After Captain America was artificially aged into an old man, here’s how comics de-aged him, and how Steve Rogers could be young again in the MCU.
Reportedly, Avengers: Endgame was the final film in Chris Evans’ contract playing Captain America for Marvel Studios. Therefore, the film delivered a proper conclusion to the Steve Rogers’ story by having him live a full life back in the past, only to reappear in the present as an old man, ready to pass on his shield. But now, there are reports that Evans might return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Captain America — reports that the actor himself is disputing. However, this might simply be subterfuge until everything is made official.
With fans now wondering if Captain America will return in the MCU’s Phase 4, we’re taking a closer look at how an elderly Steve Rogers was made young again in comics.
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In the MCU, Steve Rogers became an old man after he time-traveled to the past and lived a full life. But in the comics, it was quite different. In 2014’s Captain America #22, by Rick Remender and Carlos Pacheco, Captain America went into battle against the Iron Nail. During the battle, the supervillain was able to drain the super-soldier serum from Steve’s body. Without it, his body aged rapidly, to catch him up to the age he was supposed to have. Now an old man, Steve appointed Sam Wilson as his successor, but he didn’t retire. Instead, Steve then became one of the leading figures of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he continued the good fight for a while.
His time as an old man would then come to an end in the 2016 Avengers: Standoff! crossover event.
Avengers: Standoff! revolved around a secret town designated Pleasant Hill that was populated entirely by Marvel villains whose minds and identities had been wiped by S.H.I.E.L.D. The project, which was overseen by Maria Hill, was top secret due to its dubious nature. What’s more, all of it was made possible thanks to Kobik, a Cosmic Cube shard that had gained sentience and taken on the form of a little girl.
Eventually, all hell broke loose in Pleasant Hill when the supervillains regained their memories. The Avengers were involved in the fight, and so too was old man Steve Rogers. During the battle, Steve attempted to save Kobik, but he was then attacked by Crossbones. The villain was now the superior fighter, and he brutally beat Steve to a pulp. But before Crossbones could finish his enemy off, Kobik used her reality-altering abilities to restore Steve Rogers as the young super-soldier he used to be.
Thus, Steve Rogers was restored to his prime self, and he would return as Captain America. Unfortunately, what no one knew at the time was that Kobik had been tricked into following Hydra’s beliefs. She altered not only Steve’s body, but his past, rewriting his history to make him a covert agent of Hydra, setting up the events of Secret Empire.
In comics, a sentient Cosmic Cube was used to rejuvenate Steve Rogers thanks to its ability to rewrite reality. However, in the MCU, the Cosmic Cube, aka the Tesseract, is actually the Space Stone, and a gateway to the cosmos. Therefore, it’s unlikely that the Tesseract could be used to make Steve young again in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Still, there are other ways to change Marvel reality still available, and if Chris Evans does indeed return ot the role of Captain America, there are plenty of ways his character could be de-aged.
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