On Your Left

'Falcon and Winter Soldier' theory makes the Power Broker even deadlier

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s second Disney+ series is about to unmask its top-secret villain. But what if you don’t recognize the person under the mask?

As with WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier has a super-villain waiting in the shadows — and no, it’s not Mephisto. Probably not, at least.

Instead, it’s the Power Broker, an enigmatic figure with enough influence that they were able to fund the creation of new super-soldier serum — serum that’s fallen into the very wrong hands, in the form of John Walker, the new Captain America.

The Power Broker’s identity is a huge question mark, and it’s one that’s going to be resolved in short order, with only two Falcon and Winter Soldier episodes left. Luckily, we have a few thoughts on the matter — and if we’re right, the Power Broker has been hiding in plain sight.

Is Sharon Carter actually the Power Broker?Marvel Studios

Who is the Power Broker? — It’s one of the biggest questions on the board as we race into the final two hours of Falcon and Winter Soldier.

There’s a prevailing thought that it’s Sharon Carter, the Madripoor-dwelling super-spy turned art broker (turned Power Broker?) who has helped Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes out of a few jams throughout the series. She’s definitely the most high-visibility candidate on the board, and her turn as the Power Broker would complete the “Ragnarok” process.

But there may be someone even more obvious than Sharon in play for the Power Broker, someone who was front-and-center as early as the first episode.

Karli Morgenthau is on the run from the Power Broker.Marvel Studios

Flag, Smashed — Karli Morgenthau and the Flag-Smashers have been positioned as the other key enemies in Falcon and Winter Soldier, for their desire to break all borders and help the people who are hurting in the wake of Avengers: Endgame. But they are not the only “flag-smashers” in play.

Take John Walker, for instance. Wyatt Russell’s Captain America killed a man in cold blood, for all the world to see, blood splattered on the Stars and Stripes. He’s Captain America as the world sees America, a dark force of pride and inflictor of pain. He’s the once and future U.S. Agent, a deadly weapon in the military’s arsenal, only more so now that he has super-soldier serum coursing through his veins.

For the folks who employed Walker in the first place, this newly powered-up Captain America feels like a happy accident. But what if it wasn’t supposed to be an accident at all? What if the real Power Broker is the person who hired Walker as Captain America in the first place?

The Power Broker has been with Captain America all along.Marvel Studios

An Unknown Enemy — Actor Alphie Hyorth plays a prominent but unnamed military figure in Falcon and Winter Soldier, first (and so far only) seen in the first episode of the series... and he could very well be the real Power Broker.

Centrally located in Sam Wilson’s decision to turn in the shield and in the unveiling of John Walker as the new Cap, this man — let’s call him General Bad-Guy for now — clearly had a favorite in mind when it came to bringing a new Captain America into the world. That’s because he wanted someone he could turn into a super-soldier, to inflict his vision on the rest of the world. A power broker of sorts with or without the official moniker, this many just might be the bad guy we’re looking for.

Whenever the Power Broker is unmasked, it has to be someone at least “recognizable,” however thin the definition. General Bad-Guy hasn’t been seen in a while, but he has roots as deep as the very first episode of the whole series. But it would still be a bit of a “that guy?” reaction. But that might be to the show and the character’s thematic benefit. This man’s relative anonymity only adds to the power of the Power Broker, who sometimes goes without being named in the comics.

Having a very important military force, albeit one who we only know by face and not by many details other than that and his vocation, as the Power Broker helps serve the themes of Falcon and Winter Soldier: it’s not one person, but a series of conflicting ideologies and quite frankly delusions, that are serving as the chief antagonist in Marvel’s second Disney+ offering.

Sharon is waiting to find out if she’s the Power Broker or not.Marvel Studios

The Inverse Analysis — Back to the central question: who is the Power Broker? The truth is, Sharon Carter is the likeliest bet, if the Power Broker is someone very familiar and someone we have seen already on the show.

But if Marvel is going for something a bit more esoteric than a full-on Keyser Söze, then Alphie Hyorth’s Episode 1 antagonist is a blank enough canvas to inflict the ideas of an American military man as the Power Broker, a guy who wants nothing more than to develop and deploy super-soldiers in the post-blip world to further what he sees as his nation’s supremacy.

It’s also worth bracing for this possibility of a relative unknown as the Power Broker, seeing as some of the bigger MCU TV reveals have left viewers wanting so far. Reed Richards isn’t showing up here, folks, but General Bad-Guy as the main Falcon and Winter Soldier enemy? It’s right in Marvel’s wheelhouse, and it actually might work really well, if the thematic stars align.

Then again, it’s probably just Mephisto. After all, who brokers more power than the devil himself?

Falcon and Winter Soldier is streaming on Disney+ now.