He’s the heart and conscious of The Avengers; a founding member of the team who leads them into battle. It’s hard to imagine an adventure with Earth’s mightiest heroes without Captain America leading the charge. However, that might be the new reality in the Marvel Cinematic University.
*A quick note before we get into things. There will be spoilers from Captain America: Civil War below. So, if you’re waiting for the DVD release for your first viewing, you may want to turn back now. You’ve been warned!*
We last saw Cap going mano-a-mano with Iron Man following the fallout from Captain America: Civil War. The revelation that Rogers’ bestie, Bucky Barnes, killed Tony Stark’s folks caused too big a chasm for either side to find common ground. Fisticuffs were exchanged and in the end, Rogers dropped Stark… and then threw his trademark shield to the ground. Now we’re left to wonder if he’ll ever pick it up again.
As part of their promotion tour for the Civil War Blu-ray release, the movie’s directors, the Russo Brothers, have left one fun tidbit after another in the wake of all their interviews. In their latest conversation with The Huffington Post, Joe Russo spoke about the symbolism Steve Rogers demonstrated by relinquishing his cherished Vibranium frisbee.
“I think him dropping that shield is him letting go of that identity. [It’s] him admitting that certainly the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making.”
Woah. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. No more Captain Rogers in the foreseeable future of the MCU. We’ve grown so accustomed to seeing the stars and stripes-clad hero that it’s going to be difficult seeing just Steve Rogers “the man.” Then again… following three solo outings, two Avengers joint-efforts and one quick appearance in Thor: The Dark World, perhaps it is time for a change. Maybe it’s time Captain America takes on a new mantle. Perhaps his destiny is to become…
That’s right. By the time Infinity War reaches theaters, Steve Rogers could become his short-lived alter ego… The Nomad (and he better have that sweet cape). It appears Phase 3 will be packed with the ‘rogue superhero’ story. Hulk is on the lam (‘intergalactically’ speaking). Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Quake is also being tracked down by Government officials. Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Falcon and Bucky are all fugitives. Steve Rogers is also part of that group and at this point he’s probably at the top of General Ross’ hit list.
Now, the odds that Steve Rogers becomes Nomad are slim at best (although it is a nice pipe dream). Instead, before Infinity War begins ‘the artist formally known as Captain America’ will probably be doing Cap heroics in boring ol’ civilian clothes (even though he should have that sweet cape!). Eventually he’ll reconnect with his shield and all will be right in the world again.
Still, until we reach that point, the MCU is still sans Captain America! Someone should take over the mantle and there’s only one obvious choice. No, not Falcon; he’s still going to be right beside Rogers. Instead the person who should become Captain America within the next two years is none other than…Bucky Barnes.
It was revealed this week on Entertainment Weekly that an amazing scene had to be cut from the epic Civil War fight scene. In the scene (which will be available on the Blu-ray release on September 13), Captain America loses his shield in the course of the battle. It winds up in the hands on Bucky, who along with Falcon, plays a game of catch to distract War Machine. It all leads to Barnes handing the shield back over, but wanting his own.
“The airport sequence was obviously complicated,” according to Joe Russo. “We wanted to track everybody’s arc and we felt like it was a hair too long, and that beat was coming at a spot when the energy was dropping.”
Clearly the Directors wanted to tease the idea of Barnes following his comic book arc where he takes over for a presumed-dead-but-not-really Captain America. So, why leave a great idea like that on the cutting room floor? We already know Bucky is back to being a popsicle in Wakanda. With Black Panther bringing a plethora of antagonists into the fold, T’Challa is going to need some help. Defrost Bucky, give him the costume and shield, and we have us a new Captain America to hold us over until he returns the shield to its rightful owner. It’s all perfectly lined up… now director Ryan Coogler just needs to knock it out of the park.
Whether it’s Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Sam Wilson, or even Sharon Carter… someone will be hoisting up that shield once Thanos finally arrives. Until the reveal is officially made, Marvel will keep us guessing to see who’s under the Captain America mask. Just know that while Steve Rogers has hung up the boots for now, we clearly have not seen the last of him rocking the stars and stripes. It’s all just a matter of “when”… not “if.”