Steve Rogers is returning to the role of Captain America. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. We've already seen the solicit for the upcoming Captain America #1. There's also the fact that a Captain America movie is out next month and makes it necessary for Steve Rogers to be in the costume.
Since his death (which was actually a scheme of the Red Skull to trap Rogers in the timestream and force him to relive moments of his life), Bucky Barnes, Cap's original sidekick, has taken the mantle of Captain America. Bucky has grown into the role and it's been great seeing him in action. Regardless, I still considered Steve Rogers to be the Captain America.
The question is, what event could make Steve don the costume once again? He's made it clear that he doesn't really want the role. For one, it was never his intention to be a leader or a symbol. He just wanted to serve his country. Second, from his journey through the timestream, he saw the future and knew if Bucky wasn't Captain America, it would result in his death. Based on the events in FEAR ITSELF #3, the reason for Steve's return might be clear. Does his return to Captain America mean the end for Bucky?== TEASER ==
Steve Rogers as Captain America just makes sense. Just as Bruce Wayne returned to the role of Batman even though Dick Grayson had taken over in his absence, we've been expecting Steve to return to being Cap. Bruce Wayne's return resulted in multiple Batmen and Batman, Incorporated. Why does Steve's return to being Cap have to mean that Bucky can't continue as Captain America as well? (From the looks of things, Bucky might not even survive to see Steve as Cap once again). This is one of the differences between Marvel and DC. DC is willing to have multiple Batmen, Green Lanterns, Flashes, etc. We don't really see multiple Marvel characters with the same name.
Because of the military angle, why can't we have more than one Captain? With all the parallels between Cap and Batman, would it be possible to have a Captain America Corps? There is actually a Captain America Corps miniseries coming up and we do have other...patriotic heroes. The miniseries is dealing with the different Cap-based characters pulled from different points in the timestream but why can't we have an actual team of Captain Americas?
As Steve often puts it, Captain America is a symbol. With all the fear and loss of faith during FEAR ITSELF, doesn't America need more than just one symbol of hope right now? Bucky is too good of a character to simply be killed off. Since his return as the Winter Soldier, Bucky has evolved beyond what anyone thought possible. With everything he went through during The Trial of Captain America and his time in the Russian gulag, there's too much storytelling to just see the character fade away to Comic Book Limbo.
There could be confusion having multiple Caps running around but it would immediately be clear which was the real deal. Despite his reluctance to be a leader, that is what he is. Heroes (and gods) will take orders from him without a second thought.
As for what it is that causes Steve to abandon his Commander Rogers/Super Soldier identity and return to Captain America, it's safe to say it's due to Bucky's injury at the hands of the Asgardian-enhanced Sin. Steve will feel responsible for Bucky's injury since he kept pushing him to retain the identity. Sin is Steve's enemy since she is the daughter of Red Skull. Steve will feel it is his duty to take her down. What better and fitting way to do so than as Captain America. That will add a little bit of a psychological edge when facing Sin and make the victory even sweeter. Let's just hope that even Captain America has what it takes to take on Sin and the Asgardian Serpent.
Steve may be back as Captain America but it doesn't have to mean the end for Bucky. I mentioned before what I'd like to see happen to him. Steve needs to be Cap but let's hope it doesn't result in Bucky having to die.