Oh, how emotional this short letter always makes me.
These are Steve’s last words, written in anticipation of his death—a death he likely assumed would come at the hands of the pro-SHRA camp led by Tony. The SHRA caused a rift in Tony and Steve’s relationship, one we were supposed to believe they wouldn’t be able to mend. In fact, at this point, Tony is pretty convinced Steve died hating him. They last spoke through a jail cell, where they exchanged heated words and accusations. And yet, this is what Steve writes in the letter; this is what he wants and who he wants to carry it forward. This is what he wants Tony to remember.
Steve makes it clear, throughout the superhero civil war, how betrayed he feels, how angry Tony’s support of the SHRA makes him. And yet… right here, in this letter, is an explicit “I trust you.” And not only is Steve trusting Tony with his final wishes—he is trusting him with two of the things most important to him: his legacy as Captain America, and Bucky Barnes, one of the people he loves most in the world. Even though he had a moral disagreement with Tony over the SHRA, he trusts Tony to guide Bucky, to act as his moral compass and retrieve the Bucky he knows survived all the brainwashing. Steve trusts Tony’s judgment so much that he bestows upon him to decide who deserves to be Captain America. This is fucking huge. Even after everything that has transpired between them, Steve trusts Tony; he trusts that Tony will do those things for him, and do them well, because he trusts that Tony loves him enough to do so. “Don’t let the dream die,” Steve says, because he recognizes he will never die in Tony’s heart.
If that’s not enough, Steve signs the letter with “yours,” because even though they didn’t part on good terms, they never stopped loving each other. Intense as it was, the anger they felt at each other is no competition for the years of meaningful friendship.
(Scans from Captain America, Vol 5 #28 and #30.)
1.) yes exactly YES and
2.) It’s probably thanks to this letter that Tony went on after Steve died knowing that, even after it all, Steve still loved him: