In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Steve Rogers’ superhero costume has gone from upgrade to upgrade. The character has rotated through multiple versions of his star-spangled armor, from his tactical World War II suit to his various colorful Avengers uniforms. He eventually seemed to reach a happy middle ground between soldier and superhero with his Captain America: Civil War suit, which he carried over into Avengers: Infinity War due to his being on the run from the government.
However, when it was time to take the fight back to Thanos in the opening minutes of Avengers: Endgame, Steve didn’t put his old Civil War outfit back on. This time, he opted for the fan-favorite stealth suit he donned in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Why did he make the change?
After the colorful and divisive costume the character wore in 2012’s The Avengers, fans were quick to identify the stealth suit as the best Captain America suit seen on the big screen — a statement that might still be valid to this day. Even star Chris Evans has gone on record to say it’s one of his favorite suits.
This particular costume was inspired by the Commander Rogers suit he first wore in the comics in 2009, after coming back to life. When Steve died at the end of the comics version of Civil War, Bucky Barnes became Captain America. But when Steve later returned to life, he urged Bucky to remain the Sentinel of Liberty. As for Steve, he took up the mantle of Commander Rogers, Super Soldier, and wore this new, darker stealth costume.
The suit was adapted for the big screen in The Winter Soldier, but not because Steve had dropped the mantle of Captain America. Instead, this suit was designed for Steve’s black ops mission with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s special covert S.T.R.I.K.E. team. Because of its tactical nature and darker color scheme, and because it so closely followed the less-than-beloved The Avengers outfit, this stealth suit became an instant fan-favorite. Sure, there were some differences from the comic suit, such as the added presence of a helmet and shield, but it was still recognizable as the modern, MCU version of the Commander Rogers uniform.
The stealth suit’s time onscreen in The Winter Soldier was perhaps a little brief, but it thankfully made a return in Avengers: Endgame. At the time, it was likely Steve had no more costumes at his disposal, so he had to reach back into his superhero wardrobe. Of course, when going up against Thanos, Steve surely had no use for a suit designed for a stealth approach. However, the change in costume may have been more symbolic.
After the terrible loss of Infinity War, it’s possible Steve sought to change to a “fresh” outfit to take the fight to Thanos. No more torn and dirty clothes — this time, he may have wanted to go in as prepared as possible, with the suit best equipped for the situation that was currently at his disposal. New mission, new plan, new costume. Well, as new as he could get, given the circumstances. Since Tony wasn’t available to make him a new suit, Steve had to resort to the next best thing.
And the next best thing, it turns out, is a fan-favorite suit that makes a return in a film that celebrated all 10 years of the MCU.
Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, Avengers: Endgame stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, Don Cheadle as War Machine, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Danai Gurira as Okoye and Bradley Cooper as Rocket, with Gwyneth Paltrow Pepper Potts, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Benedict Wong as Wong, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Josh Brolin as Thanos. The film is available on Digital HD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.
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In Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers put on his stealth suit from The Winter Soldier to fight Thanos — here's why he wore the fan-favorite suit.