Captain America vs. Thanos Was Made Better By Steve Rogers’ Avengers 1 & 2 Failures

The one-on-one fight between Captain America and Thanos in Avengers: Endgame was only improved by the somewhat combat-centric failures of Steve Rogers in Avengers 1 and 2. While Steve Rogers was always one of the Infinity Saga’s best characters, he was majoritively used as the leader figure in the Avengers films. That being said, Cap certainly exhibited his combat prowess in his standalone movies, especially the likes of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

With The Avengers and its four sequels, however, Steve was often treated like a man amongst gods. This was showcased by his tendency to provide the tactical advantages of the team throughout Phases 1, 2, and 3. Regardless, the focus on Steve’s leadership abilities paid off in an immensely satisfying way when he led the Avengers to victory over Thanos in Avengers: Endgame – yet his combat capabilities in that film exuded true satisfaction compared to Avengers 1 and 2.

Cap Failed To Beat Loki & Ultron In 2012’s Avengers And Age Of Ultron

When concerning The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Cap was regularly shown as incapable to stand up physically to the film’s main villains. While his heart, courage, and leadership meant that he never backed down from a fight, he was often portrayed as physically weaker than his villainous adversaries. This was the case concerning both Loki and Ultron in the respective films of The Avengers and Age of Ultron.

In 2012’s The Avengers, Cap only faced off against Loki alone once in Stuttgart, Germany. Throughout the fight, Steve was consistently being bested by Loki in terms of strength, until the appearance of Iron Man helped Cap turn the tide. This was even compounded by Black Widow telling Steve to sit out a fight as “these guys come from Legend, they’re basically gods.” Similarly, in Avengers 2, Cap fought Ultron one-on-one as merely a distraction, which he eventually lost. Cap still led the team to victory on both occasions, but the films made it clear he was no match physically for the villains of either story.

Captain America’s Last Stand Against Thanos Is 1 Of The MCU’s Best Moments

This recurring theme of Cap not being strong enough to beat the Avengers’ many villains in combat only made one aspect of Avengers: Endgame more satisfying. During Endgame’s third act, Steve faces off against Thanos alone, coming close to beating him in combat after Captain America finally became worthy of Mjolnir. Steve then stood against Thanos’ entire army alone, willing to fight to his last breath against them.

This is undoubtedly one of the most satisfying moments in the entire MCU and is only made so due to Steve’s losses against both Loki and Ultron. In Endgame, Steve stands up to Thanos and damages him more than any other character in that film. Both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame established that Thanos is the most powerful being in the galaxy, far surpassing Loki and Ultron in terms of physical prowess. As a result, Steve’s last stand against the Mad Titan in Avengers: Endgame is more satisfying as he rises above the losses against the Avengers’ former two villains and faces down an enemy stronger than both combined.

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