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Who Is The Power Broker In The Falcon And The Winter Soldier?

There are two great mysteries surrounding The Falcon and the Winter Soldier — who the mystery cameo in Episode 5 is that was hinted at by showrunner Malcolm Spellman, and who is the Power Broker? There are plenty of fan theories that dive into both, but the latter has been a looming presence in the series since episode 1 when their name appeared on the graphic art in the end credits. Spellman's cameo will be revealed in a week, but we're still not sure when we're going to be getting the answer on who the mysterious Power Broker is. We're just hoping it comes by episode 6 — or Spellman and Kevin Feige have some explaining to do.

The Power Broker runs the show on Madripoor, namely in its criminal dealings. After the Blip, the mysterious character hired Dr. Wilfred Nagel (RIP) to help develop a super-soldier serum, which he had already been working on for HYDRA before he was dusted away by the snap. Karli Morgenthau (Erin Kellyman) stole the serum and now she and her Flag-Smasher buddies are all super-soldiers. This made her priority No. 1 for the Power Broker, who is tracking her down for retribution.

We're fully expecting the Power Broker to be someone we've seen before in the MCU. With just two episodes to go, it would be extremely shocking if the writers and producers opted to bring in a whole new actor to play the role, instead of blowing viewers' minds by bringing someone back from the MCU past who now has a new agenda. There are plenty of theories running around the internet regarding who the Power Broker might be, and some are a bit of a stretch while some seem quite plausible. Take a look at our best guesses for the MCU character behind the mystery criminal below.

Sharon Carter

One name keeps coming up as fans theorize who the Power Broker could be, and a majority of theories point to Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp). Sharon's presence in the series really doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you think about it, as she's really just a blast from the past who's just there. The story she pitched to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) is a little too easy — being on the run after the events of Captain America: Civil War — and we feel like there's something more to it. She was at the right place at the right time when Sam, Bucky, and Zemo (Daniel Brühl) were getting shot at in the streets of Lowtown, which raises a lot of questions on how she came to be there.

As we've seen in graffiti on the walls of Lowtown, the "Power Broker Is Watching," and maybe Sharon was filling that role to a T by watching everything that was going down in the Brass Monkey Saloon. But, if she is the person behind the Power Broker name, there's also a good chance she isn't entirely bad. Perhaps in an effort to buy back her freedom in the United States, she is working for the American government in an attempt to bring the serum back home and get pardoned. Why the U.S. government —and who in said government — wants the super-soldier serum is a whole other story, which could connect us to the next person on our list.

Thaddeus Ross

Ah yes, the man we love to hate. Or is it hate to love? The last we saw of General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) was in Avengers: Endgame for his brief cameo at Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) funeral. Prior to that, he appeared in Avengers: Infinity War for a small scene with James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), but his last big MCU gig was in Captain America: Civil War as he pushed the Sokovia Accords down the throats of our heroes.

Secretary of State Ross has dabbled with super-soldier serum before, having done so in the often forgotten The Incredible Hulk film from 2008. He tested the serum on Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth), who went rogue and turned into the Abomination and along with the Hulk (Edward Norton) destroyed most of Harlem, New York. Things did not go according to plan for Ross, and it would make sense for him to want to get his hands on a reliable super-soldier serum to go through with whatever sneaky plan he currently has up his sleeve.

It's possible he wants to create an army of super-soldiers, but ones that follow his direct orders without issue. He has never really had an issue with the Avengers, other than the fact that they ignored his rules and did what they knew what's right instead of blindly following an arrogant leader.

Emil Blonsky

Abomination might have gotten his you-know-what handed to him by the Hulk at the end of The Incredible Hulk, but he didn't die, which means Emil Blonsky is hanging around somewhere in the MCU. We'll see him sooner rather than later as the character has been confirmed for Disney+'s She-Hulk series, according to Deadline. His dabbling with the serum a second time could be his connection to the She-Hulk show, especially since he has a variant of an old serum hanging out in his blood.

Emil being the Power Broker might be a bit of a stretch, but he definitely has a history with super-soldier serum and bridges to burn. There definitely would need to be a whole lot of backstory, to sum up how he got to Madripoor and why he's taken on the new life, but the island might be the only place these days for a man like him to hide out.

Justin Hammer

It's been a while since we've seen Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell) in the MCU — 11 years to be exact. Appearing in Iron Man 2, the military contractor sought to destroy Tony Stark's reputation with the help of Senator Stern (Garry Shandling) in the 2010 film. After failing to do so, Hammer hired Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) to replicate Tony's arc reactor, but he went rogue with his own mission of trying to take out Iron Man entirely. Hammer was eventually imprisoned in Seagate Penitentiary for his involvement with Vanko, and was just a one-off MCU villain, seemingly never to return. 

A businessman with ties to the military, Hammer could be the Power Broker as he fits the bill. Jaded by what happened to him in the past, Hammer has a lot to prove and might be hiding out in Madripoor as he messes with the super-soldier serum to potentially sell to the governments of the world as a weapon. There are rumors that suggest Rockwell will reprise his MCU in the upcoming Armor Wars series on Disney+ starring Don Cheadle, as the character had an integral role in the comic storyline of the same name. Perhaps the Power Broker will also deal in stolen tech, which would be a crossover to the 2022 series.

Dr. Samuel Sterns aka The Leader

Yes, another The Incredible Hulk connection. Dr. Samuel Sterns (Tim Blake Nelson) was the only help Bruce Banner had while he was in hiding from the U.S. government as he tried to work on an antidote to cure Bruce. Unbeknownst to him, Dr. Sterns was replicating his blood, and he then injected it into Emil, which resulted in the Abomination's creation. Dr. Sterns also absorbed some of Bruce's blood after it entered his body through a wound on his head, causing his noggin to enlarge and deform.

We didn't see anything of Dr. Sterns after this, but Kevin Feige did confirm to Crave Online (via Screen Rant) that the character, also known as The Leader in the comics, is always being brought up behind the scenes at Marvel Studios. Feige admitted bringing The Leader into the MCU  has been discussed, but it's always been questionable if his re-introduction was coming at the right time. Dr. Sterns as the Power Broker sounds rather plausible, and if we see a big-headed shadowy figure looming in the distance in the next two episodes, we've got our guy. As a cellular biologist, he's more likely to be the one creating serums and not hoarding them, but the MCU does have a way of putting new spins on old characters.


Arnim Zola (Toby Jones) has died twice now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but is anyone ever really dead in the world of comic books? The genius scientist is arguably one of the smartest people ever put on the pages of Marvel Comics, being able to harness the power of the Tesseract in World War 2. That is seriously advanced, considering so many in more recent years were really unable to do anything with the blue cube other than pass it around in briefcases. He was also able to keep his consciousness alive in data banks after his body died, which we saw in Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Those data banks were blown to hell, but to think Zola hasn't backed himself up somewhere else would be naive. In the comics, the scientist actually takes form in that of a robot, with an image of his face like we saw on the computer screens in CA: TWS on its stomach. Now, do we expect to see this incantation of Zola sitting in a Madripoor club? No, probably not. But Zola has one thing in common with the Power Broker — human experimentation — just as the former did with Bucky after he seemingly dropped to his death in Captain America: The First Avenger. Zola is no stranger to super-soldiers, solidifying his place on our list.