T O P

He's still a villain, guys

He's still a villain, guys

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myeverglow

I don't think most of us who have been giggling at the memes have forgotten the fact that Zemo is a villain and possibly an antihero far in the future. From what I have seen the last two weeks, people are having fun with the Zemo jokes because he's a lot more memeable than he was 5 years ago. However, I could be wrong. Zemo's morally gray and not comically overpowered, which is what you would expect of an earth based MCU-villain. He was unassuming and succeeded in breaking up the Avenges by methodically plotting and executing his plan. I would argue that Zemo is a great villain because some of the story beats in the show has shown that he's not 100% wrong in some of the points that he raised. And the Flagsmashers are no better the moment they started involving innocent civilians. I applaud the show for the writing - it hasn't shied away from difficult topics and how the Blip affected people afterwards. While snapping people back was a victory in Endgame, it has created a real "damned if you do, damned if you don't" dilemma.


youngarchivist

Put yourself in Zemo's shoes, with his means and his trauma and tell me with a straight face you can't understand and maybe even kinda agree with what he did to the Avengers (if you can assume his perspective enough; keep in mind they were essentially directly responsible for the death of his entire family and the definitive collapse of his country). That to me has always been the metric for whether or not a character is an antihero. And while I agree he has some work to do to swing that balance from villainous to a recognized antihero after bombing innocents, he's already well along that path.


Steelspy

>And while I agree he has some work to do to swing that balance from villainous to a recognized antihero after bombing innocents, he's already well along that path. I disagree. As much as I like Zemo, as much as I can understand his trauma and motivations, he's not a hero of any sort (anti or otherwise.) He is certain in his convictions, and he murders people. He did so in Civil War, and he continues to do so now (Dr. Nagel.) I think Zemo better fits the anti-villain category.


InnocentTailor

Yeah. Zemo is usually an anti-villain in the comics and Bruhl is playing him like that, in my opinion. Zemo may be complicated in terms of preferences and viewpoints, but he is still a villain and antagonist to the heroes.


mezlabor

Nagel had to die. As long as he was alive the super soldier program would continue. If they arrested him and put him in jail the govt would have snatched him and restarted the super soldier program.


youngarchivist

That sounds no different to the Punisher.


penelope_reddit

Yep, and a few good deeds doesn’t change who he is and the horrible things he did. I love that this show plays with morality a bit, reminds me of the Netflix shows (which IMO are miles ahead of WandaVision, and many MCU movies). One moment you want to punch Zemo in the face for what he did to Bucky, the next you’re cheering him on while he’s breaking super soldier serum vials. Things are rarely as easy as “hero” and “villain” categories, and I think (or hope) the show wants to portray that with Karli, John, and Zemo.


Thesaurii

A guy who does bad things for what they think are good reasons isnt an antihero. He didnt do anything productive and good for the world outside of killing the supersoldiers, but he didnt need to kill the king or split the avengers to do that. He had his own twisted morality which makes sense to him, but hes no hero. An antihero does make the world better, by doing bad things. Murdering gang members or engaging in criminal ways to make money to fund a greater good. Zemos entire convoluted fuck with the avengers plan was selfish, done so he could feel better. He thought it was for the greater good, but that makes him a compelling villain. Not an antihero. John Walker is an antihero. Yeah he murdered a man - a supersoldier terrorist who conspired to kill him and his friend, and whose boss actually did murder his friend. He did the right thing in stopping him but in the wrong way.


