What Did Captain America Do In The Avengers Movies?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was cinema’s greatest powerhouse from 2008 to 2018, with every year since giving fans, Marvel Studios, and Disney alike diminishing returns. However, no one can take away the MCU’s run of dominance, something that was cemented by the Avengers movies. These movies were the culmination of years of plots, with three of the four – Avengers, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame – considered some of the best superhero movies ever and the fourth – Avengers: Age Of Ultron – being a rather lower ranked superhero movie.



There are several reasons for the Avengers films’ success and an integral one is Captain America. Chris Evans played the character in a trilogy of Captain America movies and all four Avengers pictures, with minor appearances in Thor: The Dark World and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Fans loved Captain America and his role in the Avengers movies made the character even more popular, leading to his eventual swan song.


Captain America Takes The Lead In Avengers

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Director

Joss Whedon

Writers

Zack Penn and Joss Whedon

Release Date

May 4th 2023

Box Office

$1.519 Billion

Captain America’s first appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger had a scene of him awakening in the present day, which was a prequel of sorts to Avengers. The MCU’s Phase One led all characters to Avengers, with Captain America showing up in the movie a little after the opening scene with Nick Fury, Hawkeye, and Loki. Captain America got to take part in the excellent three-way fight between Iron Man and Thor, a fistfight that would become a verbal battle later on the Helicarrier. Cap helps apprehend Loki and is caught up in the attack on the Helicarrier by the brainwashed Hawkeye, helping defend SHIELD.

Cap takes part in the Battle of New York, his battlefield planning skills coming in handy as he commands the nascent Avengers and helps evacuate the area while battling the Chitauri. Cap’s power level is lower than Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk, he plays a crucial role in the battle. Captain America in the comics is the leader of the Avengers, but in the MCU, he takes a back seat to Iron Man, who was the most popular MCU character. However, Cap still plays a big role in Avengers. Iron Man is the star, but Cap is the heart of the team, something that comes through more as the movie goes on. Avengers grossed over a billion dollars, its success allowing the MCU to join the ranks of the highest-grossing movie franchises of all time. The movie showed Cap doing what he does best and introduced the dynamic of the early MCU’s most important relationship – the one between Cap and Iron Man.

Captain America Was Certainly In Avengers: Age Of Ultron But He Didn’t Do Much That Was Memorable

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Director

Joss Whedon

Writer

Joss Whedon

Date Released

May 1st 2015

Box Office

$1.403 Billion

Avengers: Age Of Ultron was no one’s finest moment. Writer/director Joss Whedon had a lot to do with this movie, and it’s safe to say that he failed with most of it. Whedon had to introduce the Avengers’ comics deadliest villain – Ultron – as well as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. He had to close out the Hydra subplot that began in The Winter Soldier, add to the Iron Man PTSD plot, start teasing the coming of Thanos, introduce Klaw, Wakanda, and vibranium, while also telling an entertaining story, and somehow make all of that work in one nearly three-hour movie. Age Of Ultron is a movie stuffed full of plot, and it definitely feels that way. Unfortunately, very few of those plots actually involve Cap in any way other than as a character being moved along by them. Age Of Ultron was focused more on Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye than Cap. The Sentinel of Liberty was still the field leader of the Avengers, but it’s hard to remember anything memorable that happened to him as a character, other than yet another argument with Iron Man in the middle of the movie.

Age Of Ultron was a failure in many ways. It made less money than its predecessor and wasn’t nearly as well-loved. Whedon was trusted with making the movie work and he couldn’t at all. Compared to the heights of the other Phase Two – Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy – Age Of Ultron is lackluster. It’s a slow-moving movie that pulls in so many different directions that it never really comes together. The movie completely botched Ultron, taking a villain some consider the greatest Avengers antagonist of all time and making him into a joke. No one hates Age Of Ultron, but it’s not highly thought of among the Avengers movies. Cap’s role in the movie is completely unimportant, beyond the last scene that reveals that he’s created an entirely new team of Avengers consisting of him, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and Falcon, a team which becomes very important in the future.

Captain America leads the charge in Captain America: Civil War

It’s impossible to talk about the Avengers movies without speaking about Captain America: Civil War, which many consider to be Avengers 2.5. Most MCU fans would say that it’s a better movie than Age Of Ultron. The movie opens with the new Avengers battling against Crossbones and his thugs. The team is doing pretty well until Crossbones reveals that he has wired himself with explosives. The Scarlet Witch instinctively throws him at a building. He explodes, destroying the building and killing several Wakandans. The UN passes the Sokovia Accords, backed up by Iron Man, which forces the heroes to register. Cap is against that, and the Avengers pick sides, just as Baron Zemo prepares to break the Avengers over their actions in Sokovia using the brainwashed Bucky, which begins with the assassination of King T’Chaka, which brings his son T’Challa as Black Panther into the conflict. The heroes fight, Iron Man learns Bucky killed his parents, and the Avengers are broken, with Cap, Black Widow, Bucky, and Falcon hiding out in Wakanda after Black Panther changes sides. This is the status quo of Earth’s heroes as Avengers: Infinity War opens.

