Cap recap: Steve Rogers on the front lines of 'Avengers: Infinity War'
When “Avengers: Infinity War” hits theaters April 27, it will mark 10 years since “Iron Man” launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this series, we check in with the key “Infinity War” players — the road they’ve taken and the path ahead. Kicking off our series is, appropriately, Marvel’s “First Avenger,” Captain America.
In the Beginning: Chris Evans made his MCU debut in 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” when a top-secret experiment transforms Evans’ Steve Rogers from a scrawny young G.I. into Marvel’s star-spangled super soldier.
“The First Avenger” is set during World War II and sees Cap battle the Red Skull and the forces of HYDRA. Hugo Weaving’s character is aligned with the Axis and looking to harness the immense power of an alien artifact, the Tesseract. That cosmic cube, by the way, plays an important part in “Infinity War” — it’s one of six gems that will provide unlimited power to the person who collects them all.
Captain America saves the day at the end of his first film, but at immense personal cost, apparently sacrificing himself to stop a deadly attack. At the end of “The First Avenger,” we see that Rogers’ body is recovered 70 years later in a state of suspended animation. Thanks to the efforts of the secret government organization S.H.I.E.L.D., Cap is awakened into a world he no longer recognizes.
Middle Period: A man out of time, Rogers finds the world still needs him in 2012’s “The Avengers,” when he joins other heroes to defeat Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and prevent an alien invasion.
In 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Cap teams with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to expose a vast conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. That film also sees the return of Cap’s oldest friend, “Bucky” Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Believed to have been killed during World War II, Bucky was actually brainwashed by HYDRA and forced to become a deadly assassin.
Captain America returned in 2015 for “The Avengers: Age of Ultron,” where it’s revealed that he’s actually been leading the Avengers. While the sequel expands the Avengers roster with the addition of Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Vision (Paul Bettany), fallout from the events of the film threatens to tear the team apart.
In 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” we find Steve Rogers at odds with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) over a global accord that would require the Avengers to operate under strict United Nations supervision. Several Avengers wind up siding with Cap, but Rogers is ultimately forced to abandon his superhero identity, fleeing to the secret African nation of Wakanda to protect Bucky.
What’s Next: Captain America doesn’t appear in “Black Panther,” but it’s suggested by the “Infinity War” comic book prequel that Cap, Black Widow and the Falcon are still using Wakanda as their base of operations for clandestine missions across the globe. Judging by the “Infinity War” trailer, it’s likely in Wakanda that we’ll regroup with Rogers. And while he may have lost his shield at the end of “Civil War,” he’s now sporting a pretty impressive beard.
Captain America, By the Numbers (Part 1): Thanks to several cameos, Evans is tied with Downey for the most MCU appearances to date. In addition to the five films detailed here, Loki briefly takes Cap’s form in 2014’s “Thor: The Dark World.” Evans also appears in a post-credits sequence in 2015’s “Ant-Man,” and he hosts a series of informational public school videos in 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Chris Evans Fast Fact: Before stepping into the role of Captain America, Evans played the Human Torch in Marvel’s first two “Fantastic Four” films at 20th Century Fox. Despite being based on Marvel Comics, neither are technically part of the MCU.
Captain America, By the Numbers (Part 2): This July 4 marks the 100th birthday of the MCU version of Cap. The films establish his birthdate in 1918, two years earlier than the date offered in the comics.
Click on the image below to continue on the road to “Avengers: Infinity War” with a look at the invincible Iron Man: