Captain America VS Iron Man

Script written by Jamie Leslie Who's side are you on? Join WatchMojo.com as we’ll be going blow for blow with Captain America and Iron Man to see which hero stands taller. We're evaluating a wide-range of categories to determine the number one Avenger, and we're considering a lot more than just who would win in a fight. Special thanks to our user Megalon73 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Jamie Leslie

Captain America vs Iron Man


Who's side are you on? Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be going blow for blow with Captain America and Iron Man to see which hero stands taller. We’re evaluating a wide-range of categories to determine the number one Avenger, and we’re considering a lot more than just who would win in a fight.

Round 1: Origin Story


If there's anything we've taken away from Captain America's backstory, it’s that a soldier is a lot more than just a rifle. Steve Rogers grew up with a burning desire to serve his country and protect his friends. Unfortunately being a 90-pound asthmatic weakling didn’t accommodate that very well. When he was imbued with the super soldier serum that he came into the ability to protect his country's civil liberties in World War II. Captain America's legacy would continue to live on in present day when his final mission left him preserved in ice until discovered by the Avengers years later.

Tony Stark on the other hand, maybe have grown up in a much more comfortable life, but his background is still no less dramatic. While field-testing weapons for the US Government to be used in Vietnam, now swapped out for modern day Middle East, Tony Stark is attacked and taken captive by the enemy. Injured by a piece of shrapnel imbedded near his heart, Stark is forced to create a life support system for himself, while build weapons for his captors at the same time. Creating a suit of armour to both keep him alive and escape his captors, Iron Man is born.

Both Captain America and Iron man have interesting and compelling backstories. Captain America’s roots as an underdog who dreams of being a hero makes him much more reliable than a billionaire playboy philanthropist. That being said, Tony Stark’s transformation is actually more impressive, especially when you consider that he turned his entire life around just to do the right thing and be a hero.

WINNER: Captain America 0 / Iron Man 1

Round 2: Villains


In Steve Roger's eternal battle for freedom and democracy, he often opposes supervillains that not only hope to see the hero's end, but the end of the world as he knows it. Most notable is the Nazi-esque organization Hydra who's sole mission extends into global domination. Captain America's battle against the organization has spanned over the course of decades, as Hydra's influence has survived through the leadership of villains such as Baron Zemo and The Red Skull.

Being one of the world's forerunners in military technology and robotics definitely attracts some negative attention. Combine that with the fact that Stark uses that technology to make the world a better place definitely puts him in the bad guy’s radars. While a number of Iron Man villains are corporate rivals that just hope to see Tony's legacy crumble, there are a few such as The Mandarin that wish to challenge the genius billionaire's fortitude with the fate of the free world at stake.

As both Iron Man and Captain America are members of the same superhero team, there is some serious overlap when it comes to the villains they fight. However, villains like the Red Skull and The Mandarin can still be associated with individual heroes.

Iron Man may have a larger rogue gallery, but Captain America's villains are so much more sinister, well recognized and long lasting than anyone Shell-Head has to face.

WINNER: Captain America 1 / Iron Man 1

Round 3: Sidekicks, Allies and Friends


Once again, we hit a category with some major overlap. Being team-mates, Stark and Rogers share a lot of friends and allies like Thor, Wasp, Nick Fury and so on. During the events of Marvels 2006 storyline Civil War, almost every hero was forced to take a side, but those decisions were made largely for political reasons rather than loyalty towards an individual.
Captain America may have inherited the strength to bear the country's weight on his shoulders, but with friends like these, he'll never have to go it alone. During the era of the hero's first debut, Steve's sidekick was his childhood friend and war-buddy, Bucky Barnes. Bucky's undying loyalty for Steve was strong enough to overcome the brainwashing he underwent when his body was recovered by the Russians and he became the villain Winter Soldier. A camaraderie that is even rivalled by that of Cap and Sam Wilson, aka The Falcon.

In Tony Stark's position, there are very few instances where you can confidently call someone a true friend. James Rhodes and Tony met during his escape from the dictator Wong-Chu, and the ex-Marine has vowed to not only be the tech billionaire's personal pilot, but his ally in combat. Years later, Rhodes was given the War Machine armour when Tony's health went into decline, and the two were able to partner up and fight evil as equals.

While the friendship between Stark and Rhodes is a strong one, the list of heroes and friends who would take a grenade for Cap too long to ignore.

WINNER: Captain America 2 / Iron Man 1

Round 4: Themes and Ideals


As loved by some as he is loathed by other, there's no denying that there's a lot more to Tony Stark than meets the eye. Wealthy as he is, Iron Man has made his fortune the same way he's made his notoriety, and that's from developing military-grade weapons; making him responsible for the deaths of many innocent people. Tony's battle with guilt and self-doubt eventually culminates as a battle with alcoholism, adding an element of self-destruction not commonly addressed in the comic book universe.

One of Stan Lees greatest and most innovative talents was the ability to create heroes who were everything one expects from a comic book icon, while being flawed and relatable at the same time. As iconic of a hero as Captain America is, Marvel struggled for years to give him more dimension and keep his personality up to date with relatively modern heroes. The guy wears an American flag for god’s sake. The character's patriotic identity and western appeal resonates with the time period he was conceived in and has only really stood the test of time through carefully constructed storylines.

Sorry Cap, while there’s nothing wrong with being an absolute defender of truth and justice, we’re suckers for the conflicted hero trope. Iron Man takes this round.

WINNER: Captain America 2 / Iron Man 2

Round 5: The Movies


Iron Man not only had the pleasure of kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe with his first, but has graced the big screen with three solo films. Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayl of Tony Stark remains consistent throughout, while the character himself has evolved from film to him. A large part of the film’s success has to do with RDJ’s performance, but there is plenty of action and drama to be found as well.

Despite existing within the same cinematic universe, Captain America: The First Avenger was successful in making the audience love a character who is, lets face it, a little goofy on paper. Opting to create a World War 2 Movie WITH a superhero rather than a superhero movie SET in World War 2, helped make the movie, and Cap himself an instant success. The sequel, Captain America: Winter Soldier took Steve Rogers from a superhero to an action film star, destroying all notions that the character couldn't stand on its own in a solo film sent in present day, although Black Widow and The Falcon did help out in that regard.

While Captain America’s movie stand on their own, it’s the Iron Man films that not only launched the Ciematic Universe, but are most commonly considered to be the best of the stand-alone superhero films, and it’s hard to argue with Robert Downey Jr’s performance.


WINNER: Captain America 2 / Iron Man 3

It would seem Iron Man blasts Cap away with a narrow victory of 3 to 2.

Did we pick the right team? Be sure to debate it in the comments and of course, don’t forget to subscribe to WatchMojo.com for more entertaining versus battles.

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