The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Theory Suggests Thanos Is Baron Zemo's Inspiration

By Tom Drew Updated:
Baron Zemo with purple mask, Thanos, Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be the next Marvel production in Phase 4, releasing on Disney+ once WandaVision has wrapped up.

In the meantime, fans were treated to a brand new trailer, featuring many Easter eggs and intriguing plot details for the upcoming series. The teaser potentially hints at a memorial for Captain America, making his impact on the series known. A new poster was also released in tandem with the Super Bowl trailer, showing off Emily VanCamp's Sharon Carter in addition to the Flag Smashers.

The show marks the return of Daniel Brühl as the conniving villain Baron Helmut Zemo from Captain America: Civil War. Some of the villain's plans have been teased in the trailer, suggesting that he will be picking up right where he left off in the 2016 film.

Zemo now matches his comic book appearance, sporting a purple mask ripped straight from the illustrated pages. One fan has a theory why the villain's costume has taken such a drastic change.


Reddit user u/theVice poses the theory that Baron Zemo was inspired by Thanos' appearance for his new mask, indicated by the purple color with vertical lining.

According to this idea, as Zemo believed that he had 'won' against the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, he donned the Mad Titan's look (the only other villain to overcome Earth's Mightiest Heroes) as a means to taunt them.

Thanos Zemo



While Baron Zemo's new appearance will certainly get comic fans giddy with excitement, general audiences may find it a bit harder to get behind his new look. u/TheVice's theory would help to alleviate this, giving an in-universe reason for a shift in the villain's costume. If Zemo hates superheroes so much, why would he want to look at a super-person himself?

Perhaps Thanos could indeed serve as an inspiration for Zemo's motivations. The Mad Titan wanted to achieve balance on a universal scale, but perhaps Zemo is more interested in leveling the playing field solely for superheroes.

Baron Zemo seems intent on wiping away the existence of superheroes, but how could he achieve his goal this time around? Some have speculated that a bio-weapon being introduced in the series could actually be a way to introduce the Inhumans into the MCU proper. Zemo may take a page out of Syndrome's book, as "when everyone's super, noone will be."

It is still unknown if Zemo was snapped, but he could have been using this Thanos-inspired look during the five years between Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame. While many were devastated by the Snap, Baron could have seized this opportunity to rally followers behind him. Or maybe it would have been a bit too soon.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier releases on Disney+ on March 19, 2021.

Release Date
March 19, 2021
- About The Author: Tom Drew
Tom Drew is the Executive Editor at The Direct. Tom writes for The Direct's Marvel, Star Wars, and DC branches while specializing in all things movies, from blockbuster to indie darlings.