myeverglow

I was just going to simply respond, but given the way you comment was worded, I felt I owed at least a thoughtful reply. So don't mind the length. Respectfully, considering the great personal and economic losses that my family, experienced due to a certain historical event a few decades ago, one that changed the nature of the country they came from, the loss that Zemo experienced was not lost on me at all. That said, tragedy doesn't justify killing innocent people in order to obtain revenge, including the psychologist who was suppose to evaluate Bucky in Civil War. Tragedy as a reason for the acts he committed didn't hold water in the MCU, as it most likely wouldn't have in real life. As a side note, in the Civil War, Zemo himself had said that Sokovia was on a decline to begin with, what happened with Ultron only sped up the inevitable. But as I noted Zemo is a brilliant character. We understand that he has underlying motives that drive why he wants there to be no super soldiers/Avengers. I don't see him as an antihero at the moment because while he was assisting Sam and Bucky tracking down the supersoldier serum, he has also impeded them at times and ran away (clearly justified from from his perspective). Plus, even Daniel Bruhl says that Zemo can't be trusted... and that his ways are radical even though they are understandable. While the series isn't over, I'm withholding judgement as to whether I change my mind as to whether he is still considered a villain at the end, when his goals don't align with Sam and Bucky's.


[deleted]

This shit is genuinely disturbing


Goonred

So is Loki and we're all gonna enjoy whatever the hell he gets up to in his show. I mean that version of Loki is the one that literally tried to enslave Earth a few hours later.


PlausibleCoconut

Exactly! He caused the battle of New York in the first Avengers movie, he’s killed a lot of people. But it’s ok for him because he’s charismatic and they gave him good lines. This is no different.


boss_nooch

IIRC, Loki was being influenced by the mind stone when he started the battle of New York, so that can’t really be counted against him.


mysidian

I thought the mind stone amplified his hatred, like in that scene where the scepter influences the Avengers on the Helicarrier. Even if that is true, to amplify he still needed to feel it in the first place, and Loki's eyes weren't scepter blue either. I still think it's largely on him.


KasukeSadiki

That explanation always struck me as an obvious retcon. And an unnecessary one at that


Genesislinx

I read somewhere years ago (admittedly an unofficial source) that it was a retcon. But, if you watch the movie Loki looks almost sickly in some scenes; particularly when he first emerges from the portal as if he was tormented in whatever dimension he was trapped in. I also recall the Chitauri leader threatening him with torture at some point; I didn't get the impression (even back then) that he was fully calling the shots so the retcon kind of makes sense.


KasukeSadiki

Yea agreed. Its definitely clear that he was being coerced somehow and even near the end when he says "It's too late" to stop what's happening, you can see that he knows he's in over his head. But all of that seems within his personality to have approached Thanos with this offer and then biting off more than he can chew. He was angry, wanted vengeance, and wanted to prove he could be a king too. I just don't see why mindstone interference is necessary. His actions perfectly fit his character without it. I guess having it be a very subtle influence could work though.


lobinho77

I constantly have to remind myself that Zemo killed an innocent psychiatrist and Black Panther's daddy. And given enough time he'll take out Bucky. I see that as evidence that Marvel has done their job with this character. The dude is charming AF. Just like a certain god of mischief.


MRdaBakkle

But Loki might have actually redeemed himself on a few occasions. Loki died trying to stop Thanos.


lobinho77

I agree. Which is why I'm interested in seeing this new/old Loki in the up coming show. This Loki hasn't made peace with Thor or Odin or himself yet. He didn't rescue Asgard or die trying to stop Thanos. We are kind of back to factory default Loki and I want to see if he'll chose the road to redemption again.


MRdaBakkle

Loki is what I am most excited for too.


therealgerrygergich

He still tried to demolish New York. Even if he was being "influenced" by the mind stone, he still made the decision to conquer Earth before that influence even started.


MRdaBakkle

Yea. Loki was/is for sure a villain. Even when he was "redeeming himself" he still had his own trickster ways.


QSB59

I’m a bit worried the show will end with Zemo killing Bucky


lobinho77

I'm sure he'll try when their usefulness ends. But Bucky won't go down that easily.


soufatlantasanta

Seb isn't even halfway done with his contract there's no way that happens


stephencua2001

Also don't forget that you can't believe anything he says or does. Lying and gaslighting are second nature to him. He just casually dropped a "what may or may not have happened" to the two people who literally watched him do the thing. If Zemo tells you it's a nice day, you pack an umbrella.


goboxey

The show is good at making you root for actual villains. All of them, Zemo, walker and the flag smashers are morally corrupt and capable of being very violent.


hydraxiv

Walker isn’t a villain


interp21

He's an antagonist tho.


hydraxiv

Yes. But not a villain.