Avengers: Infinity War Shows Why Captain America Is The Best

2:04

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Directors

Joe and Anthony Russo

Writers

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Date Released

April 27th 2018

Box Office

$2.052 Billion

Avengers: Infinity War is easily the best Avengers film. It takes all the various pieces of the Infinity Saga built up over the three Phases of the MCU and uses them brilliantly. The movie begins in space, with Thanos and the Black Order attacking the ship containing Thor, Loki, Hulk, and the Asgardians to get their Infinity Stone. Members of the Black Order attack Earth, some going to New York to get the Time Stone from Doctor Strange and others going to England to attack Scarlet Witch and Vision to take the Mind Stone. Luckily, Cap, no longer using his shield or wearing his A mask, Black Widow, and Falcon step in, repulsing the Black Order and escaping with Scarlet Witch and Vision to Wakanda. While Iron Man, Doctor Strange, and Spider-Man are taken into space by the Black Order, on their way to face Thanos on Titans, Cap and the Earthbound heroes prepare Wakanda for an invasion from the Black Order and Chitauri, with Cap and Black Panther planning the battle. The heroes are able to defeat the Black Order and the Chitauri until Thanos gets there, with the power of five Infinity Stones on his side. Thanos kills Vision, takes the Mind Stone, survives Thor’s attack, and snaps, killing half the universe. Cap watches as Bucky and Black Panther die, along with many of his friends and fellow soldiers.

Infinity War is The Empire Strikes Back of Marvel movies. The movie is extremely dark and serious, even with the requisite MCU quippy humor. Infinity War’s brutal cliffhanger enthralled audiences despite the fact they had to know that none of the deaths would stick. Infinity War is also an amazing Avengers movie for Cap. Separating him from Iron Man gives Cap a chance to actually be a star of his storyline. When Iron Man was around, he was always the focus, even in Captain America: Civil War. With Iron Man off in space for his own plot and Cap on Earth, Cap finally feels like the leader and important hero he had always been. Infinity War is arguably the best MCU movie that Cap is in, but that makes sense since Infinity War is the best Avengers movie.

Avengers: Endgame Ends Captain America’s Time In The MCU

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Directors

Joe and Anthony Russo

Writers

Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely

Release Date

April 26th 2019

Box Office

$2.799 Billion

Avengers: Endgame is the grand finale of the Infinity Saga, the first three Phases of the MCU, and for several of the characters in the MCU. The movie opens with Iron Man and Nebula lost in space, the only survivors of the battle on Titan. Captain Marvel finds them and brings them to Earth, where the Avengers have gotten together to lick their wounds and figure out what happened to the planet and the universe. They are able to track Thanos and the energy of the Infinity Stones thanks to a spike of power. They confront the Mad Titan and learn that he made the Infinity Stones destroy themselves, and Thor kills Thanos. Then the movie shifts to five years in the future. Cap is working as a social worker, trying to help people come to terms with the realities of the world post-Snap. Cap visits Black Widow at the Avengers Compound, and Scott Lang showing up out of nowhere gives them hope as he shares with them a secret – they can use the Quantum Realm to travel through time. Cap and Widow get the band back together, with Iron Man reluctantly joining them after perfecting the time travel method. The team plans a heist through time to steal past versions of the Infinity Stones to undo the Snap. Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, and Scott Lang travel back to the Battle Of New York. Cap gets the Mind Stone, Hulk gets the Time Stone, but Scott and Iron Man fail.

This forces Cap and Iron Man to go further in time to Camp Lehigh in 1970 to get the Space Stone from back them. Everyone returns to the present to remake the Gauntlet, with Hulk using the new Infinity Gauntlet to bring back half the universe. Unfortunately, Nebula in the past was captured by Thanos, who comes to the present to take the Gauntlet again. This brings about the final battle. Cap gets to finally say “Avengers Assemble!” and wields Mjolnir in battle against Thanos. The final battle is epic and ends with Iron Man sacrificing himself to destroy Thanos. Cap survives, and decides to go back in time to return the Stones to their proper places. He ends up going back to after he disappeared in WWII and finding Peggy Carter, living with her for the rest of her life. Old Man Steve shows up suddenly after the younger version left and utters the now immortal line, “No, I don’t think I will,” when asked by Sam and Bucky to tell them what happened. Cap’s happy ending has spurred multiple fan theories, and is the perfect ending for the character. Endgame was a pretty great showcase for Captain America as an Avenger, hero, and a character. It’s basically the only Avengers movie where Cap and Iron Man are side by side and actually seem like equally important characters.

Captain America’s Time In The Avengers Movies Is Something Of A Rising Action

Steve in his uniform

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Captain America always played second fiddle to Iron Man, despite having the better solo movies. This was definitely apparent in Avengers, Avengers: Age Of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War. Cap was always portrayed as a field leader in those three movies, especially the latter two, but Iron Man was still the main character, even in Civil War, which was a Captain America movie. However, Evans kept on trucking and finally got to be the focus of the parts of Infinity War he was in. Endgame saw Cap finally actually feel equal to Iron Man, even with Iron Man right next to him, which had never happened before. Cap’s happy ending is also easily the best in the MCU. Sure, Iron Man’s ending and death is more important in many ways, but his story ends in sadness. Cap gets to live a life he never thought he’d get a chance to live. It’s a beautiful ending.

Cap’s time in the Avengers movies is definitely a case of things getting better and better for the character. Age Of Ultron was something of a stumbling block for Cap, but that’s true of pretty much every Avenger in the movie. The last two movies are easily the best Avengers movies and also the place where Cap gets to shine as an Avenger. He was always a leader of the team, but he didn’t become THE leader, like he was in the comics, until Infinity War. That movie and Endgame cemented his status as the greatest Avenger, something that was in doubt before.

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