Marvel: 10 Times MCU Heroes Deserved To Lose | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

From The Hulk’s ill-advised attack on Thanos to Shang-Chi’s loss to his sister, MCU heroes have had battles that they deserved to lose.
It’s no surprise when fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe root for the heroes to save the day by beating the villains. While this is more or less the case in all the movies and Disney+ shows, there have been times where the protagonists have suffered losses.
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Everyone from Doctor Strange to the Guardians of the Galaxy to Shang-Chi, to Black Panther have been on the losing end at some point. And in many cases, they deserved to be beaten for a variety of reasons. Frequently, the heroes demonstrate poor attitudes during or prior to important battles and  suffer defeat due to their hubris. But these losses ultimately led to positive character development. Thus, looking back on these defeats to examine what held the protagonists back can uncover new layers to their growth as heroes.
Thor was adamant in his desire to attack Jotunheim after Frost Giants entered Asgard. Despite Odin’s refusal to allow him to leave, Thor did so anyway by convincing his friends to accompany him. As expected, the group ended up being overwhelmed by the number of Frost Giants at Jotunheim and would have died if Odin didn’t rescue them.
This loss was squarely on Thor’s shoulders as the preemptive attack on the Frost Giants led to the resumption of war between Jotunheim and Asgard. Thor was also not truly interested in retaliating for the Frost Giants’ attack as his act of bravado was simply to feed his ego at the time.
While the Disney+ series made a good case for why Sylvie should be considered the best Loki variant, she’s the one who caused the multiverse to collapse. Sylvie and Loki were given the option to kill He Who Remains, who also warned them that taking his life would come with greater consequences.
Sylvie had only anger and resentment on her mind, leading her to kill He Who Remains and doom the timeline. At the end of it all, Sylvie deserved to taste this defeat since she can’t blame anyone else as it was her choice. She needed to realize that her extreme inability to trust someone would eventually do more harm than good.
The Hulk surprised Thanos on the Asgardian ship and looked to beat the Mad Titan into submission. This didn’t work out as hoped at all, as Thanos used his skills as a fighter to demolish Hulk in what was essentially a squash fight.
Although Hulk had the best interests of the Asgardians at heart, he deserved to take this beating because it served as a wake-up call for him to understand that he can’t punch his way out of everything. Thanos didn’t cut corners in their fight either, as he refused help from the Black Order and defeated Hulk without gloating about it.
Drax was repeatedly told by the rest of the group not to summon Ronan as he had no chance of defeating him. Yet Drax still sent out a signal to Ronan on Knowhere even though the main characters had the Power Orb that they were trying to conceal from the villain. 
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Drax’s move was ill-fated, as he was outmatched by Ronan and humiliated when the latter insulted his family. Rocket called Drax out on his behavior later on, telling him that his vengeance was no excuse for putting everyone else at risk. Drax needed both the defeat and Rocket’s scolding to realize that his bid for revenge had made him utterly selfish.
Partway through the movie, Shang-Chi made a shocking confession to Katy that he had abandoned his younger sister in China as a child. After returning to find Xialing, Shang-Chi realized he had been tricked but found himself in the underground fight club against his sister.
Xialing looked to gain her revenge by not only defeating Shang-Chi but hurting him the way she felt. Although Shang-Chi held back, he was still technically knocked out by Xialing. Considering he had promised he would return in three days and never did, Shang-Chi deserved to take this beating.
Baron Zemo revealed that the Winter Soldier had killed Iron Man’s parents, Howard and Maria Stark, beginning a conflict in which Iron Man tried to kill the Winter Soldier out of anger. Iron Man was wrong to do so, however, as his intended target was brainwashed at the time and couldn’t have controlled himself, which Iron Man knew.
He still went ahead with the attack, clearly trying to end the Winter Soldier’s likfe, even pointing a missile straight into his adversary’s face at one point. In the end, he was defeated by the combined efforts of Captain America and the Winter Soldier, with Iron Man realizing by Avengers: Endgame that it was for the best.
Tony learned he didn’t have much time to live due to the palladium poisoning in his arc reactor and developed the War Machine suit for Rhodey. During a party where he got drunk and abused the use of the Iron Man suit, Rhodey donned his own armor to begin a fight.
Although Tony intended to give the suit to Rhodey eventually, this scuffle was real and the friends came to blows that ended with War Machine leaving with the armor. Tony deserved to get some sense knocked into him as this loss made him realize he had unfairly kept Rhodey and Pepper in the dark about his condition.
Doctor Strange’s episode in What If…? had him break every law of time and nature to resurrect Christine Palmer. He was warned not to meddle with the absolute point in time that was Christine’s death but ended up killing his benevolent half to save his love.
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This caused the entire universe to collapse, meaning Strange ironically lost even when he had won. In his final moments, he was admonished by Uatu the Watcher who outright stated that Strange deserved to lose for being arrogant enough to think he could supersede the rules of the universe.
What If…? confirmed that T’Challa was right more than he was wrong, but his attitude in the fight against Killmonger falls in the latter category. During their ritual combat, T’Challa had two moments when he could have easily killed his foe, yet he held back even though it was clear that Killmonger was fighting to the death.
Capitalizing on his opportunities, Killmonger turned the tide and defeated T’Challa, following which the latter fell off the cliff. This battle was no time for T’Challa to be noble. Killmonger was a lost cause, and T’Challa did take his cousin’s life in the climactic battle. Losing in ritual combat was a deserved loss that T’Challa needed to understand his naivete.
The Guardians’ joking attitude is endearing for the most part, but in this case, they needed to get serious for once. It didn’t happen when it mattered against Thanos on Knowhere, though, as the group ignored Star-Lord’s strategy and simply did whatever they wanted.
Thanos anticipated their attack and used the Reality Stone, then kidnapped Gamora to take her to Vormir. A thorough check of their surroundings would have given the Guardians a chance to learn that Thanos had manipulated the environment. Any kind of a plan would at least have given them a good shot to defeat him. However, their usual arguments and bickering led to the botched ambush, for which they should only blame themselves.
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Saim Cheeda is an entertainment writer covering all of Film, TV, Gaming and Books. He’s been a writer for Valnet since 2017, contributing 500+ articles for The Gamer, The Things, Game Rant, Comic Book Resources and Screen Rant. Apart from freelance writing, Saim is a lifestyle blogger, co-owning the blog 3 States Apart.


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