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The six-part series – which airs weekly on Disney Plus – takes place in the immediate aftermath of Avengers: Endgame and sees Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan star as the respective heroes of the title, aka Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes.
Both characters were best friends of Captain America (Chris Evans) in different time periods – Mackie’s Sam Wilson was chosen as his successor in Endgame, and Stan’s Bucky Barnes was a Second World War army sergeant turned brainwashed super-soldier.
As pointed out by Pink News, astute viewers picked up on a detail in the series’ debut episode that may suggest Bucky is bisexual.
In the episode Bucky tells Leah that he has not dated much recently but did try out “the whole online dating thing”.
“It’s pretty crazy. A lot of weird pictures,” he says. “I mean, tiger photos? Half the time, I don’t even know what I’m looking at. It’s a lot.”
The “tiger photos” remark has left viewers convinced that Falcon and the Winter Soldier has confirmed Bucky is a canonically queer character.
Tiger pictures had been famous on dating apps such as Tinder around 2014. They were especially prevalent on men’s profiles.
At the time of the episode’s release on 19 March, author Saeed Jones tweeted: “On Tinder, is it men who tend to post pictures with tigers all the time? Or women? I ask because Bucky complained about all the tiger pictures he sees on Tinder (I want him to be bi so bad. LOL.)”
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Writer and podcaster Lauren Shippen wrote: “Also, not for nothing, as a fellow bi who was on the dating apps for a bit, the tiger photo thing is very much a male phenomenon, so Bucky has his filters set to men and women.
“Bi Bucky is real, it’s canon now, try to take him from me!!!!!!!!”
Another person concurred with Shippen, responding: “I did a quick search and umm…. yeah . Posing with tigers on dating apps seem to be mostly a guy thing. QED. Bi Bucky confirmed.”
Last week, the show’s screenwriter Malcolm Spellman was asked by NME what he thinks of the long-running theories that Bucky is bisexual.
“I’m not diving down rabbit holes, but just keep watching,” he answered, suggesting that the “tiger” reference may be the first of multiple indications the series will offer concerning Bucky’s sexuality.
Bucky’s character grew up during the 1920s and 1930s when bisexuality or homosexuality would not have been commonly accepted or openly spoken about, so it is possible that within the contemporary society of The Falcon the Winter Soldier, he is able to express himself more freely.
The Falcon and the Winter is available to stream on Disney Plus, and will run for six episodes until 23 April.
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