I had an early impression of the Disney+ superhero show that it was very like the set of gritty Netflix Marvel shows from a few years ago (Daredevil, Jessica Jones etc). The latest episode (4) confirmed that feeling when the erzatz Captain America starts down a dark path.
Shakespeare’s modes of greatness (some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them) doesn’t quite map onto Marvel’s superhero origins. All of the heroes have to work to achieve greatness but the powers/abilities fall into two camps: born with them or acquired less than willingly (by accident, compulsion or force of circumstance). Setting out to get special powers is atypical.
Birth or circumstance is not guarantee of superhero status and both can be part of villain’s origin story. However, seeking is an almost guaranteed path to evil. The nearest current counter-example in the MCU Steven Strange, yet even there his motive was to repair the damage to his hands from a car accident.
In the Netflix MCU adjacent shows there were multiple cases of people setting out to gain superpowers whose hubris would lead them down a dark path. Marvel tells us that superheroes are great but perversely wanting to be a superhero is the worst thing.
I dislike the fact that Zemo in Falcon & the Winter Soldier has abandoned the version we had in Civil War, where he was a unique and effective character. However, the new Zemo is a personification of this underlying animosity towards wanting superpowers. It is kind of neat to have a Marvel plot device turned into a character but it does underline the pseudo-moral message behind both Karli and the new Captain America. Even the extent to which they both still have some scope for redemption comes from the fact that they were partly forced or pressurised into the circumstance that has made them only quasi-heroes.
It is a species of pseudo-ethics, there is no well thought through thesis behind the idea but rather an arbitrary way of dealing with why everybody can’t be superheroes.
I’ll write a fuller review of the series once it is complete and for the meantime just make stray comments.