Warning: if you've chosen to avoid the content of the Marvel comic books, this article has some spoilers for you.
With stories that span several comic books before being adapted into movies, there's often room for more than one version of a superhero's adventures. Case in point, having read the Marvel comics doesn't necessarily allow us to know beforehand what is going to happen in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
Does that mean we are just going to sit here and await the movie's outcome? Nah. Linking together elements of the previous Captain America movies and the comics, it turns out, could reveal major plot elements. According to this fan theory by Redditor cobywankenobi, Civil War will be the death of Captain America... and Bucky Barnes will be the one to take over his shield!
Bucky Barnes To Become The Next Captain America?
In the Death of Captain America comics (Captain America vol. 5, issues 25 to 42), Captain America dies leaving Tony Stark a letter in which he asks him to watch over Bucky Barnes, and Barnes ends up taking over the Captain America mantle. To put it simply.
Although nothing guarantees that this arc will be followed in the movies, this fan theory shows previous movie elements already indicate this outcome for the Captain America legacy.
Bucky Picks Up The Captain America Shield Three Times:
1. In 'Captain America: The First Avenger'
In the fight scene on the train that (almost) leads him to his death, Bucky picks up Cap's shield for a few minutes.
2. In 'Captain America: Winter Soldier'
Could it really be a coincidence that in his face-off with his best friend, Bucky picks up the shield a second time?
3. In This Deleted Scene:
This deleted scene shows the third time that Bucky's hand holds the star-adorned shield.
It would be surprising to see Marvel writers inserting these details with no purpose, which is why the evidence points towards Bucky becoming Captain America.
Crossbones Is Here For A Reason
On top of that, knowing that Crossbones, the superhero incarnation of Brock Rumlow, will be in Civil War further seems to confirm Captain America's death. Crossbones just happens to be the villain who, in the comics, seemingly carries out the assassination of Captain America (it actually turns out to have been a brainwashed Sharon Carter).
A Possible Scenario For 'Civil War'
To sum up this fan theory, Bucky holding the shield first as a good guy (in The First Avenger), then as a bad guy (in The Winter Soldier), means he will first side with Cap in Civil War, but then betray his trust by not being able to fully escape his Winter Soldier past, hurting Rhodes and trying to kill Tony Stark. This will lead Cap to turn himself in when he realizes he didn't fight the right battle. Once Cap is killed by Crossbones, it will be up to Bucky to redeem himself by picking up the shield once again.
You can read the full theory here.
"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."
What do you think? Could Bucky be the next Captain America in the movies?