The Falcon and the Winter Soldier brings in not one but three villains to the MCU. Here’s all that you need to know about them.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will see Sam and Bucky face a trio of major villains. All of them have significant roles in the Marvel comics. So before kickstarting with the series, let us get to know each of them and their backstory.
Watch: Exclusive Clip – “The Big Three” | Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and The Winter Soldier | Disney+
The events of Falcon and the Winter Soldier will take place after those of Endgame and, supposedly, WandaVision. Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes team up and undergo a chain of events that seems to carry various aspects of them being vigilantes fleeing from the government.
The trailers give us a good look at the villains and their motives. And we can all keep guessing at how they fit into the “unusual” Sam-Bucky dynamic before the show finally airs. But we have something for you that will help you get a hold of the villains. Here goes.
Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl)- A Face from the Past
The only villain that we have already seen in the MCU, Baron Zemo’s involvement in the upcoming series was confirmed after his introduction in Captain America: Civil War. The main reason for Bucky’s framing and the fight between Captain and Tony (although what seemed to be for a fair-enough reason), Zemo proved that powers were not needed to topple superheroes.
Zemo lost his family in the battle of Sokovia (Age of Ultron) and decided to break the Avengers as revenge. And while, in Civil War, he was able to break them from within, the Sokovia Accords made some of the superheroes legitimate. This was totally against his wishes as he wanted to bring an end to their existence. And this is what he plans to, in The Falcon and the Winter Solider. This time, it won’t be destruction from within but an all-out assault.
Watch: 1st Official Trailer | The Falcon and the Winter Soldier | Disney+
“Superheroes cannot be allowed to exist”, he says in the first official trailer. With such lofty ambition, he seems to be the main villain of the show. However, what remains inexplicable is the fact of his escape. The last time we saw him, he was locked up pretty tight in CIA custody. Did he escape by himself or did he receive help from someone else?
John Walker/U.S. Agent/Government-aided Captain America (Wyatt Russell)
John Walker is the Joker Card put on the table by the US government as the deserved replacement for Steve Rogers. This serves as the perfect excuse to pin Sam Wilson further down as a vigilante-on-the-run. And the amount of pomp and show that we see him receiving as he runs into a football field with giant “A” covering the grass along with the fireworks and dancers and crowd around, proves that he does have the support of a lot of common people too.
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier places John Walker as a villain for more than one reason. Firstly, he uses the Captain America image in a way that Steve Rogers hated, one that besmirches the ideals Steve stood for, that of pomp and propaganda. Secondly, he is more than disrespecting the legacy of Captain Steve Rogers, intentionally or not, by ignoring Sam Wilson as the true successor for the shield.
The comics have two ways in which the character can go down. One is that John Walker is for real a Captain-America fan is frustrated by the way the government uses his image. This will eventually make him an ally of Sam and Bucky. The other is that of him being a ruthless goon who is not at all interested in the ideals that Captain Steve Rogers stood for.
Flag-Smashers- From One Villain to a Group of Villains
While The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has the Flag-Smashers as a group of individuals, the comics have only one Flag-Smasher i.e. Karl Morgenthau. He is an anti-nationalist who debuted in Captain America #312 in December of 1985. His father was a Swiss diplomat, who died in a riot in Latveria. Karl grew up hating the state of the world. He felt that nationalism was responsible for the societal hierarchy that gives birth to hate, bigotry, and a false sense of superiority. And he made it his mission to wake the common people and established ULTIMATUM – The Underground Liberated Totally Integrated Mobile Army To Unite Mankind. This organization brought together common people regardless of their national identity.
However, the upcoming series will have a gender-flipped Karli Morgenthau played by Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Erin Kellyman. And The Falcon and the Winter Soldier seems to bring together the Flag-Smasher from the comics and ULTIMATUM; in order to create the Flag-Smashers group.
While we can say that we might see Baron Zemo shaking hands with the Flag-Smashers, the position of John Walker is still unclear. For the time being, all their real motives are unknown. And we have to just watch The Falcon and the Winter Soldier for our answers.