Marvel Is Already Failing Sam Wilson As The MCU’s Captain America Replacement


  • Marvel is failing Sam Wilson’s Captain America by not giving him as much focus as Steve Rogers had in Phases 1-3, with only one appearance in Phase 4 and one appearance in Phase 5.
  • Anthony Mackie’s big-screen debut as Captain America in Brave New World breaks the trend of Chris Evans appearing in at least one MCU movie a year, as Mackie will only have two appearances in four years.
  • The lack of cohesion in the MCU’s Multiverse Saga extends beyond Sam Wilson’s Captain America, as none of the franchise’s many characters are positioned as important connective pieces.



Though he hasn’t yet starred in his first solo movie, Captain America: Brave New World, Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Captain America replacement, but they’re already failing him. In the MCU’s Infinity Saga, Sam Wilson was an ally of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) operating under the code name Falcon, but when Steve retired at the end of Avengers: Endgame, he passed the Captain America shield to Sam. The Phase 4 TV show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier was essentially Sam’s origin as Captain America.

However, as the MCU has expanded massively in Phases 4 and 5, Marvel Studios hasn’t given Sam Wilson’s Captain America nearly as much focus as Steve Rogers’ had in Phases 1-3. Throughout Evans’ run in the MCU, he appeared in at least one Marvel movie a year from 2011-2019, whether in a starring role or as a cameo. Comparatively, Mackie’s Sam Wilson has only had one appearance in Phase 4 in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and is set to have only one appearance in Phase 5 with Captain America: Brave New World. In this way, Marvel is failing Sam’s Captain America by not making him as important to the MCU as Steve’s Cap was.

Related: Captain America Movies In Order: How To Watch Steve Rogers’ Films

Anthony Mackie Isn’t Continuing Chris Evans’ Captain America Trend

With Captain America: Brave New World releasing in 2025, Mackie’s official big-screen debut as the star-spangled superhero breaks the trend Evans established in Phases 1-3. Because Evans appeared in at least one MCU movie a year for eight years, he became one of the major connective pieces of the Marvel franchise. However, barring a surprise appearance in Deadpool 3, Mackie will only have two appearances as Captain America in four yearsThe Falcon and the Winter Soldier in 2021 and Brave New World in 2025.

Anthony Mackie’s MCU Appearances



Release Year

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson/Falcon


Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Sam Wilson/Falcon



Sam Wilson/Falcon


Captain America: Civil War

Sam Wilson/Falcon


Avengers: Infinity War

Sam Wilson/Falcon


Avengers: Endgame

Sam Wilson/Falcon


The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America


Captain America: Brave New World

Sam Wilson/Captain America


After Brave New World, Sam Wilson will presumably return the two following years in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, which releases in May 2026, and Avengers: Secret Wars, set to hit theaters in May 2027. While that’s more akin to Evans’ appearances as Steve Rogers, it still means Sam Wilson doesn’t have the same connective role in the MCU as the original Captain America. It could be argued, of course, that Sam had a number of appearances prior to Phase 4, which helped establish him as a character in the MCU, but they’ve become fewer and far between after he officially stepped up as Captain America. As a result, Sam Wilson’s Captain America simply isn’t as integral to the MCU as Steve Rogers’ was, but that’s true of a number of Marvel characters.

Marvel Isn’t Only Failing The New Captain America But All New Avengers

Ever since Endgame, Marvel Studios has released a number of MCU movies and shows across all of Phase 4 and the beginning of Phase 5, either bringing back known characters or introducing new superheroes to the universe. One of the criticisms of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, as Phases 4-6 are called, is the lack of cohesion. Marvel Studios made a name for themselves by managing to tell a largely cohesive story across over a dozen movies in the Infinity Saga, but as the MCU has progressed, they’ve sacrificed cohesion for expansion.

This means that not only is Sam Wilson’s Captain America not being used as an important connective piece of the MCU, but none of the franchise’s many — many — characters are positioned in that role. The closest the MCU comes to cohesion is Wong (Benedict Wong) appearing throughout much of Phase 4, with Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) also appearing in a couple of entries. New characters like Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi, and Harry Styles’ Eros haven’t been seen again since their introductions in 2021. So the problem with Sam Wilson’s Captain America isn’t unique to his character, it’s a symptom of the MCU’s larger problem with a lack of cohesion, but Marvel can still fix it.

How The MCU Can Fix Its Captain America Problem

Sam Wilson's Captain America hasn't been seen since The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Unlike Captain Marvel and Shang-Chi, Sam Wilson is the first MCU character who is properly taking over the mantle of a previously established character, which puts him in a unique position. As such, it’s arguably more important for Sam to be as well, if not more established in the MCU than Steve Rogers was in his time. To make that happen, Marvel should position Mackie’s Sam Wilson as an integral member to creating cohesion in the MCU going forward. That means having him appear more and bringing him into the main narrative of the Multiverse Saga so that when the Avengers reunite in The Kang Dynasty, he feels like an important member instead of an ancillary one.

Captain America Brave New World Character Poster

Captain America: Brave New World

Release Date
February 14, 2025

Anthony Mackie

Dalan Musson, Malcolm Spellman

Captain America, Marvel Cinematic Universe

Of course, that means Marvel Studios needs to establish what exactly the main narrative of the Multiverse Saga is. Currently, they’re dropping bread crumbs about Kang and a multiversal war, but Captain America’s story hasn’t so far been connected to the multiverse or Kang. The MCU is currently in a state of flux with reports stating Marvel might move away from Kang as the main villain of the Multiverse Saga and Avengers 5 losing its director. So Marvel should take this opportunity to reaffirm what story they want to tell and how all their major characters fit into it. Then, Marvel might have a chance of doing Sam Wilson’s character justice in Captain America: Brave New World and beyond so he can stand a chance of living up to the legacy of Steve Rogers.

Key Release Dates


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