Who Should Lead The Avengers? Captain America vs. Iron Man vs. Thor

Published 4 years ago by , Updated June 27th, 2013 at 3:11 pm,

Thor Captain America Iron Man Avengers Who Should Lead The Avengers? Captain America vs. Iron Man vs. Thor

It’s hard to believe, but we’re officially less than nine months away from The Avengers, perhaps the most ambitious superhero movie in cinematic history, and the one film that will definitively prove whether or not Marvel Studios’ ambitious plans to weave multiple films together over several years will work with mainstream audiences.

With the recent releases of Captain America (see our 4/5 star review) and Thor (see our 3.5/5 star review), there are no more lead-in films to Joss Whedon’s epic superhero team-up. While that may be a bummer to fanboys who have enjoyed one of the better superhero movie summers in recent history, there is some consolation.

Now that all the solo films have been released, we’ve learned all there is to know about each individual member of The Avengers. In other words, we can finally start debating The Avengers in earnest, and I’m going to kick off the conversation!

In the comic books, Captain America has more-or-less always served as the leader of The Avengers. As such, Steve Rogers will also be the leader of the team in The Avengers film. However, as any fanboy knows, movies are a different animal than comic books, which begs the question: should Captain America be the man who gets to yell “Avengers Assemble!” on the big screen?

In the Marvel movie universe, there are really only three viable leaders for The Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. At the risk of starting a massive argument in the comments, we’re putting each of the heroes to the test to see who would be the best leader for the team.

Here are the rules. Each hero will be rated in five categories: Character, Leadership Skills, Weapons, Style, Intangibles. The winner of each category gets three points, the runner-up gets two points, and the loser gets one point. After five categories, we add up each hero’s points to determine a winner. (Remember: This is just hypothetical. Captain America will more than likely be the leader of The Avengers when the movie hits theaters next year, but let’s not keep that from spoiling the fun!)


Skinny Steve Rogers in Captain America First Avenger Who Should Lead The Avengers? Captain America vs. Iron Man vs. Thor

Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man are all great characters, but which one of the three has the greatest moral character? Let’s break it down.

As another famous Marvel hero once taught us: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” While all three of our would-be leaders have great power, not all of them exercise great responsibility.

In the Iron Man films, Robert Downey Jr. plays Tony Stark as a hard-drinking, womanizing, and aggressively sarcastic man whose genius is only rivaled by his ego. While Iron Man acts heroically, he doesn’t seem to act out of an innate goodness, but rather to inflate his celebrity and improve his family’s legacy (especially in Iron Man 2). Iron Man is undoubtedly a great hero, but he doesn’t always demonstrate great integrity, which is why he’s at the bottom of the list.

Like Iron Man, Thor is another hero whose ego sometimes kept him from doing what is morally right. Instead of fighting for something worthwhile, Thor simply fights because he’s bored, putting his entire civilization at risk in the process. Unlike Iron Man, however, Thor learned from his mistakes after his powers were taken away. Maybe if somebody stole Iron Man’s suits, he would have had the same epiphany. Despite his redemption, Thor’s initial arrogance keeps him out of the top spot.

The clear winner in the Character category is Captain America. As played by Chris Evans, Steve Rogers is a brave and selfless soldier with an unshakable desire to do what’s right (even though his 90-pound frame refused to cooperate with him). When he takes on the mantle of Captain America, Steve doesn’t let his newfound powers go to his head, instead showing that his greatest strength was always his integrity.

VERDICT: Captain America (3), Thor (2), Iron Man (1)

Leadership Ability…

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  1. thor should be the leader because he is the strongest of all 3,but if it were to be favorites i would pick iron man
    he can fly ,shoot lasers etc… but this is why captain america should not even be a suggestion,he cant do anything he only has a shield and he cant fly,run incredibly fast,or have the strength to pick up a car or anything,and the indistructable shield isn’t so great to have around.

    • I saw the movie at midnight and it was badass don’t wanna give a spoiler unless people ask

    • Being a LEADER is not about strength and pure strength, people FAIL to understand. Hulk dominates in terms of strength anyway. Cap is an ideal LEADER, not the strongest fighter

    • Completely Agree!

    • You r right iron man is the best out of all 3 Thor could not beat iron man because he uses lighting to beat him witch powers up his suit , and captain America wouldn’t stand a chance so IRONMAN

      • In the avengers iron man nearly lost his head by Thor so obviously Thor can beat him. The leader should be captain America because he is ideal for a leader, his ego does not dictate his actions and hold Prejudice.

      • Remember the thorbuster amour? Iron man failed to beat Thor even though the amour was designed to beat Thor, so I don’t think ironman is the strongest of the bunch

    • it’s not a matter of who is the strongest but who will lead the team with a level head. captain america is the most logical choice because of his experience in the wars he was in. if captain were to fall then tony would become the leader because of his genius level intelligence. thor is nothing more than a brawler sure he might have a moment of smart thinking but other than that one moment the fact still remains he is not as calculating as captain or ironman

    • thor isn’t the strongest hulk is

      • Thor killed Sentry, who had a stalemate with the hulk at the peak of his strength. Thor also punched hulk into orbit when hulk was empowered with the same strength as a god.

