New Theory Suggests How Red Skull Could Factor Into Avengers 4

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There were a lot of nice (and not so nice) surprises in Avengers: Infinity War, but one of the least expected was the reappearance of Red Skull, last seen being sucked into a mysterious portal in the finale of Captain America: The First Avenger. Despite being signed up to a multi-film contract, Hugo Weaving famously hated wearing the restrictive makeup and announced he would never reprise the role. Well, he was as good as his word, as in Infinity War, the actor under the makeup was The Walking Dead‘s Ross Marquand.

But now that the character’s officially back in the MCU, what future role could he play in the upcoming Avengers 4 and even future Phases of the cinematic universe? After all, now that Thanos has the Soul Stone, there’s no need to be the guardian of this lonely outcrop anymore, right?

Well, some fans think they’ve already got it figured out, which they’ve done by doing a close reading of the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline. You see, in the source material, Red Skull’s roughly equivalent to the demon lord Mephisto, who instructed Thanos in the use of the full set of Infinity Stones. After all, despite Mephisto having spectacular abilities, he’s no match for a fully powered Mad Titan.

But as you’d expect from someone named Mephisto, he’s got an ulterior motive, hoping to monitor Thanos and wait for an opportunity to seize the Gauntlet for himself. He got his chance later in the story, too, but thankfully for the Marvel Universe, failed.

It’s easy to see how Red Skull’s lust for power maps onto Mephisto. After all, who knows how long the villain has been on that isolated rock waiting for someone to liberate him from his duty? He’s already spent a film hungering for cosmic power and what better way to seize it than to worm his way into Thanos’ affections and steal it from under his nose, right? I mean, Thanos is down a couple of henchmen now anyways.

Plus, above all that, I’d simply like to see more of the character. Red Skull is a pretty iconic Marvel villain – a superpowered Nazi with a skull for a head is hard to beat in terms of iconography – and it would also be nice to see Marquand get to develop him beyond his all too brief appearance in Infinity War. Plus, if the rumors are true and Chris Evans is departing the franchise in Avengers 4, what better way to go out than battling his original archenemy?

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