The 21 Best Battles In MCU History, Ranked

From Iron Man to the Multiverse of Madnesshere’s our definitive ranking of Marvel’s most exceptional showdowns…

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been defined by many different elements, but they always place their astounding action among their top priorities.

Marvel Studios

Now well into its fourth phase, the MCU continues to do a stellar job at giving their audiences dream bouts they’d never thought they’d see, especially as their roster grows with each subsequent project. With this more present than ever in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of MadnessI’ve assembled and ranked the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 21 best battles to date!


Captain America vs. Batroc, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

This quick yet memorable hand-to-hand battle is likely the closest Captain America has come to going one-on-one with a legitimate threat that has neither superpowers nor any technological advantages.


Taskmaster vs. Red Guardian, Black Widow

Marvel Studios / Alamy

While there are a number of fun battles in Black Widowthe most memorable comes when David Harbor’s Red Guardian faces off against Taskmaster in a bout that matches hard-hitting choreography with the occasional bit of comic relief.


Carol Danvers vs. starforce, Captain Marvel

Walt Disney Co./ Marvel / Courtesy Everett Collection

Set to No Doubt’s “Just a Girl,” this fun and frenetic fight between Captain Marvel and her former comrades in Starforce nearly steals the whole dang movie.


The Elevator Brawl, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Another short but sweet brawl courtesy of Captain America, this inventive and chaotic scrap between Steve Rogers and a number of Hydra mercenaries, including Brock “Crossbones” Rumlow, showed how well the First Avenger can improvise when dealing with small spaces and an outnumbering force.


Dr. Strang vs. Dr. strange, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

When the good and evil versions of Stephen Strange collided in the Multiverse of Madnessa magical stand-off was immediately enhanced by providing composer Danny Elfman with the opportunity to inject his musical expertise into each coordinated strike.


Iron Man & War Machine vs. Iron Man Whiplash, Iron Man 2

Paramount / Courtesy Everett Collection

Notably storyboarded by Genndy Tartakovsky, this aesthetically pleasing skirmish pitted the team of Iron Man and War Machine, a militia of HammerTech drones, whose oily demise helped paint a more raw and intimate prelude to the short-but-sweet final boss battle against Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash.


Luke Cage & Bushmaster vs. Luke Cage drug dealers, Luke Cage

Cara Howe / Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Staging excellent fight scenes were the bread and butter of the Netflix Marvel series, but few could stand up to the reluctant alliance of Luke Cage and Bushmaster as they manhandled ax-wielding drug dealers to the beat of the Wu-Tang Clan in Season Two of Luke Cage.


The Jailbreak, Guardians of the Galaxy

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

From Drax throwing around armed guards to Gamora displaying her cold ruthlessness to Rocket firing willy-nilly atop of Groot’s shoulder, this first team effort went a long way to sell what kind of ridiculous yet ingenious action would define the Guardians of the Galaxy outings within the MCU.


The Last Stand, Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel / Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

In the lead-up to one of the MCU’s most shocking and heartbreaking moments, this grand battle between the Avengers and Thanos’ invading army in Wakanda is fun and kickass in its delivery of some fun character team-up moments until Thanos systematically cuts down Earth’s mightiest heroes one-by-one.


escape from Bucharest, Captain America: Civil War

Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

A combination between a spectacular high-speed chase and a sprawling them-vs.-us fight sequence, this action sequence offers MCU fans some of its most unforgettable fight imagery (dare we touch upon Bucky and Steve tearing through narrow staircases in a derelict apartment complex?) before leading to a tease of Black Panther and The Winter Soldier’s impending collision.


The Punisher’s Bloody Jailhouse Brawl, Daredevil

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though the introduction of The Punisher remains a controversial element of Daredevil‘s second season, his brutal and gruesome slobber knocker against numerous armed cellmates proved Bernthal as undeniably capable of capturing Frank Castle’s uncompromising and relentless dedication to dishing out violent ends to the wicked.


Thor vs. The Hulk, Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel / Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

It may not have carried the stakes of some of the MCU’s more critical battles, but this gladiatorial exhibition between Thor and the Hulk brought a wonderfully weird hypothetical match-up to reality utilizing a visually unique pretense.


The Fall of The Mad Titan, Avengers: Endgame

Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

The moment to which three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had been building, this full-on war between Thanos’ forces and Marvel’s assembly of heroes was a haywire yet oh-so-satisfying blowout that showcased the full potential of the Avengers while giving every character their time to shine.


The Hulk vs. The Abomination, The Incredible Hulk

Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

The Transporter and Unleashed filmmaker, Louis Leterrier, is one hell of an action director, which makes all-the-more sense why this smashing, Harlem-based slugfest remains a high point in the Hulk’s only solo entry into the MCU.


The Inaugural Hallway Brawl, Daredevil

Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the concept of the “Hallway Brawl” bordered on self-parody by the end of the Defenders saga, there was rarely a fight throughout Marvel’s properties that had been as exhilarating and captivating as the first time Charlie Cox’s Daredevil ran through a hallway cluttered with bad guys like a buzzsaw.


Scarlet Witch on Earth-838, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Marvel Studios/ Alamy

I certainly won’t be one to spoil the surprises of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madnessbut anyone who may have doubted the power of Wanda Maximoff in the MCU was given a wake-up call in the form of her bloodthirsty and unforgiving treatment of the Illuminati on Earth-838.


Black Panther vs. Killmonger: Round One, Black Panther

Marvel / Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

After setting the stage with T’Challa’s ritual combat with M’Baku, Black Panther’s initial one-on-one fight with his long-lost cousin, Killmonger, effortlessly became one of the more intense and emotionally potent showdowns in MCU history.


The Bus Ride from Hell, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Marvel Studios / Courtesy Everett Collection

Though the critical buzz behind Shang Chi Hinted at the film’s awesome hand-to-hand fight sequences, no one really predicted just how stylish and stunning the fights would become, with Shang Chi’s extended melee against Razor Fist and his goons laying the eye-opening groundwork for what would come.


spider-men assembly, Spider-Man: No Way Home

Sony Pictures Releasing / Marvel Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

This choice may be riding high on the cool factor of seeing all three generations of Peter Parker coming together to fight a litany of their best foes, but I’ll be damned if I wasn’t on the edge of my seat (and maybe even choking back tears) throughout the phenomenal finale of Spider-Man: No Way Home.


Thor, Iron Man and Captain America vs. Thanos, Avengers: Endgame

Marvel / Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

While the aforementioned fracas between Thanos’ army and the assembled Avengers was highlighted earlier on this list, the three-on-one match between a trio of the OG Avengers and Thanos was one that elicited genuine gasps and roars of glee from start to finish. Hell, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard an audience reaction ever as loud as the one when Steve Rogers picked up Mjolnir and cracked Thanos across the jaw to briefly turn the tides of the confrontation.


The Clash of the Avengers, Captain America: Civil War

Walt Disney Co. / Marvel / Courtesy Everett Collection

There are some scenes in the MCU that will always live on beyond the confines of Marvel fandom, and one of those is the iconic clash between Team Stark and Team Rogers at Leipzig/Halle Airport. From the introduction of Spider-Man into the MCU to a myriad of incredible character interactions, including Black Panther vs. Captain America, Spider-Man vs. Ant-Man, and Black Widow vs. Hawkeye, this Avengers free-for-all is undoubtedly the measuring stick by which all of Marvel’s future battles will be compared.

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