Zemo returns for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and his new skin may be a reference to another MCU villain.

The Captain America film trilogy was one of the few Marvel properties that left many loose threads. Many stories were left unsolved before Steve passed his shield to Sam Wilson, but the next MCU series, The falcon and the winter soldier, seems to be picking up right where Avengers: Endgame Stopped.

So far this has included the return of various characters from Cap’s trilogy, including one of the few villains who managed to defeat the Avengers, Baron Zemo, played by Daniel Brühl. Zemo lost his entire family after the destruction of Sokovia and blamed the Avengers, viewing the heroes as a threat that needed to be eliminated. After the events of Civil warHe was thought to be incarcerated, but has since escaped and now wears his iconic purple mask. While the origins of his new appearance are a mystery, it is possible that they are linked to another Marvel Cinematic Universe villain: Thanos.

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Baron Zemo in Falcon and the Winter Soldier

A popular theory circulating is that Zemo’s new mask was inspired by Thanos. The Mad Titan was the only other villain who was able to defeat the Avengers, and it is possible that Zemo is using something similar to his face as a scare tactic. In the comics, Zemo’s mask was used to hide his identity during WWII. However, after being exposed to a powerful chemical called Adhesive X, the mask fused with his face and left him with scars. The MCU version of the character has been a departure from his original roots, but he still maintains his high intellect and strategic abilities.

Zemo has always been a master planner, and by wearing a mask representing Thanos, he gives himself a psychological advantage. If it’s not the universe, most of the world has been traumatized by the destruction Thanos caused, and Zemo knows it. He wants the heroes of the MCU to be crippled by fear and has been trained to use any means to make that fear come true.

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Captain America Civil War Helmut Zemo

On top of that, even though Cap is retired, his legacy will be around to haunt Sam and Bucky. Both heroes have an interest in stopping Zemo. For Sam, Zemo represents a threat who doesn’t care whether the world has suffered a traumatic experience or not, while for Bucky he is a reminder of the atrocities he was forced to commit. In that sense, the villain is already playing psychological warfare, so donning something reminiscent of the world’s greatest threat just adds another layer to that.

What The Falcon and the Winter Soldier progresses, fans are more than likely to find out that Zemo planned everything the heroes go through well in advance. The mask will not only hide his identity, but it will also describe him as a threat on par with Thanos and remind any hero who tries to get close to him that he has failed before.

Directed by Kari Skogland, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier stars Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Emily VanCamp, Wyatt Russell, Noah Mills, Carl Lumbly, and Daniel Brühl. The series premieres March 19 on Disney +.

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