Falcon and Winter Soldier Creator Addresses Red Skull Line Connection

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
Red Skull Falcon Winter Soldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier might have already ended its initial run on Disney+, but it is no secret that the hit Marvel series is still a main point of discussion among MCU fans. 

Created by Malcolm Spellman, the series served as a showcase of the post-Blip life of Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson and Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explored Sam's hesitation to become the next Captain America while also dealing with Bucky's previous crimes as the Winter Soldier

Throughout the six-episode run, fans bear witness to Sam's heroic journey to accept the Star-Spangled mantle, eventually leading to a clash with Karli Morgenthau's Flag Smashers.

This super serum-infused group of villains had one goal in mind: bring the world back to how it was during the Blip. This questionable motive of the show's antagonists naturally led to multiple battles with the titular pair, ultimately ending to a devastating end

While the Flag Smashers were defeated during the finale, one of the lingering questions from fans is the group's potential connection to the original Captain America villain known as the Red Skull. 

To provide insight on this whole ordeal, Spellman addressed this theory in a new interview. 


Flag Smasher Falcon and Winter SOldier

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier head scribe Malcolm Spellman recently sat down as a guest in ILACOIN's Everybody Loves a Good Story YouTube show to talk about the hit Marvel series. 

During the interview, one of the topics that were discussed is the Flag Smashers' connections to a famous line from the Red Skull during 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger

To recap, Red Skull taunted Steve Rogers by saying that the Marvel hero "could have the power of the gods," but he still wears a flag on his chest. The villain continued by pointing out that he has seen the future, and "there are no flags." 

Red Skull: “You could have the power of the gods! Yet you wear a flag on your chest and think you fight a battle of nations! I have seen the future Captain! There are no flags!”

Captain America: "Not in my future!"

Red Skull Captain America the First Avenger

Spellman admitted that it was not the intention of the show's writers to use Red Skull's line as an inspiration for the Flag Smashers "at least not consciously:" 

"I’m a halfway let you down. For sure, all the writers in the room watch all the Cap movies multiple times, and definitely the Red Skull scene ‘cause we knew Zemo would be referencing him as to the identity of superheroes and supremacy ends up becoming. The suit of power always land you in that place. The connective tissue…we did not catch that line going to the Flag Smashers, at least not consciously. Everyone watched that movie five times before the series so who knows what subconscious connectivity went off. No one caught that line when we’re doing the Flag Smashers."

Spellman continued by explaining that ideas for crafting a story for the show “evolves as it goes,” pointing out that writers never really know what can they pick when "digging" from all the related MCU content: 

"You never know. You know that famous line, ‘a great artist steal.’ Basically, all artists look at other artists and draw from it and do their own thing. You can set out to say, we don’t do a two-hander with Bucky and Sam that’s going to be like 48-hours and Lethal Weapon right? But at the time you’re done, it doesn’t look like that. It evolves as it goes. You’ll never know what you're picking up when you're digging with all these research."


The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of Easter Eggs, and it is understandable that eagle-eyed fans are occasionally digging deep to uncover different secrets and references in every project. 

On the surface, the connection between the Flag Smashers and Red Skull is quite intriguing, yet it makes narrative sense. The Hydra leader envisioned a world without symbols, and the terrorist group essentially represented that vision. 

While Spellman did note that the group's introduction was not inspired by the Red Skull, this goes to show the advantage of being part of a shared universe like the MCU. It essentially echoed the head scribe's comments of not knowing what the writers will pick up during the brainstorming process of crafting a show like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. 

The Flag Smashers might have already been defeated, but Red Skull's twisted prediction could take form in another way in the future.

It remains to be seen which other villains will step up to become another dangerous threat, but there is always an open chance that that individual will be inspired by a previous foe of the Marvel heroes.

Despite that, Earth still has heroes to depend on, and that is an important piece of good news. It will be up to major figures like Sam's Captain America to stop these emerging threats from destroying the world, thus fully erasing the dark future that Red Skull predicted in the first place.

All episodes of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are now streaming on Disney+.

The full video interview can be viewed below.


Release Date
March 19, 2021
- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.