Phase 5"s 3 Captain America Replacements Prove 1 MCU Villain Failed Miserably

  • Zemo's failed mission to eradicate super soldiers is highlighted by the Thunderbolts roster led by Bucky Barnes.
  • The Thunderbolts team comprises 3 super soldiers, contradicting Zemo's belief that they pose a dangerous threat.
  • The heavy reliance on super soldiers in the Thunderbolts movie may complicate action scenes and overshadow unique character traits.
The upcoming Marvel's Thunderbolts movie underscores the complete failure of Captain America villain Baron Helmut Zemo in his MCU mission to eradicate super soldiers. As the first MCU team to be comprised of villains and anti-heroes, the Thunderbolts will reportedly be led by Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), with a line-up that includes Alexei Shostakov a.k.a. Red Guardian (David Harbour), John Walker a.k.a. US Agent (Wyatt Russell), Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh), Ava Starr a.k.a. Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen), and Antonia Dreykov a.k.a. Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko). Of the 6 reformed villains and antiheroes on this roster, 3 are super soldiers.
These characters - the Winter Soldier, US Agent, and Red Guardian - are each an offshoot of Captain America's legacy in the MCU timeline in different ways. Interestingly, the anti-super soldier Baron Zemo is the original founder of the Thunderbolts in Marvel Comics. However, the character is not returning for the upcoming MCU release, side-stepping the irony of the line-up's heavy reliance on super soldiers.
Related Who Are MCU's Thunderbolts? Team Members, Origin & Comic History Explained Marvel Studios is officially working on a Thunderbolts movie, with production to begin in 2023. Here's all you need to know about the Thunderbolts! Zemo Tried To Wipe Out Super-Soldiers In Civil War But Thunderbolts Proves He Was Unsuccessful Zemo Attempted To Stop Super-Soldiers In Both Captain America: Civil War & The Falcon And The Winter Soldier Zemo made his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, seeking revenge on enhanced individuals, like the Avengers, for the death of his family in the Battle of Sokovia from Avengers: Age of Ultron. From turning the Avengers against each other in his first appearance to destroying the Flag Smashers' super serum vials in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, the character has made it his mission to put an end to super soldiers. The Thunderbolts are a slap in the face to this mission.
A key point of Zemo's philosophy is that super soldiers are a dangerous weapon when left unchecked, and most are vulnerable to corruption. The idea of super soldiers being sanctioned and used by governments goes against everything Zemo has ever stood for, but Thunderbolts highlights just how badly he has failed his mission. After all his efforts to wipe out super soldiers, there are now three coming together in a government- team.
Why Marvel's Thunderbolts Team Has So Many Super-Soldiers The MCU Has A Wide Range Of Super Soldier Characters Close The term "super soldier" bears a different implication than "superhero," as the former indicates an affiliation with a government or agency. The Thunderbolts are to be led by the Director of the CIA, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Naturally, the CIA would have an interest in individuals with a background of or predisposition to taking orders.
US Walker is a prime example of an ideal candidate for this team. After his failure as the replacement for Steve Rogers' Captain America (Chris Evans), his powers are not being wasted, but put to good use in quite the demotion. Red Guardian, meanwhile, is a Russian super soldier who was denied the opportunity to become the Russian version of Captain America and jailed, making an offer from the CIA comparatively desirable.
Related All 23 Super Soldiers Created In The MCU (Not Just Captain America) Captain America is the most famous super soldier in the MCU, but Abraham Erskine's serum is responsible for giving a lot of other people powers too. Why Marvel's Thunderbolts Having So Many Super-Soldiers Could Hurt The Movie Having Three Different Super-Soldiers Might Complicate The MCU Movie A team up of villains and antiheroes is reminiscent of DC's The Suicide Squad, whose success lay at least partly in the diversity of its characters' abilities. If Thunderbolts is meant to be Marvel's answer to The Suicide Squad, having half the team comprised of super soldiers may work against it by promoting too much sameness. Action scenes could end up bland and repetitive due to the fact that, firstly, the characters have similar powers, and secondly, these particular super soldiers all come from Captain America's legacy in some form.
Similarly, the Thunderbolts super soldiers - with the exception of Bucky Barnes - risk staining the First Avenger's legacy. John Walker's US Agent has already done some damage, with his infamous use of the shield to publicly beat someone to death, while Red Guardian's history doesn't encourage much confidence either.
Finally, Taskmaster - although not a super soldier herself - is another character who may exacerbate the problems created by having too many super soldiers on the Marvel's Thunderbolts movie team, with her ability to mirror fighting styles potentially complicating this matter for the film's action sequence issues by suggesting she may imitate the trio during fights. Though this could be pulled off to provide some unique battle sequences, it also risks the movie feeling like it has four characters who fight the same, which would naturally raise some complications for making the individuals in the group stand out.
Marvel's Thunderbolts Marvel's Thunderbolts is a superhero movie based on the comic team of the same name. The movie acts as a part of the MCU's fifth phase of films. The film sees the likes of Bucky Barnes, Yelena Belova, Wyatt Russell, the Red Guardian, and more as an unlikely group of heroes and villains brought together to fight for good.


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