Captain America’s 2025 Return Will Make An X-Men Insult Hard To Ignore

X-Men 97 Captain-America with Sam Wilson, played by Anthony Mackie

Captain America: Brave New World will be Sam Wilson’s first MCU movie as the titular hero, and makes one notable insult directed at the hero in X-Men ’97 harder to ignore than it was prior. Steve Rogers’ cameo in X-Men ’97 was one that delighted audiences, but the sentiment wasn’t shared by Rogue when he encountered the hero, leading her to berate the Marvel icon. While this didn’t fit with Steve Rogers’ MCU arc, Sam Wilson’s story is set up to have a different trajectory.

Captain America was a beloved icon during World War II, but his relevance was gradually questioned, especially after the Vietnam War, which saw the rise of the more anti-authority antiheroes. The MCU timeline explored the hero’s complicated position between being the face of the US military and a person with his own often anti-authority perspectives and morals. Now that Sam has taken the mantle, he is expected to continue this thematic tradition of the movies – but his current story seems set to face Rogue’s insult a little more closely for at least the time being.

X-Men ’97 Called Captain America’s Next MCU Arc A Year Early

Sam Wilson Will Carry On The Themes Of Anti-Authority From Previous Captain America Movies

Steve Rogers speaking to Alexander Pierce in Captain America The Winter Soldier

In X-Men ’97, episode 7, Rogue dismissively calls one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes “America’s Top Cop“. The insult from Rogue in X-Men ’97 is a betrayal of Steve’s passionate fight for the independence of heroes, and also his resistance against the image of Captain America being misused. Indeed, throughout the later stages of his MCU trilogy, Steve shows the spirit of Captain America goes beyond being a mere device for an establishment and always leads with his morality as a hero.

When looking at the MCU, though, Sam Wilson seemingly working with the government to set up a new Avengers team makes Rogue’s words a little more on the nose. Previews of the movie have suggested this will be the storyline that unfolds during the film, as they show Thunderbolt Ross – now played by Harrison Ford – in a presidential role, and giving Captain America orders as such, raising the prospect of him becoming “America’s Top Cop” in many ways. However, there is a real chance the movie will see Sam Wilson follow Steve Rogers’ approach and find his own path.

Why Sam Wilson Can’t Become America’s Top Cop

Anthony Mackie's Captain America in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson’s MCU journey saw Sam frequently at odds with the government he would serve. Much of that comes from his distinction as the first Black Captain America. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s second episode featured an altercation between Sam and a police officer that implied prejudiced behavior towards Sam, regardless of his hero status, and Sam’s discovery of Isaac Bradley’s mistreatment at the hands of the US government because of similar prejudices plays a key role in him accepting the hero mantle. As such, while Steve’s MCU characterization devalued Rogue’s nickname terribly, Sam’s Cap ages it even worse.

The presence of John Walker fits the insult more, as Walker is the embodiment of a militant Cap who blindly follows instructions. Sam, by contrast, scolds the representatives of the American government for being at fault for the Flag Smashers’ violent sprees, as the former’s legislation impoverished the group. Given Wilson takes up the mantle in part to redeem what it means from Walker’s time besmirching it, it would make more sense for Captain America: Brave New World to further test his allegiance to the American government, allowing Sam to undoubtably prove he is not “America’s Top Cop”.

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