Originally Posted by The Wizard
How did Red Skull's face become what it is in this film? I'm not too familiar with the character, but I read that he wears a "red skull" mask, and that isn't his actual face. Could someone explain?
In the books he was originally a normal human who wore a Red Skull mask. Since the mid 80's he acquired a new body (a clone of Cap's no less) the face of which was soon disfigured by his own 'red dust of death' (see the Joker/Skull scan before) to resemble his old mask (the dust did have the effect of disfiguring the faces of its victims, much like the Joker's does).
For the movie they have gone straight to the disfigured look, with him wearing a human mask to hide it. As to how he gets that way, from the looks of it they may well be borrowing the one good idea the 90's film had: That the Skull was a recipient of an earlier form of the Super Solider treatment and it disfigured him.
Based on what I've seen in the online comic from the website, they do seem to be heading that way.