The second episode of Marvels The falcon and the winter soldier on Disney Plus thickens the plot of the six-episode series by introducing new villains and new heroes, making some more personable and others looking like real idiots.
And one of those new bad guys is a true Marvel Comics deep cut that you might even have missed in the episode. After all, he is only mentioned in one line as members of the Flag Smasher Organization are fleeing from their pursuers.
[Ed. note: This piece contains minor spoilers for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier episode 2, “The Star-Spangled Man.”]
In one of the final scenes of the episode, the Flag Smashers, who we now know to be led by a woman named Karli Morgenthau, load a plane 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.
They manage to escape, but not without sacrificing one of their own, using his immense power – which Sam and Bucky believe was bestowed by a variant of the super soldier serum that gave Steve Rogers his abilities – to the caravan slow down black vehicles. (What we all know is the only thing bad guys travel.)
Who is the Power Broker?
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 gives people super power (well, he employs a mad scientist to do this) but also secretly injects them with hardcore addictive 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.
However, if you read between the lines, there are some connections between the comic book incarnation of the Power Broker and a few other characters involved The falcon and the winter soldier. For example, with the PB, John Walker received his superpowers that allow him to become Super Patriot and later Captain America and then US Agent. And the power broker’s dishonesty towards their clients who subject them to 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.
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 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.