At the end of the Avengers: Endgame movie,

old Steve Rogers passed down his mantle of Captain America

to Sam Wilson.

Why didn't he choose Bucky for this? Bucky seems more fit for the job as he is a super soldier.

  • 4
    Probably because Bucky has red on his ledger so isn't really a good pillar of morality
    – Naib
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 7:59
  • 15
    Why didn't he choose Bucky for this? Longing. Rusted. Seventeen. Daybreak. Furnace. Nine. Benign. Need I go on? Commented May 8, 2019 at 8:33
  • 4
    Also, he's not a super solider, he's the Winter Soldier. This isn't Game of Thrones! What's America meant to do when spring comes along? Commented May 8, 2019 at 8:43
  • 3
    @PaulD.Waite Joe Russo makes it sound like he wasn't healed, from the interview in my answer "not necessarily the guy that you would want to trust with another weapon because he can always be corrupted"
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 9:20
  • 3
    It's a shame Zemo killed those other super soldiers in Russia, we could have had spare Captain Americas for years to come! Commented May 8, 2019 at 9:45

2 Answers 2


Because Sam was the logical choice over Bucky

Joe Russo explains it in the following interview.

"It made sense that it was Sam," Joe Russo said. "I don't think that there were significant debates at all. Bucky is portrayed in the films as very damaged, and not necessarily the guy that you would want to trust with another weapon because he can always be corrupted. And Sam, if anyone matches Cap's integrity over the course of the last few films, it's Sam. From the time that they met on the mall in D.C. through the end of this film, and he just seemed like the logical choice in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We don't have all of the context that the comics have, we can only bring completion to the stories that we've been telling and that seemed to make the most sense."

Comic Book, Avengers: Endgame Directors Explain Why Captain America Chose Sam Over Bucky

  • 3
    Shouldn't War Machine be a serious contender too? I mean that guy is disabled and is still fighting.
    – Taladris
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 10:04
  • 5
    @Taladris War Machine is probably one of the contenders to take over the initial mantle of Iron Man although Spider-Man seems to be fulfilling that role if the trailer is to be believed.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 10:08
  • 3
    this will probably be explored more in the forthcoming Bucky/Falcon TV series for Disney+ I anticipate that during that series both characters will wield the shield and we may see the Captain America responsibilities, if not the title shared between them.
    – Richard C
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 10:14
  • 1
    @TheLethalCarrot I'm avoiding the trailer (spoilers) but if I'm going to be spoiled anyway ;) (minor one, given the suit he was given already) then he'd be Iron Spider, wouldn't he? So leaving the actual Iron Man replacement role open
    – Baldrickk
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 10:50
  • 28
    @TheLethalCarrot I'm personally hoping he starts going by Captain Falcon ;D
    – David K
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 12:23

Bucky would've been a poor choice for a few reasons. The events of Civil War show that his mind has been conditioned by Hydra to become receptive to orders after hearing a series of key phrases. As there is no direct evidence that this conditioning has been removed, it must be assumed that a Hydra agent with knowledge of these phrases could easily compromise Bucky.

Additionally, Bucky is shown to be reluctant to engage in combat prior to the battle of Wakanda in Infinity War. This is likely due to a combination of his mental vulnerability and his guilt over actions committed while affected by his conditioning. Furthermore it may seem insulting to the memory of Tony Stark, whose parents Bucky murdered, to pass the mantle to Bucky.

On the other hand Sam Wilson is a decorated veteran with an impeccable record and experience acting as an Avenger. While Steve and Bucky were childhood friends, their relationship has certainly had its ups and downs whereas Sam has consistently been an ally to Cap and a generally more reliable hero.

  • I feel like it would have rounded Bucky's arc out nicely and demonstrated how far he's come and how different he is to the Bucky who committed those acts. It felt like that's where they were leaning to, especially seeing him in recovery at the end of Black Panther, and it feels like Steve putting his faith in him might be the final push he needs to start seeing himself as worthy. I'm not mad he gave the shield to Sam, I'm sure he'll be awesome in the role, but story-wise it just felt like Bucky was on a journey which has now been cut short, while Sam was already at the destination.
    – delinear
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 11:33
  • 3
    How far has Bucky really come though? He's essentially a reformed villain who lives in isolation. He doesn't even trust himself to have 2 arms most of the time.
    – user1
    Commented May 8, 2019 at 11:59
  • 13
    My reading of Bucky is that he doesn't want to be a super hero. He's had a long, dark history of violence, and doesn't trust himself. He's damaged. He's tired. He'll come out and fight when he's needed, but he's no Captain America - he'd rather be a one-armed shepherd. Commented May 8, 2019 at 17:25
  • +1 for pointing out that murdering Tony Stark's parents probably disqualifies you from Avengers membership. Commented Mar 19, 2022 at 14:30

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