Avengers 4 is expected to be the end of Captain America's story in the MCU, but could Steve Rogers's successor gain his powers from Black Panther's Wakanda? Chris Evans' time as Steve Rogers looks to be over with the completion of Avengers 4 reshoots, and while most eyes are on next year's MCU culmination, the Captain America mantle could live on.
While it wasn't exactly a surprise to anyone, Evans' statement that he's finished in the role has still left Marvel fans reeling; it now seems certain that Avengers 4 will be the final chapter in Steve Rogers's story in the MCU. This has long been suspected due to actor contracts, but signs suggest that it will be a key part of Avengers 4's marketing. Mark Ruffalo's title reveals fake-out stated Avengers 4 had the title "The Last Avenger"; even if Ruffalo was trolling, that's a clear callback to Captain America: The First Avenger.
Is this the end of the Captain America franchise in the MCU? Or will one of Steve's friends choose to pick up the shield and battle in his honor? If they do, there's one major problem - the super-soldier serum - and only very exciting solution: Wakanda.
- This Page: The MCU Has A Super Soldier Hurdle In Phase 4
- Page 2: Wakanda Could Be The Solution To The Super Soldier Problem
Could Captain America Be A Legacy Hero?
In the comics, "Captain America" is a legacy title. After Steve Rogers was frozen in the ice, the U.S. Government had a number of other heroes take up the identity, including William Nasland, Jeffrey Mace, and William Burnside. Not all of these Captains really lived up to the title, and one major reason was that the U.S. Government had failed to get the Super Soldier Serum right. Burnside, for example, became increasingly paranoid and dangerously violent, and was ultimately placed in cryogenic suspension.
Although Steve Rogers would eventually return, that didn't stop the Government continuing to see this as a legacy. On one occasion, Rogers was stripped of the role (becoming Nomad as in Avengers: Infinity War) and it was handed to John Walker; Walker only had a brief stint as Cap before handing the shield back, and nowadays he's best known as the U.S. Agent. More recently, Bucky and Falcon have adopted the Captain America identity on occasion, either because Steve was believed dead and they wanted to honor him, or because Rogers requested them to do so.
There's clear comic-book precedent, then, for Marvel Studios to have another character suit up as Captain America when Chris Evans departs the MCU. Currently, there's heated debate on fan communities as to whether Bucky or Falcon would be the more appropriate successor (there's a lot of clues pointing towards the former taking up the shield), but it could be a brand new character; recent rumors that Marvel Studios is working on a Dark Avengers script even suggests the next Captain America could be someone audiences view as unworthy of the mantle.
Whoever it may be, a new Captain America feels likely. After all, it's a strong brand for Marvel and a lucrative series of movies if nothing else. However, Steve Rogers' replacement will face a problem similar to the comic replacements; they'll lack the Super Soldier Serum.
There Have Been Many Failed Super Soldiers
The success of Captain America inspired the world's governments and most powerful companies to pursue their own Super Soldier programs, the results of which we've in both the movies and the TV shows. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had both Calvin Zabo in season 2 and Jeffrey Mace in season 4 attempt to distill their own super serum from elaborate means, only to suffer fatal side-effects. Jessica Jones introduced IGH, a still-mysterious company who ran their own Super Soldier programs, and they went little better.
Of course, the most famous attempt to recreate the Super Soldier program was conducted by General Thaddeus Ross. He recruited Bruce Banner to create his own version of the serum, who hit upon the idea of using Gamma radiation. That directly led to the creation of the Hulk. When Ross reactivated the program several years later, it created the Abomination. Pre-Rogers, there's also the Red Skull, who was created by an imperfect early version of the serum.
All these attempts to duplicate the Super Soldier serum have one thing in common; they always had unexpected side-effects. What was so unique about Erskine's Super Soldier serum? And why is Steve Rogers the only subject to successfully undergo one of these experiments? One surprising possibility is that there could be a connection to Wakanda.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019