Fans of Captain America cheered and mourned their hero in Avengers: Endgame, which, by all indications is the last time we’ll see the iconic hero – or, at least, this version of him.
Or is it? Joe and Anthony Russo, the directors of Endgame, have strongly hinted that the star-spangled hero could appear again on Disney+, the new streaming service from the Mouse House debuting this fall. Moreover, it would be by the way of Loki, a character most associated with Thor’s world.
We’ll explain how that can be, although Chris Evans has given every indication that Endgame was his Marvel swansong. Spoilers ahead if you have not seen Endgame.
What happened to Captain America?
You may recall that after helping to defeat Thanos, Steve Rogers went back in time to return those troublesome infinity stones to their proper place. When he came back, he looked 80-something, weary but content. He said he had gotten the job done, so he turned his mighty shield over to Sam, who humbly accepted the honor.
This caused some consternation in comic book circles because it was thought that Bucky AKA The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) should have gotten the shield. After all, Bucky was Steve Rogers’ childhood friend whom he had searched for, only to find that he had been brainwashed and turned into a killing machine. The development created such a schism that the Avengers came to blows with each other in Captain: America Civil War.
Either choice would have made sense. Both Bucky and Sam have been Captain America in the comic books. Anthony Russo explained to BuzzFeed, “I think the real attraction between Cap and Bucky is that their relationship — they started more as opposites, and that’s how they complemented each other. Whereas I feel like Sam and Cap are more kindred spirits. Also — this is important — Bucky has a damaged mind…I don’t know if you want to give another weapon to that guy.”
So, Sam, it was. The final shot of the movie revealed that when he had gone back in time, Steve reconnected with his beloved Peggy Carter, and he had his happily ever after.
So the next time we see Captain America, it will be Anthony Mackie instead of Chris Evans, right? Not necessarily.
How the familiar Captain America could still return
In Endgame, Loki grabbed the tesseract, which contained the time stone, and disappeared into another timeline. We never find out what happens to him, but we do know that Loki will be the subject of one of the new Marvel series on Disney+.
“Loki, when he teleports away with the Time Stone, would create his own timeline. It gets very complicated, but it would be impossible for [Cap] to rectify the timeline unless he found Loki,” Joe told Business Insider. “The minute that Loki does something as dramatic as take the Space Stone, he creates a branched reality.”
So, by that logic, it’s not unreasonable to assume that we’ll get to see how Steve Rogers’ Captain America got the stone back from Loki.
There’s this telling exchange in the Business Insider interview:
Anthony There’s a question of, how did this separate timeline Cap come to reappear in this (Loki) timeline and why?
BI: And that’s a story for another day?
Joe: [laughs] Correct.
Captain America lives to fight another day
So maybe “another day” will be the Disney+. The streaming service launches November 12, although it is not clear if the Loki show will be available at that time.
We also don’t know if Chris Evans would appear as Captain America in the TV show or not, though fans would likely riot if he didn’t. He did appear in very amusing public service announcements in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so it’s not out of the question that he could do a one-and-done TV episode.
As for Mackie’s version of Captain America, he’ll surely pop up again in a future Marvel movie, though a definitive schedule of those has not been announced. For now, look for Spider-Man Far From Home on July 9, followed possibly by Black Widow’s movie next year.
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