Infinity War: Why Is Captain America Wearing His Winter Soldier Suit?

Avengers Infinity War Captain America Vanity Fair header

The release of Avengers: Infinity War is fast approaching, and yet, we haven't seen anything in the way of official footage, set pictures or first-look images -- until today, that is.

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Vanity Fair magazine has released all four covers of its upcoming issue which will dive into the massive superhero team-up film. These four covers, shot by renowned photographer Jason Bell, highlight different superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe striking a pose together, and each of them can be seen wearing their new or current costumes.

Marvel Vanity Fair Captain America Cover

Spider-Man, Black Panther and Doctor Strange are all wearing the costumes we last saw them in, while others, like Thor, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are sporting new costumes, along with new hairstyles. There is, however, one hero who isn't wearing a current or new costume: Captain America. In fact, Steve Rogers is seen wearing the S.T.R.I.K.E. Team outfit he wore in the opening half of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when he was operating as a super agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. So why is Cap wearing an old costume, and what could this mean for Infinity War?

There's actually two possibilities at work here. The first is that Marvel has a secret about Captain America they intend to keep quiet until the movie is released, or at least a first trailer. In fact, in promo artwork and leaked pictures of the film, we have seen that Steve Rogers is sporting a beard and the now-tattered costume he originally wore in Captain America: Civil War, the sleeves pulled back, and the white star pulled off. Considering that Civil War ended with Steve dropping his shield and, essentially, the Captain America mantle, this is likely his way of showing that he is still fighting for good, but not as the superhero he once was.

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This led to many theorizing that Cap will go by the codename Nomad -- a fire actor Sebastian Stan added fuel too recently when he signed a fan's poster, adding a speech bubble to Captain America flat-out stating he was Nomad. In Marvel Comics lore, Nomad was an identity Steve embraced in the '70s after dropping the Captain America mantle. Nomad's comic book costume was fabulous, with a deep v-neck line that kept on going and a superheroic cape that was as glamorous as it was colorful. While it's highly unlikely that Chris Evans' Steve Rogers will be slipping into that costume, it's possible that there is another new, more tactical version of the Nomad costume that is being kept under wraps -- something Marvel wants us to discover as we match the movie's story unfold.

But there's also a second possibility. It's quite feasible to imagine that at some point in the film, when the circumstances are more than dire and the Avengers -- and the entire world -- are in great need of leadership as they face the overwhelming odds of Thanos and his Black Order, Steve will pick up his shield up once again and reclaim the mantle of Captain America.

Marvel Vanity Fair Iron Man Thor Falcon

On all three other Vanity Fair covers, the Avengers are wearing their most iconic looks, and Captain America is needed to complete that roster. On the Falcon's shoulder, you can easily see a scratched-off portion where the Avengers logo used to be, indicating that Sam Wilson still very much stands by his friend Steve's side. But while the Falcon may not have another suit lying around to put on when they re-join the Avengers, it just so happens that Steve might have one put away. In fact, Captain America: The Winter Solider saw Steve ditch his S.T.R.I.K.E. gear when S.H.I.E.L.D. was hunting him to go into hiding -- but we never got to see what he did with that suit. Perhaps Steve decided to leave it in a trusted place, just in case of a dark or rainy day.

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This costume's return could signify the reappearance of a newly purposed Steve Rogers, much in the same way the Russo brothers did in The Winter Soldier. Some fans would argue that this uniform was Captain America's best on-screen look, which would make it a welcomed sight in Infinity War. Age of Ultron saw Cap sport a similar costume with stronger tones of white and red, something that was reduced in Civil War. As we head into this next film, it could be that Captain America's uniform is brought back to the one that made the most sense for the character -- one that was tactical, commanding and heroic all at once.

Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. The film opens May 4, 2018.

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