Since the debut of Captain America: The Winter Solider, fans of Marvel have been waiting for the first signs of Steve Rogers passing the mantle to a new successor. Several split-second screenshots even added nods to Bucky Barnes's time as Captain America in Marvel Comics.
And since Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige recently hinted that someone besides Chris Evans could wield the shield in future films, we may be seeing some familiar faces in a new costume soon. And no, we don't mean this familiar face:
Now that Steve Rogers is officially branded a fugitive by every government agency, including S.H.I.E.L.D., he may be done with his crimefighting career for now. There are several popular choices for who could take up the mantle in his place. Here are the three Marvel characters most likely to become the next Captain America.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Jeffrey Mace
Mace may sound like a stretch when it comes to worthy successors to the Captain America title. However, after looking at Jeffrey Mace's comic-book origins, it's quite possible that he'll transition from his role on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. to a featured role as Captain America in the MCU, seeing as how his comic-book counterpart became Captain America at one point in Marvel Comics.
Mace has the right Inhuman abilities to be as effective as Steve Rogers. Captain America needs to be a symbol that all people can rally behind, and Jeffrey Mace is a patriot fit to carry the torch.
Bucky Barnes, The Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes also has a notable comic-book history as Captain America — he's arguably the second best-known iteration of the character. The Bucky of the MCU could be next to take up the title once his stint in the Wakandan cryogenics lab is complete.
It's unclear whether the Black Panther's scientists will be able to successfully remove the brainwashing program from Bucky Barnes, but if they are successful, Bucky will be on his way to make amends for the mistakes he's made in the past.
Sam Wilson, The Falcon
Wilson was recently promoted to Captain America in the new series of Marvel Comics — and since he's received a positive reception from fans, it wouldn't be too surprising to see Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) take up the mantle of Captain America instead of Bucky Barnes of Jeffrey Mace.
Let's keep in mind that Feige said it was possible another character could take over from Steve Rogers, not that it's a certainty. However, if we had to guess when it would happen, a new Captain America would likely be introduced during Avengers: Infinity War.
Who do you think should become the next Captain America? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.