Jake Kleinman, April 3, 2021
WHEN IT COMES TO VILLAINS, Marvel’s movies have always been hit or miss. After all, for every Thanos, there’s a Malekith. (Who? Exactly.) But regardless of whether a particular supervillain is interesting or boring, the Marvel Cinematic Universe consistently makes the same mistake in how it depicts a certain type of bad guy. Unfortunately, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is no different.
In short: when a villain has fascist tendencies, Marvel makes sure we love them; but when the bad guy is a revolutionary anarchist, the studio goes out of its way to make them look totally evil. When the Falcon and the Winter Soldier started, there was hope the Flag-Smashers would break the MCU’s terrible pattern. Instead, it’s more of the same. (Light spoilers for Episode 3 ahead.)
Led by Karli Morgenthau, the Flag-Smashers are a group of super-soldiers acting in response to the end of the Blip. Basically, when half of the population snapped back into existence, it displaced a lot of other people. Even worse, the newly formed Global Repatriation Council seems more interested in helping the de-Blipped, which pushes other people into refugee camps.