This article has spoilers for the second episode of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier. Please refrain from scrolling down if you haven’t caught up yet.
They were introduced in the first episode of Marvel’s The Falcon And The Winter Soldier. We have barely scratched the surface about who are the so-called “Flag-Smashers” and what are they up to? The term has been used in the history of Marvel Comics many times, however, the characters’ exploration in the MCU is still unknown? We thought to bring our readers up to speed with what’s going on with these new villains.
The first episode shows how brutal and strategic the Flag-Smashers can be; while the second episode gives us a slightly better picture of the group and how they operate. However, the more we see, the more questions pop up, such as, who is “Karli Morgenthau”? How did she get super strength and how will she use it in the show?
Flag-Smasher from the comics:
First of all, Flag-smasher is the name of a villain, not a group of people. They made the slightest change to the name to change the gender, from Karl to Karli Morgenthau. The writer of the show, Malcolm Spellman, did these changes so as to make the story as compelling and grounded as he wants. This can be seen in the first episode itself, where Sam Wilson was denied a bank loan and that allowed us to see the personal lives of these Avengers unfold.
The MCU keeps finding new ways to introduce the crazy villains from the comics with their own tweaks to the character. This is probably done to keep the show as grounded as possible. In the comics, the first appearance of Flag-Smasher was in 1985. The actual name of the character is Karl Morgenthgau, the son of a wealthy diplomat who wanted to follow in his fathers’ footsteps. Unfortunately, his father was killed in a riot. This gave Karl the motivation he needed to conclude that humanity is better off without countries or borders, hence the name.
Flag-Smasher naturally became a foe of Captain America with his anti-nationalist sentiments. The story came into existence in the 1980s when conservatism and nationalism were in high popularity in the United States under President Ronald Reagan. Thus the notion of a character, who was anti-nationalist, was seen as a villain.
As you might have noticed, the show has dramatically transformed the character from the comics to the big screen. The most notable change being, Flag-smasher is now not a single person but an anarchist group. The second change, which should be obvious is that Flag-smasher is no longer a man but a woman.
The intentions of the Flag-Smashers:
The true intention, other than their name, is to turn the world back to the way it was during the blip. We have already seen MCU turn the comic book villains into heroes in the past. The best examples being the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the Skrulls in Captain Marvel. All we know for now is that Sam and Bucky are not the only ones on their tail. The government is also tracking them with the help of new Captain America, John Walker, and his sidekick Battlestar.
Let us know what you think the Flag-Smashers’ true plans are in the comment section below: