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Warning: spoilers for Captain America: Civil War ahead. Continue reading at your own risk.
It's no secret that Captain America: Civil War changed the game when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers were firmly shattered and scattered in the wind, Bucky gained his memories back, and several new and exciting players entered the fray. However, one major moment that occurred for Chris Evans' Steve Rogers happened when he abdicated his iconic shield. As it turns out, that wasn't a one-off moment; Steve Rogers truly ditched the Captain America persona. Joe Russo elaborated:
While speaking recently with The Huffington Post to promote the upcoming home release of Captain America: Civil War, The Russo Brothers made a very distinct and notable observation: Captain America is no more. The weight of the title, combined with the government overreach imposed by the Sokovia Accords, simply proved to be too much for him to tolerate. Steve Rogers laid down his shield during the finale of Civil War, and he definitively relinquished the title of Captain America -- at least for the foreseeable future.
All that being said, just because he's no longer Captain America doesn't mean that Steve Rogers won't still play a major role in the MCU. The Russos would go on to explain that he would still have a major part in the battle against Josh Brolin's Thanos when Infinity War rolls around. Cap or no Cap, it's impossible to deny that Rogers has some useful skills that The Avengers need, and he still feels duty-bound to his friends.
For fans of Marvel comics, it shouldn't necessarily come as a surprise that Steve Rogers would relinquish the mantle of Captain America. He's most certainly done it before in print. In fact, seeing Steve Rogers ditching the red, white, and blue in the Marvel Cinematic Universe leads many people to believe that he might actually take up the title of Nomad at some point -- a mantle he adopted in the comics after similarly becoming disillusioned with that Captain America stood for.
However, Steve Rogers giving up the mantle of Captain America also opens up a whole new realm of opportunity for other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to take on the title for themselves. With the vibranium shield now up for grabs, we could potentially even see Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) or maybe even Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) don the red, white, and blue suit and become the new Captain America at some point. Both have held the title of Cap in the comics, so it would make sense that one of them could do it on the silver screen.
We don't definitively know what's in store for Steve Rogers without the mantle of Captain America, but we can likely assume that it will be big. Cinema Blend will bring you any and all MCU news as it becomes available to us; the Marvel Cinematic Universe will continue to expand when Doctor Strange hits theaters later this year on November 4. Civil War will be available on Digital HD on September 2, and the hard copy Blu-Ray will hit shelves on September 13.