A couple of set photos from The Falcon & The Winter Soldier have seemingly confirmed that Madripoor will be a setting for a portion of the upcoming Disney+ series.
The fictional Southeast Asian island was specifically used in the X-Men comics along with S.W.O.R.D. (the cosmic version of S.H.I.E.L.D. from X-Men comics which featured Dr. Hank McCoy aka Beast as part of the roster) could be giving fans their first X-Men Easter Eggs introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the main team get their big reboot movie or Deadpool 3.
Madripoor, officially Principality of Madripoor, is an island in Southeast Asia, located in the southern portion of the Strait of Malacca, southwest of Singapore. Its capital and single large city is Madripoor, which is divided between wealthy Hightown and impoverished, crime-ridden Lowtown.
However, there are some specific connections to Marvel characters that Madripoor has that could be explored/teased in the series along with setting up the location to have a larger impact in the future.
WOLVERINE & HULK
Madripoor is most closely connected to Wolverine in his solo comic books and the X-Men as the location first debuted in the New Mutants comics (the feature film is set for release on April 3rd).
Bruce Banner/Hulk actor Mark Ruffalo has voiced his desire to see Hulk fight Wolverine after speaking at the Tokyo Comic-Con.
Stating that in the future he’ll be meeting with Kevin Feige about future Hulk stories and mused wanting to see him interact with Wolverine (Ruffalo hasn’t pitched anything to Marvel yet despite that assumption).
RUFFALO: “Kevin Feige just asked me last week if I had any more ideas or stories for the Hulk. And I said ‘Yeah, I think there’s still some stories to tell’. And he said, ‘Well why don’t you come in and tell me about them and we’ll see if we can find a place for you in the Marvel universe?’”
“Hulk vs. Wolverine. I’d like to see that. Hulk vs. Wolverine.”
While the comments don’t mean we’ll see that, he wanted to see Planet Hulk adapted and elements were added to Thor: Ragnarok (after Universal passed on solo Hulk version).
Something like Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan (an hyper-violent future story) likely won’t be adapted any time soon given the mature nature and setting.
However, there is an interesting tidbit from the Wolverine comics that could be used as at one time Bruce Banner took on the gangster persona of Mister Fixit which led to some adventures on Madripoor and conflicts with Wolverine.
OPHELIA SARKISSIAN AKA VIPER
The island happens to be controlled by Hydra and ruled by Ophelia Sarkissian, who goes by the codenames Viper and Madame Hydra. She uses the island filled with drug kingpins and crime-lords as a way to finance her terrorist operations.
Ophelia is one of the few female legacy crossover Marvel Comics villains as an antagonist of heroes such as Captain America, Wolverine, and Jessica Drew aka Spider-Woman (pretended to be Jessica’s biological mother).
We’ve seen shadows of the character in James Mangold’s The Wolverine (mutant version simply using the Viper name and costume) and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Aida mirrored the persona in a digital reality), however, neither of those versions are part of the MCU film hard-canon (Feige has suggested Disney+ shows will be the first to interlink with movies).
Madame Hydra happened to be a boss in the Captain America: The First Avenger tie-in video game Captain America: Super Soldier along with Baron Strucker.
Baron Strucker, a longtime Cap and Nick Fury villain would eventually get a modern MCU adaptation in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the one behind the creation of Scarlet Witch/Quicksilver only to be killed off-screen by Joss Whedon.
A group that could replace HYDRA very well might be Serpent Society (was teased with the fake title of Captain America: Civil War) which was once led by Ophelia as Viper after she usurped leadership from Sidewinder.
The group took jobs from HYDRA, A.I.M., The Maggia (Marvel’s mafia), and Kingpin/The Hand having their headquarters in Madripoor would make sense as they could be untouchable via the Sokovia Accords as superheroes would need permission to venture there. Exploiting the Accords for the benefit of villains wouldn’t be hard to imagine given the eventual governmental red tape that Steve Rogers warned against in Captain America: Civil War.
I also could see the Serpent Society have links to The Ten Rings and the MCU’s version of The Hand.
Zemo can’t be all by himself and seeing him align himself with other villainous figures in the MCU would allow him to continue beyond the series and Thunderbolts. Seeing Zemo connect with The Mandarin’s Ten Rings or Viper’s Serpent Society could be fun as way to start assembling a version of The Masters of Evil.
Wolverine’s son Akihiro aka Daken/Dark Wolverine (Dark Avenger member and bisexual character) at one point wrangles control of the island away from Wolverine ally/crime-lord Jessan Hoan aka Tyger Tiger.
Akihiro’s mother Itsu was killed by a brainwashed Bucky Barnes aka Winter Soldier in the comics, so he would certainly have a beef with Bucky if they ever crossed paths.
There had been rumblings that Marvel was looking to develop a Dark Avengers movie, which could include a character like Daken on the roster of the supervillain team assembled by Norman Osborn.
Other characters that could be tied to Madripoor in some way could be Shang-Chi, The Mandarin/Ten Rings, Betsy Braddock aka Psylocke, Matsu’o Tsurayab (Hand assassin), Arkady Gregorivich Rossovich aka Omega Red (Hand assassin), Tomi Shishido aka Gordgon (Hand/HYDRA, Dawn of The White Light), Jessan Hoan aka Tyger Tiger (Madripoor leader/crime-lord), and Roche (Madirpoor crime-lord).
I guess we’ll have to wait and see how Marvel will tackle the locale in The Falcon & The Winter Soldier once the series begins airing on Disney+ in the fall.