Wednesday, September 22, 2021

‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’: Did We Miss the Death of Steve Rogers?

One thing that fans were almost certain we’d see in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier was a definitive answer to the status of Steve Rogers after Avengers: Endgame. Is he dead? Is he off living his golden years in peace? But after episode 5 this question is still unanswered.

No one was anticipating a return of the first Avenger in the series following his two best friends. His story has been told to completion, and Sam Wilson is now Captain America. But the ambiguity on his current status is something that many fans are hoping gets tied up, even for their own closure.

Avengers: Endgame saw the loss of two of the original six Avengers, Tony Stark and Natasha Romanoff. While their deaths were heart-wrenching and sad, it brought closure to their stories that wasn’t extended to Steve Rogers. Steve was last seen in 2023 as a frail old man when he passed the shield to Sam Wilson, but what happened after that?

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The ambiguity goes as far as Sam and Bucky’s dialogue in the show whenever Steve is mentioned. It’s never, “Steve is dead,” it’s always “Steve is gone.” We know Steve is gone from the world as we know it, and he likely hasn’t made his whereabouts known, but to just let Steve Rogers fall off the face of the planet seems a little bit like a disservice.

So far, the only tidbit we have to Steve’s current status came in Spider-Man: Far From Home, when in a high school news broadcast he’s shown in the segment featuring the fallen heroes of the battle with Thanos. At the time it was taken as no one actually knew Steve had gone back in time and stayed with Peggy Carter, in reality they still don’t know that last tidbit, it was just easier for the Avengers to say he’d died in battle. Which we know isn’t true.

Another factor weighing in on needing finality on Steve Rogers’ status comes with the fact that Steve Rogers has been de-aged numerous times in the comics. Most notably, in terms of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, in Sam Wilson’s Captain America run. Is anyone actually anticipating Chris Evans picking up that shield again? It’s highly unlikely, so why not just put that final nail in the coffin, literally and figuratively?

Fans of the Super Soldier are waiting with bated breath to get that final closure that our other fallen heroes have received. This is Marvel so anything is possible, but dealing with the death of Steve Rogers isn’t something that should be glossed over. The ambiguity isn’t easing the sting of losing Steve Rogers, particularly in a world where his final wish is being thrown around like a suggestion, and his legacy IS being trashed at every turn by the government he served and represented for so long.

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If Steve Rogers is dead, and they’ve left that announcement to a high school morning news announcement, that might be worse than letting Natasha go without a funeral in Endgame. Steve Rogers’ life deserves to be closed out, if indeed it has, with grace and dignity. No other character has been left to fade off of our screens without a proper send off and a confirmation, why is Steve Rogers any different?

Whether they think this tidbit is unimportant due to the finality of Steve’s story in Endgame or they’re leaving this inconclusive for fans’ sake, it’s not working. His departure from Bucky and Sam was already something of controversy, and to leave them and fans without a solid closure to his story just seems unfair.

We deserve a little more other than “Steve is gone.” And hopefully episode 6 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier rectifies this, and if not, a future film.

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Kaity
Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. Her main fandoms are Marvel, The Umbrella Academy, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings, with special emphasis on one vibranium shield-wielding Super Soldier. Contact: kaity@nerdsandbeyond.com

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