Is this it? Is this the end of Captain America?
For the last eight years God’s Righteous Man has inspired audiences to stand against evil, never give up, and watch their language. But, according to recent headlines on Marvel news sites, the Man Out Of Time is running out of time.
Steve Rodgers: He’s the skinny kid from Brooklyn who doesn’t like bullies. He undergoes Dr. Erskine’s “Super Soldier” experiment hoping to join the army and protect America and its allies from Nazi Germany. After receiving the serum, he triples in size becoming the lionhearted defender we have today. Steve Rodgers is Captain America.
He captured hearts across the country when he sacrificed himself to save millions.
We cheered when he woke from his 70-year nap, joined the Avengers Initiative, and fought alongside Iron Man and Thor.
We cried when he reminded Bucky Barnes of the promise they made to each other years ago.
Then came Captain America: Civil War, and with it, the disbanding of the Avengers. Captain America became a fugitive of the law and no longer welcome in the country he fought so hard to protect.
As much as I hate to admit it, Captain America is without a doubt America’s favorite Avenger. Yet, online fans seem adamant that Marvel kill off the world’s first super soldier. But why? Why the callous calls for his downfall? It all stems from the assumption that expiring contracts equals imminent death.
As far as we know, Chris Evans’s contract with Marvel has ended. He’s hinted several times he is done playing the character and ready to move on to new projects. He even tweeted out on October 4th what looks like a sad goodbye to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It isn’t an official announcement, but the tweet has the internet convinced that Captain America is dead.
Still, this doesn’t change the fact that audiences across America adore ol’ Cap. Everyone screamed with excitement when he made his epic entrance in Avengers: Infinity War. Let’s face it, deep down we all secretly hope Chris Evans renegotiates his contract with Marvel, which could happen considering Captain America is a beloved (not to mention money-making) character.
Even Hasbro admits their best-selling figures are Cap, Iron Man, and Thor; however, their merchandise is tied to the movies Marvel produces. If Captain America vanishes from the MCU, Hasbro won’t have an excuse to include new figures of him in future Marvel Legends lines.
So, with that in mind, we’re going to look at three popular theories about Captain America’s fate, pick some apart, and see if there’s any way for him to survive Avengers 4.
Theory 1–Trading Lives:
After hearing the Soul Stone’s high price, Thanos doesn’t hesitate to toss his favorite daughter, Gamora, off a cliff to make sure he gets the stone. Of course, he would do this. He is the villain after all. Well, according to some, our heroes should follow suit.
There are rumors circulating that Captain America will sacrifice himself so that another Avenger (namely Tony) can gain the stone and un-snap the universe. Some support this theory saying it gives Cap an “honorable” end. Sorry, but I’m not convinced it’s the path to victory.
I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth would the Avengers want those blasted stones? Well, the idea originates from an anonymous site called 4chan.
The 4chan Leak:
In November 2017, someone posted what he or she claims is the plot for the next Avengers film. According to this person, the movie goes something like this:
- Tony Stark builds his own gauntlet (dubbed the Stark Gauntlet) as a way to reverse the snap.
- The Avengers use time travel and the Quantum realm to revisit past MCU films and collect the Infinity Stones for the new Gauntlet.
- Hawkeye’s job is to protect the Stark Gauntlet.
- Thor and Captain Marvel work together to assemble an army in space.
- Banner and Hulk merge together becoming “Professor Hulk”. Hulk also loses an arm while battling Thanos.
- Captain America lifts Mjolnir (who is restored via an alternate timeline) during the fights, but it’s no use. Thanos kills him anyway.
- Only two Avengers survive the film.
The thread was promptly removed, but that didn’t stop the leaks from spreading all over the internet. It also doesn’t help that whoever posted this so-called inside info accurately predicted a few key events in Infinity War–events no one saw coming, like the Red Skull’s return, Gamora’s death, and (I think) Spider-Man turning to ash.
Since Mr. Anonymous spoiled a couple of scenes in Infinity War, fans have gone wild building theories based on his Avengers 4 predictions.
So, if you read about The Stark Gauntlet or the Avengers search for the Infinity Stones, know that these are unverified claims and not something the creators at Marvel have said or even hinted at.
Because of these alleged plot lines, many believe the next film will revolve around the Avengers trying to nab the Infinity Stones before Thanos and prevent the snap from happening. They’ll successfully find each stone except the Soul Stone because that stone “demands a sacrifice“. This is when the noble Captain America will hurl himself off the cliff giving Tony the stone so he can stop Thanos.
Am I the only one who thinks this idea is terrible? Not only is it utterly depressing, it’s based on the assumption that the victims of the snap are in the Soul Stone–something that hasn’t been confirmed.
The truth is…
…we have no idea where the dusted heroes are!
We suspect the new members of the Dustice League are inside the soul stone because…well…they’re coming back. Filming for Spider-Man: Far from Home is underway, there are reports that Dr. Strange is getting a sequel, and I think Black Panther 2 is also in the works.
Clearly, these characters aren’t gone forever, but sequels don’t guarantee they’re chillin’ in Soul World either. In fact, the only one we ever see inside Soul World is Gamora.
Even the writers indicate the dustees weren’t just transported to another dimension–they actually died. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Christopher Markus says,
“[Avengers 4] doesn’t do what you think it does. It is a different movie than you think it is. Also…[the deaths are] real. I just want to tell you it’s real, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you will be able to move on to the next stage of grief.”
