(Warning - giant, hulking potential SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War may be found below, alongside definite ones for past Marvel comic-books. Proceed with whatever level of caution that suggests to you is wise...)
Now, of the thousands of Marvel Cinematic Universe-related spoilers that lurk on the interweb, the most tempting to believe - irrespective of likelihood - are inevitably those based on the same comic-books that the movie is set to channel. Telling us that Thanos will appear in Infinity War, for instance, is far more believable than that, say, he's going to be the big bad in Black Panther's solo movie. After all, he already has appeared in Infinity War on the page, so why not on screen?
Sometimes, though, those comic-book-based rumors can carry with them more than just the promise of a cameo, or the framework of a plot. For instance:
If The Latest Comic-Book-Based 'Captain America: Civil War' Rumor is True, an Iconic Hero is Going to Die
Y'see, according to Geek.com, Captain America: Civil War currently has at least two endings filmed, but...
"Although at least one cut exists where Steve Rogers disappears with his Avengers to fight another day, sources close to the production confirm that (as of now) when Captain America: Civil War hits theaters, Crossbones will kill Steve Rogers by the end of the movie."
Or, in other words:
'Captain America: Civil War' May Well Directly Adapt the Comic-Book Civil War's Ending
Cap being killed at the hands of of Crossbones (or, at least, seeming to be) was, after all, the shocking climax of Marvel's comic-book Civil War event back in 2007.
Of course, as fans of the comic-book will no doubt recall, Crossbones wasn't actually the one to do the deed, with a brainwashed Sharon Carter instead finishing Cap off. Which, of course, didn't stick, with Cap later being revealed to be less dead than trapped in between time, and returning to 'life' a little over two years after his 'death. In the meantime, though, the role of Cap was taken over by none other than his erstwhile sidekick and frenemy, Bucky Barnes.
How Would All of That Play Out in the MCU, Though?
Well, according to Geek.com:
"Another source close to the film told us that they have already fit Sebastian Stan for a Captain America costume. Like in the comics, Bucky Barnes takes on the mantle of Captain America after Steve Rogers is apparently killed."
Which would, of course, tie in nicely with the long-rumored ascension of (the multiple-picture deal-possessing) Sebastian Stan to the role.
What about Chris Evans, though? After all, his story doesn't seem like it's ready to end just yet. Well...
"Marvel has the power to alter course as their films weave in and out of production, but according to our sources, the current plan is to keep Steve Rogers out of the first Infinity War entirely, letting characters like the Bucky Captain America and Spider-Man take the lead. Rogers would return, as you’d expect, for the grand climax."
Even if Cap Does Die, He'll Likely Only Stay Dead For Two to Three Years
Which sounds like just about the perfect amount of time for Chris Evans to pursue some other projects...before returning for Captain America 4 in 2020 or so. Indeed, Marvel likely even has the means to restore him to life already prepared. As Geek.com argues:
"The methods by which that could be accomplished in the massive movies that are Infinity War are legion. Most likely: Marvel will make use of one of its central MacGuffins, the Infinity Stones. The Soul Stone (whereabouts still unknown on-screen) seems like a good possibility, but the Reality Stone (the Aether from Thor: The Dark World) and the Time Stone (Kevin Feige has hinted this is The Eye of Agamotto in November’s Doctor Strange) could do the trick.
"When Thanos assembles the Infinity Gauntlet to court Death in the comics, one of his horrible acts with the god power is to instantly blink a large amount of the entire universe out of existence. With that kind of power, blinking Steve Rogers back to life isn’t the most far-fetched possibility for any character who can assemble the Gauntlet."
Now, that could of course all be completely incorrect - and it sure does sound like Marvel is keeping its options open - but in the meantime, it certainly sounds plausible...
What do you reckon, though?