Chris Evans is reportedly returning to the MCU as Captain America. It could be that his role will be to help the Avengers fight Kang the Conqueror.
Chris Evans’ potential return to the role of Captain America could happen in The Avengers 5 as a response to the rise of Kang the Conqueror. Played by Jonathan Majors, Kang is a time-travelling villain from Marvel Comics who will make an appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
When Avengers: Endgame was released, it was made clear that Marvel was done with two of its biggest heroes. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) died using his makeshift Infinity Gauntlet to erase Thanos (Josh Brolin) from existence. As for Captain America, he survived the movie, but his story reached a conclusion when he decided to go back in time to be with Peggy Cater (Hayley Atwell). As an elderly man, Steve sought out Falcon (Anthony Mackie) and gave him his shield, obviously with the intention that Sam would become the new Sentinel of Liberty. The fight over Captain America’s legacy between Falcon and US Agent (Wyatt Russell) is expected to be a key plot point in the Disney+ series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
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Chris Evans coming back to the MCU as Steve Rogers would shake this is up in a big way. If the reports about his return are indeed true, then it’s difficult to determine what Marvel is actually doing with Captain America’s future and legacy in Phase 4. One possibility is that Marvel has no intentions of bringing Steve back permanently and putting him back in his old role; it could be that his next MCU story is actually a time travel arc that won’t undo what happened in Avengers: Endgame. Here’s how that could work, and what it might mean for Avengers 5.
Captain America’s Return Can’t Hurt Endgame’s Ending
The biggest problem Marvel must tackle if they want to bring back any dead or retired hero is ensuring that they don’t ruin how their story was wrapped up. And that’s certainly an obstacle they’d face if they decided to have Steve come back from the timestream and rejoin the Avengers. Such a move would strip him of his perfect happy ending in Avengers: Endgame. The reveal that he finally got to dance with Peggy and live out the rest of his life with her after being denied that opportunity in Captain America: The First Avenger was handled beautifully. After everything that Steve had to go through across three solo movies and four Avengers movies, the reward he received seemed more than deserving. Marvel, being well-aware of the risks they’d be taking if they had that version of Cap come back, is unlikely to make this mistake. A better approach is to avoid this scenario entirely and pluck an earlier version of him from the timestream.
The MCU Has Already Established Time Travel
Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, time travel has become an important plot device in the MCU. Because of the Quantum Realm and the Pym Particles, the Avengers now have a way of traveling through time. It’ll appear again in Loki, a Disney+ series that will introduce the Time Variance Authority (TVA), an organization in Marvel Comics tasked with policing the timestream. These developments raise all sorts of possibilities for the MCU’s future, as there’s really no limit to where (and when) Marvel could go. It could pull in dead and forgotten villains, Marvel Comics characters who exist only in the distant past, or even Killraven, a superhero from Marvel’s post-apocalyptic future.
In short, the storytelling potential of time travel puts everyone on the table, with the exception of characters who are held back by actor unavailability. It was believed that Captain America was one of those characters. With him no longer in the modern era, he’d be at the top of the list of heroes that fans would want the MCU to visit in a time-traveling adventure. However, all the assurances that Chris Evans has offered about being done with Captain America seemed to make that an impossibility. That may not be the case anymore. If Cap does back, time travel would be the most obvious – and the best – way for it to work.
Kang Is Coming To The MCU
Marvel wouldn’t need to look hard for a good reason to retrieve Steve from an earlier point in his timeline. As previously noted, Ant-Man 3 is bringing Kang the Conqueror into the fold. As one of the greatest threats the Avengers have ever faced, it would feel like a letdown if this was the extent of Marvel’s plans for him. He’s too big and dangerous of a villain to be limited to a one-off battle with Ant-Man (Scott Lang) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly). Despite that he was only a human in the comics, it would generally take a large gathering of superheroes to thwart his attempts at conquering the modern world. To do justice to his character, the MCU must go in a similar direction with its take on Kang. A character on his level needs to be treated as a major big bad for a crossover film like Avengers 5 (a movie that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said would be made eventually).
As a character who can go anywhere he wants in the timestream, Kang is more than capable of getting the forces he needs to take on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Similar to the villain from Marvel Comics, he could go back and recruit powerful threats that they’ve battled in the past, or even alternate universe villains that they’ve never had the misfortune of encountering. In this way, Kang could build an army. It could be that the only way that the MCU’s Avengers team can combat this strategy is by fighting fire with fire.
The Marvel Comics miniseries Avengers Forever provides a template for how they could deal with Kang. In the comic, Rick Jones used a mysterious power called the Destiny Force to summon various Avengers from different points in their lives. In the MCU, the Avengers could use the Quantum Realm instead of the Destiny Force to accomplish the same goal. They could go back in time and get the heroes they need to beat Kang. As someone whose leadership is unparalleled in the MCU, Captain America would be the perfect choice. To recruit him, the Avengers could choose multiple periods to visit him. They could go back to World War II, thaw him out from the ice after 1945, or go looking for him between the timeframe of The Avengers and Endgame. Regardless of when Captain America is added to the team, he could deliver some exciting moments to the fight against Kang. The two have had some memorable confrontations in Marvel Comics that would fun to be see adapted to the big screen in Avengers 5.
More: Every Upcoming MCU Property Captain America Could Return In
- Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
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