Originally a professor at one of the universities in Berlin, Johann Schmidt became an Officer of the Schutzstaffel with the rank of Obergruppenführer. He was closely affiliated with Heinrich Himmler and Adolf Hitler. Schmidt and Hitler shared a passion for Norse mythology according to Abraham Erskine, a German scientist who had defected to the United States. Hitler had subsequently located Erskine and sent Schmidt to force him to finish an experimental physiology-enhancing serum, only for Schmidt to take the serum and inject it into himself. The unfinished serum increased Schmidt's physical & mental abilities, however it also caused a combustion reaction that horribly scarred his face, disfiguring its appearance to that of a hideous red skull.
Schmidt sought out and stole the Tesseract, a powerful artifact believed to be of Asgardian descent from a monastery in Tønsberg, Norway, and used its energy to power his armaments and weaponry. He later executed a trio of Nazi officers who objected to his plan to destroy every capital on Earth, including Berlin, as he believed Hydra couldn't grow any further under Hitler's command.
Schmidt also sent an assassin after Erskine before the scientist could carry his "Super Soldier Serum" experiment any further. While the attack on Erskine proved successful, Schmidt's agent was unable to obtain a sample of the improved serum due to the intervention of Steven Rogers, the successful test subject that Erskine had been enhanced with the serum.
Confronting Steve Rogers, Schmidt was outraged at the discovery that his 'counterpart' was nothing but a "kid from Brooklyn", and became increasingly hostile as Rogers' forces decimated various Hydra bases throughout occupied Europe. In Schmidt's final plan to destroy America with a Tesseract-powered plane, the plane was hijacked by Rogers, who damaged the device that transferred the Tesseract's power to the ship. When Schmidt attempted to pick up the cube, it created a large portal before seemingly disintegrating him and burning through the aircraft floor, falling into the ocean below.
In reality; Schmidt was transported by the Space Stone stored within the Tesseract to the distant planet of Vormir. Somehow he became a wraith that acted as the guardian of the Soul Stone and continued thus for many decades. When Thanos and Gamora arrived at Vormir, Schmidt appeared to them and explained the ritual for obtaining the Soul Stone.
Super Soldier Serum Enhancements: Johann Schmidt took an unfinished prototype of the Super Soldier Serum that caused the severe and hideous transformation of Schmidt's appearance into a living Red Skull, but also obtained incredible attributes, such as enormous strength, speed, stamina and reflexes, and got even his intelligence increased, becoming a war mastermind.
- Enhanced Strength: The Red Skull's physical strength can match Steve to the very peak of human potential.
- Enhanced Mobility: The Red Skull is able to run at a speed of approximately 30 miles per hour and has agility superior to that of any Olympic athlete. Schmidt's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are superior to those of the finest athlete.
- Enhanced Endurance: His bones and muscles are denser and harder than normal, to the highest human potential, which makes him very durable compared to a normal human. Schmidt's musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human.
- Accelerated Healing: Schmidt's body also has a protective system of enhanced healing & regeneration. This can also extend his longevity & vitality.
- Enhanced Intelligence: His mental performance has been greatly enhanced, allowing his mind to operate in the most efficient and rapid manner possible.
As the Stonekeeper, Schmidt gained the following powers: (Whether these abilities were bequethed by the stone itself or a prior entity remain unknown)
- Immortality: Schmidt; while already possessing enhanced physiological lifespan due to the Super Soldier Serum; he subsequently became an ageless immortal. He claimed to have lived over a lifetime, looking the same as he did in 1945.
- Levitation: Schmidt is capable of hovering over the ground and propelling himself though the air.
- Partial Omniscience: Schmidt possessed knowledge beyond his perception. Despite having occupied Vormir solely for over seven decades he was capable of determining who Thanos and Gamora were. As well as determine who they were descended from, despite having never met them before.
Focke-Wulf Triebflügel, Valkyrie bomber, and advanced Rolls Royce.
- Hugo Weaving portrayed Red Skull in the film Captain America: The First Avenger, while Ross Marquand portrays him in Avengers: Infinity War.
- For more details of the apocryphal version of the Red Skull seen in the video game Captain America: Super Soldier and other apocryphal media please see here: Johann Schmidt (Apocryphal).
- Hugo Weaving has stated that, while he enjoyed portraying the character, he would not be interested in reprising the role in future films.
- Unlike his comic book counterpart, this version of Red Skull has the surname Schmidt instead of Shmidt.
- Unlike his comic book counterpart who has a mask, this version of Red Skull's appearance is biological, due to him ingesting a version of the Super-Soldier Serum.
- 13 Appearances of Johann Schmidt (Earth-199999)
- 1 Minor Appearances of Johann Schmidt (Earth-199999)
- Media Johann Schmidt (Earth-199999) was Mentioned in
- 30 Images featuring Johann Schmidt (Earth-199999)
- 1 Quotations by or about Johann Schmidt (Earth-199999)
- Character Gallery: Johann Schmidt (Earth-199999)
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- Radish, Christina (16 October 2012). Hugo Weaving Talks THE HOBBIT, TRANSFORMERS, and Red Skull; Says They Haven’t Filmed the Final HOBBIT Battle Yet. Collider. Retrieved on 13 March 2014.
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks
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