BigDykeWithABigByke

Flag smashers aren't villains, nor are they corrupt.


PHminduin

Walker dosent have sick dance moves


NostalgicStingray

As someone who loves Zemo's personality, I 100% agree with you. Actually the reason I like Zemo is because he is a villain, a "hero" wouldn't have the enjoyment of going to madripoor, or just cold blood shooting someone, (or making a wonderful dance scene) and so it's enjoyable watching psychotic enough villains who enjoy what they do.


MRdaBakkle

Nah Zemo is just a villain. The flagsmashers though are anti villains, similar to Killmonger. edit: I replied to the wrong person, my bad.


NostalgicStingray

okay I was confused for a second XD. No problem!


kaam00s

Again, not much is expected from a villain, he is supposed to act bad... If people are mad against John Walker it's because he has the mantle of captain America and is ruining the legacy of Steve Rogers... Why can't people understand that?


MRdaBakkle

Also John Walker isn't a villain he is an anti hero. He has none of the traits that made Steve Rodgers a hero, and yet is Cap, doing what he thinks is right but he is selfish, arrogant and conceited.


hydraxiv

Its like he’s.... US Agent Sorry lol


TheJimmyDodger

That's an awfully John Walker-y outlook


Potential_Car08

I think people kinda like him because he’s a antagonist (in the literal sense that he was the antagonist in CACW) with some reasonable motivation other than, mwhaha i am the bad guy. I kinda like the morally grey, is he with the heroes or against them characters


hydraxiv

I think the fans praising the Flag Smashers is more concerning to me


oldgamer1007

lol no shit, this is like choosing between your desired flavour of dictator. Want Communist freedom fighter rebels or facists brownshirts to win the fight? hmm... (btw, every single place liberated by "communist freedom fighters" ended up a shitshow)


lopersiderpoleslider

>communist Lol? What do the flag smasher have to do with communism?


oldgamer1007

flag smashers actions in the comic books are along the lines of anarcho-communism. wants to "end the governments" so that power "returns to the people". they accuse him of being communist, but hes not pure communist, more anarcho-communism. the difference between the two is the group influences the individual in communism, but anarcho-communism, the individual has the freedom to choose to join the group or not, as opposed to being forced. He claims he's not communist but... that's more gaslight whatnot, along the lines of the "Democratic peoples republic of ".


youngarchivist

Not sure if Zemo is into dictatorship or any of that. He just knows super soldiers cause super destruction and doesn't let emotion get in the way of doing what's right. He's never really been a true villain, not even in Civil War. He's not Hydra, he's Sokovian black ops.


oldgamer1007

His father was hydra. but yeah zemo doesn't have his fathers views, but in the comics hes facist, but not like the Reichstag/Hydra variety of facist. He's more of an ends justify the means type of character, so he would be for dictatorships, and his dictatorship would probably be facist, but more along the lines of like singapore facism, as opposed to Malaysian junta/Reichstag facism.


youngarchivist

I don't think he's motivated by those sorts of politics. I think he was just an extremely capable soldier from an exorbitantly wealthy family who went through immeasurable trauma. And he seems directly against fascists like Red Skull and Hitler. He's very wary of cults of personality. Yes I'm a Zemo apologist, so sue me. Daniel Bruhl is absolutely owning this role.


oldgamer1007

oh yeah definitely. Daniel Bruhl has like those "I belong to a secret society" vibes that work great in this role.


youngarchivist

To be fair his breakout role was playing a rapey Nazi war hero so I get it


InnocentTailor

Well, comic Zemo isn't the same as MCU Zemo. Comic Zemo is a variety of German who is dedicated to the Nazis / HYDRA. MCU Zemo is more East European with a distinct anti-HYDRA motivation.


oldgamer1007

depends on the world actually. i think earth 616 is hydra zemo, and prime is not? been awhile since ive read comics


