After Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) successfully snapped away all of the bad guys (including the big purple tormentor from Infinity War, Thanos), Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) took the Infinity Stones and Thor’s hammer back to the past where he and his fellow Avengers had collected them.
The trip was only supposed to take a few seconds, but when Cap didn’t return via the portal, Bucky (Sebastian Stan) and Sam (Antony Mackie) discovered him sitting by the lake, now a certified silver fox.
It becomes clear that he had chosen to live out his years peacefully with the love of his life Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), only returning in order to give Falcon his shield, apparently passing on the mantel of Captain America.
His re-appearance as a still handsome, but significantly aged gentleman, throws up plenty of questions however. Did he really just go to the past to live out the rest of his days with his old flame? Wouldn’t that disrupt the current timeline? And what about the short-lived Marvel TV series Agent Carter – why was he nowhere to be seen?
But the main thing we kept wondering was… how old is Captain America meant to be at that point?
Let’s take a look at the facts…
Did he time travel back to the past?
Apparently not. Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that Captain America went to a “branched reality” rather than the past of the current reality, because otherwise that would have disrupted the events of the Endgame timeline (hence the need to return the objects taken from the past back to their rightful places).
“If Cap were to go back into the past and live there, he would create a branched reality,” Joe Russo said. “The question then becomes, how is he back in this reality to give the shield away? Interesting question, right? Maybe there’s a story there.”
We’d like to think so…
How old is Captain America at the end of the film?
117. Or 183, depending on how you look at it.
Regardless of whether or not he lived out his years in our reality or another, he has certainly wiled away many, many years by his return to the Endgame timeline. The closing scene, which sees Steve and Peggy dancing to It’s Been A Long Long Time by Harry James And His Orchestra with Kitty Kallen, suggests he has returned to the 1940s.
Here are the facts, as presented by the MCU. Steve “Captain America” Rogers was born on 4th July (obvs) 1918. He crashed into the Arctic sometime in 1945, at the age of 27, before being thawed out 66 years later, in 2011. For the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, he’s still physically 27, but technically 93. For now we’ll go with 27, because ice.
The majority of the events of Endgame take place in 2023, five years after Thanos’s snap, and 12 years after Cap came out of the ice. So, Captain America is 27+12=39 years old before he even goes near a time machine. Or 93+12=105.
If we assume that he goes back to around the exact point that he disappeared from his old life in 1945 – he wouldn’t have left it too much later if he wanted to keep his relationship with Carter alight – he’d then have to wait around 78 years until 2023 for his rendezvous with his old teammates. 78+39=117. Or 78+105=183.
How does he looks so bloody good for 117 (0r 183)? Well, aside from Chris Evans being a real-life example of godlike genetics, Captain America’s genes were modified by the army in the 1940s to turn him into a super soldier.
In the Marvel comics, the effect of the super soldier serum on Cap’s ageing is shown by what happens when it is neutralised or taken out of him. In Captain America Vol 7 #21, an injury takes the serum out of Steve Rogers and leaves him as an old man, at least 40 or 50 years older than he appears without it. So, it’s doing a lot of work to keep him hunky.
What this all means for his role in the MCU is unclear, but it’s probably fair to say we won’t be seeing Chris Evans leading any flicks in the near future…