The 10 Closest Fights In The MCU, Ranked

A split image of Iron Man and Captain America fighting and Shang-Chi


Every feature movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe features an intense, exciting comic book-style action scene. These typically involve laser guns, martial arts, magic powers, and armored suits. Some of these fights are easy for the MCU’s heroes or villains, such as blowing up cop cars or wiping out squads of alien minions, but other times, it’s a painfully close fight.


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Many MCU movies keep viewers on the edge of their seats with tense battles where each side is evenly matched. The smallest mistake or slip may spell disaster for either side, and when a winner is declared, they are scarred and bruised from the experience. Win or lose, the Avengers have survived some incredibly close fights where victory was never a guarantee.

10 Ant-Man And Darren Cross Traded Evenly As Tiny Warriors

Ant-Man

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The MCU’s second phase introduced the shrinking hero Ant-Man, a reformed burglar who was given the power of Hank Pym’s special suit and ants to command in battle. Ant-Man fought off Falcon in a battle at the Avengers’ compound, but then he faced his first true nemesis in Darren Cross.

Ant-Man was still figuring things out, and he was fresh off a training montage with Hank and Hope. When Darren Cross donned the Yellowjacket suit, he instantly became Ant-Man’s true equal in microscopic battle, and Ant-Man needed every trick he could think of to win this tense fight.

9 Shang-Chi Vs Xu Wenwu Was A Fight Over The Ten Rings

Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Shang-Chi and Wenwu fight each other using the Ten Rings in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

The MCU’s fourth phase introduced the real Mandarin, an ancient warlord named Xu Wenwu who wielded the Ten Rings in battle. He had centuries of experience backing him up, making him a formidable threat for even his well-trained son, Shang-Chi.

In the realm of Ta Lo, Shang-Chi and his allies faced Xu’s army, and Shang-Chi personally battled his father for control of the Ten Rings. It was a tense and difficult fight. At one point, the father and son split the rings between them, making them dead even. Slowly but surely, though, Shang-Chi gained the upper hand and triumphed.

8 Iron Man Struggled Greatly Against Iron Monger

Iron Man

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Obadiah Stane firing weapons from his Iron Monger suit in Iron Man movie

In 2008’s Iron Man, a trend began where the hero must fight a villain who has similar powers to them. In this case, Iron Man went up against Obadiah Stane. He piloted the bulky Iron Monger suit, which was loaded with weapons and rocket boosters.

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Iron Monger put up a great fight despite his lack of experience or training with such technology, and Iron Man’s suit was taken apart piece by piece. By the skin of his teeth, Iron Man weakened Iron Monger and stalled just long enough for Pepper to deal the final blow with the arc reactor.

7 The Avengers Fought Bravely Against The Chitauri Army In NYC

The Avengers

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Avengers looking at the Chitauri and defending the earth from the first Avengers movie

In 2012’s The Avengers, the finale to Phase 1, the newly assembled Avengers gathered in New York City to face their first true test – the Chitauri army that Loki had assembled on Thanos’ orders. No single Chitauri could defeat an Avenger, but the aliens did have overwhelming numbers on their side.

This was a tough battle for all six Avengers, and even the Hulk took a beating from the endless waves of Chitauri and laser fire. The battle was only won when a nuclear missile was launched. At the risk of his own life, Iron Man guided the missile into the portal to take out the remaining Chitauri in space.

6 Ultron Nearly Defeated The Avengers In Sokovia’s Capital

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The full cast of heroes in the MCU's Avengers: Age Of Ultron, including Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Hawkeye

In 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the robotic villain Ultron rose to power and built an entire army of killer robots to fight by his side. Ultron aimed to destroy all of humanity, and he fought off the Avengers each time they tried to stop his grand plan.

The Avengers assembled and even had Wanda and Pietro Maximoff to help them fight Ultron in Sokovia’s capital, but it was a real struggle. Ultron’s robot army slowly ground the Avengers down, and only at the last second did they prevent Ultron from dropping the capital and causing worldwide disaster.

5 Captain America Was Reluctant To Even Fight Bucky Barnes

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier in the MCU

In 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America’s old friend Bucky Barnes returned as the Winter Soldier, complete with elite skills, deadly weapons, and a high-tech right arm. Cap and the Winter Soldier clashed a few times and then had their showdown aboard an Insight Helicarrier.

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Captain America was very reluctant to hurt or kill his friend, so he held back during their fierce melee battle aboard that ship. It was a close and bloody fight between friends, and for a moment, all seemed lost. Then, Captain America scraped a win and just about survived with Bucky’s last-minute help.

4 Captain America And Bucky Barely Defeated Iron Man Together

Captain America: Civil War

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Captain America vs Iron Man with the Winter Soldier

The MCU’s third phase made things personal when Baron Zemo manipulated the Avengers into fighting one another over Bucky Barnes’ actions. Their two sides fought at the Leipzig airport, and then Iron Man, Captain America, and Bucky ended up alone together in an old, abandoned base.

This tense fight was dramatic, brutal, and very close. Cap and Iron Man were both tough and skilled Avengers who broke even throughout the fight. Cap nearly went down for good, but then Bucky backed him up. As a result, Cap managed to destroy Iron Man’s power source and pacify him.

3 Black Panther And Erik Killmonger Were Even When Fighting Over Wakanda

Black Panther

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Black Panther fights Killmonger

T’Challa claimed the Wakandan throne in 2018’s Black Panther, but he had some competition. The villainous Erik Killmonger arrived with bold new ideas for Wakanda, and he wanted to usurp T’Challa as the nation’s leader by force.

Killmonger defeated T’Challa in a ritual battle, and then Killmonger obtained his own vibranium Black Panther suit. When the original Black Panther returned, the two warriors fought very evenly with similar suits. They also both had the heart-shaped herb fueling them.

2 Slaying Ego Cost The Guardians Of The Galaxy Dearly

Guardians Of The Galaxy: Volume 2

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>The Guardians Of The Galaxy fighting Ego in Vol. 2

In Guardians 2, the rogue hero Star-Lord learned to his joy, then his horror that his father was Ego, an ancient Celestial with incredible powers. When the truth of Ego’s dark side emerged, Peter turned on his father. However, Peter knew that killing him would be a monumental task.

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The assembled Guardians needed Mantis and Yondu to aid them, and even then, fighting Ego and the Sovereign was tough. At one point, Ego had an overwhelming advantage, yet the Guardians turned it all around. They destroyed Ego’s brain and escaped, but it cost Yondu his life.

1 Iron Man’s Team Was Lucky To Survive Thanos On Titan

Avengers: Infinity War

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>Thanos and Iron Man staring each other down in Infinity War

In 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man’s motley team faced Thanos on Titan, and they had a plan in mind. Iron Man, several Guardians, Spider-Man, and Doctor Strange all fought Thanos so that Mantis could pacify his mind. However, Thanos broke free after Star-Lord hit him.

Thanos and Iron Man’s team fought ferociously, using all kinds of weapons, technology, magic, webbing, and Infinity Stones. Ultimately, Doctor Strange relented and handed over the Time Stone, as it was the only way to keep Thanos from butchering the entire team. Then, Thanos left them alive and headed to Wakanda for the Mind Stone, leaving Iron Man’s team battered and barely alive.

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