DoggyFoster

Fascists brownshirts weren’t doing any better


oldgamer1007

of course that's a given. every one knows facist brownshirts are PoS. but people argue communism is "great if implemented correctly" all the time, hence the need to point out that not once does evidence show that communism on a large scale works. communism works, if its your own family, or like extended family living in some sort of religious commune, communism doesn't work, when you're managing millions of people, especially ones you perceive as outgroups from your ingroup.


mezlabor

The flagsmashers are awful people who do awful things to achieve an awful goal. These people want a return to the way things were during the snap. They feel entitled to homes and things that people who were snapped away were being returned to. The GRC is doing nothing wrong. There is nothing redeemable about Karli and the flagsmashers. Sam is fucking wrong about Karli and Zemo is right I really hope they all get killed.


Metalicks

The thing is do you still own things if you've been declared dead for 5 years? What happens to people possessions if everyone thinks they're dead and they just show up years later?


mezlabor

It takes at least 7 years before missing people can be declared dead. This was an extraordinary circumstance. Half the world. And remember they want to go back to how things were. That means she would prefer it if they all stayed dead. Bottom line is Karli is selfish. She has no problem with the people who returned suffering and willingly inflicts it. Shes terrible. Easily more evil then Zemo.


Metalicks

Oh agree about karli, I just think the GRC are in a tough spot and made some shitty decisions. The thing is people weren't missing they literally turned to ash as the world watched, everyone thought they where dead and gone, so kicking the survivors out of their homes when they reappeared was a terrible solution.


mezlabor

It was literally an unprecedented circumstance. The GRC is trying to sort out an impossible task but it didnt move fast enough for Karli so she becomes a terrorist with the goal of restoring things to during the snap. As far as I can see Karli has shown no reason for Sams faith in her. I wonder if he still feels the same after she threatened to kill his sister and nieces and nephews? Shit I would have emptied a clip in her if she went after my family like she did Sams.


Metalicks

Yup Walker was right in this situation they should have gone in as a group to capture her. I think this faith Sam has in her is a result of a virus plotline which has been removed and replaced with basic blowing up buildings instead.


[deleted]

Oof what a real bootlicker take.


mezlabor

I'm thinking about the returned that Karli wished never came back. Remember those people want to return to the way things were when half the world was dead. I see nothing redeemable in that.


[deleted]

That’s because you have no empathy, so you can only see one side, when you’re meant to see both. Karli and her people were living in peace and thriving and were displaced through no fault of their own. There’s no small human part deep down inside of you that empathizes with that?


mezlabor

Not after they started blowing up buildings, stealing shit and threatening children. Empathy out the window. Zemos right. Karlis lost and needs a bullet in her head. Thats like empathizing with isis. Zemo is the real hero of this show. But even he needs to get turned over to Wakanda at the end of this.


[deleted]

So you refuse to have empathy for Karli after blowing up a building and killing three people (people that were implied to be stealing resources from those that need it), but you’re cool with Zemo who blew up a building and killed dozens of people that had not wronged him in any way. Yeah man, makes perfect sense and isn’t ridiculous at all lol


[deleted]

[удалено]


[deleted]

Ok psycho


mezlabor

Told you before Zemo needs to get turned over to Wakanda by the end of this. But the difference between Zemo and Karli is that I agree with Zemos goals. I agree the super soldier program needs to end. I want him to succeed. I dont agree with Karlis goal of turning the world back to the way things were during the snap. You realize she would snap everyone out of existence again if she could? She saw half the world die and said hey its better this way because its better for me. And you think Im pyscho and lack empathy?


[deleted]

There has been no evidence she wants to literally reverse the snap, only that she wants her people to have the peace and security they had before everyone came back. You’re reading too much into it. Basically, you hate Karli and are making shit up to justify that hate. So yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and say I was right on the money when I said you’re psycho.


[deleted]

"If you want to return stolen property you're like... a bootlicker man!" KYS


dbrasco_

I was kind of leaning more anti-hero with the Flagsmashers being the actual villains of the show but to each his own.


