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MCU Characters Who Punched Above Their Weight Class

Updated May 17, 2021 4.2k votes 618 voters 72k views12 items

List RulesVote up the MCU heroes who took down someone who was way beyond their level.

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: Doctor Strange / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Stephen Strange was the newest trainee of the Ancient One when he had to fight Dormammu, the king of the Dark Dimension. Stephen had only traveled to Kamar-Taj to get his hands fixed, so he definitely wasn't expecting to face off against a supremely powerful god-like being mere months later. 

    After Kaecilius and his zealots brought Dormammu to Earth, and the Ancient One had passed on, it was up to Strange, Wong, and Mordo to stop him. Strange traveled to the Dark Dimension, where Dormammu had complete control. While there, Dormammu terminated Strange countless times. However, Strange had access to the Time Stone, which allowed him to constantly rewind time after every defeat. Thus, even though Dormammu had far greater power than Strange, he had no choice but to let Strange go to end the time loop. 

    Above their weight class?
  • 2. Tony Stark Fought A Brainwashed Winter Soldier Without His Complete Armor

    Photo: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    A staple of the Rocky franchise is that even though the Italian Stallion doesn't win every fight he takes part in, he always fights hard and proves himself to be a worthy competitor. Similarly, Stark punched way out of his weight class in his fight against Bucky Barnes, and even though Stark didn't come out on top, he was able to hold his own. 

    The Winter Soldier was a killing machine. He had the Super-Soldier Serum coursing through his veins and a bionic arm that made him even more powerful. Yet, Tony Stark managed to fight against him with only one of his gauntlets on his wrist and no armor. Tony displayed some impressive hand-to-hand combat and was somehow able to make it through the fight alive. 

    Above their weight class?
  • Photo: Thor: The Dark World / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    This matchup was between a powerful Dark Elf who absorbed the Reality Stone and a normal human scientist who had recently suffered severe trauma. Yet, the professor won. 

    The professor in question, Erik Selvig, was recruited by his former mentees, Lewis and Foster, to create a device that could send Malekith off-world. Erik Selvig completed this teleportation device and sent Malekith to Svartalfheim, where his own ship crushed him

    Above their weight class?
  • Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Out of all the MCU protagonists, Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, might be the biggest screw-up. Quill spent years of his life as a space pirate before deciding to exit that life by stealing from said space pirates. This led Quill on an adventure that somehow ended with saving the entire galaxy from a Kree warlord named Ronan the Accuser. 

    Ronan the Accuser used the Power Stone to bombard Xandar. He managed to wipe out much of Xandar's military force, but on the planet's surface, he was distracted by Peter Quill, a silly little human (yes, he was part Celestial, but he didn't know it yet) doing a song-and-dance routine. Once Quill had sufficiently distracted the Kree warlord, he and his fellow Guardians managed to take the Power Stone from him and use it to destroy him. 

    Above their weight class?