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Something Might Point to a Different Kind of “Endgame” for Captain America, and I Don’t Know How to Feel

This is either going to be horrible or excellent.

captain america meme

**Potential spoilers for Avengers: Endgame will follow.**

Listen, I’ve been waiting for Steve Rogers to die since late Phase One of the MCU. My darling favorite, he’s always been primed to wind up on the chopping block, and each film that doesn’t end with him meeting his fate has been a blessing (except for Civil War, which was a terrible movie and Marvel should go home).

And now, with this final Avengers film, it’s looking like my luck, and Steve’s, is finally running out, but maybe not in the way we think.

Chris Evans already teased that he’s wrapped on the franchise for good, but both he and the Russo brothers have hinted that it doesn’t necessarily spell Steve’s end. There’s one theory, bolstered anew by the appearance of a familiar prop in the Avengers: Endgame trailer, that I remember circling around pre-Age of Ultron that might wind up solving the Steve conundrum.

Back in The Day, there were a few theories floating around that the Time Stone would make an appearance in Age of Ultron, and that a leak of Steve and Peggy getting their dance meant that Steve would be sent back in time and get to live out his life with Peggy. I have no idea where the Time Stone theory came from, and the dance sequence just turned out to be Wanda messing with Steve’s poor mind, so most people just sort of left that theory behind and instead focused on how Steve was definitely going to die in Civil War.

However, with the fact that all Infinity Stones are now in play and Steve whipping out his old compass with Peggy’s photo in it in the new Endgame trailer, this theory might actually hold some water. There have been many rumors that the film will involve some time travel/alternate universe shenanigans, and this could be a way for Marvel to get rid of Steve without having to actually off him. There are, of course, pros and cons to this theory, so let’s explore why this could either be a great ending or a supremely terrible one.

On the pro side, it does mean that Steve’s tragic life won’t come to a tragic end. He’ll get some modicum of peace, finally. The Steve fans will be spared the pain of seeing Steve get his ass kicked on the big screen. I personally will not have to block every anti-Steve Twitter user that way—not that I’m not this close to blocking every MCU fan already. You’re all on thin ice.

But there are a few downsides to this theory. One is that Peggy lived a full life, got married, and had kids with someone who isn’t Steve. To throw Steve back into the mix means that her entire life gets erased, and unless one of those kids turned out to be Thanos, there’s no good way to excuse Steve inserting himself into a timeline where he doesn’t necessarily belong. It would be a little unfair, no matter how “sweet” or “romantic” it seemed.

Secondly, Steve doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to do white picket fences and dinner at 6, and Peggy’s never been much for that either. It seems unlikely that both would settle down for a life of normalcy when there’s S.H.I.E.L.D. to found and injustice to be fought. While I personally would love a TV series following them adventuring through the decades, it would also leave too many open ends.

Finally, there’s the Bucky of it all. No, I’m not talking Stucky here, but the fact that Steve being returned to his own time would leave Bucky behind, with no one to pull him back from the edge. That would cause a lot more timeline tomfoolery, and might cause its own negative chain of events that Steve could have prevented. Besides, Steve wouldn’t leave Bucky behind willingly, even if Bucky is currently in a dustbin.

I’m torn on this idea, everyone. While I don’t want Steve to die (I really don’t, guys. I’ve got some hangups about this.), I also don’t want to see him get written out in a terrible way that betrays the character. There’s a lot riding on Endgame, and there’s no way to please everyone. Let’s just hope all the characters who meet their demise get a good sendoff, and also maybe that Marvel will stick the overall landing.

(image: Marvel)

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Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.