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The Upcoming MCU Character Who Could Replace Captain America

Across its 13 years of pop culture domination, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has hosted some of comics' biggest names. Everyone from Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) to Black Panther (the late Chadwick Boseman) has had the chance to make the jump from page to screen, often to great success. Chris Evans' rendition of Steve Rogers, better known as Captain America, is no exception, becoming a fan-favorite torchbearer for the Avengers film series and receiving a trilogy of his own. 

As a result, Captain America's departure from the shared universe in 2019's Avengers: Endgame, which came alongside the exits of a handful of other Marvel mainstays, left an unfillable hole in his wake. In an effort to move on, the MCU's fourth phase promises to be a new era in the long-running box office juggernaut. A host of fresh heroes are on the way for the old guard to pass their batons to, including the likes of Ironheart (Dominique Thorne), She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany), and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld), to name a few. 

Fans suspect that in the impending Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter SoldierAnthony Mackie's Falcon will take on Captain America's role as the tenacious leader of the revitalized Avengers, after taking ownership of his iconic shield at the end of Endgame, but he may have a contender for that position. According to a comic book legend, one of Marvel Studios' upcoming projects will introduce the proposed individual who could potentially fill the Star-Spangled Man's boots.

Shang-Chi's moral code makes him Cap's prime replacement

A major piece to the Captain America puzzle is his strong moral backbone (in addition to him being a naturally gifted leader, a biologically enhanced super-soldier, and an expert combatant, of course). No matter what, Steve Rogers is dedicated to doing what's right for all, and never compromises when common ground is impossible to reach. If you need proof of his dedication to his convictions, look no further than 2016's Captain America: Civil War

That said, with him now knee-deep into his retirement years, it'll be difficult to find a suitable replacement in the MCU in this regard, but it's not impossible. In fact, the movie-star-to-be Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) certainly fits the bill in Jim Starlin's eyes. The man behind the aforementioned character — and, most famously, Thanos — recently sat down for a video interview with ComicBook.com, during which he discussed Shang-Chi's characterization.

As Starlin shared with the outlet, with Captain America now gone from the MCU, Shang-Chi can rise to the occasion to become the franchise's voice of morality. "The Marvel Cinematic Universe is [now] without a moral center. [Captain America] was always acting as that part. Shang-Chi, on the other hand, even though he's an assassin to start off with, he's a very moral character — at least the way [writer Steve] Englehart and I created and worked with him. And I think most writers after that [did too]," said Starlin. "So he may be, in some ways, Captain America's replacement in the Marvel universe."

Whether or not Marvel Studios will actually make Shang-Chi Cap's replacement remains to be seen, but it would be an interesting direction to take the franchise newcomer. We'll just have to wait and see if MCU's Shang-Chi will measure-up to Cap's moral compass when Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (hopefully) hits theaters on July 9.