CS Soapbox: Do we really want Chris Evans back as Captain America?
It was a dance that Steve Rogers has expected for over 80 years – ever since he checked out a date with Peggy Carter and she told him, “Don’t you dare be late.” It was a beautiful bookend for us to see him try some of the life Tony had told him, as opposed to the satisfying character arc of a fallen avenger. Regardless of the logic of time travel, gaps in the plot and kissed nieces, Avengers: Endgame Things packed up nicely. Something that couldn’t necessarily be said about other properties in 2019 (* cough * game of Thrones *To cough* The rise of Skywalker). With a healthy amount of fear, we respond to the news that Chris Evans will reportedly repeat his role as Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Details about this “return” are not clear and Evans has played characteristically shy. Every deal that has been made is supposedly good for a guest appearance or two by Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, given Steve’s older status in the current timeline, it’s unclear which version of the character Feige and the company plan to use. The last time we saw of “Old Man Steve” he passed on Captain America’s shield and mantelpiece to Sam Wilson AKA Falcon and prepared the events of Disney + The falcon and the winter soldier– The Legacy of the Geriatric Companion emerging in Stage 4 (in the best way).
The Steve who sat on that bench Endgame was 106 years young. The jury is informed about the life expectancy of a super soldier – we don’t want to know. Marvel Studios could permanently end its story with his death. Old age is not a disease inflicted on many superheroes because of their propensity for self-sacrifice. Of all comic book heroes, Captain America has arguably set a precedent for the victim game of “laying on a wire and letting the other crawl over you”. This is why the parallels with his fate, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff, arise Endgame works so well. A deathbed scene with Steve would only reinforce what was already implied. It would be a derivative – which is why it won’t happen. Also a victim scene with a guest star that contradicts his unlucky farewell (and diminishes him).
Steve will live. When the old man comes back we won’t just watch him and Peggy hang out with their kids / grandchildren. We will see him deliver what he did when he called Mjolnir: inspiration. As indicated by teasers and leaks, Sam is not openly accepted as a new “cap” The falcon and the winter soldier. Despite Steve’s wishes, the John Walker administration is voting in accordance with a twisted (and perhaps bigoted) view of nationalism. In addition, Sam and Bucky will reportedly face Flag-Smasher and Baron Zemo.
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The last time we saw Zemo, he was what started the conflict between Steve and Tony in Civil war. Speculations suggest that Zemo will head the anti-nationalist organization ULTIMATUM, which strives for world unity. That may sound nice, but “unity of the world” is a utopian idea. Nothing is perfect and demanding perfection almost always leads to totalitarian-induced dystopia. Hence ULTIMATUM, a terrorist organization that is deconstructing everything Steve stood for and paving the way for his symbolic return.
It is important to remember that Steve is famous. His disappearance must be explained to the public. If Steve is still out there like us, regardless of his state, people / fans will be wondering where he is and what he’s doing – a loose thread / mystery that is being talked about ad nauseam. With the country politicizing “Captain America” in the name of nationalism, the super soldier whose creation stimulated patriotism might show up and say, “Hey, I disagree.”
Steve’s arc was mostly about the hypocrisy of oversights / ideals, whether it be refusing to sign the Sokovia Accords or choosing a life with Peggy despite the consequences. Captain America (and Superman … kind of) was born out of nationalism both in our world and on the site. The Steve we met in Captain America: The First Avenger was very on board with all of this. In the Infinity Saga, however, he became more than just a soldier. Like the character of Captain America, Steve rejected propaganda because his ideology was based on intuition and simply gave the best.
America / the world has changed a lot since 2019. Nationalism is a burning issue in 2021. While it seems vaguely nonsensical for risk Endgame‘s bittersweet farewell, it’s not without merit. While permeating popular culture to an obnoxious degree and annoying Martin Scorsese’s piss, comics / superheroes like fairy tales offer a deceptively simple (and often necessary) critique of morality. Sports dramas do something similar. How many times has Rocky come out of retirement? Every time training Mondays were repeated, cheers could be heard throughout the Cineplex. 2015s Creed is a fine example of a former protagonist (disappeared but not forgotten) returning in a secondary trait that enhances the character’s legacy. Balboa didn’t make the headlines and Rogers won’t take the shield back.
The flip side of the old man’s coin is Evans, who returns as an active Captain America and revisits the character courtesy of the Quantum Empire and Time Travel introduced in Endgame. The latter track, Time Travel Heist, poked Steve royally around 2012 The AvengersWith this, Loki can escape into his Disney + series with the Tesseract. Maybe Steve, fresh from a loss and still not used to the world, has fallen into a deep depression. Evans could also play a younger Rogers earlier on the main timeline. Characters could visit a frozen cap, create a different timeline, and change some of the key moments in Rogers’ career.
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The great thing about comic book adaptations (and now with the ever-evolving multiverse) is that there is never a shortage of source material and there are always more stories to tell. However, unlike the control panels on the side, the screen has to fear what it finally feels like. As fun as it would be to see him mentor the Young Avengers or defeat Kang the Conqueror, the makeover would have the effects of Endgame. There might be a way to bring Rogers back and improve his legacy. Marvel Studios is sure to rise to the challenge.
Flashbacks always seem like a safe bet, especially when space and time continuum is involved. But that’s too easy and relatively pointless – phase 4 seems to be about chaos. WandaVision is already playing with reality Spider-Man 3 will be difficult, and multiverse Doctor Strange in the multiverse of madness‘The title speaks for itself. No, Feige and Company decided to do an onside kick in the 4th quarter while they were up front. Or maybe it doesn’t matter. Perhaps in the age of deployment apps and binge watching, viewers are happy with subpar results.
Edited. Audiences never agree with below average results. Thankfully, for Marvel Studios, making money would be way more than an exercise if Evans returned. You have that behind you. There is actually narrative potential, especially in relation to a character representing a land that is at odds with itself. The mantra of humanity: chaos. In the midst of the chaos, Steve Rogers always seems to find a way forward. Marvel Studios could Really Say something if they ignore the gamer or fan service route. Do we really want Chris Evans to return as Captain America?