Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, is a living legend. He is a war hero, a super soldier and an Avenger. Eventually, though, we may see the cinematic Steve Rogers pass on his Vibranium shield and his patriotic outfit - but to who?
Many other people have held the title of Captain America besides Steve Rogers in the comics, but when someone mentions his successor, typically only one of two names comes to mind - Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) or Sam Wilson (Falcon). Bucky was Steve's chosen successor and took over for the Captain after Steve's assassination during the 'Civil War' epilogue. He was the one everyone assumed to be the proper successor, but would he really be the best choice in the movies?
Currently in the comics, Bucky Barnes is not Captain America. And it isn't Steve Rogers either. It's Sam Wilson, formerly known as Falcon, who is leading the Avengers in a red, white and blue suit with a Vibranium shield. Wilson is proving himself to be a phenomenal Captain America and he is quite possibly the best candidate to take up the shield after Steve Rogers retires (eventually) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Here are five reasons why Sam Wilson would make a better Captain America than Bucky Barnes in the MCU.
1. He can fly
Let's get this one out here right off the bat - Sam Wilson can fly. Yes, he can freaking fly. Not only does he have training, a cool costume and a Vibranium shield, but the dude can fly too! No other Captain America before Sam has been able to fly, so I think this is an awesome quality to give him.
This fact alone should put Sam Wilson as the number one contender. If and when Marvel replaces Steve Rogers as Captain America on the silver screen, they aren't going to be replacing him with a practically identical character like Bucky. Marvel is going to replace Captain America with someone who could provide a new twist that will make people want to go see it - and that twist is the ability to fly!
2. He was not chosen as Cap's first successor in the comics because he was pursuing what Captain America had died fighting for
During the comics, Bucky took over for Steve following his assassination after the Civil War. Steve had always said he wanted Bucky to be his successor - but was that enough? During that period of time, no one wanted to replace Captain America because doing that seemed absurd. However, contrary to popular belief, Bucky was not even the first choice to be the next Captain America. Hawkeye was actually offered the shield before Bucky, but he turned it down because he did not feel he was good enough to replace the hero.
It is likely that Falcon would have instead been the first choice, above both Hawkeye and Bucky, if the circumstances had allowed it. Sam was close to Captain America, having fought with him hundreds of times, and was close to the Avengers, which is something that no one can really say about Bucky. Sam knew the inner workings of the Avengers and would have been handed the shield because he would be able to lead properly instead of being handed the shield out of some sense of entitlement.
The reason why Sam was not chosen was because he was on the run from the law as the leader (or one of the leaders) of the Secret Avengers. After Captain America was taken in at the end of the Civil War, most of Cap's teammates went off and formed the Secret Avengers to finish what Captain America had started. The only reason Falcon was not the successor of Steve during this time was because he was too busy finishing what Steve had started and leading the team Steve could no longer lead.
3. He is dating a Thunder Goddess
During the comics right now, Sam Wilson (Captain America) is dating Thor, a.k.a. Jane Foster, who succeeded the original Thor and took his place. Not only does this give Sam some cosmic protection from Thor as these two are practically inseparable, but it would also be a fun story arc to watch in a movie!
I would seriously enjoy watching this romance brew on screen during Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially considering that the character Jane Foster already exists in the franchise and is played by Natalie Portman. It would be both entertaining and interesting to watch as two of the lead Avengers (at that point in the MCU) start a relationship. Hopefully this one would work out better than the Hulk/Black Widow relationship.
4. He has Redwing
In the comics, Falcon can talk to birds. However, it is apparent at this point that this is unlikely to come about during the MCU, but we will come close. There are already set pictures and concept art of Redwing, Sam's loyal falcon, appearing in Captain America: Civil War. This version of Redwing is mechanical, but cool nonetheless.
Redwing may be a welcome addition to the MCU, especially if he serves at Sam's side if he becomes Captain America. It would add to the new twist of the legendary hero, meaning the new Cap doesn't just fly, but he has a robot Falcon with him too! That would be seriously cool to see on screen, especially if Redwing gets a red, white and blue paint job. In fact, why not just make him into a mechanical bald eagle at that point?
5. He wants to do good in the world, both as a superhero and as a regular man
The best part about Sam Wilson isn't that he can fly or the fact that he is dating Thor - it is his heart. When Steve Rogers was selected to become the world's first super soldier in Captain America: The First Avenger, he wasn't chosen because he was the strongest or because of experience, but rather because he was the only one who actually wanted to help the world.
Sam Wilson is a lot like Steve Rogers in this manner. Many people argue that Bucky is the best pick to be the Captain because he has training after being brainwashed for 70 years, but if Captain America was chosen based on training and experience, Steve Rogers would have still been stuck being beat up behind theaters during 1944. The person who holds the shield is not the person with the strongest muscles, but rather the person who cares the most and actually wants to do good in the world.
Sam Wilson is a true hero, even in his day-to-day life. In the comics, before he became Falcon, Sam was a social worker in Harlem who worked with kids and teens to keep them safe and on track. When we met Sam in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he was a counselor living in Washington D.C. who worked with veterans and soldiers to help them deal with PTSD, being a veteran himself. Even before he teamed up with Captain America, Falcon was being a hero. He was changing lives and helping people so they too can live a meaningful life. That is why Sam Wilson should be the next Captain America. He is the only hero besides Steve Rogers that actually cares about helping the world in both his superhero life and his social life.
I personally hope that Sam Wilson takes on the role of Captain America during the MCU. I was originally hoping for Bucky, but after really looking into Falcon, I realized that Sam was the real choice to take up the shield. Sam Wilson is a true hero who wants to make a difference in the world, just like Steve did when he first became Captain America. The Captain needs to know how to lead, not just follow, and that is a quality Sam certainly has. Sam Wilson is the best candidate to become the next Captain America, we just don't realize it yet.
And he can fly. So that's pretty cool too.
Who do you want to see become the next Captain America? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!
Who do you want to see become the next Captain America in the MCU?