Is the cat officially out of the bag? Or are seasoned Marvel pranksters sending fans (and, yes, entertainment journalists) down a rabbit hole of popular theories once again? This is the question we are asking and answering after Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan signed a Captain America shield for a Marvel fans with Nomad clues, suggesting that Steve Rogers will adopt that personality in the MCU:
This photo was posted to the Instagram of Mary Schulte, who attended a Captain America: The Winter Soldier panel at AACE Comic-Con in Glendale, Arizona. She has a picture of Chris Evans, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan from the panel. (See that one here.) And then she posted the photo that is above, which is an Evans signature that is both "Cap" and "Nomad." In addition, to keep the conspiracy theory flowing, Stan signed "I'm with Nomad" with an arrow pointing at Evans' signature.
Not that these dots are hard to connect. Nomad was an identity that Steve Rogers adopted in the Marvel Comics when the character became disillusioned with the government he had sworn to protect, abandoning his signature shield in Captain America: Civil War but still seeking to fight crime. The initial run for Nomad was short-lived, lasting only four issues. But over the years, more people adopted the name and look of Nomad, fighting alongside Captain America in different stages.
So it only makes sense that the MCU version of Captain America would adopt the Nomad personality in Avengers: Infinity War, which seems to be what Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan are hinting at. We had witnessed Steve Rogers drop his shield at the end of Captain America: Civil War, choosing childhood friend over country when he defended Bucky Barnes against Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). And in that incredible Infinity War trailer, Rogers emerges from the shadows wearing a torn Cap suit and sporting a beard that suggests exile. Is this our first look at Nomad in the MCU?
At the same time, Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan have been at this game long enough to know that anything they share is going to get passed from one Marvel fan to the next, fanning the flame of MCU speculation until it consumes us all. So it's very possible that they are playing a joke, letting it leak that the popular theory of Steve Rogers adopting the Nomad personality is coming true, mainly because they know that it isn't. Calling Rogers "Nomad" in Avengers: Infinity War would be a fun nod for comics fans, but it'd fly over the head of casual Marvel fans who only come to the movies. Still, I think Marvel President Kevin Feige wants to include the Nomad reference in here, so I'm putting it at 98% that Evans let the cat out of the bag, and he knows Marvel can't really punish him.
We are months away from Joe and Anthony Russo's Avengers: Infinity War, where our Nomad mystery likely will be solved. Before that, we will head to Wakanda for a Black Panther adventure. But you can bookmark our Upcoming Marvel Movies guide for a complete rundown of all the confirmed titles coming to the ever-growing MCU.