If you’d asked your average Marvel fan this time last month who they considered most likely to die in Avengers: Endgame, there’s a very good chance they would’ve said Captain America. Nonetheless, the recent film instead saw Steve Rogers end his run in a pleasingly non-fatal manner, and according to co-writers Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, the First Avenger’s retirement was well earned.
In an interview with Variety, the pair were asked why they thought it was the right time for Chris Evans’ character to put down the shield. Markus was the first to respond, offering a reminder that old Cap has been through a lot in this past century:
“Steve Rogers has … boy, he has done all you can do. He’s well over 100 … I think he’s over 100 years old. He has fought World War II and Civil War and an Infinity War. He’s been through three wars. And he has come to a place, I think, where he’s realizing to be a fully rounded human, which is all of our goals, he needs to take a little time and be a little healthier. I think when he … in a way I think when he encounters his old self back in Avengers Tower, there is a processing going on in his head that well, that’s a really intense and maybe not 100% healthy guy. So I think it is time.”
Indeed, Steve’s catchphrase has long been, “I can do this all day,” but the real question all along has been whether or not Cap is actually capable of stopping. In the closing minutes of Endgame, the tenacious Super Soldier showed that he was finally ready to live his own life.
McFeely then went on to compare Cap’s ending to the sad fate of Tony Stark. While Steve’s story was always about learning to live a well-rounded life, the scribe argued that Iron Man’s arc had the opposite trajectory:
“We figured out pretty early that … and we’ve been helping do this for a few years now, that Tony and Steve were sort of on crisscrossing arcs. That Tony movie by movie was becoming … was having a more a macro view, becoming more selfless. And Steve was becoming a bit more self interested. Civil War is a good example of that. So, we had put up on the wall at one point, Tony becomes a complete person when he loses his life and Steve becomes a complete person when he gets one. We drove toward that.”
Though we wouldn’t bet on another Steve Rogers solo outing happening anytime soon, Avengers: Endgame still left the possibility open for further appearances from the character, be it a cameo from his older self, or a project focusing on his life with Peggy. That being said, if Evans really is done with the franchise, then the MCU will still have one Captain America in the form of Sam Wilson, who’s set to return in the upcoming Falcon and Winter Soldier TV show.