Who could possibly replace Captain America as the leader of Marvel’s Avengers? According to a new report, Captain America will be replaced by, of course, Captain America. As in Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson, the new Captain America.
The story comes from Geekosity who claims inside sources have given them the skinny, confirming that Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson will succeed Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers in more than just codename and shield. Wilson will lead the Avengers, presumably starting with Avengers 5. We don’t have a release date for Avengers 5 yet, though in September Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed the movie is happening.
It may be an obvious choice, perhaps even a predictable choice, but it’s one that makes sense. Really, Sam Wilson is one of the only serious candidates. Bucky, Bruce Banner, Hawkeye, and Wanda have all — at one time or another — suffered emotional breakdowns or brainwashing that either put lots of people in danger and/or led to a lot of deaths. That doesn’t help instill confidence and trust. As we’ve seen both in Avengers: Endgame and more recently in the mid-credits scene of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Captain Marvel prefers spending her time beyond the boundaries of Earth, as does Thor these days. Doctor Strange has other responsibilities, Spider-Man isn’t even old enough to legally buy beer, and Ant-Man can’t even get Luis and the other — in Hank Pym’s words — “wombats” to do what he says. War Machine could be a contender, but otherwise Captain America is the way to go.
Starting when we meet him in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the MCU’s Sam Wilson is known better under his original codename in both the movies and the sorce material: the Falcon. After Steve Rogers uses his time travel romp to find Peggy Carter and live the life that had been denied him in Avengers: Endgame, he passes on his shield to Wilson.
In Avengers: Endgame, Wilson’s hesitancy to claim the title of Captain America seems to come purely from a sense of modesty, but in the Disney+ miniseries The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, we learn it’s more complex than that. In the beginning of the show, Wilson hands over the shield to the government with the understanding it will be kept exactly where Indiana Jones would want it: in a museum. After the government goes back on its promise to Wilson and gives the shield to their new pick for Captain America — John Walker — Wilson eventually takes the shield back. But before doing that, Wilson admits that the main reason he first said no to the shield is because he knew that, as a Black man, he would face more scrutiny than Steve, Bucky, or any other white man could possibly know.
If and when we finally see the new Anthony Mackie’s Captain America leading the Avengers, he’s likely going to face challenges Steve Rogers may never have even dreamed of. Judging by series like Loki and What If…? — and upcoming films like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness — the expanding multiverse will be key to the next multi-movie saga coming to the MCU. That brings things to a level Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers never had to face.