To me, it sounds like Thanos’ victims are dead, and I’m not convinced trading lives is the key to resurrecting them.
Also, Red Skull never says you must kill to take the stone. He says,
“…the soul demands a sacrifice…you must lose that which you love.”
Technically, several of the Avengers already qualify. They’ve all lost someone or something they love.
- Steve lost Bucky (again).
- Tony lost Peter.
- Thor lost everything.
In my opinion, the Avengers sacrificing themselves is absurd. It goes against the mantra we hear throughout Infinity War.
Theory 2: A New Captain America:
Unfortunately, Steve Rodgers eventually dies in the comics…sort of. Marvel has a way of reviving their characters, so it’s rare for someone to disappear permanently (another reason why I love Marvel!).
In The Death of Captain America (the comic series depicting Cap’s demise), Steve Rodgers is assassinated by his old enemies, Red Skull and Crossbones. His death upends the entire Marvel universe and leads to some unexpected developments.
Tony Stark (who is now the director of S.H.I.E.L.D), Black Widow, and Falcon team up to hunt down their leader’s killers, and Sharon Carter discovers she is pregnant with Steve’s kid (interesting🤔?). However, I think she loses the baby while fighting Red Skull🙁.
The big twist, though, is Cap’s pal, Bucky (formerly known as the Winter Soldier and now as the White Wolf), becoming the new Captain America.
After Steve’s death, Tony finds a letter from him explaining that Captain America’s legacy should continue and asking Tony to take care of Bucky. Tony shows the letter to Bucky who agrees to don the spangly outfit but only if he can stay independent of Stark, S.H.I.E.L.D, and the Avengers.
It’s hard to imagine anyone besides Chris Evans as Captain America, but I think we could accept Bucky (Sebastian Stan) as a replacement, especially since this happens in the comics. Hey, at least we wouldn’t be Captain America-less. It would also open up a plethora of new stories for the MCU.
Theory 3: Back To The Past:
Another theory that’s gaining traction is one reuniting Steve Rodgers and Peggy Carter. Actually, there are two theories bringing the couple back together. One has Steve dying and meeting Peggy in a dance hall (like Jack and Rose at the end of Titanic😭). The second scenario, however, gives Steve a happier exit.
After defeating Thanos, present Steve (the one we see in Infinity War and its sequel) time travels back to the 1940s where he retires and lives happily ever after with Peggy Carter. This wouldn’t muddle the MCU timeline or affect other films because capsicle Steve (the one in the ice) still exists and would wake up years later as he does at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger.
This theory comes from Reddit, and I admit it’s a tad confusing, but it allows Chris Evans to leave the franchise without Marvel having to kill or recast Captain America.
Time travel in Avengers 4 is not a new idea. Speculation of the Avengers tinkering with reality started when those behind-the-scenes photos of Captain America, Tony Stark, and Ant-Man at what looks like the Battle of New York surfaced.
Why? First, the Battle of New York happened six years ago (2012). Second, Ant-Man doesn’t show up in the MCU until three years later. Finally, all three (Cap, Tony, and Scott) are wearing funky-looking wristbands.
These gadgets could be a form of Tony’s augmented reality technology (known as B.A.R.F), or they could be time travel devices invented by Tony or even Hank Pym.
Again, time travel in Avengers 4 isn’t confirmed, but there are signs it may pop up. Remember Janet’s warning about time vortexes in Ant-Man and The Wasp?
Even though things look bleak, I’m not ready to give up on Captain America just yet. There are ways to end old stories and introduce new ones without slaughtering the main cast. As a matter of fact, Kevin Feige (the president of Marvel Studios) says this in an interview with Entertainment Weekly:
Entertainment Weekly: Can you describe how Infinity War might reshape the tone of films to come?
Feige: You start to think differently about how the characters are interacting, what character’s stories are coming to a close, and what character’s stories are only just beginning. Those stories will continue. I think they’ll continue in surprisingly different and unexpected ways after these two Avengers films.
Entertainment Weekly: When we talk about resolution or a character’s story ending, are we necessarily talking about death?
Feige: People always will jump to that. That’s not necessarily what we’re talking about. I talk a lot, because I’m a big-ass nerd, about Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All Good Things.” That to me is one of the best series finales ever. That wasn’t about death. Picard went and played poker with the crew, something he should have done a long time ago, right?
I wouldn’t be surprised if all our heroes make it through the next film unscathed–okay, maybe a little scathed but still alive. Heck, once they recover, they may even show up every so often in Marvel’s Phase 4. I mean, let’s face it, Tony Stark’s cameos are a big part of what made Spider-Man: Homecoming so awesome (no offense to Tom Holland–he’s great too😉).
Also, we can’t rule out that Marvel might be trolling us and wanting us to think the end is nigh when, in reality, the actors have already signed new contracts. Apparently, they get a thrill from teasing their fan base. Did you catch their latest ploy where Mark Ruffalo “spoils” the Avengers 4 title? Not cool Marvel! Not cool at all!
Thank you all for joining me as I gab about Captain America’s future in the MCU. Speaking of Captain America, I’ve got another Marvel Legends review in the works, so be on the lookout for that!
And don’t forget to show support for the Star-Spangled Man With A Plan by commenting, sharing, and liking this post!
(By the way, the digital version of Ant-Man and The Wasp is now available, and the DVD is coming October 15th! If you haven’t already seen the movie yet, you should. It tells us more about the Quantum Realm and explains why Ant-Man is a no-show in Infinity War.)