MCU: Every Character As Strong As Captain America, Ranked | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Captain America is one of the strongest heroes in the MCU, but he’s hardly in a league of his own these days.
In a fictional world as expansive as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s very difficult for the abilities of a character to remain consistent from one movie to the next. From Asgardian gods to enhanced beings or even artifacts and armors, power levels vary wildly.
RELATED: 5 Ways Captain America Is Better In The MCU (& Why He’s Better In The Comics)
Captain America isn’t immune to this rule. Though it’s not always clear just how powerful he is, the feats of strength he performs go beyond peak human abilities. He is briefly able to keep Thanos from going through with the Snap, drags a helicopter back while it is pulling away, and goes toe to toe with Iron Man. While characters like Thor and the Hulk are out of his league, there are some whose strength is comparable to Steve’s, if not quite to the same extent. On some occasions, it may be Steve’s sheer determination that makes the difference.
The Disney+ show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, provides valuable insight into the events that take place after the Blip. The return of half of the world’s population begins serious political conflict, as well as a struggle for resources. The Flag Smashers emerge as a terrorist organization that seeks to establish a world without borders, just like it was before.
Its leader, Karli Morgenthau, and her inner circle take the Super Soldier Serum, which makes them deceptively strong and fast. They don’t have Steve’s military training and honed senses, but the potential is there.
The first Soviet-Russian Super Soldier, Alexei Alanovich Shostakov becomes the Red Guardian after he receives the recreated version of the Serum that gave Steve his powers. Alexei appears in Black Widow as Natasha’s father figure, first during her childhood while in an undercover operation, and later throughout her mission to take down the Red Room.
Red Guardian’s enhanced strength, speed, and reflexes are a testament to the potency of the serum, but it’s unclear how he would truly compare to Steve’s abilities.  Alexei is only briefly shown in his prime, but he may very well be a challenge.
Despite being given the shield by Steve Rogers, Sam Wilson struggles with the idea of becoming Captain America. He hands it over to the Smithsonian, only for it to be claimed by the government and given to the newly chosen Captain America, John Walker.
A strong and experienced soldier, John seems like an excellent candidate for the position, having earned the trust of his superiors during missions in the war of Afghanistan. Walker balks under the pressure of fighting Super Soldiers, and ends up taking the Serum as well. The substance leaves him unstable, so much so that he kills one of the Flag Smashers to avenge his friend Battlestar.
While the Super Soldier Serum is among the substances most commonly used to provide superpowers in the MCU, it is not the only one. The powers of the Black Panther come from the heart-shaped herb, which has been affected by the vibranium meteorite. The heart-shaped herb gives characters like T’challa and Erik Killmonger abilities very similar to Steve’s. In the comics, the Black Panther is significantly stronger, but in the MCU, they appear to be evenly matched.
After being experimented on by Arnim Zola, Bucky Barnes receives a form of the Super Soldier Serum. It is what saves his life when he falls from the train in the Alps, even if he loses an arm in the process. Captured by Hydra, Bucky becomes their brainwashed assassin, the Winter Soldier. During his confrontation with Steve in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he proves to be Steve’s match in every way, maybe even superior. Bucky’s metal arm gives him an added weapon that can be lethal when used to the full extent of its capabilities.
RELATED: FATWS: 10 Saddest Things About Bucky Barnes
After being freed from his Hydra conditioning, Bucky has been reluctant to use his true strength, but his deadly training still remains hidden within. Interestingly enough, the African American Super Soldier, Isaiah Bradley, is said to have defeated the Winter Soldier, but fans don’t get to see much of him.
A close friend of Tony Stark, James Rhodes becomes War Machine during Tony Stark’s palladium poisoning episode. The armor subsequently receives several upgrades, giving Rhodey superhuman strength and reflexes. Equipped with repulsor technology, as well as additional weapons like a sonic cannon and a mini-gun, War Machine earns its name and is practically a walking tank.
The War Machine armor takes a serious blow from Vision during the confrontation in Leipzig, but even then, it protects its user. Despite falling from a great height, Rhodey survives, though he becomes paralyzed.
After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker gains superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, as well as his infamous Spider-Sense. Spider-Man is objectively stronger than a Super Soldier, as he was easily able to hold off a blow from Bucky Barnes.
Spider-Man is, however, very young, and doesn’t quite have Steve’s tactical mind or training. He is easily manipulated by Mysterio in Far from Home, after all. Still, with a little more experience under his belt, Spider-Man could probably give Captain America a run for his money.
The adoptive daughters of Thanos, Gamora and Nebula are two of the deadliest assassins in the universe. Their alien biology is already superior to that of a human, and they receive significant bionic and cybernetic enhancements that increase their durability, speed, and strength. Due to Gamora’s superior abilities, Thanos takes to replacing many of Nebula’s body parts with cybernetic ones.
RELATED: 5 Ways Gamora Is The Deadliest Daughter of Thanos (& 5 Why It’s Nebula)
The sisters have proven their strength on more than one occasion. Notable examples include Gamora carrying a massive cannon and Nebula regenerating from nearly fatal injuries. They aren’t able to do much against Thanos, unlike Steve who does oppose him if only for a moment. It is possible that in Steve’s case, it was sheer desperation and determination that gave him that final boost, but even that turned out to be insufficient.
Marvel’s What If…? presents many intriguing scenarios, and one of the most interesting is the very first. When Peggy Carter receives the Super Soldier Serum, she takes up the shield in Steve’s stead and becomes Captain Carter, beginning a successful campaign against the forces of Hydra. Since Peggy is healthy and fit when she receives the serum, Captain Carter seems somewhat stronger than Captain America. She is even able to successfully push an inter-dimensional monster in the portal it emerged from.
A new and welcome addition to the MCU, Shang-Chi is raised as an assassin by his father, Xu Wenwu. Through his mother, Ying Li, he inherits mystical abilities that allow him to manipulate air. His grueling training gives him almost unparalleled expertise in numerous forms of martial arts. After the death of his father, Shang-Chi inherits the Ten Rings, which grant him superhuman strength, speed, and agility, as well as energy manipulation. While still a new superhero on the scene, Shang-Chi would give Captain America trouble.
The rivalry between Captain America and Iron Man is legendary, both in the comics and the MCU. With Avengers: Endgame, the two seemed to have made amends, but fans still can’t quite agree which of the two are stronger. While Iron Man is defeated in his battle against Steve and Bucky, he is injured and mentally compromised at the time.
Tony’s Civil War armor also appears to be inferior to previous models. With Tony using his Mark 50 or his Mark 85 armor, the result would be very different. He is the only Avenger that makes Thanos bleed, which Captain America doesn’t even come close to. The Mark 85 can also sustain the power of the Infinity Stones, even if it doesn’t provide Tony with complete protection.
NEXT: 10 Marvel Characters Captain America Has Never Beat In A Fight
Alexandra Moroca is an author with a degree in Political Science and a penchant for obsessing over fictional characters. Hailing from Romania, the country of all things vampire, she particularly enjoys digging her non-existent fangs into works of supernatural fiction. When she isn’t binging the newest anime series or writing her newest novel, she likes to scream about her favorite characters on CBR.


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