Many have been wanting Chris Evans to return as the MCU’s Captain America, and one missing story could create the perfect way to bring him back. Avengers: Endgame marked the end of the line for several of the MCU’s original Avengers, as Black Widow gave her life for the Soul Stone, Iron Man sacrificed himself to save the universe, and Captain America embarked on a journey through time to return the Infinity Stones. Finally getting his happy ending, Chris Evans decided to depart from the MCU following Avengers: Endgame, but since then, there have been frequent calls for his return to the franchise.
Chris Evans debuted as Steve Rogers in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, and went on to be one of the staples of the MCU. Throughout his tenure, he battled the Red Skull, Thanos, and even his fellow Avengers during Captain America: Civil War – which ended with Rogers being branded a fugitive alongside Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff and Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson. The trio returned in Avengers: Infinity War after a two-year break from the MCU, but there are still very interesting stories to be told from their time away.
Nomad Steve Rogers Is More Interesting Than Returning The Infinity Stones
One of the leading theories regarding what another Steve Rogers movie would look like relates to how he returned the Infinity Stones to their respective timelines after Avengers: Endgame. However, the missing story that took place between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War would be a far more interesting story to tell. Far from the cosmic adventure that would unfold with Rogers returning the Infinity Stones, a Nomad project in the MCU would be a grounded exploration of Steve Rogers’ character, allowing Chris Evans to test his chops in a more subtle MCU story.
Steve Rogers first adopted the Nomad moniker in Marvel Comics’ 1974 story Captain America #180, after becoming disillusioned with the US government, and abandoning his position as Captain America. Rogers only operated as Nomad – the “man without a country” – for four issues before becoming Captain America again, but in the MCU, Rogers was a fugitive for two years. A piece of this story was told during the Avengers: Infinity War Prelude comics, which tie into the MCU, as Rogers, Romanoff, and Wilson take down a terrorist group smuggling Chitauri weapons into the United States. But it’s hard to imagine that this was the extent of Steve Rogers’ operations as Nomad.
The MCU Already Proved A Nomad Steve Rogers Movie Could Work
While it may seem unusual for Marvel Studios to produce a retrospective story featuring one of its primary heroes, it has actually been done before, as 2021’s Black Widow was set during the two-year window between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War. Despite Black Widow’s death, Scarlett Johansson returned to the MCU one final time for Black Widow. The Phase 4 project acted as a character study for Romanoff, while also uncovering important information about her past, so the same treatment could be given to Steve.
While Black Widow perhaps didn’t hit the level of success that Marvel Studios was expecting, the project still marked an important development for the way MCU stories are told. There are several missing or lost stories concerning every high-profile hero, so there’s nothing to stop Marvel Studios developing more retrospective adventures that fill in some of these gaps. A Nomad project, putting Steve Rogers front-and-center before his return in Avengers: Infinity War, might be the grounded, gritty, and realistic story that would entice Chris Evans back to the MCU, particularly since Captain America’s solo MCU projects had always been fueled by an element of realism.
A Nomad Steve Rogers Movie Preserves Sam Wilson’s Captain America
One of the biggest concerns shared by many when met with the prospect of Chris Evans returning to the MCU as Captain America, is that the franchise already has a new Captain America, and his development shouldn’t be overshadowed by the return of the original. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, following his return of the Infinity Stones and retirement in the past, Steve Rogers passed the Captain America mantle and shield on to Sam Wilson. Wilson’s promotion from Falcon to Captain America was brilliantly detailed in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and his final acceptance of the mantle carried a huge amount of weight that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Sam Wilson needs time and space to grow as the MCU’s Captain America – set to make his next appearance in Phase 5’s Captain America: New World Order – but the looming presence of Steve Rogers’ Captain America could throw this into disarray. For this reason, it’s perhaps a better idea for Marvel Studios to not bring back Chris Evans as Captain America in the present, which means that the development of a Nomad project might be the perfect way to go. Nomad would provide a touching and intense Steve Rogers story, without the need to dissect his legacy as Captain America, allowing Sam Wilson to fully embrace the role without feeling undermined.