The writers of Avengers: Endgame provided no additional clarity to Captain America’s second lease on life at the end of the film. Christopher Marus and Stephen McFeely held a panel today at San Diego Comic-Con 2019. The writers refused to engage with questions about whether Steve Rogers’s trip back in time meant that there have been two Captains America living in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years, though Markus admits he’s entertained by the theory.
In June, directors Joe and Anthony Russo tried to be more helpful. They explained that Cap lived his life with Peggy Carter in a timeline that branched off of the one Marvel fans have been following. He then returned to the original timeline once his mission to return the Infinity Stones was complete, passing the Captain America shield off to Sam Wilson.
"The way that it would work is that when Captain America goes back, he would create a branch reality," Joe Russo explained. "Now he would exist in that branch reality with a second Captain America who was frozen in ice."
Added Anthony Russo, "Peggy understood that he was dead at that point in the storytelling because Cap went back to a point in time where nobody knew he still was alive, frozen in ice."
As for how Cap comes back, the directors teased that was a story for the future. "Now what's also a story for another time is, of course, if he created a branch reality, he would then have to use a Pym Particle to come back to this reality to hand that shield off," Joe Russo said.
While they wouldn’t engage in a conversation at Comic-Con, Markus and McFeely have discussed Captain America’s ending before. “From the very first outline, we knew he was going to get his dance,” McFeely said. “On a separate subject, I started to lose my barometer on what was just fan service and what was good for the character. Because I think it’s good for the characters. But we also just gave you what you wanted. Is that good? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you, it’s satisfying. He’s postponed a life in order to fulfill his duty. That’s why I didn’t think we were ever going to kill him. Because that’s not the arc. The arc is, I finally get to put my shield down because I’ve earned that.”
Markus added, “A hero without sacrifice, you’re not going to get the miles out of that person that you need to for these movies. That’s what makes them a hero, it’s not the powers.”
What do you think of Captain America’s ending in Avengers: Endgame? Let us know in the comments. Avengers: Endgame is still in theaters. The film comes to Digital on July 30th and to Blu-ray on August 13th. You can check out the bonus content trailer here.