Warning: Spoilers are ahead for the end of Avengers: Endgame.
When it was first announced that Avengers: Endgame would be over three hours long, everyone freaked out. But now that we’ve all seen the final film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3, we understand why the follow-up to Avengers: Infinity War had to be so long. Not only did it effectively wrap up founding Avengers members’ story arcs either by death or happy ending, but it also introduced a new generation of Marvel heroes.
In the same scene in which we realized we were going to have to say goodbye to Steve Rogers’ Captain America (Chris Evans) after he returned to his past and grew old, it became clear that Marvel wasn’t done with Captain America just yet. Steve gifted his shield to Sam Wilson aka Falcon (Anthony Mackie), effectively passing the torch to his friend and ally. But does this mean Sam is the new Captain America in the MCU?
Yep, Sam Wilson Is Captain America Now
If that final scene between old man Steve and Sam as Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) looked on in silent approval is to be believed, then yes. Steve gave not only the Captain America shield but also the mantle to someone he could trust. Sam didn’t jump at the chance to wear the shield; he was apprehensive and even said that the shield felt like “someone else’s.” That humility and Sam’s eventual promise to do his best to honor Steve was all the proof that Steve needed that he made the right choice in passing on his legacy to Sam. The MCU made it clear with this scene that no matter what happens in the future, Captain America’s legacy will live on in a new form.
Sam Also Becomes Captain America In The Comics
And there’s actual precedent in the comics that supports Sam becoming Captain America. In 2014, author Rick Remender took over the Captain America comic books and had Sam Wilson as the retiring Captain America’s successor. Steve Rogers became old, just like in Endgame, and passed the torch to Sam who actually acted as the new Captain America for a while. It was incredible for inclusive representation in the comic book genre to see a person of color leading the Avengers and owning the title of Captain America (and just think how amazing it would be to see that in the MCU!). Eventually, Sam gave the title and shield back to Steve Rogers, but his name was forever etched in history as a Captain America.
Will There Be New Captain America Movies?
There’s no telling just yet what this means for the MCU. So much secrecy surrounds what Marvel is planning for future phases of films. There is, however, a new Disney+ streaming TV series on the way called The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but details are being kept under wraps on what it will be about. All we know so far is that both Mackie and Stan are attached to star and it will be a limited series.
If The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a prequel series, it would have to take place before Infinity War, as both Sam and Bucky were dusted by Thanos (Josh Brolin) and only returned at the end of Endgame. However, it’s possible that the Disney+ series comes after Endgame, meaning it would follow Cap’s two closest friends as they move on without him and as Sam comes to terms with becoming the new Captain America (which would explain why the series is titled The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and not Captain America and the Winter Soldier).
There could also be new Captain America films coming in later phases of the MCU starring Mackie, but that’s just pure speculation at this point. All we do know is that the spirit of Captain America won’t end just because Evans’ contract expired with Endgame.
No matter what the MCU has planned for Sam Wilson, that shield isn’t going anywhere.