Captain America might not be a rich super genius with a high-tech suit, but here’s how he could still defeat Iron Man one-on-one.
As founding members of the Avengers, Captain America and Iron Man have a long and rich history as allies, friends and even enemies. Rogers and Stark have strong personalities and opinions and have clashed on several occasions. As much as the two lean on each other, so much so it seems that they are always destined to clash.
Just like the one in Marvel Cinematic Universe Captain America: Civil War didn’t give a definitive answer to who would win in a battle, the comics didn’t state who the superior fighter is. Captain America possesses maximum human strength, durability, and endurance, and is a battle-ready hardened soldier who knows how to use old-fashioned tactics, strategy, and punches to his advantage. Stark is a super-awesome inventor with billions of dollars at his disposal and access to high-tech suits that allow him to trade blows with the Hulk, Thor, and Sentry, as well as survive nuclear blasts at close range. . On paper, Iron Man has a clear advantage, and Cap would likely suffer in closed-door combat due to Iron Man’s superior strength and durability.
It should be noted that Cap is not only a master of combat tactics, but has a mastery of martial arts that far surpasses Tony’s. You could argue that Steve’s combat advantage is negligible compared to Tony’s overwhelming strength, but that would do Cap a disservice. Captain America achieved superhuman feats thanks to his combat prowess. He combines his mastery of martial arts with his gymnastic skills to create a unique fighting style and compensate for his strengths and weaknesses. Captain America’s fighting skills allowed him to defeat Tony Masters, the Taskmaster, who has such a great photographic memory that he can instantly learn his opponent’s fighting style.
Even though Iron Man’s armor can withstand nuclear blasts and allows him to survive blows from the Sentry, Cap has his own arsenal he can use. He usually wears a utility belt with a host of items, including a first aid kit and several types of grenades. On top of that, Captain America’s suit, while not as durable as Iron Man’s armor, can take a lot of hits and is bulletproof. Then there’s Captain America’s iconic shield, which serves as both an offensive and defensive weapon. Cap’s shield is unique, in that it is a combination of Vibranium and Proto-Adamantium, the latter of which is a material that has never been duplicated. The shield is so tough that it allows him to defend against blows from the Hulk and Thor without even losing his footing or being knocked back. Not only could Cap’s shield protect him from Iron Man’s weapons, it could cause critical damage to Tony’s suit if he hit a vulnerable area.
Of course, Stark’s suit uses a plethora of weapons, including smart missiles, magnetism, and various beams and lasers. But ironically, Cap has access to his own Stark-designed exo-costume, which he has used on numerous occasions. He’s also one of the few people with access to Iron Man’s armory, as Jonathan Hickman shows. Avengers # 44. But the knockout blow is the fact that Steve is worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer, which would certainly make a dent in Tony’s armor.
If all else fails, perhaps Cap’s greatest strength is the fundamental difference between his personality and Tony’s. Captain America possesses an indomitable willpower, no matter how hard you hit him he will keep coming back for more if he believes he is fighting for what is right. During the Infinity Gauntlet scenario, Cap alone advanced to Thanos while the latter wielded the power of the Infinity Gems. Cap is also an inspiring figure who knows how to rally people to his cause. So if all else fails, Captain America would be able to assemble an army of heroes to face Iron Man.
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