Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to be heavily influenced by the idea of legacy, despite a huge number of new heroes making their debuts. Yelena Belova in Black Widow and Kate Bishop in Hawkeye are both poised to pick up a familiar mantle, while Tony Stark’s fingerprints are going to be all over Armor Wars and Ironheart.
Jane Foster will get in on the action, too, as a new version of Thor, Black Panther II will see another character attempt to follow in T’Challa’s footsteps, and a large part of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier looks to be driven by the consequences of Sam Wilson being handed the shield of Captain America by Steve Rogers in Avengers: Endgame.
Chris Evans might not be involved, but his shadow still looms over the Disney Plus series, and there are three potential candidates in the running to become his permanent successor. And while Steve may not be dead in the main timeline, he is old as hell, although the super soldier serum presumably gives him the advantage of a longer than expected lifespan.
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However, a new theory says that Old Man Steve could end up being killed as a plot device to set The Falcon and the Winter Soldier in motion. As per the theory, Sam looking forlorn at the start of the recent trailer in front of a Captain America mural might indicate as much, and it would also embolden Zemo, the government and U.S. Agent John Walker if the original vintage wasn’t around to make a definitive judgement call on who gets to follow in his footsteps.
Zemo already used the death of Tony Stark’s parents to drive a wedge through the Avengers in Civil War, and if he were to have Steve Rogers murdered at the beginning of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, then it’d continue his established M.O., while also forcing Sam and Bucky into action to seek revenge.