Steve Rogers is no longer the Captain America of the MCU

3 min read


A movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe usually ends with smiles, a witty one-liner and some super-villain skulking around the shadows as he bides his time for the sequel to pop up, Not so with Captain America: Civil War, which may have had one of the most gut-wrenching final fights ever filmed.

[Also, massive SPOILER WARNING when I sling my plot-shield, all those who have yet to see the DVD must yiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeld!]

Anyway, how about that final fight from Civil War hey? Zemo’s master plan worked perfectly, pitting Avenger against Avenger in a triple-threat brouhaha that also featured the Winter Soldier. Tony Stark was out for blood, Captain America was sticking to his guns and Bucky was caught in the middle. A gruelling battle between the three, that ended with Stark down for the count but still flexing his deadliest weapon: A venomous tongue as he lambasted Steve Rogers for using a memento of his own father to disable him.

A legendary shield which Rogers left behind, effectively ending his career as the Captain America of that cinematic universe. Speaking to the Huffington Post, co-director Joe Russo confirmed that that final act from Rogers did indeed signal him abandoning his Captain America identity:

Marvel's Captain America: Civil War L to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) Photo Credit: Film Frame © Marvel 2016

I think him dropping that shield is him letting go of that identity, him admitting that certainly the identity of Captain America was in conflict with the very personal choice that he was making.

It’s not the first time, that Rogers has handed over his shield and uniform. The various comic book source materials have a rich history of Rogers becoming disillusioned, struck down by old age or assuming a new role while a worthy successor wields the shield. And after the events of Civil War, Rogers is very much a Nomad right now (Get it? Because he once gave up the shield and became a character called Nomad with really bad dress sense?). Mind you, that final act of Civil War could have gone very differently as well, as co-director Anthony Russo explained to EW how the third film had a different plot in case Robert Downey Jr wasn’t available to star as Iron Man in it.

“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology,” Russo said to EW.

The charm of the Madbomb is that you turn hordes of people into berserkers. That was the physical challenge that Cap and company would have had to face.

Captain America (1)

“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that,” Joe Russo added.

We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?

Me thinks the Civil War angle was a much better choice overall. Cap will of course be back for Avengers: Infinity War, because a civilian Steve Rogers action figure doesn’t sell nearly as well as a star-spangled Avenger does.

Last Updated: August 26, 2016

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