The still untitled Phase 3 finale for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers 4, looks to make some enormous and lasting changes to the heroes present in the MCU for future installments. Longstanding stalwarts like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans seem to be on their way out as Captain America and Iron Man, as their extensive film contracts are now up with the wrapping of filming for A4. While both actors have commented about ‘leaving while on top’, Evans recently tweeted a very sentimental message to correlate with filming his final scene as Captain America. But, this begs the question: Who will pick up the shield and carry on the Cap mantle?
“I don’t know, but there have been rumors that Captain America could be African American. It could be a woman. You know? So they’re looking.”
Anyone who is a fan of the comics, and more so a fan of the Star Spangled Avenger, know full well that others have carried the mantle in the wake of Steve Rogers’ absence. Two of those said characters happen to have big presences in the MCU. First off, you have Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier. In the Civil War comic book arc, Cap was shot and killed after turning himself in. Barnes, having fully recovered from his Winter Soldier brainwashing, took up the shield and became Cap.
Later on down the line, after Rogers has returned from the dead (because comics…), he loses his Super Soldier Serum in his blood and begins to rapidly age. So, his long time partner and friend, Sam Wilson, aka Falcon, takes up the mantle, and becomes the first African American Captain America.
Both of these choices would be great for fans in the films. Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes has taken a fantastic arc in his hero’s journey, and it could all culminate with him donning the red, white, and blue. Anthony Mackie’s Falcon is a beloved character, with the goods in every aspect to don the ‘A’. He would also join the likes of Black Panther and Nick Fury as powerful people of color in heroic MCU roles. Either way, these characters could continue their arcs while donning the uniform of the ‘First Avenger’ without compromising the foundations they have already built for themselves.
Of course, if Disney and Marvel decide to go the female route, there is another MCU star that could carry the shield. While some believe Black Widow would be a good choice, it honestly doesn’t make any sense, especially with her own solo film in the works, and her popularity denotes no need for the added push of the mantle.
However, there is another MCU character that hasn’t truly gotten to be explored, but would be a good fit as the first female Cap. Agent 13/Sharon Carter, played by Emily VanCamp, was noticeably absent from Infinity War, but has laid the ground work for growing the character into a major player in the MCU.
Sharon Carter is famously the longtime girlfriend of Cap in the comics, and has had several interesting story arcs of her own within the pages. This could give the MCU yet another strong female lead, especially with Marvel Studio Head, Kevin Feige, stating that the future of the MCU will have more than 50% female heroes.
All in all, Disney and Marvel are being super tight lipped on any details so as not to spoil what is certain to be one of, if not the, biggest blockbusters in all of cinema history when Avengers 4 hits theaters in May of 2019.
Who do you think should take up the Captain America mantle? Let us know in the comments below!