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At the finale of Avengers: Endgame

Steve Rogers is shown passing on the gauntlet (shield) to Falcon.

Why would this be? I haven't noticed that Steve and Falcon have a particularly close relationship, and the natural choice seems like it would have been Bucky, who's Steve's childhood friend and much more powerful than the Falcon. Was this a movie invention or does it happen the same way in the source material?

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    “I haven't noticed that Steve and Falcon have a particularly close relationship” — you haven't? How about when Falcon went on the run from the US government with Cap, all to protect Cap's best friend from childhood, who Falcon doesn't even like? – Paul D. Waite Jun 23 at 7:46
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He has two main options for the next Captain America: a semi-stable hundred year old man with lots of brain washing involved or a top of the line secret agent soldier who has proven to be reliable. Sam also shares very similar morals to Steve: they both stand up for what is right no matter the cost. Steve even hints at this before leaving.

Sam Wilson: You know, if you want, I can come with you.

Steve Rogers: You're a good man, Sam. This one's on me, though.

Avengers: Endgame

And sure Bucky is strong physically but Sam is stronger mentally and even physically Falcon is strong. I argued that point in this very related answer. Sam can hold his own with the rest of the Avengers very well, give him the shield on top of that and he’s going to kick even more ass.

The Russo brothers also talk about the mental aspect mentioned above agreeing with my point.

Cap and Bucky are brothers but you know what's interesting about them is they're very different people and I think that Bucky always has the ability to have his mind corrupted, it can always be taken over by someone else. That hasn't been resolved for him and Sam has his free will and I think that Sam also had a similar ethic as Cap as far as service goes in the military.

We also know that Bucky knew what Steve was doing, it’s entirely possible Steve offered Bucky the chance and he turned him down. I highly doubt it though.

Sam Wilson has been Captain America in the comics as well.

Sam Wilson as Captain America in the full patriotic outfit and the shield

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    Are those his only two options though? – Valorum Jun 22 at 18:42
  • @Valorum of the Avengers? Sam’s the best option. Clint has red in his ledger, Smart Hulk is well... Hulk, Rhodey is paralysed from the waist down, Ant-Man doesn’t really have the attitude for it, Carol isn’t really around, Thor has gone off world, Wanda isn’t really the right fit, etc. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 22 at 19:32
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    @DariM Peter Parker as Captain America with teenage doubts and angst? That would not be a pretty sight. – Peter M Jun 23 at 1:42
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    Peter was already struggling with the expectation of being the next Iron Man (at least by the time of Far From Home), imagine how bad it would be if he was also expected to be Cap! – ConMan Jun 23 at 4:55
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    @DariM: “Peter Parker seems like he'd be an extremely good candidate” — a high school kid??? The job is Captain America, not Acting Ensign America. T'challa and Okoye are closer, but it's Captain America, not Captain Wakanda. – Paul D. Waite Jun 23 at 7:48
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They like to take shortcuts to reflect things that happen in the comics. In the comics Cap and Falcon were partnered up for quite a while. That would make him a viable successor.

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    They were partnered up for a while in the MCU as well. – TheLethalCarrot Jun 25 at 16:09

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