Though Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) may not be suiting up as Nomad in Avengers: Infinity War, Steve will at least possess the "spirit" of Nomad. Nomad was an identity used by the character at a time where he was disillusioned with the state of the country. The storyline was crafted as a response to the Watergate scandal.
Avengers: Infinity War picks up where Captain America: Civil War left off, with the Avengers split over the division created by the Sokovia Accords. Captain America and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) led separate teams of heroes into battle against each other after Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) was framed for killing Black Panther's father. Following the battle, Captain America, Falcon (Anthony Mackie), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) became fugitives.
In a conversation with Fantasy Focus Football, Avengers: Infinity War director Joe Russo talks about Captain America and the current direction of the character. Russo commented on the rumors that Steve would become Nomad, and instead of confirming them, Russo says Avengers: Infinity War's Steve Rogers is "the spirit of that character." Russo adds that their plan for Captain America was to "deconstruct" him in order to take him in a new direction:
Obviously you can't deal with a character called Captain America without dealing with the thematics behind that, so we wanted a relevancy to it and we wanted to put him in a position where he was questioning the chain of command.
Russo's vision for Captain America in the upcoming film matches up with what comic book writer Steve Englehart created during his run on the Captain America title in the 1970s. Englehart's "Secret Empire" took the Sentinel of Liberty to a dark place by having him realize that his enemy was the President of the United States. The story, and Captain America's reaction to it, mirrored the atmosphere of the country, which was still reeling from the Watergate scandal.
Steve Rogers was so disillusioned at the end of "Secret Empire" that he chose to abandon the "Captain America" mantle. Steve felt that the country no longer stood for the same ideals that he had tried to represent. After being convinced by Hawkeye that he didn't have to be Captain America to be a superhero, Steve became Nomad, "The Man Without a Country."
When Steve's friend, Roscoe, attempted to carry on the mantle and was killed by the Red Skull, Steve was inspired to take back the shield. Fans hope that a similar sacrifice won't be needed in Avengers: Infinity War to get Steve back as Captain America.
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