Is Captain America Ruining Grief Counseling?

A Very Minor Avengers Fan Theory

There is a lot to be said about the latest Avengers film. 

To begin with: I liked it. A lot.

However, there’s one scene that I can’t get out of my head. It’s a scene that made headlines for a different reason, as it contains the first (openly) gay character in the MCU. 

The scene in question

If you do not recall this scene, I’ll catch you up:

  • It’s immediately after the 5 year jump, after Thor & Company killed Thanos
  • Steve “Captain America” Rogers is either attending or leading a support group
  • If you missed this story, the scene includes an unnamed man who references going on a date with another man. This single scene is the first, and thus far only, gay character in the 23 Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk write about. Instead, I think it’s important to note that Captain America is probably ruining the group therapy sessions he attends. 

Steve Rogers, grieving with his new buds

Is there any evidence for this fan theory?

I have two pieces of evidence for this:

  1. The group therapy session is surprisingly sparsely attended
  2. Captain America isn’t being particularly helpful during it

Let’s consider the attendance issue first.

Why aren’t more people attending group therapy with Captain America?

This is a serious question that I immediately began pondering as I watched Avengers: Endgame for the first time.

First, I found it to be unclear whether Captain Rogers was actually leading the group or just a regularly attending member of it.

Second, it seems bizarre that more people aren’t there. It’s less than a dozen sad folks sitting around on folding chairs.

Even with half the world’s population gone and five years gone by, I’m fairly confident that people would still want to join a therapy session attended (or even led) by Captain America. 

I have a few reasons to think people would want to go to this:

  • He’s a pretty big celebrity who has been famous for almost a century
  • Literally every single person on Earth is grieving, because 50% of people are dead
  • He’s seriously such a celebrity that, throughout the MUC franchise, other characters have interrupted important moments to comment on his celebrity status and fawn over him
  • With approximately 50% of celebrities dead (seriously, baseball doesn’t even exist anymore), there would presumably be a higher premium on the celebrities who did survive
  • What’s more intimate of a celebrity encounter than attending grief therapy for a shared trauma?
Just one example of Captain America being a celebrity before any of the other characters (minus Thor) were even born.

I think all of this can be explained away by one thing….

Captain America is being really annoying during group therapy

There are two things that happen during the group grief counseling scene.

First, a man tells a story about trying to go on a date.

Second, Steve “Captain Oblivious” Rogers story-tops him and suggests everyone should just move on. 

I have to assume that these Captain America group therapy sessions used to be really popular. They could’ve filled one of America’s abandoned sports stadiums or music venues. Then, over time, everyone realized that Captain America had a schtick, which involved invalidating their grief and making everything about him. 

Seriously, the guy is the one person on Earth with double the grief. Not only did half the people who knew died, but this happened AFTER he spent decades frozen in ice while everyone he grew up with aged and died. The love of his life got married, had children, and died while he slept his life away in Antarctica. 

It’s not a reach to think Steve is bringing everyone down, rather than helping them, when they gather on their folding chairs and talk about The Snap. 

Does this make Captain America even cooler?

Before you interpret this to be a blog post in which I mock Captain America, I’d like to say that it’s nice seeing him make mistakes. He’s one of my favorite superheroes—particularly within the Marvel Cinematic Universe—and it can make him more relatable when he makes well-intentioned mistakes, like this one.

I do have to wonder why no one ever said anything to him. Why Black Widow didn’t suggest that maybe, five years later, no one needed to hear about his trip to Antarctica one more time.

I guess, well, he’s Captain America and he’s trying his hardest. If he isn’t noticing the attendance at his support groups is constantly dwindling, would you want to be the one to point it out?

Don’t worry. I’m not saying this guy isn’t great. He’s still the best.

And no, this isn’t meant to invalidate any of Captain America’s other, very important contributions to saving humanity. Just a good reminder that even superheroes make mistakes and could benefit from self-awareness.

Interested in more fan theories? Consider how Tony Stark might have subliminally shaped Peter Parker’s hobbies and career choices.

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