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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: Get your first look at Daniel Bruhl's Zemo

The man who nearly brought down the Avengers is back, and he's got new targets in his sights.

Daniel Brühl, who portrayed the nefarious Zemo in Captain America: Civil War, took to Instagram to post a couple new pics of the character as he'll appear in the upcoming Disney+ limited series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. 

The first shot is simply of a smirking Zemo gazing into the camera, and it was accompanied by a caption consisting of a familiar series of words. It read: "Longing, Rusted, Seventeen, Daybreak, Furnace, Nine, Benign, Homecoming, One, Freight Car. Zemo is getting ready."

The second image is a touch blurry, as if it were being viewed on a low-resolution monitor. The pic serves to tease the fact that in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Zemo will be sporting a slight more comics-accurate look than he did in Civil War.

We've got to say, we're pretty pumped to see Brühl rocking that purple mask. In case you're unfamiliar with the Marvel comics character upon which the MCU's version is based, here's a handy little primer.

Helmut Zemo is the son of Heinrich Zemo, a Nazi scientist who went up against Captain America during the star-spangled hero's first run in World War II. Blaming Cap for his father's death, the younger Zemo aligned himself with the notorious Nazi geneticist Arnim Zola (portrayed in the MCU by Toby Jones) and the Red Skull, making it his lifelong mission to take down Steve Rogers and his allies.

Like his father, Zemo ages very slowly due to experimental Nazi procedures which tweaked his genetic makeup. He's an expert hand-to-hand combatant, marksman, and tactician, and is known to be a master of manipulation, toying with the psyches of his targets to achieve his ends.

The MCU retconned Zemo's history, leaving unclear what connection (if any) he may have to Captain America, as his parentage was never mentioned. The MCU's Zemo is a former Colonel in the Armed Forces of Sokovia, who sets his sights on the Avengers after their battle with Ultron ravaged his country and caused the deaths of his family. He succeeded in causing a severe rift among the heroes by uncovering the revelation that Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier — while under the influence of HYDRA mind control — had been responsible for the 1991 murder of Howard and Maria Stark, Tony Stark's parents. 

After completing his dastardly objective, he attempted to commit suicide — but was prevented by doing so by Black Panther, whose father had been killed in the bombing of the United Nations headquarters, an event also engineered by Zemo with the intent of flushing Barnes out of hiding. Despite his thirst for vengeance, T'Challa saved Zemo's life after uttering some of the most incredible, badass words in the history of the MCU: "Vengeance has consumed you. It's consuming them. I'm done letting it consume me. Justice will come soon enough."

Apparently, T'Challa's act of mercy will have severe repercussions for Barnes and the Falcon/Sam Wilson, the longtime ally of Steve Rogers who received his friend's blessing — and his shield — to take up the mantle of Captain America at the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame. The somewhat confusingly-titled The Falcon and the Winter Soldier sports a very Cap-centric logo, suggesting that part of the series' focus will be on Wilson's coming to terms with his new superheroic identity — but while he's doing so, he'll have to contend with Zemo, who appears to have some unfinished business with Barnes.

It's been reported that the series will be penned by Malcolm Spellman (Empire) along with John Wick scribe Derek Kolstad; all six of its episodes will be directed by The Handmaid's Tale's Kari Skoglan. The show will be the first of the announced MCU series (which also include Loki, WandaVision, and Hawkeye) to make its way to Disney+, but that doesn't mean we won't have to endure a lengthy wait: it's not expected to premiere until the fall of 2020.

Of course, we're bound to get more news — including, hopefully, some additional details about the series' plot — between now and then. We'll be keeping an eye out for any and all such news, and we'll report it the minute it becomes available.