This is such a wonderful Ult Steve moment that I have to gush a bit.
For some context: by the time the scene pictured here rolls around, this is the second time Nuke (Frank Simpson) has ridiculed Steve for his faith. He’s also spent days (at least) torturing Steve. You can see here Steve is about at his breaking point and he’s really hitting the end of his rope. When…things pull through for him. He takes it as a sign, and thanks to this turn of events he’s able to overpower Nuke and win the day, and finds his faith restored in the process.
(If you’re curious, Steve looks over and sees a venomous snake in his cell. He kills it and sucks the venom from the snake, holding it in his mouth and grinning at Nuke when he opens the cell, before spitting it in his face. Cap is one gnarly dude, ok.)
Now I know people might read this last bit as vindictive. And there’s an element of that, for sure. During Nuke’s torture he attempted to indoctrinate Steve in the “truth” of US war-making, so this is clearly a bit of a jab at that.
However, this little epilogue moment with Nuke really stood out for me. Ult Steve tends to be portrayed more aggressively than other Steve’s, and this guy tortured him. But he doesn’t lay a hand on him or even threaten it. What he does is an act of love and faith thinly veiled as a bit of petty fun.
Steve might be struggling with his faith, but it is clear it’s vitally important to him. At this point, I think it’s safe to say his faith is one of the few things keeping him moving. The loss of that, after everything else, probably would have broken him.
So he goes, faith restored, and takes this precious, intimate, life-giving belief, that is one of the only things keeping him putting one foot in front of the other, and shares it with this person that made his faith into a joke and tried to break him. But who also started out…so very much like Steve. (It is, perhaps, not the most gentle way to share his beliefs, but Steve is not a light touch in this universe.)
This is the kind of Christian Steve Rogers is. He’s not taking vengeance into his own hands. He’s forgiving. Compassionate. He’s sharing something he sees as life-saving and empowering. He’s genuine and caring, for all he’s tough as nails and abrasive as hell sometimes. He could have simply walked away and never seen the guy again. But instead, he’s reaching out.