THIS EDITORIAL DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM AVENGERS: ENDGAME
If you’ve read either my spoiler or spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame, you would know that one of the things I didn’t like about this film was how some of the plot points featured in the overall narrative seemed to bring up confusion for the MCU’s future projects. One of these plot points was when Steve Rogers gave the Captain America title to Sam Wilson. While this was happening toward the end of the movie, Bucky was standing in the distance, watching everything happening in front of him. In my spoiler review, I talked about how this scene disappointed me. This is because a) Bucky didn’t receive the title of Captain America, b) his cure wasn’t confirmed in Avengers: Endgame and c) it didn’t seem like anything new or interesting was added to Bucky’s story in preparation for Disney’s new show, Falcon & Winter Soldier. I’ve been a fan of Bucky Barnes for three years, so I was determined to find answers to the questions that were raised because of this scene. This past weekend, I stumbled across a video from the Youtube channel, Looper, called “Endgame Director Addresses Vision’s Fate”. After watching this video, I felt that what was said only made things more confusing for the Disney show, WandaVision. But I knew that if Looper was going to talk about Vision’s absence in Avengers: Endgame and how it could connect to the show, I had a feeling that they were probably going to address Bucky’s lack of a superhero title upgrade. Sure enough, when I visited Looper’s official Youtube channel, I found a video titled “The Real Reason Bucky Wasn’t Given Captain America’s Shield”. After watching this video, I knew that I had to talk about it on 18 Cinema Lane. In this editorial, I will be analyzing each of the arguments provided in the video. I will also state whether or not I agree with these arguments. Toward the end of the editorial, I will provide a final assessment of the video itself.
Argument #1: “Bucky Wouldn’t Accept It”
Towards the beginning of this video, the announcer says that, if given the choice, Bucky wouldn’t accept the shield. Their reasoning is that not only is Bucky fully aware of his past, but that he also hasn’t forgiven himself. They also state that Bucky would probably feel that accepting the Captain America title would be too much to handle. While all of these points are good ones that I can agree with, I think that we, the audience, should have seen Steve asking Bucky if he wants the shield. This way, Bucky would have been given a chance to choose. If Bucky would have turned down the opportunity, at least it could have been a decision that fans would have respected. Unfortunately, it appears that Bucky was never even acknowledged in that particular moment of Avengers: Endgame. As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, Bucky was standing in the distance, watching everything unfold in front of him. It’s almost as if Steve never really considered giving his title to Bucky, even though Steve doesn’t seem like an inconsiderate person. Overall, Bucky seemed to be excluded from that moment.
Argument #2: “His Hydra Conditioning: Still Active?”
In this segment, the announcer states that we, the audience, don’t know for sure if the Hydra programming is completely removed from Bucky. I’m glad that the announcer brought this up, since Bucky’s cure not being confirmed as a part of official MCU canon was something that bothered me about both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The idea of Bucky being cured was indicated in an end-credit scene from Black Panther, featuring Bucky and Shuri. Because this scene was never referenced in either Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame, it not only undermines the scene itself, but also the significance of it. Since Bucky will be one of the main characters on Falcon & Winter Soldier, this idea of a cure could be explored within the narrative. However, confirming Bucky’s cure in Avengers: Endgame would have added something new to Bucky’s story in preparation for the show. This also could have gotten the Bucky fans interested in Bucky’s next chapter.
Argument #3: “Trust Must Be Earned”
This next segment has the announcer explaining that, due to his horrific past, Bucky would have to earn the trust of the other heroes. Another statement that the announcer made was that Bucky hasn’t spent a lot of time interacting with most of the heroes in the MCU. While both of these points are understandable, I have come up with two counter-arguments. The first is the audience’s opportunity to see how the other heroes react to Iron Man learning more about Bucky. Because Bucky killed Tony’s parents while under Hydra’s control, Iron Man is the most affected by Bucky’s past actions. However, we will never see get to see this happen because Iron Man died toward the end of Avengers: Endgame. The second is Bucky’s next chapter taking place on the show, Falcon & Winter Soldier. Based on the title alone, it seems like Bucky will be primarily interacting with only one other hero, Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America. This would make it difficult for Bucky to interact with the MCU’s other heroes.
Argument #4: “He’d Be Too Powerful”
In the video’s final argument, the announcer says that Bucky has enough abilities and skills to be able to fight on his own. They say that giving him the shield would give him more power than he needs. Out of all the arguments in this video, I feel that this one is the weakest. Just because Bucky has a prosthetic arm and skills that he probably learned while in the Army and Hydra, that doesn’t mean that Bucky should be denied the title. It would be like saying that Hawkeye shouldn’t be an Avenger because he uses archery to fight crime. To be the next Captain America, Bucky should be assessed based on morals, character, and leadership skills. If the final argument in the video would have been that Bucky hasn’t displayed any leadership skills up until this point, then that statement is one that I would have understood. Because Bucky will be a co-lead on Falcon & Winter Soldier, I hope that he can gain a sense of independence, leadership, and confidence.
As a Bucky fan, I’m glad that Looper created this video. After hearing the presented arguments, it took away some of my disappointment about that scene in Avengers: Endgame. However, there was no mention of Falcon & Winter Soldier in the entire video. I understand that the purpose of this video was meant to discuss Bucky’s involvement in the MCU up until this point. But because the show was excluded from this conversation, it reminded me of my frustration toward the disconnection between that scene in Avengers: Endgame and how it will affect the show. When I re-watched this video for the sake of writing this editorial, I remembered what the Russo brothers said in their interview. When Annlyel, from Annlyel Online, told me about this interview, I almost immediately sought it out. In a portion of the interview, the Russo brothers explained why they gave the Captain America title to Sam Wilson. Their reasoning was the nature of Sam and Steve’s friendship and the state of Bucky’s mind. Both of these reasons are those that I can agree with. But, just like the Looper video, Falcon & Winter Soldier was not brought up. The purpose of the interview was to discuss Avengers: Endgame, not the show. But, once again, I was reminded of the disconnect between that scene in Avengers: Endgame and Falcon & Winter Soldier. When I was finishing this editorial, I came across a video from the Youtube channel, Screen Rant, called “Why Captain America’s MCU Future Isn’t What We Thought”. What I like about this video is that it not only talks about some of the same topics that the Looper video did, but it also asks questions and makes speculations about how the creative decisions in Avengers: Endgame could influence the upcoming Disney+ show. I’m glad I found this video, as the topics discussed actually took away some of my frustrations about the aforementioned disconnection. Hopefully, more information about this show can be announced at either San Diego Comic Con or D23 Expo. As Dale Travers said in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Lost Without You, we just have to “trust the timing”.
Have fun at the movies!
If you want to watch any of the videos I referenced in this editorial, you can search for the following:
- Youtube Channel Name: Looper
- Video Name: “The Real Reason Bucky Wasn’t Given Captain America’s Shield”
- Youtube Channel Name: SiriusXM
- Video Name: “The Russo Brothers’ Spoiler-Filled ‘Endgame’ Interview”
The segment about the Russo Brothers’ decision to give the Captain America title to Sam Wilson starts at 7:05 and ends at 9:24.
- Youtube Channel Name: Screen Rant
- Video Name: “Why Captain America’s MCU Future Isn’t What We Thought”
This video is not related to anything I talked about in my editorial, but I thought it would be a fun video to share with my readers and followers. The video is called “Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame | Escape Room” and it’s from the Youtube Channel, Marvel Entertainment. If you are a fan of Bucky, Sam, Shuri, or Dr. Strange, I think you’ll like this video!