Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is the sort of event that WWE owner Vince McMahon dreams about . Buff men and badass ladies wearing spandex and armor, fighting one other is a crazy battle royale, is a blockbuster straight out of a pay-per-view, and comic book fans will have front row seats when the movie hits theaters on May 6.
In a battle this big, it’s hard to say who’s the strongest (after all, Hulk isn’t around). But it’s important to rank everything, so here’s our countdown of who we believe to be the strongest fighting Avenger, an important title to have in a movie in which they all try to bash each other’s heads in.
If the guy can get knocked out with a good smack to the head (remember his fight with Black Widow in The Avengers?) then what chance does he have against two flying tanks, a warrior prince in Vibranium armor, and his own friend Black Widow who probably knows his every move? Sorry, I love Matt Fraction’s books too, but I wouldn’t put money on Hawkeye, who is a mere mortal without a super-suit, setting him apart from the likes of Iron Man and Ant-Man.
Putting aside that Falcon is a trained soldier and expert in a wholly unique, totally fringe military technology, he’s still just a guy who can fly. Iron Man can fly, too. AND he has missiles. Sorry, Sam, you’re grounded.
Since her debut in Iron Man 2, Natasha Romanov has proved herself to be more than just a hotshot spy. She’s a quick-thinking utility player who didn’t hesitate for a second in the Battle of New York in The Avengers, and she was more than capable against Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
But that doesn’t change the fact Natasha is still just human, vulnerable to Wanda’s mind-bending (Age of Ultron) and scarred from an encounter with the Winter Soldier.. Black Widow will have to play it smarter and faster than she’s ever been when she goes directly up against them both in Civil War.
In Civil War, Spidey is 16-year-old kid in Queens who has never faced anything like Captain America or the Avengers before, so it’s kind of baffling why Tony thinks he’d be useful on his team. Yes, Spider-Man can do whatever a spider can and then some, but we’ve not seen the extent of his abilities yet. Can he stop a train going full speed by the power of his web? Can he lift debris a hundred times his size? If this were Toby Maguire’s Peter Parker, he’d be higher-up. But Tom Holland’s Spidey could be squashed like a bug.
Although, he did stop a direct punch from…
The Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes is the world’s greatest assassin, and his robot arm turned a handicap into an advantage. Putting aside his blocked punch from Spidey in Civil War (it’s more like a fun, cool character moment than establishing their strength), the Winter Soldier can kill you from a mile away. He just can’t fly.
Trained from birth to be a warrior, the genius tactician T’Challa is the pride of the advanced nation of Wakanda. His martial arts skills are fierce, his predatory skills scary, and his genius brain makes him more dangerous on the field than anyone else. But who is he really? T’Challa hasn’t been in the game for long, as Civil War is his introduction to the MCU. His Vibranium suit may be impenetrable, but what about his humanity?
The Super Soldier serum turned skinny Steve Rogers into our nation’s greatest hero during World War II, but the modern world threatened to change him in The Winter Soldier. While he did get his butt whupped by Bucky at the end of The Winter Soldier, his unwavering idealism and pure heart — which put him at war against Tony in the first place — has shown to be stronger than a right hook.
Besides, he’s probably been doing Crossfit since melting from the ice. How else could he stop a helicopter?
Iron Man/War Machine
While War Machine was supposed to be the heavier/tank-ier of Marvel’s two metal men, the War Machine suit has slimmed down from his first appearance in Iron Man 2, to the point he’s really just a silver and gray Iron Man.
While the Iron suits come equipped with enough artillery to make the military industrial complex blush, its titanium steel alloy isn’t impenetrable. Rogers goes Rocky Balboa on Stark in the trailers, and Thor crushed the armor with his own hand in 2012’s The Avengers. While Bucky and Cap aren’t strong enough to do that, they could still outmatch a billionaire in a tin can.
Maybe Wanda can’t deadlift like Black Widow can, and she doesn’t fire guns like Iron Man. But she stopped them both in Age of Ultron with her freaky psychic abilities. One spell even brought the mighty Thor down.
In a hand-to-hand fight Wanda will no doubt lose to even Hawkeye, who occupies the bottom spot in this ranking. But good luck even getting close to her.
The Infinity Stone-empowered Vision is the most “superhero” of the Avengers. It’s not entirely clear what he can do in the MCU; he can fly, he’s strong, he’s got laser blasts, and can walk through walls, but that’s it powers-wise. Oh, and he’s super objective because of his sentient programming with the Mind Stone. But that isn’t helpful in a fistfight.
Still, being the most god-like has to account for something when the power of the cosmos is literally in his head.
Spoilers. Really, really BIG spoilers.