It’s a question that has been debated by Marvel fans for years: Is Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), aka Captain America, a virgin?
Considering that as a young man, Rogers was frozen in ice for six decades, then plunged immediately into action in a years-long battle for the fate of humanity, true believers theorized (obsessed over?) the idea that Cap didn’t have sex until he stayed in the past to grow old with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) following the time-hopping climax of Avengers: Endgame.
As it turns out, those obsessives include Jen Walters (Tatiana Maslany), the self-aware star of the new Disney+ series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, which Marvel finally, shockingly, gives us a definitive answer.
Walters is seen at the start of the series’ first episode, which premiered Thursday, amusingly rambling on about it to her cousin, Cap’s fellow Avenger Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), in the lead-up to a fateful car crash: “He goes from world-threatening disaster to world-threatening disaster. That’s when he’s not a fugitive from the law. So it seems like he was pretty, pretty busy,” Jen says. “Obviously, Captain America was a virgin.”
Bruce is seemingly annoyed by a conversation that’s implied they’ve had many times before. But in the episode’s end credits scene, he actually clears the record.
“Steve Rogers is not a virgin,” Bruce, as Smart-Hulk, tells an “emotional” Jen, believing she’s intoxicated, as they drink outside his isolated Mexican lab. “He lost his virginity to a girl in 1943 on the USO tour.”
“Yes, I knew it,” Jen, who had been faking her inebriation, replies. “CAPTAIN AMERICA FU—!”
We only get the first sound of that last word (Marvel still isn’t allowing F-bombs, at least not until Deadpool formally crosses over), but we all know what she says.
Twitter reacted with appropriate delight Thursday, including Evans himself, who shared a few crying-from-laughing emojis as well as a zipper-mouth face.
Ruffalo, meanwhile, facetiously apologized: “Sorry bro. It was under extreme duress.”
Sorry bro. It was under extreme duress.
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) August 18, 2022
In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment last weekend, head writer and executive producer Jessica Gao explained why the half-hour comedy took on Rogers’s sex life for its big debut.
“That's just a question that I think a lot of people who watched Marvel movies had,” Gao tells us. “So many of these questions [in the show] about things that happened in the MCU are a result of just real conversations that we in the writers’ room have had with our friends or amongst each other. And that’s something a lot of us talked about in the writer's room: It would just be such a shame that one of the greatest men ever, with that hot ass, could go to his grave having never felt the loving embrace of a woman.” (In case you missed it, Gao is referencing another Marvel in-joke: the quality of Rogers’s backside, which in Endgame was dubbed “America’s ass.”)
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) August 15, 2022
In a separate interview with Variety, Gao says the She-Hulk team cleared the gag with the head of the studio himself, Kevin Feige, who actually provided them the official company answer.
“I can’t describe to you how thrilled and shocked I was that not only was Kevin on board with answering the question, that he supplied me with the canon answer,” she said. “That is straight from Kevin’s golden mouth.”
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) August 18, 2022
Maslany was not previously familiar with the brouhaha over Steve’s sex life. “I thought that was just Jen’s brain, and I love that there are a whole group of people who are Googling this,” she tells us.
“This is why a show like this exists. We're finally getting to the hidden truths of the MCU."
Before having that conversation in the writers’ room, we’re wondering if She-Hulk’s creators saw our interview from 2021 with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the screenwriters of all three Captain America movies, as well as Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
For Captain America: The First Avenger’s 10th bday, I talked to writers Markus & McFeely about things like the hot-button issue of Steve Rogers’ virginity.
They are emphatic Steve lost it on that USO tour in First Avenger, which I believe is now canon.
CC @ChrisEvans #Hardnews pic.twitter.com/LfYc0zDmJD
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) July 22, 2021
“I think he loses his virginity!” McFeely reacted emphatically when we asked if they ever considered showing Rogers with a woman in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger. “Why do people think he’s a virgin? If you look like that, and you’re going city to city, and you’re signing autographs for the likes of the ladies he’s signing the autographs for, I gotta imagine that [he lost his virginity].”
“And yeah, the thing to remember is Steve Rogers isn’t a prude,” Markus added. “He may be occasionally presented that way. He’s a guy who believes in right and wrong and all these things, but he’s not a choir boy. He’s a World War II veteran.”
Markus and McFeely, it turns out, were right all along.
“And I’m gonna say it right now,” Markus added dryly. “We shot it. We filmed it. We have it.”
Maybe that comes in She-Hulk’s season finale.
Watch our interview with the cast and creators of She-Hulk: