Captain America Snapped His Fingers:
Avengers: Endgame gave us an emotional & surprising ending with Tony Stark sacrificing himself for the greater good. It allowed Tony to prove that he isn’t the selfish guy that most people thought he was. Before Endgame came out, we were convinced that Captain America was going to die no matter what. He has been the one to sacrifice himself over time, so his death at the hands of Thanos seemed highly likely. While things came devastatingly close to that, it turned out that Captain America was never meant to make the sacrifice in this film. Marvel had to subvert our expectations in every way. So, they chose Tony for the big moment and it was a sensible decision according to the previous setups.
Right from the first Avengers movie, things were being set up in a way that would lead to Tony Stark making the snap happen while Captain America will get to live the life he never got. So, suddenly Cap couldn’t have made the sacrifice play story wise. But still, we can’t help but wonder how things would’ve been if Captain America did end up snapping his fingers instead of Tony. Screen Rant did a video on it and they raised 2 questions if this were to be the outcome of Avengers: Endgame.
The first question with Steve’s Snap is – would he be able to survive it? Steve Rogers is a tough guy and we all know that. But it takes a massive amount of energy to snap even wield the Infinity Gauntlet with all 6 stones. We’ve actually seen that Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet was able to contain the energy from the Infinity Stones for a while, but the Stark Gauntlet just wasn’t able to do that. So, wearing the nano Infinity Gauntlet had a much lethal effect on the wearer. Thanos & Smart Hulk was insanely strong and that’s why they were able to survive in the aftermath of snapping their fingers.
Tony Stark on the other hand only survived for a long while because his suit was consuming the massive energy from the Infinity Stones & not letting it fully reach him until he snapped. Steve Rogers is not as strong as the Hulk. So, we believe that he certainly wouldn’t survive the snap if he did it, even if it was just to get rid of Thanos’ army and not the people of the entire Universe. But we’ve seen that the Super Soldier serum actually makes him almost as strong (if not stronger) than an Iron Man suit. So, he would have probably been able to survive long enough to say good bye to everyone.
The second question that gets raised is the aftermath of the Snap. Tony would’ve lived with his family happily ever after and he would have had the same respect & grief in his eyes that Rogers did when Tony died. Sam & Bucky would’ve been the ones to say their goodbyes to Steve instead of Peter Parker, Rhodey & Pepper. The rest would’ve turned out to be almost similar. Only Tony Stark would’ve certainly gotten another adventure, probably battles against the real Mandarin & fights against MODOK. He would’ve been the mentor of Ironheart as well. After snapping, Steve Rogers would’ve met Peggy Carter in the Soul World just like Tony supposedly met his daughter Morgan.
If Steve Rogers were to snap his fingers, then Marvel would’ve surely taken different narrative points to arrive at that point. But it was never meant to happen. Steve was always supposed to go back in time and live with Peggy as that arc was being set up ever since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. When Steve met old Peggy Carter in the hospital, every dialogue that Peggy says feels meaningful even if we think that Steve was always the husband of Peggy Carter. Steve did end up living with Peggy in a different timeline, but the writers always intended him & Peggy to be together with no other man being in Peggy’s life. And that’s why Rogers could have never made the snap.