In a feat more cruel than anything that Thanos could ever dream up, Marvel Studios assembled footage of Avengers: Infinity War at the D23 conference, but has refused to share it online... yet. Fortunately, we don't need the power of the Infinity Stones to tell you what Disney revealed, as descriptions of what happened have already surfaced online. Among the details revealed, D23 attendees have confirmed a long-standing rumor about Captain America's involvement in Marvel's biggest movie yet.
Captain No More
While it's still unclear whether or not Steve Rogers will survive the Mad Titan's bid for power, it now seems like he'll ditch his star-spangled garb and fight the good fight with a snazzy new outfit and beard. The reason for this spins out of Captain America: Civil War, where Steve Rogers was last seen hiding out in Wakanda following his clash with Iron Man over the Sokovia Accords.
In the comics, a similar plot line led Captain America to adopt a new superhero identity called Nomad for a few issues, complete with a different costume. Screen Rant have suggested that the MCU version of Rogers may develop into a new version of Nomad, which means that someone else may take his place as Captain America.
The Russo Brothers basically confirmed this transformation a while back during an interview with The Huffington Post, explaining that the moment when Cap dropped his shield in Civil War symbolised 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."
However, this is the first time that Steve's retirement from the role has been officially revealed, leaving us with one question on our minds...
Who Will Become The New Captain America?
Over the years, a number of heroes have taken Steve Rogers's place as Captain America, whether it's because he's lost his powers or been revealed as a crazed Hydra agent in alliance with Nazis. If Cap does embrace the new persona of Nomad — or dies in the fight against Thanos — then there are a few likely suspects who could take up the shield.
In many ways, Cap's childhood friend Bucky Barnes seems to be the most obvious candidate. Not only did The Winter Soldier take over when Rogers died in the aftermath of Civil War in the comics, but he's also ripe and ready for a classic redemption story. Seen by the world as a murderous assassin, Barnes would do whatever it takes to honor the memory of his friend's legacy, all while distancing himself from his dark past as the Winter Soldier in the process. The two even share the same abilities, and actually mirror each other far more than either one of them realizes.
Failing that, there's also the possibility that Sam Wilson could become the Star-Spangled Avenger. Sure, Steve's other bestie is currently fighting as The Falcon, but Wilson recently took over the mantle in the comics, and such a decision would help diversify the #MCU further. Marvel Studios have come under fire more than once for a lack of representation, so promoting Anthony Mackie to the forefront of the Avengers as #CaptainAmerica would certainly be a progressive move on their part. The issue here, of course, is that Falcon is already a celebrated hero in his own right, and Marvel may be keen to continue developing that side of his character first.
However, both of these options could be rather telegraphed for anyone who holds even a passing knowledge of the source material. With that in mind, Marvel may turn completely left-field and surprise fans by casting a woman in the role. Black Widow was apparently seen sporting a new blonde hairstyle in the D23 footage, but we doubt that she would replace Steve in the role of Captain America (even though it's about time that the spotlight was thrown her way).
Instead, there's an extremely slim, outside chance that Cap's love interest Sharon Carter could take his place, despite a lack of precedent for this in the comics. Her training as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. certainly puts Carter in good stead for such a move, and if Marvel ever did consider this option, then we're sure that Tony Stark could somehow enhance her fighting prowess to superhuman levels.
Chris Evan's contract may end soon, which means that our days of ogling his superhuman six-pack may end with it. At the end of the day though, Steve Rogers is technically an OAP, so let's hope that #Marvel give him the time to collect a bus pass and enjoy his twilight years without being ripped apart by Thanos. Either way, Spider-Man: Homecoming revealed that Stark has created a new shield for Captain America, so someone will have to step up and wield it in the upcoming war — just maybe not Steve.