The MCU Secretly Set Up How The Thunderbolts Could Exist

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s third episode Zemo reveal makes it possible for his Thunderbolts team to exist in the MCU’s future.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s Zemo reveal makes it possible for the character to form the Thunderbolts in the MCU. In the comic books, the Thunderbolts are typically depicted as a team of supervillains who act as heroes. Many incarnations of the group go on top-secret missions for the government so that their members can eventually obtain a pardon for their crimes.

Since the founder of the first Thunderbolts lineup in 1997 was Baron Helmut Zemo, there’s been an expectation among fans that building up to the team’s MCU introduction was part of the point in bringing Daniel Brühl’s Zemo back for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. At this current juncture, it’s not clear what Marvel’s long-term plans for the Captain America villain are, but for at least right now, he’s serving as an ally to the main characters. In episode 3, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) broke Zemo out of prison, and now the instigator of the superhero civil war is helping them get to the bottom of the show’s super soldier mystery.

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Related: The New Captain America Is Everything Steve Rogers Would Hate

In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 3, it was revealed to Sam (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky that Zemo is actually quite rich. Apparently, he’s a baron and a member of Sokovian royalty. Not only did this twist give him his infamous comic book title of “Baron Zemo”, but it also set up the existence of the Thunderbolts. In both the MCU and the original comics, it was Tony Stark who bankrolled the Avengers by supplying them with a place to use as a base, living expenses, transportation, and more. Baron Zemo can now fill a similar role for the Thunderbolts since he too possesses a tremendous amount of wealth.

Baron Zemo's Thunderbolts in the comics

Looking at more modern Thunderbolts comics, many are under the impression that an MCU interpretation would be a government-sponsored team, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Baron Zemo’s original Thunderbolts team in Marvel Comics had no ties to any government, plus him getting federal backing in the MCU doesn’t feel like a possibility. His actions in Captain America: Civil War aren’t the kind that can be easily forgiven. That’s why it makes more sense for Zemo’s Thunderbolts to be an independent organization.

If Zemo’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier story doesn’t end with him going back to prison, he can use his vast financial resources to bring together like-minded anti-heroes and villains to function as a team. Some could even be established MCU characters like the Abomination or Batroc the Leaper. With these people working for him, Zemo wouldn’t have to just manipulate events in his favor as he did in Civil War. Depending on what his true intentions are, he could play a much more active role in causing (or resolving) conflict in Phase 4 and beyond.

More: Who Is The Wakandan Hunting Zemo? Identity & Previous MCU Movies

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022

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