I can’t run in these heels!
Hitting a dead end on their investigation into the Flag Smashers and their super soldier serum, Sam and Bucky decide to take drastic actions and visit Zemo, the Avengers manipulative enemy from Captain America: Civil War. In return for information on Hydra’s involvement with making the serum, Zemo demands that Bucky break him out of prison, promising he is an invaluable asset and ally as he shares their desire to rid the world of super soldiers and to stop the creation of an army of Avengers. While not thrilled with the idea of allying themselves with the man who pitted Cap and Iron Man against each other, crumbling the Avengers from the inside before their initial battle with Thanos, Sam goes along with the plan and they make their way to Madripoor, a city that has maintained its status as a haven for crime lords despite governments’ best efforts.
After some failed cloak and dagger tactics to acquire information about the serum, they receive some surprise help from an old friend, Sharon Carter, former SHIELD agent and niece of Peggy Carter. With her aid, Sam and Bucky manage to find the scientist, Dr. Nagal, who was able to recreate the serum from Isaiah Bradley’s blood samples for a criminal known as the Power Broker. That’s all they manage to learn, however, before Zemo quickly kills Nagal and they’re attacked by more of Madripoor’s criminals. Escaping again with Sharon’s help, Sam, Bucky, and Zemo try to follow up on their next lead to the Flag Smashers, Donya Madani, while the new Captain America and Battlestar pick up their trail after breaking out Zemo.
While it was fun watching Sam trying to act the part of a hardened crime and lord and intriguing to see Bucky once again take on the role of the Winter Soldier to infiltrate Madripoor, Sharon Carter and Baron Zemo steal the spotlight in “Power Broker”. Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo was an interesting but underused villain in Civil War, so getting to see him as the fully realized Baron Zemo, complete with riches, private jets, cool cars, and his famed comic book mask was a treat. Bruhl dances on the line of maniac killer and sophisticated aristocrat while staying humorous and even charming, even when getting down at Sharon Carter’s party in Madripoor.
Another under used character, Emily Van Camp’s kind of former Steve Roger love interest before he went back in time and married her aunt, Sharon Carter, gets the chance to show just how much of a bad ass SHIELD agent she was. While Sam, Bucky, and Zemo hold their own in the fight in Madripoor, Sharon takes on the majority of their foes single handed with maneuvers that would rival Black Widow. But, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something more villainous behind Carter’s motives of helping Sam and Bucky.
It’s obvious Zemo will have alterior motives, that’s what his character does; schemes within schemes. But Carter has always been fairly straight forward (for a spy). Bucky was able to get pardoned after the snap, but not Carter when all she did was steal Steve and Sam’s gear from the CIA? There was no point in that five years that Steve didn’t try to clear her name after Civil War? While it’s clear she’s done very well for herself while hiding in Madripoor, it seems like there is something else keeping her there. Is she perhaps the mysterious Power Broker?
What are Sharon’s and Zemo’s true motives? what are the Flag Smashers planning? Who is Donya Madani, Sam and Bucky’s next clue to Karli Morganthau, the leader of the Flag Smashers, and is there a connection to agent Dinah Madani from Marvel’s The Punisher (doubtful)? Hopefully these questions, and more, will be answered next week.