Sooner or later, it would seem the Thunderbolts are going to have a presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fans have been eating up the trailers for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, and the MCU has already introduced more than enough villains that could be a part of the anti-hero group. In fact, the latest episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier introduced even more potential teasers than could lead directly to the group before long at all.
As most expected after "The Star-Spangled Man," The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 3 — "Power Broker" — brought Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl) back to the spotlight. In addition to giving him his comic-accurate name and providing fans with the infamous dancing GIF, the villain quickly slipped off the antagonist cap in favor of one for an anti-hero.
For now, the character is working alongside the show's titular duo as they try taking down the Flag Smashers, the group of super-soldiers that surfaced after The Snap. With the character now having turned face, he's proven he's more than willing to work for a good cause should the situation be right.
Furthermore, Zemo's return was quick to introduce the idea the character has a personal fortune, enough so that he's able to afford a private jet to take the trio on a globe-trotting tour. That means in all likelihood, he can even fund his own group of the Avengers — the very group he detests.
Then there's the introduction of Madripoor, a lawless land that usually has ties to mutants and the X-Men in the Marvel source material. Throughout the episode, Zemo and company lead Madripoorian bounty hunters on a chase across the island, and we know it's a haven for the villainous.
It's here we're made aware of the existence of a character called Smiling Tiger, an anti-hero whose real name is Conrad Mack. Though Conrad Mack doesn't appear in the flesh, the character has appeared in a few Thunderbolts comics issues.
Though The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hast yet to officially introduce the group, the series is doing an exceptional job at moving the puzzle pieces into the right places to set the beloved group up in the near future.
What have you thought of the three episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier so far? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!
Note: If you purchase one of the awesome, independently chosen products featured here, we may earn a small commission from the retailer. Thank you for your support.