion. Mystique tried to turn the island into an Amsterdam for Mutant Growth Hormone in “All-New X-Men” and Magneto used the island to hole away a time-displaced version of the original X-men team before they were taken back out of continuity. And perhaps most notably for those itching to see X-folks introduced to a franchise dominated by Avengers, the island is where Captain America first met Marvel’s most ubiquitous mutant.
In the pages of “Uncanny X-men” No 268, the “star-spangled sentinel of liberty” Steve Rogers takes on the Hand, the magical Ninja gang created for the pages of Marvel by Frank Miller. On the streets of Madripoor’s “Lowtown” in 1941 Captain America finds himself teamed up with Logan, who fans know from thousands of comics and nine films as Wolverine. The Chris Claremont penned and Jim Lee drawn issue is a touchstone for the Logan/Cap buddy story.
What To Expect
While Madripoor is perhaps most famous for its relationship to perpetual-fan-favorite Logan (and his much less popular son Daken), the island has been home to plenty of non-mutants as well. Supervillain societies seem to have a particular affinity to the port city, which is generally portrayed as an anarchic hub of illicit commerce. Over the years Madripoor has been more-or-less hospitable to not just the Hand, but A.I.M. and Hydra.
As “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” is already knee-deep in Hydra mythology, we’re likely to see this thread explored more. While the Hydra of the comics has moved from its early affiliation with Nazism, its theoretical welcome of mutants is pretty rarely evidenced in the pages of the comics themselves. The group would seem an unlikely vehicle for such an auspicious introduction to MCU, but hopeful X-fans will no doubt be watching “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” more intently for Easter eggs and signs of anything mutant.