Warning: This article contains spoilers for "Episode 3" of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
Marvel Studios is officially halfway through its second Disney+ series after "Episode 3" of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Fans got a healthy dose of both Daniel Brühl's Helmut Zemo and Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter as the show set up some interesting plotlines with the long-utilized Super Soldier Serum.
The primary location in which this episode took place was the Marvel Comics city Madripoor, which had been teased as a part of this series for most of the past year. On the page, it served as the home of Wolverine, although the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently using it simply as a spot for shady people from all over the world who want to avoid the law and extradition.
Now that Marvel holds the rights to the characters formerly owned by 20th Century Fox like the X-Men and The Fantastic Four, fans are eagerly anticipating their arrival in the MCU. Not only was Madripoor used as a tease for the X-Men, but a line of dialogue near the end of the episode could also potentially set up another major player from Marvel lore.
SOKOVIA CANNIBALIZED BY NEIGHBORS
In the closing minutes of "Episode 3" of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Baron Helmut Zemo travels to Latvia with Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes on their next mission. As they walk, Zemo reminisces about his home country of Sokovia with the following line of dialogue:
"I heard what became of Sokovia. Cannibalized by its neighbors before the land was cleared of rubble, erased from the map."
Being that Sokovia is located in central Europe, theories are forming that one of these neighbors could potentially be the Marvel country of Latveria, an eastern European country in the Marvel universe which is also the home of Victor Von Doom.
A FANTASTIC FOUNDATION FORMING?
Sokovia has been translated fairly well from the pages of Marvel Comics to the big screen, serving as the home for both Helmut Zemo and the Maximoff twins, Wanda and Pietro. After Ultron blasted part of the country into the sky and destroyed it in 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, the repercussions were palpable for years to come.
This quote from Zemo could very well be teasing another war-torn fictional nation as Marvel Studios works to introduce Latveria into the MCU for the first time.
The country is most notable in Marvel Comics for being the birthplace of iconic Fantastic Four villain Victor Von Doom, who becomes the country's ruler in multiple stories from the comic page. Through the use of his intellect and technology, Doom thrusts Latveria from poverty to social and economic dominance. Could this cannibalism that Zemo speaks of in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier help the MCU's Latveria receive a similar rise to power?
When most fans hear Doctor Doom, their minds also think of the Fantastic Four. Marvel's first family is officially set to join the MCU in the near future, so it would make sense for Marvel Studios to want to lay down a kind of foundation for the connected setting.
Director Jon Watts will lead the way on Marvel Studios' Fantastic Four, which could hit theaters as early as 2023. While it's unlikely for any casting announcements to arrive anytime soon, Doctor Doom is arguably this team's biggest adversary. Setting up his home country on screen for the first time would be a brilliant way to lay the seeds for his arrival years before fans see the metal mask arrives and the sparks begin to fly.
This line was the only potential nod to Latveria in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but it hopefully won't be the last of its kind as the series reaches the halfway point. "Episode 3" utilized citizens of two fictional countries already in Sokovia and Wakanda, and it would only be fitting for Latveria to be the next nation in line.
"Episode 3" of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is now available to stream on Disney+.