Meet Crossbones, Civil War's Villain

Marvel Comics is replete with nasty villains, but most of them are at least a little redeemable or have motivations towards what they see as a greater good. But this isn't really the case with Captain America's nemesis Crossbones. Having made an appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier as HYDRA sleeper agent Brock Rumlow (played by actor Frank Grillo), Crossbones is set to re-appear in Civil War. So before we see this guy again, what should we know about this murderer-for-hire? Potential spoiler alerts aplenty, folks.

He's a Nazi

Marvel's criminals come from all walks of life, making up a very diverse and interesting community of jerks, but one thing unique to the Marvel Universe is that most terrible bad guys won't tolerate blatant racism, or worse, straight-up Nazis. Even though Red Skull is one of Marvel's greatest threats, he and his cadre of Nazis operate in relative isolation from most of the villain world, as they're all both feared and loathed by most of planet Earth. This goes for Crossbones, too, who makes his Marvel Comics debut in Red Skull's employ.

He works for Red Skull

While Crossbones is mostly a mercenary who follows the money, his most consistent employer is Red Skull, who initially hires him to retrieve parts of the Bloodstone, a magical crystal that re-animates the corpse of old-school Nazi Baron Zemo. At the behest of Red Skull, Crossbones explodes zombie-Zemo's skull with a crossbow, because there is no honor even among the Marvel Nazis. If Crossbones is around, Red Skull is probably around somewhere too, because Crossbones absolutely loves that guy.

He's an amateur singer

While Crossbones may have dropped his crooning habit, many of his early appearances were punctuated with him singing children's nursery rhymes with his own charming, murderous lyrics, generally to his victims. Let's hope that this particular personality quirk doesn't actually show up on the big screen, because no one really needs a singing villain in a Slipknot mask trying to be edgy.

He's been fired by Red Skull

Red Skull names his little band of miscreants The Skeleton Crew, but Crossbones doesn't last too long in the group. After Skull freaks out because Mother Night makes his coffee wrong, he continues his rampage by firing Crossbones from his crew due because Crossbones warns him about hiring Viper, a power-mad lady from HYDRA. Crossbones' admiration for Red Skull is unfazed—but he also gets back at Skull by totally getting with his evil daughter. Either that, or his love of Red Skull runs so deep that it's like the closest thing he can get to the real thing. Sweet revenge?

He assassinates Captain America

At the conclusion of the original comic book version of Civil War, Captain America is captured by the government and is being led up some courthouse steps when a shot rings out, piercing Cap through the shoulder. It's later revealed that the shooter (or one of them, at least) is Crossbones, once again in the employ of Red Skull. While he doesn't fire the killing shot, he's still imprisoned for the act. Until his role in the death of Captain America, he was just a pretty huge annoyance with a penchant for prostitutes, but this apparently moved him up to the rank of A-list villain.

He's a Thunderbolt

Not unlike DC Comics' Suicide Squad, Marvel has the Thunderbolts, a group of villains who are called into service of the government to perform dangerous missions to either shorten their sentences, or just to quell the boredom of sitting in a small cell all day. Crossbones' teammates don't really like him, and he's only part of the team because he's such a horrible human being that he's basically a walking scared straight program for the other criminals. He's also a sharp contrast to the Thunderbolts' leader, the now-noble ex-criminal Luke Cage, who made his first live-action appearance in the Netflix series Jessica Jones.

He's a cop killer

During a mission with the Thunderbolts, Crossbones gains his first and only superpower, which is the ability to shoot energy from a disc that appears in front of his face. The first thing he does is kill a cop for no good reason. Not too long after that, he's fired from the team because he's just that much of a trashbag of a person. His powers don't last for too long, and he's soon just a mere top-level fighter, marksman, and brainwasher again.

He's joined HYDRA

Crossbones never really holds a job for too long because of his sociopathic tendencies, but recently, he's officially hooked up with HYDRA, which is where we find him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, in-MCU-canon comics also show him rescinding his HYDRA membership after the events of The Winter Soldier, more intent on focusing on killing Captain America, who messed up his face pretty good. While he might not be pro-registration when Civil War comes around, he's definitely anti-Cap.