Fans were left with a lot of questions after Avengers: Endgame. Just how many alternate timelines split off from ours because of the Time Heist? Why didn’t Black Widow get her own funeral? How will the entire planet cope with there being an additional five year age difference between the two halves of the population? And why oh why did Steve Rogers give his shield (and presumably his Captain America mantle) to Sam, when his closest and oldest friend, Bucky, was standing right there?
While the ramifications of Endgame will no doubt reverberate throughout the impending fourth phase of the MCU, the Russo Brothers have at least finally given us an answer to the Bucky question.
“The thing we’ve loved exploring about Bucky is he’s got a very complicated history,” said Anthony Russo in a recent interview with Wired. “He has a damaged mind…. You don’t want to hand a very powerful weapon to somebody who is vulnerable like that.”
He has a point. Ever since the audience learned that Bucky was still alive back in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they have known that he has been the victim of brainwashing and enhancements which transformed him into a lethal assassin. And sure, Bucky may have been Steve’s best buddy back in the 1940s, but their friendship did kind of kick off an international incident in Captain America: Civil War.
The Russo Brothers are evidently very fond of Bucky, having overseen his entire character arc starting with The Winter Soldier. But they agree that it wouldn’t be the worst idea to give the famous shield to somebody who is a little less prone to bringing drama and destruction everywhere they go. And they are resolute in their belief that Sam “Falcon” Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is the best guy for the job. “Falcon is an amazing character who is certainly very deserving of the shield,” said Joe Russo.
Not that there’s any rivalry between Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan; they’ll be starring together in new Disney+ spinoff series The Falcon & The Winter Soldier. And while he might not be publicly gunning for Chris Evans’ title of “America’s ass,” Stan is taking his new leading role very seriously; he is more ripped than ever.