*The following contains spoilers for Captain America: Civil War and previous MCU films.
The Future of Zemo
Marvel has finally given us a villain who seems will stay for the long run. He may not be a cosmic powerhouse like Loki, but at least he wasn't killed off in one movie. Daniel Bruhl’s Helmut Zemo is the type of person you don’t mess around with, and as it’s looking to be, Zemo will be an important piece in the further construction of the MCU’s Phase 3 set of movies.
At the end of Captain America: Civil War, we are left with an imprisoned Zemo being taunted by Everett Ross. Though in a confined transparent box (the same containment he used on the Winter Soldier/Bucky), with a smirk on his face Zemo feels successful; as he was indeed successful in breaking the Avengers, both emotionally and physically with the unfortunate paralysis of Don Cheadle’s Rhodey Rhodes aka War Machine.
So where does this leave Zemo and what is his future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Here are my thoughts:
My first theory is that Zemo will eventually be broken out of confinement/prison. Now, we don’t know much about his background, other than he served in the secret death squad of the Sokovia police and that his family was killed in the incident there, but someone, will somehow need of his skills, and will break him out of prison. Who could that someone be? My initial thought was the Red Skull.
In the comics, Helmut Zemo’s father is Baron Zemo, an elite member of Hydra. Could Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo have some connection to the now defunct organization? It is possible, since Zemo in the movie had previous knowledge of Hydra before Black Widow released the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. documents in The Winter Soldier, as we saw when Zemo kidnapped and killed the Winter Soldier’s Russian handler.
So, if the Red Skull returns, and finds that his once powerful organization is dead, he would want to have the son of a former Hydra scientist by his side. To recap Captain America: The First Avenger, the Red Skull was trapped within the Tesseract at the end of the film, so the possibility exists that he is still alive.
Masters of Evil?
My second theory revolves around what could happen in next year’s Thor: Ragnarok. If Zemo is broken out of confinement, either by the Red Skull or somebody else like Loki, will we see him go after forming the Masters of Evil? Marvel recently announced that actor Karl Urban will be playing in the role of Skurge, who was formerly in the comic's Masters of Evil. With his presence in Thor: Ragnarok I think it’s highly probable that we could see the evil team some time in the MCU.
We know Marvel Studios doesn’t completely translate the stories of the comics to the big screen, but with Skurge in the next Thor installment, and he being an original member of Baron Zemo's Masters of Evil in the comics, I think Marvel could make the team of villains a reality.
Eventually, when Thanos comes to Earth during Infinity War, I don't think he will be alone. Having a group of evil henchmen by his side seems reasonable (hint: Masters of Evil).
I definitely think so. He, and Loki, are the best chance we have at getting an MCU Masters of Evil. For the reason of pleasing Thanos, I think Loki would go as far as bringing back Ultron.
Loki is also a possible someone who could break Zemo out of confinement. Seeing how successful Zemo was in breaking the Avengers, an impressed Loki could then be inclined in using Zemo for a much deadlier plan.
The Masters of Evil on the big screen would be fascinating, but who could form part of the evil team?
Who I think could form the Master's of Evil
Putting Thanos aside, as he is the big boss of them all, the Masters of Evil in the MCU could potentially look something like this:
- The Red Skull
- The Mandarin (maybe, we know the real Mandarin is out there somewhere thanks to the Marvel one-shot All Hail The King)
- Ultron (if he returns)
- A villain from Thor: Ragnarok (Skurge, Enchantress?)
- The Abomination (lots of plot holes in 2008's The Incredible Hulk)
- Arnim Zola (if his mind is still out there in the digital world after Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe's new villain, Zemo, will totally cause more trouble. We will have to see where Marvel decides to take his character in the coming movies, but one thing is definitely looking positive, we will see him again!