So this time last week, I went to the movie theaters with a friend to see what should be considered the finale of the 11 year billion dollar nerd dream that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A franchise that in itself spawned the concept of a “cinematic universe” that would lead movie executives a plenty to run face first into the dirt in an attempt to grab so much as a penny spawned from the success that Disney continues to profit from. This isn’t really a review of the film (I thought it was pretty good. I didn’t love it, but it’s still better than God’s mistake, Thor 2), but more of a way to expunge my unending thoughts about how the film decided to seemingly retire Steve Rogers as a character. I’ll be blunt, I fucking hated what they did.
(None of what I’m about to say is going to make any sense unless you watch the film in questions so please do not read further unless you either have seen it, or don’t care about being spoiled.)
At the end of the film, Steve Rogers is tasked with returning the Infinity Stones that saved all of existence from the evil purple man, Thanos (no relation to Jessica Jones antagonist, THE Purple Man). While he does end up doing that, Steve decides to also spend 40+ years in the past to get married to Peggy Carter, the woman he loved so much he also ended up dating her grand niece, Sharon. I feel like this was written to give Steve and Peggy this sort-of fairy tale type ending where the two lovers separated by time can finally reunite and give folks closure. Perhaps I would have found this satisfying had it not felt so ham-fisted, but I also felt like this scenario not only goes against Steve’s entire story arc and function as a character, but it also invalidates both the Carters.
Steve Roger’s entire deal in just about every piece of media since his revival from the WW2 era is that he is a man awakened from a different time. Whether that time period was 20 years or 70 years, the culture shock, the clash of values, and initial feelings of complete isolation is what makes Captain America an interesting character. To simply give Steve everything he lost back to him feels like a cheap move, especially considering that he didn’t allow his fellow time-displaced friend Bucky the same opportunity. This felt like something Steve would have done maybe back in 2011/2 when he first awoke from the ice rather than in 202X, where’s he spent almost 10 years building a new life with the Avengers.
This also invalidates what the Marvel Writers seemed to have set up for Peggy Carter, as Steve’s assumed sacrifice was what led her to lead and create S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place. She continued doing spy missions, started a family, and even eventually reunited with Steve years later in The Winter Soldier. By having Steve just come back in time to do that long awaited dance, it just turns Peggy into a trophy for Steve for being such a good boy this year. And it doesn’t help that Steve basically left her behind again to go back to the present as Grandpa Rogers. It’s frankly bullshit that Peggy doesn’t even get a single on screen line in the film, but Howard Stark is allowed to be prominently featured here.
Sharon Carter on the other hand has been completely abandoned by the folks who brought her in the marvel movies to begin with. She essentially existed in the two Captain America movies to act as proof that Steve Rogers is totally not gay for Bucky and likes boobs. That’s really sad considering Marvel movies already have a bad track record when it comes to throwing away the women in their stories without care (Sif, Betty Ross, Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis, Maria Hill). What’s even worse is something that I feel like movie didn’t think too hard about when Steve choose to go back in time to marry Peggy. By doing this, he made Sharon Carter his great niece.
THAT MEANS HE RETROACTIVELY DATED HIS GREAT NIECE.
STEVE ROGERS IS NOW GUILTY OF INCEST
It was already hard to like Captain America after the whole Nazi Cap story in the comics set off nuclear bomb levels of discourse, but this may be the final breaking point for me. Fuck Cap. Hope Bucky and Falcon send him to the retirement home.