Avengers: Infinity War may possibly turn out to be the most anticipated superhero movie in years. Uniting all corners of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the movie is expected to be the conclusion to the storyline that started in 2008 with Iron Man, which opened the door for an amazing world of superheroes and villains.
One of the complaints the MCU receives the most is their penchant to kill their villains. While it can be argued that most of them weren't very memorable, one antagonist in particular that stood out to me was Hugo Weaving's Red Skull from Captain America: The First Avenger. Since his first appearance, fans have been theorizing on whether he could make his triumphant return in Infinity War thanks to Thanos.
After actor Hugo Weaving made some unsavory remarks about his role in the MCU, fans believed they wouldn't get to see Captain America's biggest pain in the neck return, at least not portrayed by Weaving. However, the actor has seemingly changed his mind about his role, making people hopeful once more about seeing Red Skull face Captain America again, if not in Infinity War, then in a future movie down the line. My question is, should he?
Red Skull's History With Captain America In The MCU
In The First Avenger, Dr. Erskine tells Steve Rogers about Johann Schmidt and his failed use of the Super Soldier serum, immediately establishing a connection between the two. Yes, each had different outcomes but they are cut from the same piece of cloth.
Rogers and Red Skull met when the young hero infiltrated one of Hydra's bases to free his fellow soldiers, including his best friend, Bucky Barnes, who was secretly brainwashed to become a Hydra agent. After this, years of battle followed in which Captain America tarnished every Hydra and Nazi operation possible.
However, despite him being an enormous threat to the terrorist organization, Red Skull and Cap didn't meet again until the third act of the film. This is when the Hydra scientist tried to send a bomb to prominent cities to destroy them.
During their final battle, they had a back-and-forth into what the future of the world is: Will there be an era ruled by just one man like the Red Skull or will it go on as people like Captain America fight for people's freedom? Eventually, Red Skull succumbed before the power of the Tesseract and was transported into what I'm assuming is space. If that sounded like a short relationship, it's because it was:
Is He Really Such An Important Part Of Captain America's Life To Guarantee An Impactful Return To The MCU?
Red Skull symbolizes everything Captain America is not: A cruel, sadistic man who will crush anyone to get what he wants. Steve despised him for being an individual who encouraged hatred and murder. However, does their relationship grant an impactful appearance from Red Skull in the future?
In Age of Ultron, Cap hadn't completely shaken off his trauma of being ripped apart from his time. Red Skull is the man behind everything bad in his life: Cap had to sacrifice himself by crash-landing an aircraft the villain was planning to use to kill millions of people and that took years away from the life he knew.
That right there is a very strong foundation to use in a story.
The problem is that it would be a very one-sided relationship. Captain America has every right to hate Red Skull's weird guts, but as an audience we only got 20 minutes or less of them interacting. Therefore we don't know the character well enough to feel the same hate as Steve Rogers does.
If we were to see Red Skull again on the big screen, whoever is in charge of the project would have to work from Steve's angle of losing everything he knew, as we didn't get a relationship between them that would make such a plot point flow smoothly.
Another thing to consider is that Red Skull was his antagonist for only one movie. Yes, he was the reason Steve spent so much time as a Capsicle (Thank you Tony Stark) but we could also say that was for the better. In Civil War (almost) everything got better for him: He got Bucky back, got closure with Peggy, found love with Sharon Carter and has formed his own underground Avengers.
Steve Rogers has been in four movies, all set decades after the events of The First Avenger. He's no longer the shy kid out of time from Brooklyn who doesn't have a place in the world and doesn't understand what the Internet is. He's found a family, a place where he belongs, and is well aware of the times he lives in.
So, would Red Skull make a big impact on him by reappearing after Cap has built a life for himself throughout the years? As I said, it all depends on how the filmmakers (who maybe will be in charge of this imaginary project) handle his relationship with Cap.
Then, if he were to return, should it happen? Yes. Hugo Weaving is an incredible actor that plays a pretty good bad guy. And ultimately, whether he comes back in Infinity War or elsewhere, it's a movie. Its plot can be taken care of and developed to give us a believable "enemies" dynamic between him and Steve Rogers regardless of how little we saw of them interacting.
- Avengers: Infinity War: Could the Red Skull be Released From the Tesseract?
- 11 One-Time MCU Characters That Need To Return
- Marvel Has Been Setting Up Villains Around the Clock, But Are They All Going To Be Used In 'Avengers: Infinity War?'
Do you think Red Skull should return? If he were to return, do you think he has the power to cause an impact in Cap's life?