WARNING: This article contains massive spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War, in theaters now.
Red Skull has a new role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Avengers: Infinity War, the former head of Hydra reappeared for the first time since his debut in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger. However, Infinity War's Red Skull is very different from the one we met in the first Captain America film. As turns out, Red Skull became the keeper of the Soul Stone after he was blasted into space by the Tesseract. In doing so, he may have picked up a secondary role familiar to fans of the comics: the Unseen.
The Unseen, as we refer to him here, debuted in Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato's Original Sin event series from 2014, but he wore a different -- but familiar -- face. A whodunit, Original Sin followed in the wake of Uatu the Watcher's murder. Ultimately, Nick Fury was outed as the murderer; he had killed Uatu to take his eye and act on a crime that the Watcher had witnessed, but took no action against. To punish him, Uatu's fellow Watchers transformed Fury into the Unseen, a being who observes Earth but can never interfere. As the Unseen, he became the very thing he hated.
According to Original Sin #8's description of the Unseen, "There will always be someone watching. Someone who sees all things. All the beauty and horror. All the secrets and sins. Someone whose sacred duty it is to record the life of our world. To observe us from afar. To watch... But never interfere. To remain forevermore Unseen. He is the Unseen, and this is his burden now. This is his curse."
Like Fury's Unseen, the Red Skull of Infinity War is cursed, albeit in a different way. Red Skull once desired the power of the Infinity Stones above all else. However, due to the sacrifices demanded by the Soul Stone, he would never be able to possess it; he can only stand by and warn others about its "terrible price." As he tells Thanos, "A lifetime ago, I too sought the stones. I even held one in my hand, but it cast me out, banished me here, guiding others to a treasure I cannot possess. What you seek lies in front of you, as does what you fear."
Further, Red Skull also described himself as cursed. When Thanos and Gamora arrived on the planet Vormir, he greeted them both by name. The Mad Titan seemed surprised at that, so Red Skull explained, "It is my curse to know all who journey here."