Chris Evans MCU Return In Doctor Strange 2 – Is Steve Rogers’ Captain America Illuminati?
A little more than a year ago, we covered the longshot rumor that the OG Captain America might be coming back to the MCU. Well, now that we’ve gotten a better understanding of all the Multiverse of Madness cameos in store for us, perhaps we might see Chris Evans return to the MCU in the Doctor Strange sequel making Captain America part of the multiversal Illuminati. When we last saw the Knives Out actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was an old man. He passed on the Captain America Shield to Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson. Reluctant at first, Sam Wilson eventually took the Captain America identity (with a little help from Bucky and the Wakandans). Still, if Chris Evans does return to the MCU as part of the Illuminati to help Doctor Strange, he could play a very key role.
Before we get into how this could happen, let’s talk about why it doesn’t make sense. First and most glaringly, the entirety of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was about Sam Wilson’s journey to accepting the mantle of Captain America. With Captain America 4 in the works from the team that brought us that show, it seems almost silly to bring back Steve Rogers. Yet, given the lingering questions fans have after the end of Avengers: Endgame about what Steve has been up to, an appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could be appropriate. It would allow the MCU storytellers to both make modern fans trust the Illuminati and fill in the holes about Steve Rogers story.
First a recap. At the end of Avengers: Endgame, Captain America travels back through time to return the infinity stones and Thor’s hammer. Yet rather than return to when he left, he found Peggy Carter and had that dance.
Why Steve Rogers’ Captain America Would Be a Perfect Addition to the MCU Illuminati
One of the more confusing aspects of the MCU is how the Sacred Timeline, as explained in Loki, works. The end of that series showed us Loki and Sylvie meeting Jonathan Majors’ He Who Remains, a variant of new MCU Big Bad, Kang the Conqueror. Yet, the two wayward Asgardians broke the sacred timeline at the “end of time,” it meant that the multiverse they created always existed. We see this when Loki goes back to the TVA and sees that there have been changes. If it affected the TVA, which occupies a dimension outside of time and space, it affected everything. The multiverse didn’t exist and then, it always existed.
There are two questions about Steve Rogers’ fate that even the sceenwriters and directors disagree on. Writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely said that Cap traveled back to the Sacred Timeline to live with Peggy, which is why we never see her husband in earlier films. Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors, said that Cap lived with Peggy in a branch timeline before returning to the main one. It’s a fun thing for fans to debate. If Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as Captain America and part of the MCU Illuminati, it will probably end it.
This would mean that Steve Rogers lived in a branch timeline at risk of being pruned by the TVA. And jumping around timelines and realities, he’d be on the radar of the Illuminati. So, Old Man Steve might have been absent from the Falcon and Bucky series, because he was off saving the multiverse with Professor X and others. Also, as great as it will be to see Doc Strange meet characters familiar to us, it’ll carry even more weight if he sees a face that is familiar to him.
If Chris Evans Returns to the MCU in Doctor Strange 2, It Wouldn’t Ruin His ‘Perfect’ Ending
Image via Marvel Studios
The best thing about a return by Chris Evans to the MCU in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is not just seeing the best Steve Rogers version of Captain America again. In fact, because of how timey-wimey everything is, we could see him (in continuity) before he gives the shield to Sam. Remember, his shield was destroyed by Thanos. So, where Sam’s shield even comes from is a big question mark. Perhaps when Doctor Strange comes face-to-face with the MCU Illuminati, the ensuing crisis will inspire him to pass the shield along to Sam. It also can explain why Steve doesn’t want to tell Sam, arguably one of his best friends, about his time with Peggy wherever he was.
The other thing that bothers folks about Steve hanging with Peggy in the main timeline is that it means he sat out all of the crises in the MCU. He let Hydra take over SHIELD, and he does nothing to save lives from Captain Marvel to Avengers. In a branch reality, he could have been just as active and made his version of the timeline “better” than the main MCU one. This, naturally, would put him on both the new TVA’s radar and that of the Illuminati. In fact, the sight of “his” Doctor Strange could be the impetus he needs to go back to the main timeline and give the best man he knows the Captain American mantle.
Of course, Chris Evans return to the MCU also could be a younger Steve Rogers, a Captain America from a different timeline. This would allow Evans to play him a little differently, keeping the character fresh for the actor. Either one would work, and it’d make fans very happy. Given that he was rumored to be in talks with Marvel Studios and then that story just went away? It could be one of the big surprises in the film. At least we know Evans is game to come back.
Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness debuts in theaters May 6, 2022.
What do you think? Do you think Chris Evans will return as either Steve Rogers or Captain America in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness as a member of the MCU Illuminati? Do you think Steve lived in the main timeline or a branch timeline? Share your thoughts, reactions, and theories in the comments below.
Featured image via Marvel Studios.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book of superhero short stories, Tales of Adventure & Fantasy: Book One is available as an ebook or paperback from Amazon.