Captain America using Mjolnir to beat the tar out of Thanos in Avengers: Endgame was incredibly satisfying. After a year of this purple asshole smirking about his victory, it was about damn time someone smashed him in the snotbox with a magic hammer.
What made it all the more fun for MCU fans was knowing how long it’d taken this moment to arrive. In 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw our heroes trying to lift Mjolnir, testing to see if any of them are worthy enough. Thor looked pretty confident that they weren’t, though his smile faltered when Steve Rogers appeared to almost shift it.
Four years later, the promise of that scene was fulfilled. Most had assumed that Captain America had always been worthy enough to wield the hammer yet never had the opportunity to do so. But now, during a quarantine watch party for Endgame, writer Christopher Markus has revealed that Rogers only became worthy after the events of Captain America: Civil War.
Regarding the Age of Ultron moment and its aftermath, Markus said:
“I’d say he’s not completely worthy yet. He still has the secret of Tony’s parents’ death to resolve.”
Markus is referring to the revelation that Rogers knew more than he was letting on about Tony Stark’s parents’ murder. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Armin Zola shows Steve a newspaper clipping about Howard and Maria Stark’s car accident, saying “accidents will happen,” effectively revealing that HYDRA killed them (and more specifically, Bucky). Rogers decided that telling this to Stark would just cause him pain, but it seems keeping that secret and lying by omission was enough to make him unworthy of Mjolnir.
Thankfully his soul was squeaky clean by the time Thanos came looking for trouble in Avengers: Endgame, as the fight where he’s showing him who’s boss was one of the greatest in the MCU to date.