The MCU Phase 4 has raised some big questions about exactly what happened to old Captain America after Avengers: Endgame, including a rather sad one: is Steve Rogers dead? Captain America’s story ended with Endgame, but his legacy lives on. Most pertinently, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier followed on directly from Steve’s Endgame ending — more specifically, the climactic moments where an old Captain America handed his shield to Sam Wilson. Steve got his happy ending with Peggy Carter — ostensibly in another timeline, though it’s a point even Endgame‘s directors and writers didn’t agree on — but viewers don’t get to see what ultimately becomes of him.
While Falcon & Winter Soldier never confirmed anything, Captain America’s legacy weighed heavily over the show, and in particular Sam. The show started with him giving back the shield and turning away from the mantle, before eventually coming to terms with what it means to be Captain America, including donning a new costume and taking on the persona properly. The MCU has a new Cap, then, but it’s clear the world doesn’t know what has happened to the old Captain America after Endgame.
What’s not so clear, though, is where Cap went or what he did after passing on the shield to Falcon. Is Captain America dead, or did he simply continue living his more peaceful existence? Did he go back to the other timeline that he seemingly came from, or might he have… gone to outer space? Falcon & Winter Soldier teased several possibilities about what happened to Steve Rogers after Avengers: Endgame.
How Old Is Captain America At The End Of Endgame?
When examining what happened to Steve Rogers, it’s worth looking at how old Captain America is at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Steve was born, fittingly, on July 4, 1918, while the events of Endgame primarily take place in late-2023, following the five-year time jump. That would make Captain America 105-years-old in Avengers: Endgame, even before factoring in him going back in time and then living a new life, without being frozen, alongside Peggy Carter. Add in his second chance with Peggy, which started when he went back to 1948, then Captain America is 180-years-old at the very end of Endgame.
Is Captain America Dead After Avengers: Endgame?
It’s clear that the old Captain America is not active in any way, nor are his whereabouts known to anyone besides Sam and Bucky. This allows for the possibility that Steve Rogers really has died, which would fit with the service being held in his honor as a new Captain America exhibit is opened at the Smithsonian, centered around his shield. Similarly, Hawkeye introduced Rogers: The Musical, while Spider-Man: No Way Home showed off the new Statue of Liberty, now with Captain America’s shield. Steve remained pretty humble until the very end and definitely anti-propaganda, so if he were alive and still in the main MCU timeline, then he presumably wouldn’t allow either of those to go ahead, further supporting the idea Captain America is dead after Endgame. However, while he is 180-years-old, the combination of being frozen for several decades and the super-soldier serum both give him the physical age of someone much younger — at an estimate, likely around 75-80-years-old, and he doesn’t appear to be in bad health or frail in Endgame, which could mean Captain America lives on in the MCU for a few more years yet.
Is Old Captain America Back In Hiding After Endgame?
Perhaps more likely than Steve Rogers being dead after Avengers: Endgame is that, following on from handing over the shield to Falcon, he went back into hiding. After Captain America: Civil War, where he opposed the U.S. Government’s Sokovia Accords rules and later broke prisoners out of the Raft, Steve went on the lam with Natasha Romanoff and Sam Wilson, forming the Secret Avengers. While they carried out clandestine missions, they also presumably had to lay low for large periods of time in various corners of the country, and even the world. It’s known that Steve spent at least some time in Wakanda, but not many other details about his time have been revealed, and certainly not on screen. Steve presumably has a lot of contacts, and so if he wanted to stay in this timeline he’d likely have no trouble finding somewhere — perhaps even Wakanda itself — where the old Captain America could go into hiding again and live out his days peacefully.
Could Steve Rogers Have Jumped The Timelines Again?
Going with the idea that Steve’s time with Peggy Carter was in another timeline, then that means he somehow had to find a way to hop back over to the main timeline in Avengers: Endgame (something Joe Russo has confirmed happened). Following that, then it isn’t totally out of the question he still had more Pym Particles left and was able to hop back over, although it is arguably a little more unlikely. It’s not certain just how different the other timeline was, but the implication is Peggy still died around the same time, so it isn’t like Steve would be returning back to her. It’s similarly unknown just what kind of life Steve had in that other timeline — obviously a full and happy one with Peggy, but if he had to stay in secret for the entire time then there may not be any need for him to return, except, of course, unless he wanted to live out his days in the home he’d built with Peggy.
Given how complicated the idea of Captain America even switching back to one timeline is, though, let alone then crossing back over, it does seem more of a stretch. Loki and the introduction of the TVA (acting on behalf of He Who Remains) further complicates this, since it raises the question of why Captain America was allowed to change timelines — and thus have an unclipped branch — when no one else was. Perhaps Steve’s noble intentions and inherent goodness earned him a pass, perhaps it’s because that was considered part of the proper flow of time, or perhaps it’s because he really did close the branch, with old Captain America returning to the Sacred Timeline after Avengers: Endgame.
The Captain America Moon Theory
Finally, Falcon & Winter Soldier posited another theory about what happened to Captain America after Avengers: Endgame: he’s on the moon. When Sam was talking with his would-be Falcon replacement, Joaquin Torres, the latter mentioned that several conspiracy theories regarding Steve Rogers’ whereabouts have sprung up, including the idea that he is on a secret base on the moon. The comment is very obviously ridiculous and meant to be a playful joke, but it could at the very least be a hint at something to come. As shown in past MCU movies, there is life on other planets, and in the same timeframe that Falcon & Winter Soldier takes place, Nick Fury is up in space running his own operation (which is either the real S.W.O.R.D. or something similar). In Marvel Comics, meanwhile, the Inhumans had a base on the moon.
Even with all that, it’s very unlikely that, after Avengers: Endgame, old Steve Rogers strangely decided to take a one-way trip to the moon, but like, say, Mysterio claiming to be from the MCU’s multiverse, there are often grains of truth in most things in the MCU. So while it may not be Steve Rogers, it could be for something. In truth, having so many possibilities for where Steve is and what happened to old Captain America after Avengers: Endgame plays into Marvel’s hands. By not committing to Captain America being dead or anything else, then it leaves the door at least slightly ajar to do more with old Steve in future. There may not be plans for Chris Evans to return as Captain America, but if it were to happen, then it’s easier to have essentially a blank slate to work with, rather than confirming Steve Rogers is dead — or on the moon.
Next: Marvel Retconned Avengers: Endgame’s Biggest Captain America/Bucky Problem
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