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Erin Kellyman has spoken about the complexity of her Karli Morgenthau villain in Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Erin Kellyman as Karli Morgenthau
Erin Kellyman as Karli Morgenthau in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Pic credit: Marvel

Sometimes the best villains are the ones who think they’re truly in the right.

This seems to be the case for Karli Morgenthau, the leader of the Flag-Smashers, the terrorist group of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Her portrayer, Erin Kellyman, has said how Karli truly believes her group is trying to aid the world no matter how dark their actions seem.

Who are the Flag-Smashers?

In episode 2 of the series, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) are trying to stop a hijacked armed convoy. Bucky meets Karli, who at first appears to be a hostage but turns out to be the leader of the Flag-Smashers, who all possess the Super-Soldier Serum. 

Sam’s contact, Joaquin Torres (Danny Ramirez), explains the Flag-Smashers believe the world was better during the five years known as “The Blip” where Thanos dusted half the population of Earth. 

The Flag-Smashers are upset at the resources and attention being given to those who returned from five years ago over those who were left behind on Earth, stating “we had a glimpse of the way things could be.” Now, they’re out to restore that “balance” again. 

Karli herself appears to be a male version of Karl Morgenthau, the original Flag-Smasher in the comics. The son of a rich diplomat, Karl, was rocked when an angry mob crushed his father and became convinced the only way to “unite” the world was by doing away with any national barriers and identities. 

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