Captain America, the man known as the first Avenger, is the one who started it all. He is the Avenger who invented both biceps (see: Civil War) and the beard (see: Infinity War). But, alas, nothing good can last forever, and the mounting clues that Captain America will die in Infinity War make it impossible for even Steve Roger's most die-hard fans not to admit there's a good chance we'll be forced to say goodbye to the hero for good sooner rather than later. Someone has to die in Infinity War, and it just might be Captain America.
Cap has been a fixture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Captain America: The First Avenger was released in 2011. Actor Chris Evans has headlined three solo films, starred in two Avengers movies, and made cameos in two more. With only seven films in his original Marvel contract, Avengers 4 is expected to be his last time taking on the shield, but just because fans expect Evans to be in Avengers 4 doesn't mean he's safe from Thanos in Infinity War. For all we know, he could be part of a dream or mirage or flashback in the next Avengers movie, long dead and living on only in the memories of those he left behind.
Of course, it's no fun to think about Captain America dying in Infinity War, but Stucky shippers (that's Steve and Bucky for you newbies) are just going to have to face the music, because these clues that Cap will die in Infinity War are impossible to ignore.
Chris Evans' Contract
Evans has explicitly stated that he has no plans to extend his Marvel contract beyond Avengers 4, telling The New York Times, "You want to get off the train before they push you off." Assuming Avengers 4 really is the end of Steve Rogers, it's quite possible that he could just leave the shield behind and go live a normal life. However, there are a few problems with this happily ever after scenario. For one thing, it's just not in Steve's nature. Even when he was just a skinny kid from Brooklyn, Steve had the heart of a hero. He wanted to do good and he was never afraid of throwing himself into a fight. It's hard to imagine him staying away from superhero-ing for too long.
Secondly, why would Marvel give fans a happy ending when they could torture us instead? Marvel has successfully avoided killing off lead characters for almost a decade, if there were ever a good time to start killing off heroes, it's Infinity War.
It's also worth noting that, as one of MCU's longest-running characters, Steve Rogers is one of the most expendable. He's already brought in the box office money with a trilogy, and at a time when fans are calling for more diversity, making another movie about a white, male superhero we've already seen seven times before doesn't really make sense.
Cap's Self-Sacrificing Nature
Fans of The First Avenger know that Captain America is nothing if not self sacrificing. In the film, he jumps on a grenade to save other soldiers during training, he tries to convince Bucky to leave a Nazi base without him, and he drives himself into the ocean to keep the Tesseract away from Hydra. If any superhero is going to die in Infinity War, sacrificing him or herself to save the others, it's Cap.
Many of the Avengers are shown in peril in one form or another in the trailers for Infinity War, but the image of Cap in hand to hand combat with Thanos is particularly worrisome. Captain America may have super strength and super muscles, but he's still just a man, and up against a literal god like Thanos, his odds aren't really that great. Marvel has kept the plot of Infinity War under wraps, but it's safe to assume that every single superhero will be in mortal danger at all times, and, as noted above, that's when Cap can walk on especially thin ice.
Bucky & Falcon
For years, fans have been trying to find out who will take up the Captain America shield: Bucky or Falcon. Both have been Captain America in the comics, and both are established as Cap's most loyal friends in the MCU. Over the years, the question of their Captain America future is no longer a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Who will pick up Cap's star spangled shield is anybody's guess (though my bet is on Bucky), one thing is clear: the only way fans will get a new Captain America is for the first Cap to die.
MCU Phase 4
Avengers 4 is going to be the last movie in Marvel Phase 3, and fans are expecting Phase 4 to look totally different. "I think that this is if Marvel has been writing a book for 10 years, it's the end of the book and someone is going to write a new book," Infinity War co-director Joe Russo said in an interview with Yahoo! Movies. Killing Cap would be a great way to end Phase 3 because killing him would also mark the death of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Since The First Avenger, Steve Rogers' Captain America has been tied to the secret crime-fighting unit S.H.I.E.L.D. He was their first experiment, he was their first superhero, and he fought for them from the beginning. In The Winter Soldier, he also destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. when he discovered HYDRA's infiltration of the organization, but he remains the embodiment of everything they were. He is, as the title says, literally the first Avenger. To kill him in Infinity War (or Avengers 4) would bring things full circle and allow Marvel to let go of the S.H.I.E.L.D. narrative in Phase 4.
Steve Rogers deserves to live a full life free from the pressures of being a living superhero legend, but if he has to die, let's hope he at least gets a death worthy of Captain America — something big and heroic that will reduce entire theaters to tears.