This shouldn't come as too much of a spoiler, but towards the end of Marvel Comics' Civil War storyline, Captain America bites the big one. And for months leading up to the release of Captain America: Civil War in theaters this past May, many fans believed Chris Evans' freedom fighter would face a similar fate. That never came to pass, though. And War Machine was the only Avenger who really even came close to dying, though everyone lived. Today, directors Joe and Anthony Russo discuss why that panned out in such fashion.

In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it was speedster Quicksilver who didn't quite make it to end credits. And it showed that Marvel was willing to sacrifice a few of its characters for the greater good of storytelling. So many fans walked into Civil War expecting to see at least one major character's arc come to an end. The comics killed off multiple characters, after all, not just Cap.

Though no Avengers died this summer, on the big screen anyway, their conflict certainly tore the superhero organization apart. And it has been confirmed that Steve Rogers threw his shield away at the end of the movie, ending his run as Captain America, though it has yet to be revealed who will assume the mantle in Infinity War. At the end of the movie, Steve has gone into hiding along with Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man, and Falcon, with Bucky held prisoner in Wakanda with Black Panther watching over him. Now, Tony Stark, Vision and an injured Rhodey are what's left of the Avengers initiative as it stands. Some have speculated that Spider-Man may join this fractured line-up.

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The Russo brothers recently attended a Marvel event in Hollywood for the release of Captain America: Civil War on Blu-ray, and HitFix were there to capture there answers about the MCU at large. The duo explained why no Avengers died in this latest installment. It was revealed that they did consider killing off Captain America, but only for 'a beat.' Anthony Russo went onto say this.

"I think the thing to remember is, we do talk about every possible scenario over and over and over again for months and months and months. We talked about it. But it never made its way into a realistic outline. The tragedy is the family falls apart. Not that the family falls apart and then somebody dies"

Joe Russo continued, getting into the meat of the matter.

"We talked about lots of potential characters dying at the end of the movie. And we thought that it would undercut what is really the rich tension of the movie, which is this is Kramer vs Kramer. It's about a divorce. If somebody dies, it would create empathy, which would change and allow for repair, and we didn't want to do that."

Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige was also in attendance, and he claimed that their were no superhero deaths because the movie was simply setting up the carnage and destruction that is coming in Avengers: Infinity War. Apparently, at least one major hero will find themselves buried six feet under dirt by the time Thanos is done with the universe. Says Feige on the no death mantra of Civil War.

"In the amazing comic book story, which certainly the conceit of this movie is based on and some of the specifics - during their big battle, which has a hundred times as many characters, a character dies. And we talked about that for a while. And, ultimately, we thought what happened to Rhodey would be enough of a downer."

Marvel movies don't like to play in perfect synch with what has happened in the comic books. So anyone is fare game when it comes to Avengers: Infinity War. And a lot of contracts will be up by the time this two-part superhero adventure brings Marvel Phase 3 to a close. While newcomers like Black Panther and Spider-Man are probably safe, the next two Avengers movies could bring the death of leaders Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Hawkeye definitely isn't safe. And Thor might see his final days as well as Phase 4 sets up a whole new version of the MCU. While Civil War played it fairly safe, you can bet Infinity War is going to be bloody and brutal.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange