If Captain America were to go against Thanos, it would be an extremely one-sided match. Even if we imagine Thanos without his malicious Infinity Gauntlet, he is simply way too strong for a superhero. You could argue that Steve Rodgers possesses all these cool martial arts skills and great resilience, but he simply couldn’t go against the might of Thanos.
Like all comic book nerds, I simply love exploring topics such as this. In the end, all this content revolves around conflict and who would win in a potential one-on-one situation. This is another one of Captain America’s weaknesses as he doesn’t perform the best in such cases but is much better as a leader of a team.
The two of them have met twice during Infinity War and Endgame, and in both cases, Thanos swept Captain America. Even though Rogers wielded Mjolnir at one point, he was simply no match for the enormous intergalactic threat. Furthermore, if you check the comics, you will notice that Thanos has access to just about any magical artifact in the universe. No matter how strong Captain’s shield and Mjolnir are, the Mad Titan will always prevail in this category.
To be fair, Thanos is too strong for any single superhero. He is presented as an immense threat where the whole team needs to intervene to achieve victory. In that regard, he is similar to Darkseid within the DC universe or Apocalypse in X-Men. In fact, if you take a closer look at these villains, they look rather similar.
But not to stray away from the topic too much. I don’t think that Captain America is any threat to Thanos. Even if he didn’t have Infinity Gauntlet and Captain America had a few allies on his side (not necessarily all Avengers), the Mad Titan would still prevail.
Nevertheless, we will still compare the two with emphasis on their superpower as well as appearances in media.
Key Info Up Front
Even before the release of Avengers: Civil War, we all knew that the Thanos would win in a potential clash against Captain America. Although Steve Rogers was portrayed as courageous and valorous, his power levels are nowhere near that of the Mad Titan.
Honestly, I’m not a big fan of Thanos or Captain America. However, I prefer Steve Rogers’ story much more. He has a lot of personality and is an embodiment of resilience and a fighting spirit. Even when facing the Mad Titan one-on-one, in desperate situations where he cannot win, he doesn’t show any backing up.
Main differences between Captain America vs Thanos
If you were to compare Captain America vs. Thanos, here are some of the things you might notice:
- Thanos is an Eternal, Captain America doesn’t stand a chance in a direct conflict.
- Thanos’s physiology, strength, and other physical attributes are way above a regular mortal, whereas Marvel focused on other aspects of the Captain’s persona, such as resilience, courage, and leadership, as something that might help him prevail in a fight. I’m very glad that Marvel didn’t use this as an excuse to write one-sided fights with Captain America.
- Thanos has almost a perfect, impregnable defense compared to Captain America who, although resilient, performs at a level of a perfect human being.
- Captain America is a masterful tactician who has led troops into battle since World War 2 and has very low casualties. While Thanos is depicted as a genius tactician, he often uses his forces as cannon fodder and doesn’t think about the casualties. In my opinion, this was one of the reasons for his ultimate downfall.
- Captain America is especially well versed in leading small units, such as Avengers, into battle whereas Thanos trusts a very small number of people and you can rarely see him fighting side by side with other villains.
- Thanos is a master in numerous scientific fields, which is something he uses every so often, and while Captain America is also intelligent, he doesn’t have the same understanding of the cosmos as his counterpart.
- Thanos is a master of artifacts whereas Captain America rarely uses anything aside from his shield.
- Captain America can use just about any human martial arts, including judo, karate, jujitsu, boxing, and so on, while Thanos relies on brute strength to beat his opponents. This is another thing that could give Captain America a slight edge in hand-to-hand combat if the two fighters had at least remotely similar strength.
- Captain America is very mentally resilient compared to Thanos. While we cannot see that Thanos is a weak-minded individual, Captain America has suffered much more throughout his life which, in my opinion, is one of the things that makes the character so appealing.
All in all, I like the differences between these two combatants. Thanos is shown as your usual destroyer of the world, possessing enormous strength and almost unable to die, while Steve Rogers was instilled by all the knowledge and strength of humanity. Although his abilities are limited compared to that of the Mad Titan, he is still very potent in teamfights and will fight to the bitter end.
As mentioned, both of these characters are somewhat boring to me. Still, you have to marvel (no pun intended) at Captain America’s fighting spirit, which is comparable to that of Goku, Wolverine, and other cartoon and comic book characters.
Analyzing individual powers
Despite such a major discrepancy in power, both of these individuals are awesome in their own regard. In fact, you can even say they have similar traits but on different levels. Steve Rogers is a super-soldier whose powers were maximized with the serum. He now operates at peak human capacity. On the other hand, Thanos is a Titan whose powers easily supersede those of humans.
Despite having numerous abilities, neither one of these characters feels special to me. Yes, superhuman strength and speed are cool, but that’s something that every hero and villain possesses. For example, I am much more intrigued by Aquaman’s ability to speak to fish. At least this is the character’s unique ability and hasn’t been rehashed a thousand times.
Captain America’s powers
Steve Rogers was chosen for the super-soldier serum not because he was already strong or resilient but because of his heart. The character was constantly bullied as a young boy because of his underwhelming physical presence.
Nevertheless, when the war came around, his true colors started to show. The only talent he has is his soul. Steve Rogers is extremely resilient in the face of adversity and is very courageous. He was often underestimated because of his body type, but nonetheless, the character has a brilliant brain.
As someone who is relatively young, I was always intrigued by characters who were made during the Second World War, one of which is Captain America. Although I’m not necessarily in awe of his story, it is really interesting how the war machine worked during these years. Obviously, Captain America combines patriotism, courage, and other traits that were desirable during these harsh times.
The very fact that Captain America was made during WW2 is probably why he doesn’t have the same powers as Superman, a character made in 1938. Marvel likely wanted to focus on human traits and to create a hero that would stand tall in the face of adversity, thus bolstering the morale of troops on the frontlines. As if they were saying: “If he can do it, you can do it!”
Captain America’s physical powers
At first, it is said that Captain America works at peak human capacity. As time went on, the writers slightly enhanced these abilities depicting Steve Rogers as someone who is above human, but not by too much. This helped the credibility of the character, who was facing increasingly bigger threats.
The Avenger has peak human strength, agility, flexibility, endurance, and speed. He is very strong compared to a regular Joe or a person with slightly enhanced abilities. Unfortunately, he quickly pales against an individual or an entity of superhuman strength. Even some of the Avengers, such as Thor and Black Panther, are ten times stronger than him (something I mentioned in Black Panther vs. Captain America article).
But Captain America’s physical traits don’t stop there. He also has a great healing ability that allows him to survive numerous sticky situations. Among others, these regenerative properties allowed the hero to stay alive while being encased in ice. He ages really slowly, which allows him to survive to this day.
Finally, here are a few powers that I really like. Given that he fought against Nazis, it was important to create a character who could survive various non-weapon attacks. So, the writers decided to give Captain America disease and toxin immunity, resistance to alcohol, drugs, and mind control. That way, he cannot be manipulated or coerced by others or killed in a sneaky way.
These defensive capabilities connect well to his mental resistance. Not only is he resistant to alcohol and drugs, but you also cannot break his spirit or frighten him. All these traits combined make for a valorous super soldier who will never run from a battle.
Captain America’s tactical abilities
Although very strong and resilient, Captain America’s value to the Avengers can be seen through his tactical prowess. He was the first Avenger, and as someone who had an enormous knowledge of combat and battle strategies, he was a great choice for a team leader, even though he was often confronted by Iron Man.
Captain America can lead smaller and bigger squadrons of units, whether we’re talking about humans or superheroes. Steve Rogers can create brilliant strategies on the fly saving his comrades from various threats. He quickly picks up on enemy powers and tendencies in battle, finding a way to exploit them.
Captain America’s Combat Abilities
Another thing that helps compensate lack of superhuman power is Captain America’s proficiency with weapons and martial arts. The superhero can utilize just about any human combat technique ranging from boxing, kickboxing, karate, judo, and so on.
Steve Rogers can wield various battle items and weapons. Of course, I can’t talk about the Avenger without mentioning his trusty shield. He uses it for both offense and defense. What’s even more important, he can throw the shield with great precision and ricochet it against walls and other obstacles in order to hit opponents at awkward angles.
He was especially intimidating when he was granted the ability to wield Mjolnir.
See also: Captain America Characters
Everything that was said about Captain America can also be said for Thanos. He is an extremely powerful entity that battled the likes of Galacticus and Odin throughout the comic books. Like most of these villains, he is endowed with enormous power and resilience. The Mad Titan also has other abilities that allow him to adapt to various situations on the battlefield.
Thanos’ physical powers
Compared to Thanos’ powers, Captain America feels like a regular guy. In fact, during the movie, there were a few instances where he presented no threat to the Mad Titan. Even when he acquired Mjolnir, I didn’t actually think he would be able to beat him.
He is a member of a superrace called Titanium Eternals. These beings are extremely powerful as it is, but Thanos found a way to further enhance his strength, speed, agility, and durability through mysticism, superior genetic traits, and bionic parts. He was even granted extra power by Death itself.
What’s interesting is that these powers do not stop there. As mentioned, he is basically immortal, and he can survive without air, water, and food. Thanos is resilient to all sorts of attacks, although not fully invulnerable, and will never die from old age or disease, something that affects other beings and even gods.
Thanos’ mystical powers
Thanos’ doesn’t necessarily use spells but has numerous abilities that can be described as such. The villain utilizes telepathy and telekinesis. One thing that was omitted in the movies, a decision I really hate, is his ability to absorb and control cosmic energy. This is a power common for various superheroes and villains, and it makes sense that a being such as Thanos would’ve received it.
The villain would get to where he is if he was dumb. He accrued various powers over the years, stacking the odds in his favor in future conflicts. I’ve already mentioned his bionic implants, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Over the years, he has gained knowledge of various scientific fields and technologies. You can see that he’s heavily reliant on high tech in his daily life as he utilizes various vessels for space travel and a transportation chair that gives him the ability to travel between dimensions but also to instantly teleport and travel through time.
Besides these goodies, he also utilizes various other artifacts. Of course, everybody knows about the Infinity Gauntlet, but did you know that the villain used an object of an even greater power? For a while, he was wielding the Heart of the Universe. At one point, the Mad Titan even stated the Infinity Gauntlet pales compared to the Heart of the Universe.
How do Captain America vs Thanos compare to each other?
The simple answer is he doesn’t.
Both in comic books and the movies, the Avengers are portrayed as a major force but not omnipotent. On the other hand, Thanos is this creature with various powers and gadgets, and, in theory, he could never be threatened by someone like Avengers. In fact, the writers had to create situations where it would be credible for Avengers to beat Thanos.
So, if we were to consider all of the villain’s power and resources, Avengers shouldn’t be able to beat him, let alone Captain America. Whether we’re talking about the Infinity Gauntlet, the energy projection, or the ability to control time and space, there are so many ways that the villain could beat him. If just one of these attacks landed, Captain America wouldn’t be able to survive the onslaught.
On the other hand, whatever Captain America used on Thanos, probably wouldn’t be enough. Even when he started pummeling him with Mjolnir, it simply didn’t do enough damage.
Is it possible for Captain America to beat Thanos?
Everything is possible in comic books and movies. If we are talking about a raw comparison of power, without taking into account a specific situation, Thanos will beat Captain America 10 times out of 10. Still, the writers always create a situation where it would be feasible for a weaker superhero to win against an overwhelming threat. Otherwise, there wouldn’t even be a point in making these shows, right?
If we’re talking about specific situations where it would be feasible for Captain America to beat Thanos, we would have to focus on his brain and strategical prowess, not necessarily raw power. For example, he could find a way to outsmart the villain or steal one of his numbers gadgets using it against him.
I don’t think that courage or strength of spirit could play any part in this make-believe battle. Although Thanos recognizes Captain America’s valor, the difference in strength is so enormous that courage wouldn’t have any effect on the outcome of the battle (at least, this is what I think).
How could the battle go?
The outcome of the potential battle would probably be determined based on the artifacts and weapons that Thanos wields. Although he is superhuman and much stronger than Captain America with a shield, he is basically untouchable with things such as the Infinity Gauntlet. Even if we presume that the Mad Titan doesn’t have any artifacts, a few other things would need to happen for Steve Rogers to win.
I would feel like a cheater if I were to include Avengers in any capacity (although they would probably be presented during one such battle). So, let’s explore the potential situations where Captain America could triumph by his lonesomeness.
Basically, he would have to find a way to exploit Thanos’s weaknesses, which aren’t many. Captain’s intellect probably wouldn’t be of much use in a real-time combat situation. However, he might rely on his cunning to prepare the battlefield in advance. Basically, Steve Rogers would have to find a source of additional power, such as mystic artifacts, that would allow him to damage the titan.
Aside from that, I really don’t see what else he could do.
Captain America vs. Thanos in Comic Books
Given the enormous popularity of Avengers, everyone knows about the battle between Captain America and Thanos in the movies. But did you know that the movie was loosely based on the Infinity Gauntlet comic?
Infinity Gauntlet storyline
The portrayal of Thanos in the comic books is very similar to that in the movies. He is basically an out-of-control deity whose only goal is to destroy the universe and everything within it. The Mad Titan was a protégé of Lady Death and was always looking to impress her.
In issue number 4 of the Infinity Gauntlet, he goes to annihilate half of the universe upon collecting Infinity stones for the Gauntlet. This is when all the remaining heroes, assembled by Silver Surfer and Adam Warlock, gathered on a space shrine in order to challenge this villainous character.
After taking care of all the other heroes, there was only Captain America standing. He tells the Mad Titan that as long as there is one person against him, he won’t have complete victory. This is perhaps the brightest moment in the superhero’s career as it shows his dedication and willingness to sacrifice his body to achieve victory over evil.
Captain America was nothing more than a pawn used by Adam Warlock, who devised a cunning plan.
During the fight between Captain America and Thanos, the Mad Titan makes the first move. He misses a close-range punch. After dodging the attack, Captain America realizes that he is bound to the platform by stone hands coming out of the ground. Immediately after that, Thanos destroys the Avenger’s shield.
As he is getting ready to finish him off, Silver Surfer comes onto the scene. He swoops in, almost stealing the Infinity Gauntlet from the villain. This gave Captain America enough time to recuperate and land a punch on his jaw. Unfortunately, Thanos is not affected by this and simply slaps Captain America unconscious.
Basically, this shows you the difference in strength between the two characters.
Captain America vs. Thanos in Movies
Captain America fought Thanos twice in movies, as I’ve previously mentioned. The scene in Infinity War is especially captivating, receiving praise from most moviegoers.
Captain America vs. Thanos in Infinity War
The two of them had a short fight just before Thanos killed Vision, thus stealing his Infinity Stone and assembling the Gaunlet.
There was a short shot where Thanos goes to grab Captain America. The Avenger grabs the descending hand by grabbing it with both of his own. Upon making contact with another individual, the wearer of Infinity Gauntlet is able to peer into a person’s mind revealing all of his secrets and everything that he has gone through.
If you take a closer look at Thanos’ face, you will notice that he’s very surprised by Captain America. He realized all the sacrifices that the superhero had to make over time and the losses he suffered. This realization almost stuns him. On the other hand, Steve Rodgers is as resilient as ever, showing courage against an enemy that he cannot beat.
The fight ends with Thanos punching the Captain and easily knocking him out.
Captain America vs. Thanos in Endgame
The scene in Endgame is much more eventful, and Captain America is shown in a much better light (although he still loses nonetheless).
Here, the team of Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America goes against the Mad Titan. Iron Man was quickly pushed aside, and Thor went on to attack Thanos. The fight is brief, and it ends with Thanos standing over Thor’s prone body, looking to finish him off with his own weapon.
Just as this is happening, a flying Mjolnir comes out of nowhere, hitting the villain. Thanos turns around to see Steve Rodgers wielding the weapon that only a handful of people can use. Now having both his shield and the hammer, Captain America charges the opponent and bashes him in the head.
Thanos is on his back, slowly recovering from the hit. Steve continues with a flurry, hitting the villain with both a shield and the hammer. At one point, he summons lightning, electrifying the opponent. However, as he goes in to finish him, Thanos manages to recover, slamming the Captain to the ground.
The Mad Titan cuts the Captain’s leg with his blade, disarms him, and starts pounding his shield with the blade, completely destroying it in the process. As the Coup de Grace, he sends the hero flying putting him out of commission.
All in all, I think that both of these scenes were masterful. The one from Endgame is more action-packed, and the one from Infinity War is emotional. Anyway, both of them are quite awesome and show us the difference in strength between the two characters.
Question: Who is stronger, Captain America or Thanos?
Answer: Between the two characters, Thanos is way stronger. He is such a massive threat requiring the whole Avengers squad to assemble in order to attack him. Whether we’re talking about comic books or movies, Captain America never posed a threat to Thanos.
He had a nice run in one fight during Endgame after acquiring Mjolnir from Thor. However, not even the ability to cast lightning was enough to overcome the villainous enemy.
Question: Did Captain America fight Thanos?
Answer: There were three recorded instances where Captain America fought Thanos, two in the movies and one in comic books. The two of them had a brief engagement in Infinity War, where Thanos quickly knocked out Captain America. In Endgame, Captain America fought valiantly using Thor’s hammer, and he even knocked down Thanos twice but would go on to lose the battle.
The two also fought in the Infinity Gauntlet comic books. Here, Captain America served as a decoy as Adam Warlock, and Silver Surfer executed a plan that would allow them to steal the Infinity Gauntlet. The plan failed and the fight, once again, ended with Captain America getting knocked out.
Question: Does Thanos fear Captain America?
Answer: Thanos is barely concerned by Captain America. He is aware of the massive power difference between the two and doesn’t even perceive him as a threat in most cases. However, there were few situations where you could see that the Mad Titan has lots of respect for the First Avenger.
The fight between Captain America vs. Thanos would be a quick and merciless one. If heroes with superhuman abilities can’t measure up to the Mad Titan, Captain America has no chance of prevailing. Despite his courage, Steve Rogers can’t go toe-to-toe with Thanos unless he wields artifacts or has some other advantage. Even then, he would have a slim chance of winning.