Warning: potentially major spoilers for Captain America: Civil War are ahead!

As anyone who’s read Ed Brubaker’s run of the Captain America comics knows, Steve Rogers met a gruesome fate following the original Civil War story, being gunned down shortly after surrendering himself to the authorities. Since this is the world of comics, Steve was back in action a few years later, but his "death" is still one of the more shocking moments in Marvel history. If a recent rumor is to be believed, that moment will be adapted next year in Captain America: Civil War. Now, because Chris Evans has already been confirmed to appear in the Avengers: Infinity War movies, we know Steve will be back to fight another day (unless his role is just through flashbacks). That said, this same rumor indicates that someone else will inherit the star spangled mantle during his absence.

In the report, it’s mentioned that at Steve’s funeral at the end of the movie, there will be a scene showing three people lifting up Steve’s shield, implying that one of them will become the new Captain America. These folks are: Bucky Barnes, a.k.a. The Winter Soldier; Sam Wilson, a.k.a. The Falcon; and Sharon Carter, a.k.a. Agent 13. Obviously we won’t know for sure if this information is legitimate or not until the movie hits theaters, but these three are certainly choices to carry on the Captain America legacy. Assuming Steve does indeed die (or simply disappear), let's look at how probable it is that each of these three candidates could become the new Star Spangled Avenger. Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes
To say Bucky Barnes’ life is in turmoil is an understatement. After decades of being the brainwashed Winter Soldier, he finally overcame HYDRA’s control in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and is on the run. He’s not (and probably never will be) the same Bucky he was in Captain America: The First Avenger, but as seen in the Civil War trailer, he’s trying to seek redemption for his past crimes. To no one’s surprise, Bucky will be siding with Steve (or to put it another way, be against registration) during the superhero conflict, and those two will eventually partner up to deliver a beating to Iron Man.

Odds That They Will Take Over For Cap: Pretty high. After Steve "died" in the comics, Bucky was the one who took over as Captain America, and even after Steve "came back to life," Bucky held onto the identity for a couple more years. So it would make sense for the movie to stay faithful to the source material and have Bucky inherit the mantle. Even if we just analyze this purely from an MCU standpoint, Bucky is Steve’s oldest friend, and even though they’ve been apart for over 70 years, one would imagine Steve would approve of Bucky continuing in his place. Plus, since Bucky’s trying to atone for what he did as the Winter Soldier, being the new Captain America would help balance the scales.

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