Captain America: Biceps for days, a winning smile, and America's ass. The super-soldier, all American boy has been kicking villain butt since the Nazis (the first ones). Never has this WWII soldier met a villain he could not best in battle. But is that completely accurate?
From the Marvel Universe's biggest bad guys to heroes once called allies, Steve Rogers has fought it all with his vibranium and proto-adamantium shield. Yet, the once scrawny Cap hardly leaves a fight without victory. Hopefully, without dismantling the American dream, this list captures the ten times Cap might've gotten lucky to have left a fight with a W.
10 The Devil
Starting strong and just two years after his debut in 1941, in Captain America Comics #21, Captain America faced not only a great competitor in the Marvel Universe but arguably the greatest villain ever, The Devil. While there have been similar characters - such as Mephisto - this version of Satan does not have locked down powers due to a lack of appearances in the Marvel Universe.
However, it is hard to believe that Mr. Golden Boy would be able to hold his own against the one and only creator of evil for the entirety of the universe. How was he not badly burned? How did The Devil not have many, many more tricks up his sleeves? No one comes away from a dance with The Devil unscathed, even the most upright citizen the US of A has to offer.
Captain America has many great qualities. He's strong, he's fast, he never gives up, and must America's ass get mentioned again? But believing for even one moment that Steve Rogers could come to blows with the mad titan, Thanos, and come away alive is nothing short of naive. That's when Thanos is weaponless, also.
The fact Captain America got the blue medal in a fight with Thanos when he was wielding the infinity stones is impossible, even for a fantasy universe in a fictional comic book series. Far greater competitors have come to the same fight and left closer to death than Captain America did in the original Infinity Gauntlet series.
8 Captain America
Whether fighting a successor, a mimic like William Burnside or John Walker, or a literal alternative version of himself, this fight has happened way more often than necessary. Clones, brainwashed do-gooders, and past versions all have taken "stop punching yourself" to the next level. Through it all, it is hard to believe a man could look himself in his own eyes that many times and always come out the victor. Specifically in the case of his infamous fight with the "Captain America...Commie Smasher!!!" William Burnside in Captain America #153-156, a fight he only left the victor because his opponent was hit by a truck.
Forget all the psychological, cathartic mess that comes from an interaction like this, Rogers battled a version of Captain America who knew his next move and matched him physically blow for blow. While some victories are easier to believe than others, it is difficult to comprehend how Cap has never fallen victim to himself, especially when so many real humans do.
7 Vampire Hulk
First and foremost, Captain America's brilliant save in Ultimate Avengers 3 should not be undermined. He used his brains to win this battle against Vampire King Hulk, and the way the fight ended was borderline brilliant. However, the fact that the fight even lasted that long was ridiculous.
Vampire King Hulk is a stem cell clone of Bruce Banner who maintains all the strength and power of The Hulk. Though it is eventually realized that the lack of Bruce Banner's genuine rage is a major disadvantage for a Hulk, that does not change that he is a freaking Hulk. He is a Hulk (often referred to as Nerd Hulk, as he still remained super smart) with all of the powers of a Vampire King. While this win required intelligence, the fact Captain America did not immediately succumb to either the villain's Hulk-ness or vampirism is beyond belief.
6 Serpent Society
The Serpent Society is a team of snake-themed villains who have been brought to their knees repeatedly (though never disbanded) by Captain America over the years. While these villains are a little goofy, there are bunches and bunches of them. In terms of sheer numbers, Cap should never be able to best them in a fight like he did in Captain America #341-344.
This is made even more complicated when Rogers becomes romantically involved with one of their members, Diamondback. In Rachel Leighton, Captain America had a rare weakness and it is hard to believe that an All-American man would not lose a fight over a woman. Especially a woman that wears that costume.
5 Iron Man
The person who fights the hardest tends to be the person who has the most to lose, and that person is usually Iron Man. These two have come to blows several times (often because they're too much alike), with the winner varying depending on the storyline or universe but their most popular showdown occurred in Civil War.
Both men are loners, however, Tony stands on an empire and is a major player in all aspects of American life. The man with the most to lose will fight the hardest. Not to mention his completely resilient suit and laser blasts. Iron Man has the necessary resources to neutralize someone like Captain America, especially since both fighters know each other so well.
4 Baron Blood
In Invaders #7-9, Captain America fought one of his most epic fights against vampire villain Baron Blood. The Baron was sired by the king of vampires, Dracula himself, and trained through the bloodiest, most brutal times in human history as a soldier through both World War I and II. And, in this massive feat, Captain America killed him (the first time).
Vampires are brutal creatures, who fight not just with weapons or with their hands but with their mouths. Baron Blood matches Captain America in strength, versatility, and stamina but bests him with flight and powers of literal mythic proportions.
We all know that Hank Pym deserved to lose in Ultimates #8-9. This fight was well earned by Giant-Man and he deserved to fall flat on his face after what he did to Janet Van Dyne, his wife. This does not, however, make it any more plausible that Captain America was able to beat him in his giant form. Hank Pym could have just stepped on him (friend or not, Pym has shown he does not care about treating people he cares about right) and ended the fight then and there.
This fight needed to happen and, ignoring the facts, audiences should be overall pleased with the result. That does not make the ideas any more viable. Physics was on Giant-Man's side, unfortunately.
In Deadpool #296, following all of their negative encounters from the Secret Empire, Captain America and Deadpool come to blows when good old, funny Wade Wilson is at the very end of his rope. While there are several stops and starts in the fight, and there's no clear winner, there are several occasions (documented by the many photos taken by local children in the pages of the comics) where Captain America came out victorious.
Even if it is set aside that Deadpool's life is in ruins at this point, there is no world where Deadpool, the unkillable hero with moral androgyny, is bested by the Cap. Deadpool has stood back up and won a fight after losing limbs, breaking bones, and many other gruesome bumps in the road. He is the king of "its just a flesh wound" and there is no way that a couple of stars and stripes could beat him in a fight.
While he did not leave the fight in the Age of Ultron a victor, it is a miracle that he walked away from the fight at all. Even being able to hold his own against something as strong as Ultron with such minimal superhuman abilities was unbelievable, especially with his spirit as broken as it was in that arc.
The Age of Ultron storyline saw the death of several heroes, some stronger and better than Cap, but he continued to walk the free world only by the grace of it being fiction. That is a fight he should not just have lost but he should have died during, especially since his shield was destroyed in the fight.