of Red Skull, Nazi scientist Dr. Heinrich Zemo may be Captain America’s
most dangerous villain. Capable of building bizarre weapons of mass
destruction, Zemo fled Germany after the war and ended up leading the
Masters of Evil, a Legion of Doom-style villain alternative to the
Avengers. In recent years, his son has taken up the mantle of
world-conquering supremacy. Zemo would be a good addition to the movie
storyline, as he shares a World War II background with Cap. Maybe he was also cryogenically frozen and is awaiting a world where he can get
revenge on Captain America and also find a hat that matches that purple
ski mask over his head.
may think that Captain America’s plucky sidekick Bucky (played by
Sebastian Stan) perished in the first movie. But, of course, no one ever
really dies in comics. Bucky returned to the Captain America
comics a few years back after being presumed dead for decades. This
time, he was different, having been transformed into the killer assassin
Winter Soldier by Russian general Alkesander Lukin. (He later took over
the Captain America mantle when Steve Rogers died. Don’t worry —
Rogers got better.) Introducing Winter Soldier into the mix along with
some World War II flashbacks could be a good way of giving the
underutilized Bucky (and Stan) more to do in the sequel. Plus, what’s
cooler than a sniper with a robotic arm?
Henchman to Red Skull. The guy who killed Captain America (in the
comics). The gun-toting, masked baddie known as Crossbones has been a
fan favorite ever since his first appearance way back in 1989’s Captain America
#359. A ruthless terrorist in the mold of Batman’s Bane, the
muscle-bound Crossbones could easily up the sequel’s action quotient.
(And also its bodycount.) As a mercenary, Crossbones works for the
highest bidder, meaning you never really know whose side he’s on.
(Though it’s usually his own.) Plus, there could be some scenes
featuring Taskmaster, another skull-faced bad guy who trained Crossbones
in the ways of head-smashing. And speaking of smashing …
he has an incredibly dumb name. But when you’re a hero who wears the
American flag on your chest, chances are a villain will come along who
wants to smash said flag. And in recent years, ace Captain America
scribe Ed Brubaker and other writers have turned Flag-Smasher into an
anti-nationalist terrorist who leads ULTIMATUM (Underground Liberated
Totally Integrated Mobile Army to Unite Mankind), a group that was at
one point funded by none other than the Red Skull. Having Captain
America face off against villains with an anti-American sentiment could
help make the sequel feel topical and relevant.
So why not introduce its sultry modern-day leader as a way of injecting
some spice into the sequel? Madame Hydra (a.k.a. Viper) could provide an
opportunity to cast another actress to face off against Hayley Atwell,
should she return as Peggy Carter’s niece (and SHIELD agent) Sharon
Carter. Since Red Skull is established as the leader of Hydra in the
first film, it could be fun to see Red and Madame Hydra butting heads
for control. Plus, where Hydra goes, SHIELD is sure to follow. Fun fact:
Viper has appeared in a Marvel movie before — she was played by Sandra
Hess in the 1998 Nick Fury TV movie starring David Hasselhoff.
bringing back Bucky as the deadly Winter Soldier. However, being a
crafty fellow, Skull transferred his mind into Lukin’s body via the
Cosmic Cube (a.k.a. the Tessaract in the movie) in order to continue his
dastardly deeds. Using Lukin (and adapting Brubaker’s story) could help
to explain how Bucky and Red Skull join Cap in the modern-day world. And if Red Skull returns, perhaps his insane daughter Sin (who has
become a prominent villain in the Marvel Universe thanks to her role in
the Fear Itself crossover series) could join her pop in terrorizing Captain America.