The Falcon and the Winter Soldier just introduced Olli Haaskivi's Dr. Wilfred Nagel in Episode 3. Before being in the MCU, his character made his debut in Truth: Red, White, and Black #1. That story features the origin of the first Black Captain America Isaiah Bradley. Over the course of those issues, Nagel and his fellow officials experiment on the soldiers at Camp Cathcart in Mississippi. Make no mistake the United States government wanted to make sure that the Super Soldier serum was ready to go during World War II. Codename Project Rebirth was just the method they chose to bring that vision to life. 300 Black soldiers became test subjects and all but a handful were killed in the pursuit of that serum.
Over in the MCU though, Nagel is a much younger scientist that experimented on blood samples from Bradley. On-screen, the Super Soldier actually was active during the Korean War, so his genetic material was being used for research far after his days in covert operations. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier positions the doctor as someone who aspired to surpass Dr. Eskrine, (the man who developed the original serum.) Nagel gloats about his accomplishments to Sam, Bucky, and Baron Zemo during Episode 3. He got dusted in The Blip and came back to his old lab because he had nowhere else to go. So, it will be interesting to see what the future of the serum will be as the formula exists in the wild.
In some recent comments, Malcolm Spellman talked to Entertainment Weekly about the show’s approach to the Flag Smashers. Like all good villains, they think they’re in the right here, and the series has largely portrayed them in a sympathetic light.
"All the villains in this series believe they are heroes," Spellman began. "They can eloquate what they're fighting for in a way that even the heroes are like, 'Damn! That is a really, really good point,' because they all exist in a world that's very similar to the world we exist in today. Thanos has been dispatched and half the population has disappeared and come back. That's created a global crisis, just like the global crisis today. And from that global crisis are these various antagonists born, but they're responding to something the heroes also agree with and the citizens of the world are like, 'Hey, man, this is a tough situation. Maybe they're not wrong.' That conflict leads to some pretty amazing scenes because what do you do when the heroes identify with the villains?"
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