MRdaBakkle

Nah Zemo is just a villain. The flagsmashers though are anti villains, similar to Killmonger.


Thesaurii

No the fuck they aint. They arent doing any good. They think they are. The supply depot was for refugees. There was oversight amd bureaucracy to make sure the supplies were best used, and im sure it was slower than anyone liked, but we had no indication it was for anything but giving to the refugees. Flagsmasher killed aid workers and gave all their supplies as she saw fit. So now one camp has a bunch of insulin they dont need, another has too much perishable food. But she did it fast, and got to kill people! Villains who think theyre doing right when they are clearly not arent antivillains, theyre just compelling and good villains. Someone who appears to do good things but has an evil purpose or intent is an antivillain, like Lex Luthor.


MRdaBakkle

Dude. Calm the fuck down.


Thesaurii

Thanks for the laugh! What about what i said could have possible come across as not being calm? Do you assume anyone who disagrees with you must be raging?


MRdaBakkle

> no the fuck they aint Edit: you are totally free to disagree. And perhaps your points are valid, but starting off aggressive kind of sets the tone right off the bat. I obviously don't care of people use fuck. But it does set a tone of over aggressive. Especially online where tone is even more clouded.


Thesaurii

Do you live in a swear free religious compound? Fuck is punctuation.


MRdaBakkle

I don't care if you use fuck. I used it in my own reply, but it does color your response a certain way. And is often interpreted aggressively. So maybe consider that when you write your replies because your otherwise valid points can easily be dismissed.


dbrasco_

I never heard of an anti villain until you used this term. Pretty interesting. I feel different than you though. Killmonger was about to commit genocide and was killing his own people to achieve that objective. Doesn’t get any more villainous than that (and I love his character and hope they bring him back lol). The Flagsmashers are also villains to me because I feel that every hero involved in infinity war/endgame would oppose these guys and they committed a literal act of terrorism in the show. Like I said though just my opinion.


frogsprinter

The key difference is that Walker is supposed to be a good guy, and rightfully or not, he has the shield.


dravenonred

Yes, but he's a *good* villain: charismatic, relatable, just without moral limitations. He thinks that super-soldier's and superheroes are innately bad for the world, and considering how many 9/11-dwarfing attacks his world gets every summer? I can't say he's *wrong*


KasukeSadiki

You do understand that villains also have fans right?


therealgerrygergich

Oh yeah, I love him as a villain. I'm just annoyed by people thinking he's an antihero now.


KasukeSadiki

Fair enough. I hadn't seen many people saying that


Arenmac

We could look at Zemo as a tragic hero too. He served in the Sokovian military, he was a family man and in his country was likely well thought of. When he lost his family (later his country) and he did bad things he regrets. Namely killing the King of Wakonda. We’ll see how his story plays out.


fashionforward

Tired of being told how to think of characters on this board.


Genesislinx

Let's be honest. We like Zemo for at least one or more of the following reasons: rich eccentric clever and resourceful kind of hot in a weird way has a cool Butler is played by Daniel Bruhl who makes every role seem charming ​ I don't even bother to justify my Zemo-love; I just accept that Marvel wanted him to be likable and so he is.


sabreR7

The flagsmashers are awful people, they get no redemption from what they did. I don’t understand why Sam even tried to speak to Karli. Imagine Sam going up to Thanos and being like “I know where you are coming from, your concerns are valid”. Like WTF is wrong with Sam’s writers.


Gullible-Toe-2677

I think it's to contrast Walker, that Sam doesn't automatically go for confrontation or assert his authority and control as a primary response. Aggressive or confrontational response just escalates the situation and puts more people at risk. He knows that Karli has inspired people and has a cult of followers. If they martyr her someone else will be waiting to step up and finish the mission and that someone else will likely be worse. By reasoning with her and talking her down, they might be able to convince her to use her influence over the others to accept a deal or back down. It's the most peaceful and lower risk approach but that doesn't always work so Sam will at some point have to show that he is willing to pull the trigger if needed.


jedwards8th

Exactly. He's a villain. So you're saying Walker is a villain too? I agree.