Even the strongest MCU characters are occasionally outclassed in a fight. Yet, as terrifying as those instances must be for the heroes, getting outclassed is when they really shine as characters. It is noble, yet unimpressive, for Spider-Man to spend his time taking out common crooks. It's a lot more interesting when Spidey pits himself against a foe like Vulture, a bad guy who's obviously stronger than him, and still manages to come out on top.
The best MCU fights all feature the heroes completely outmatched. Whether it's against the ultimate heavyweight champ, Thanos, or a lesser hero against a lesser villain, it's exciting when the audience gets a chance to root for the MCU underdogs - and it's even more exciting when those underdogs win.
- Photo: Captain America: The Winter Soldier / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Falcon is currently thought of as an Avenger - someone who wouldn't be outclassed in practically any matchup - but that wasn't the case for Sam Wilson back in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. At that point in time, Falcon was ex-military. Sam Wilson was retired and seemingly only staying in shape through his morning jogs.
Even though Falcon was retired, that didn't stop him from busting out his old super suit and joining Captain America in the fight against the forces of Hydra. One of those forces of Hydra was the highly trained spec ops agent Crossbones, AKA Brock Rumlow. During Falcon and Crossbones's fight, Crossbones defeated Wilson in combat. However, Crossbones was no match for the helicarrier that collided into the building he was in, crushing him.Above their weight class?
- Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Ego was one of the most powerful villains anyone in the MCU had ever faced. Ego was a Celestial with god-like power and the ability to create and terraform entire planets. Yet, Ego was defeated by an absurd band of misfits.
Ego had a Death Star-style weakness the Guardians of the Galaxy were able to exploit - specifically, one Guardian, the youngest member of their team, Baby Groot. Ego may have been a Celestial, but even a Celestial can be slain by a baby planting a detonation device on their brain.Above their weight class?
- Photo: Iron Man 3 / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
In Iron Man 3, scorned scientist Aldrich Killian infected Pepper Potts with the Extremis virus in the hope that Tony Stark would have no choice but to use his considerable intellect to fix the virus, thus removing all flaws from Killian's prized science experiment. Instead, Tony fought back against Killian but was beaten down by his Extremis-powered foe.
Tony would have lost the fight against Killian, except that Extremis-newbie Pepper Potts showed up and absolutely demolished Killian in the resulting skirmish.Above their weight class?
- Photo: Iron Man / Paramount Pictures
Obadiah Stane plotted against Tony Stark ever since Tony's father, Howard, passed. Stane served as interim CEO of Stark Industries while Tony was growing up, and Stane decided he didn't really want to give up the role. So, Stane tried to have Tony Stark eliminated. Instead, Tony created a superpowered suit of armor that allowed him to escape his would-be captors. Thus, Stane had no choice but to reverse-engineer an Iron Man suit for himself.
Stane seemed to have something to account for because the armor he had built dwarfed Tony's in size; Stane was much stronger than Iron Man. However, Tony still managed to beat Iron Monger by exploiting flaws in the armor Tony knew about because it was based on his own. Tony tricked Stane into following him into the upper atmosphere, which caused Iron Monger to freeze up.Above their weight class?