Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Secret Villain Could Be Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer

Marvel's Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale ends with a post-credits scene showing the [...]

Marvel's Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale ends with a post-credits scene showing the string-pulling Power Broker working with an as-yet-unrevealed cohort who could be Iron Man 2 villain Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell). Spoilers for Falcon and the Winter Soldier Episode 6, "One World, One People." Suspicions that excommunicated S.H.I.E.L.D. spy-turned-CIA Agent-turned fugitive Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) has a secret identity are proven correct when the finale exposes the ex-Agent 13 as the Power Broker, the so-called "king" of the lawless land of Madripoor, who loses her muscle when she guns down her underlings Batroc (Georges St-Pierre) and the Super Soldier Serum-empowered Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman).

After Sharon helps Captain America (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) capture the rest of Morgenthau's anti-patriotism terrorist cell the Flag Smashers, a United States Senator (Alphie Hyorth) offers Agent Carter a full pardon and a spot in her old division at the CIA. The post-credits scene ends with Sharon phoning a mystery caller, telling them: "Start lining up our buyers. Super Soldiers might be off the menu, but we're about to have full access to government secrets, prototype weapons, you name it. Should be something for everyone."

The caller's identity could be the just-as-enigmatic Contessa Valentina "Val" Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who in Episode 5 approached rogue Super Soldier John Walker (Wyatt Russell) with orders to pick up the phone when she calls. (Val next appears in Black Widow as part of her recurring Marvel role as a darker Nick Fury-type character.)

But Sharon maneuvering her way to a pardon and subsequently securing access to government secrets and prototype weapons is something that would interest Hammer, the former military contractor rival of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who failed to recreate Stark's Iron Man armor technology in 2010's Iron Man 2. After Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) — later revealed to be a member of the terrorist organization HYDRA — recruits Hammer in a thwarted attempt to force Stark to hand over his tech to the government, Hammer anoints himself the benefactor of Stark enemy Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke).

Hammer is ultimately captured by Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) when Iron Man and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), a.k.a. War Machine, destroy an army of Hammer Drones unleashed by Vanko. Hammer swears revenge on Stark and Stark Industries CEO Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) before he's jailed at Seagate Penitentiary, where he's seen in 2014 Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King.

By the time of the 2024-set Falcon and Winter Soldier, more than a decade has passed since Hammer's imprisonment — and if he's the mystery caller in cahoots with Carter, Hammer and Sharon could be behind Armor Wars. The upcoming Marvel Studios series starring Cheadle's War Machine adapts the classic Marvel Comics storyline about Stark's worst fear coming true: What happens when his tech falls into the wrong hands?

The new series signals the return of Rockwell's Hammer, the industrialist who powers a gauntlet of armored villains when he sells Stark's stolen tech in the famed comic book storyline. Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige suggested Rockwell could return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe when he said in a 2019 Q&A that he enjoys "bringing back characters people think they've seen the last of," and the actor later said he "would be happy" to reprise his Marvel role.

All episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are now streaming on Disney+. Armor Wars will release at a date that is TBD.

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