Going into Avengers: Infinity War, I fully expected multiple Avengers including fan-favorite characters to die, and it happened quite fast too. The first deaths came almost as soon as I had settled into my seat, although they weren’t exactly members of the Avengers team. But it was clear from the get-go that Marvel meant business, and that Thanos will be the best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.
The cliffhanger carnage was way worse than I could have envisioned, but it was pretty obvious all those deaths will be undone in Avengers 4. Now, we have plenty of evidence to suggest that’s exactly what will happen next year, and that some time traveling may be involved to undo The Snap. We also have plenty of fan theories about what happened and what’s about to go down, including a wilder one that says a main Avenger already died and came back to life in Infinity War.
Redditor commander_wong believes that Captain America was killed in the Battle of Wakanda, and then brought back to life by Thanos as he used the Time Stone to recover the Mind Stone from Vision:
Thanos ended his short battle with Cap with a punch to the back of the head. Many wondered how Cap recovered in mere seconds from a punch that even took out the Hulk and the most logical explanation is that he didn’t. As Thanos used the time stone to bring Vision back, the surroundings also reverted: Natasha was no longer trapped under pillars of stone, Bruce was no longer fused to a rock, and Cap showed no signs of injuries from a blow that should’ve easily killed him.
I remember distinctly thinking “this must be it,” when Captain America faced Thanos in Wakanda. By “it” I mean Captain’s death. Going into Infinity War, I believed that Captain America would be one of the heroes who would somehow die by the end of the movie, considering that Chris Evans has already confirmed that he’s done with the role. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Marvel will kill off the character because they might need him down the road. A heroic death is precisely what would fit Cap.
Come to think of it, if this theory is true, then Thanos may have killed Black Panther too, right before that scene. Thanos only needed a punch to knock out the King. Black Panther may have an awesome suit, but he doesn’t have the genetic mutations of Steve Rogers or the Hulk, so he might not be able to withstand the same kind of physical abuse.
Then again, not seeing an explicit death scene, I just thought that Captain America and Co. survived that first clash with the titan.
And let’s not forget that, as exciting as this theory is, if Marvel wanted to kill Cap briefly, they’d have might have made sure that the audience realized what was happening. When Thanos defeats Captain America, he just moves to the next objective, and we’re never told whether Captain was dead or not. Not to mention that Thanos seems to be more interested in having the stones decide which Avengers live and which ones die, rather than doing the killing himself. He kills plenty of people including all those Asgardians and Gamora, but he doesn’t kill any of the other heroes himself.