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Fan Theory: Will Captain America and Iron Man survive Infinity War?

Post Update: Like many theories posted about Infinity War, this theory was most definitely proven wrong. It is worth mentioning that some themes that are pointed out in this theory may carry over to Avengers 4.

The latest Avengers: Infinity War trailer has officially dropped and one of the biggest questions on everybody’s mind is whether Cap and Iron Man make it out of the Avengers 3 alive!  After reviewing the evidence, I have come to this conclusion.  Steve Rogers will die and Tony Stark will survive.  This conclusion is certainly not my preference, because if I had my choice, it would be the other way around; I am absolutely a huge Cap fan.  So then why come to such a bleak conclusion?  Well first, let’s discuss the actual trailer.

In the latest trailer, we see what looks like a broken and defeated Tony Stark in what remains of his Iron Man suit.  Thanos, who appears to be in the same location says, “I hope they remember you” as he appears to deliver a final blow to Tony Stark.  This scene immediately cuts to Thanos attempting to grab Steve Rogers as Cap resists the infinity gauntlet’s massive clutch, appearing to stave off the mad titan.  Of course, like many people on the internet, I believe this to be an obvious misdirect! In fact, I believe that both Iron Man and Captain America’s situations will end in a similar, but different outcome. It seems likely that Iron Man will be rescued at the last moment by another hero in a classic narrow escape.  Steve Rogers on the other hand appears to be the one stepping in between Thanos and his intended target, taking him by surprise.

Thanos reacting to Steve holding him off

I believe this is the scene in which Thanos kills Captain America, who sacrifices himself in a last desperate attempt to save either an infinity stone or to save someone’s life.  More specifically, if Cap is saving someone, it will definitely be Bucky. I know what your saying, “Bucky? why would Cap die saving Bucky?”  I believe the answers are in the previous movies.

Throughout the Captain America movies, we not only see the evolution of Cap as a superhero, but also (and more importantly) the evolution of Bucky Barnes the Winter Soldier. In Captain America: The First Avenger, we see the friendship between Bucky and Steve as well as both of their unsuccessful deaths.  In The Winter Soldier, we see the return of Bucky and his return to the good side.  Finally, in Civil War, we see Bucky’s struggle to redeem himself as a hero.  I would strongly argue that the Captain America movies are more about Bucky Barnes than Steve Rogers.  So much so, that I think the only way the story can proceed between our two favorite super friends, is if Cap sacrifices himself to save Bucky, inspiring him to pick up the mantle as the next Captain America.


In Avengers 4, we will see Bucky picking up the shield…. oh wait the shield! The literal symbol of the Captain America mantle (so much so that without the shield, steve appears to have rid himself of his iconic imagery). What about the shield? Someone certainly cannot become Captain America without the iconic American shield! Well, we do know that after Tony and Steve had their fallout in Civil War, that Cap gave up his shield (and his mantle) to Tony Stark.  It also appears, from what we have seen in the trailers, that Iron Man and Cap are no where near each other for any part of the film, hence why cap has to use his new Wakandan shield.

wakandan shield

Since Steve Rogers will not be able to pass the shield to Bucky, it will be up to the person who currently has possession of it; Tony Stark.  Another reason why Tony will live on, and perhaps the biggest reason, is that he needs to complete his hero arc by making Bucky the new Captain America.  Allow me to explain.

In all the Iron Man movies we see a different kind of journey for Tony.  He goes from a billionaire arms-dealing playboy, to vigilante hero, to government sponsored hero.  Tony has constantly been struggling to become a better person and a better hero.  In Civil War, we see him over compensate for this and decide to enforce the law, even if it meant betraying his allies.


Now in Infinity War, we will see Tony finally have a chance a to make amends to both Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes by bestowing the mantle of Captain America to Bucky, and in doing so, making himself a fully realized leader and hero.

So there we have it, in a nutshell, if we take a step back and look at the individual character arcs of Tony, Steve and Bucky, we see that Steve will nobly sacrifice himself to save his friend, which leaves an unreconciled rift between him and Tony.  Tony, in a way of redemption will give Bucky the shield, giving Bucky a chance of redemption as a legitimate hero.

I like to think that since Bucky’s Captain America suit in the comics was shiny, that this will translate into a tech suit from Wakanda in the movies.

One last clue to all of this, comes from Thanos himself when he says “When I’m done, half of humanity will still exist.”  If we view Captain America and Iron man; heros of polar opposite opinions as “humanity,” then it becomes clear that one will die and the other will survive.  Perhaps, this is looking into it a little too far, but once again, only time will tell, and until next time, keep theorizing!

What are your thoughts on the survivability of Captain America and Iron Man? What about the other heros that weren’t mentioned here? Let us know your theories!

-Erik Montgomery