Steve Rogers is undoubtedly the center of the Avengers (though Tony Stark is certainly the OG in the MCU), and unfortunately for him, that makes him the de facto mom of the team. The irony is that Cap is actually not great at taking direction and following rules himself — especially for someone whose job it is to enforce those rules within his team. As seen in The First Avenger, Winter Soldier, and practically every team Avengers movie (especially Civil War), Cap ducks and dodges official edicts like Nazi bullets when he doesn’t agree that it’s the right thing to do. Which is why it’s hilarious to see a now ostracized enemy of the state and on the run Cap (post-Civil War) pop up in Spider-Man: Homecoming, serving milquetoast PSAs to Queens high school students.
No one plays the straight man for jokes like Chris Evans, and frankly, MCU should be filled with little, delightful moments where the hilarious parts of Steve Rogers get to shine. Always good for a dry one liner (“I bet you look terrible in bikinis now.”), Cap’s humor really shines in Spider-Man: Homecoming in a series of three PSAs shown at Peter Parker’s high school.
The first one is a delightful Mean Girls-esque set up where Cap is droning on about a parody of the President’s Fitness Challenge until the gym teacher (Hannibal Buress) turns it off with a note that Cap miiiiiiiiiiiiight be a war criminal now. But you know, only a little bit.
The second one was a gentle chastising over getting detention — again, hilarious considering all the laws Cap is breaking while on the run after dropping Bucky off in Wakanda with T’Challa — before transitioning into the horrors of puberty. “So, your body’s changing. Believe me, I know a thing or two about that,” says a straight-faced Cap to Peter Parker.
And the third is a post-credits scene that pokes fun at the audience about waiting around too long for something that’s ultimately unsatisfying in the end. Poor Cap cuts himself off and plaintively asks how many more of these there are to do.
Based strictly on the suit he’s wearing in the PSAs, these were most likely filmed post-Avengers but pre Winter Soldier. It seems unlikely that anyone’s gonna be calling Cap up post-Civil War to do more of these anytime soon, though — after all, he’s not exactly America’s poster boy anymore now that he’s brought down S.H.I.E.L.D., freed a war criminal, and turned his back on the Sokovia Accords.
While Cap’s days of schmoozing for the good of America might be over, thank god Marvel gifted us with this lighthearted reminder of why we love Cap in the first place. Expect to see a LOT more of these on the DVD/Blu-ray release, as Homecoming director Jon Watts told CinemaBlend he shot a ton that didn’t end up in the final cut of the movie.