We saw the end of an era when both Tony Stark and Steve Rogers stood down from their respective roles as Iron Man and Captain America. The two had become the faces of the MCU, and losing them signaled a dramatic shift in the superhero universe, but there are those willing to step up to the plate and try to fill their shoes, with Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson stepping in as the star-spangled Avenger.
Mackie has played Sam Wilson since Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and has proved himself a loyal friend, a formidable opponent, and a skilled strategist, much like Cap before him. We knew prior to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier that Steve had envisioned Sam taking over from him after he decided to go be happy, but he couldn’t know the other factors that were at play when he asked that of him.
We saw in the Disney Plus series that Sam had turned down the offer, he wasn’t prepared to take on the role, feeling like he wasn’t up to the job and that the famous shield belonged to someone else. Sam may not be as morally uptight as Steve, but he chooses compassion over violence most of the time. He is not quick to judge and allows people a fair chance to change.
He may not have the super-serum but Mackie says that that is not what Sam’s superhero power is. Talking to Yahoo Entertainment, the actor said,
“My Cap, he’s not a superhero. He doesn’t have a super-serum. So his superpower is his humanity. So I think with him he has to come to the stage with a very different understanding of what it is it to be a good guy or be a bad guy, and what are the decisions that make you tow that line in the way that you did. I just see him as more of a humane Cap, as opposed to a Cap of judgment, where this is right, or this is wrong. There are decisions that make you choose right or wrong.”
It is likely we will see a Captain America who is able to read between the lines a little more going forward. It could bring more people together and perhaps even prevent the kind of rift that emerged between Tony and Steve from happening in the future, or it could be manipulated as a weakness. Mackie added that this isn’t the only new thing his character is bringing to the iconic role though,
“And (he’ll have) a flyer costume. Cause it’s leg day every day, baby. We going straight spandex, none of this cotton stuff. We doing straight spandex.”
It will be exciting to see how both the actor and also his character, Sam, take to this challenging role in Captain America: New World Order in 2024.