Marvels The falcon and the winter soldier continues to play around with his characters as his plot thickens, introducing new villains and new heroes, making some more personable and others looking like real idiots.
But the show’s most mysterious villain is a true Marvel Comics deep cut. Here’s what we know so far about the Power Broker, the mysterious bankroller who goes after members of the Flag Smasher organization and has a story in the comics.
[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier through episode 3, “Power Broker.”]
We first hear about the Power Broker in Episode 2, “The Star Spangled-Man,” when the Flag-Smashers loaded an airplane with medical supplies. One of them gets a tip on his cell phone and they redouble their efforts to get out of there: the Power Broker’s men pick them up.
Why? Because the hidden figure funded the first successful reproduction of the super soldier serum that gave Steve Rogers his skills, the Flag Smashers stole and used it. They managed to get away with it in Episode 2, but not without sacrificing one of their own, who uses his power to slow down the caravan of black vehicles. (What we all know is the only thing bad guys travel.)
In Episode 3, Bucky, Sam, and the newly liberated Zemo – on their own to make sure there wasn’t an explosion of amoral super soldiers – tracked down the scientist who made the serum for the Power Broker in first place: Wilfred Nagel.
Nagel is a typical mousy bad scientist, and he explained that after working at Hydra, he was hired by the CIA to recreate the super soldier serum using “blood samples from an American subject” – Isaiah Bradley. He almost succeeded before disappearing into the blip. When he returned, no one was interested in his research except the Power Broker.
Zemo murdered Nagel and indirectly did the Flag Smashers a huge favor. Without the ability to make more serum, the power broker has to chase them down to get the final doses.
Who is the power broker in comics?
It’s simple: he’s a Marvel comic book character who makes a (n bad) business out of selling dangerous superpower treatment to desperate people. Curtiss Jackson employs a mad scientist to give superpowers to people but also to secretly inject them with hardcore drugs. When they withdraw, he tells them that this is a side effect of their superpowers and that they keep coming back to him and paying for “treatments”.
Nobody says superhero comics are subtle.
While the Power Broker is obscure, the character has connections to other aspects of the story The falcon and the winter soldier
The power broker’s dishonesty towards their clients who undergo medical procedures for which they have not signed up is reminiscent of many truly unethical medical experiments and campaigns. These real historical events inspired the creation of Isaiah Bradley, the first Black Captain America who also appeared in Episode 2.
And when we talk about Bradley in comics, the Power Broker’s pet scientist is a guy named Karl Malus (get it? How malice?), but Falcon and winter soldierThe guy is named after another mad scientist who tries to recreate the super soldier formula. And while there is absolutely no shortage in the Marvel Comics, Dr. Wilfred Nagel, the chief scientist of the murderous, exploitative government program that gave Isaiah Bradley his strength.
Unethical science and super soldiers – from Bucky to Isaiah to Power Brokers – are an ongoing topic for The falcon and the winter soldier.
How did the Power Broker’s victims usually repay it?
Oh you know By participating in a Strength-Only Professional Wrestling Association. Do we think this will show up in? Falcon and winter soldier? No, but we live in hope.