I wasn’t a big fan of Captain America: The First Avenger. I tend to think that the first phase of Marvel movies (with the exception of the first Iron Man) were only made to justify the existence of eventual team-up movie, The Avengers. On their own, Captain America, Thor or Iron Man 2 cannot justify their existence otherwise. Those movies only work (well, not Iron Man 2) because the event movie paid off. The director of The First Avenger, Joe Johnston, attempted to recreate the style of his earlier work, The Rocketeer. However, besides style, there just wasn’t much to the movie.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier easily surpassed the original. It portrayed a solid story about a soldier out of time. The plot was all too convenient, but that didn’t stop it from being a decent action movie.
The release of The Avengers: Age of Ultron next summer will signal the end of phase two. Like it or not, these Avengers actors will not play these characters forever. Robert Downey Jr has tried to walk away before. In turn, Marvel unloaded several Brinks trucks at his front door. Chris Evans, who plays the titular Captain America, has also stated that he won’t be playing the character forever. He recently directed his first movie, Before We Go, and looks to be expanding his talents to somewhere that doesn’t rely on armor and an odd-looking helmet.
MTV confronted Evans about the end of his contract, which extends to Avengers 3 and he replied with “Who’s handing off the shield? Don’t take my job from me prematurely dude. I’m sure it’ll happen at some point, all good things have to come to an end. But I’m really happy playing the character.”
All that said and he hasn’t extended his contract. We’ll still see him in Cap 3 in 2016 and Avengers 3 in 2018. The end of Evans’ run with the character leads to an important question…
Will They Dark Kill Off Captain America in the Movies?
The death of Captain America is nothing monumental. He has died several times in the comics. In fact, in the current run of Cap comics, the super serum is sucked out of his blood and he rapidly ages until he’s the frail old man he would have been at this point. He gives up the famous shield and passes the Captain America torch yet again. Don’t fret. Changes in comics never last too long.
Since the beginning of the expanded Marvel movie universe, fans have been hoping for a movie based off the comics event, Civil War. That story tells of the battle between a faction of heroes led by Iron Man against the faction led by Captain America. They struggle over the Superhuman Registration Act, which forces each hero to give up their true identity to the public. Cap, being a true American, feels that this is an attack on privacy and fights close friends to protect his rights. Spoiler alert, Cap and his army lose the battle. Because of these events, he is assassinated while being led to court.
Don’t worry. It was revealed that the gun used to shoot Steve Rogers didn’t kill him. It only froze him, at the moment before his death, in space and time. Yup… <wave of the hand> problem solved.
I don’t think Marvel has the time in the near future to set up the Civil War storyline. Avengers 2 is dedicated to fighting the evil robot, Ultron. Avengers 3 deals primarily with the purple space villain, Thanos, finally realizing his dreams of acquiring a shiny jewel-encrusted glove. Marvel hasn’t done enough to set up Captain America: Civil War. They might try, but the project would interfere too much with plans for future team-up movies.
Long story short. Captain America will die, but it won’t be a death we’ve seen in the comics.
When Will They Kill Him (or any other Avenger)?
The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for a May 1, 2015 release. It tells the revamped story of Tony Stark creating Ultron as a standby defender against villains. Ultron becomes a little too smart for the Avengers and seeks to destroy them in turn. This is only the second movie in the planned Avengers trilogy, so normally I wouldn’t expect anything too critical to happen to the heroes during the film. However, Joss Whedon has hinted that a major character may be killed (he does that sometimes).
In the Age of Ultron graphic novel, most Marvel movie characters are killed. Captain America is decapitated at one point. The recent SDCC teaser showed The Avengers defeated and Cap’s shattered shield. That could be a hint.
I’m only kidding. Cap won’t die in Avengers 2. How could there be a Captain America 3 in that case? There is a very good chance that Robert Downey Jr will leave the franchise in Age of Ultron. As Ultron’s “creator,” his death would be fitting. Also, it would actually add gravitas into a Marvel universe that has none. Robert Downey Jr is signed on for Avengers 2 and 3, but there are no plans for Iron Man 4. It’s more than likely that he’s ready to be a serious actor again and leave the suit behind.
Steve Rogers/Captain America will be killed at the end of “Avengers 3: Thanos Likes Jewelry.” I’m not sure how, but it will be a fitting death worthy of a man who takes super steroids.
Who Takes Over For Cap?
Steve Rogers has been replaced as Captain America several times over the course of his comics run. The two most memorable replacements were introduced in the past two movies.
Bucky Barnes, who seemingly died in the first movie and came back as the brainwashed (immortal?) Winter Soldier, is a likely choice. After Cap was assassinated in the comics, Bucky took over and carried the shield for a few years. He then stepped back into his role as The Winter Soldier when Rogers returned from
the dead time and space. The interesting thing here, is that the actor, Sebastian Stan, signed on for a total of nine Marvel movies. He has currently only appeared in two so far. He may very well take over. That said, he’s not a very good actor recognizable name.
Anthony Mackie plays Sam Wilson/Falcon. He’s an actor who is definitely on the upswing. Conveniently enough, the current Captain America comics have Falcon replacing Rogers as the Star Spangled Soldier. Mackie has commented that he is second in line (after Stan) to play the character in the movies and he doesn’t count on it. He is signed on for an undetermined amount of movies.
Does Death in the Marvel Universe Even Matter?
Short answer, no.
In every Marvel movie to date, there has been no actual threat to any major character. Even when Whedon killed off Coulson in The Avengers, they brought him back for Agents of Shield. Major character deaths are gimmicks, to be sure, but they add necessary dramatic weight. If Marvel worried less about money and more about storytelling, they’d take some risks.
It will be interesting to see how the Marvel cinematic universe pans out after RDJ and Chris Evans leave. If they keep having success like they did with Guardians of the Galaxy, it may not even matter.