        Thor is almost as strong as the celestials, who gave the humans of earth their powers in the first place.

    • captain america may not have powers on the same degree as thor or have a suit of armor, but that didn’t stop him from beating iron man half to death in the civil war comics. Cap is the leader.

    • By your logic our president shouldn’t be a smart well educated or earnest or humble leader but instead the strongest man on earth. So you want our president to be an mma fighter or wwf wrestler? No. Captain America is the logical choice. Not the strongest but clearly the best leader.

  2. Cap should lead the avengers for sure(maybe not at the begining though). Not only did the Serum make his body the best of human possibility but it also made his brain the best of human possibility(thinking faster with that adding to thinking tactically, accelerated ability to master any weapon or fighting style, accelerated adaptation so he would be able to take the jump to the modern world) Plus I can see Cap doing some really great speeches in this movie.

  3. So war machine 634, you think that Iron Man should be the leader because he can fly and shoot lasers? Cap shouldn’t be the leader because he can’t pick up a car or fly and uses a shield? I think the author of this post made some excellent arguments. Cap has a good head on his shoulders, no ego and is a very selfless individual. He’s a soldier. The Avengers might be all superheros but when you look at it at the basic level they are a squad fighting a war against an alien army. I personally would rather have a war veteran leading me who is used to fighting against tough armies (and winning) rather than being lead by a businessman in a suit (even if that suit is made of armor). In the trailer Tony Stark himself says that he doesn’t play well with others. That right there proves that he is not leadership material. In that same scene Cap proves what kind of leader he is.
    And Cap can run very fast…

  4. CAPTAIN AMERICA FOR SURE!!!!! I totally agree Iron Man is pretty cool but is a bit of a show off. Captain America shows every responsibility to become the leader, but thats the thing. WHO IS GOING 2 BE THE LEADER IN THE NEW MOVIE (THE AVENGERS)?


  5. personally I think there wont be a leader as such, you have nick furry bringing them together for some big thing so he’ll tell them what to fight also you have hawk eye and black widow working for shield so they look like their going to be the “babysitters” I don’t think they’ll be room for a leader. They’ll most probably just do their own thing and because its a film it will work so they all seem to be working together, I don’t think any of them will be issuing any orders as such. Anyway I cant wait till it comes out.

  6. if ironman leads whos gonna be comic relief ????

  7. Capitan America.

    It is not about how strong you are, but leadership. Captain America is the most virtuous and in-control of the Avengers. Not only is he selfless, he would never allow his own ego or recklessness to endanger those he protects.

    Thor and Iron Man are awesome, but Thor is too hot-headed and Iron Man has to big of an ego.

  8. Captain America.

    It is not about how strong you are, but leadership. Captain America is the most virtuous and in-control of the Avengers. Not only is he selfless, he would never allow his own ego or recklessness to endanger those he protects.

    Thor and Iron Man are awesome, but Thor is too hot-headed and Iron Man has to big of an ego.

  9. Captain America is the best choice…
    But seeing how Marvel gets more money with Iron Man i think they would make him lead or have more screentime…he is no leader in my opinion. Cap would make the best leader, I hope that atleast he becomes leader almost at the end of the film.

  10. I concur with your opinion that superhero’s that have everything are hard to “love” (ahem, superman). I also agree that most great “team” leaders are not the best players on the team (see the majority of sports teams). HOWEVER, when the chips are down, everyone looks to the best player to tie the game. Although I agree that overall Cap is probably the best motivator, if the sh*t hits the fan, guaranteed, they are following THOR out of hell. I think THOR would be the best leader.

  11. Captain America

    As much as I LOVE Iron Man, he just doesn’t possess the quality of a good leader. He is DEFINITELY my favorite character though. For one he is hilarious, second he can shoot lasers and he is super strong. I would LOVE for Iron Man to be the leader, but Captain America is a bit more… is guess you could say qualified to be the leader.

  12. Iron man of course! It would be perfect because he has it in him to become a leader but it will just take a while for him to adjust to the role and in the end become the perfect leader we deep down know he is.

  13. to be honest none of them will probably lead captain is out of his time by like 50years thor is have to fight his brother so its too personal and iron man is cocky and not much of a team player

  14. CAPTAIN AMERICA! There is really no contest here. Who wants a leader whose primary interest is himself (Iron Man)or an (albeit noble) Frat Boy (Thor)? In all instances, Cap has shown himself to be not only skilled in battle but selfless. Both Iron Man and Thor have only reluctantly participated in Shield activities. Remember, Tony Stark’s (IM)first response when he is needed was to sell (profiteer) materials to Shield. And Thor still has unresolved issues with his father and his dual/conflicting loyalties between earth and Asgard.

  15. Captain America would probably make the best leader, but Tony Stark is not a follower. There’s no way he’d let anybody but himself call the shots.

  16. Captain America for sure! Thats why they call him the Captain!

  17. Captain America is the leader. He calls the shots. During the movie, at the beginning of the big, final battle, Captain America is the one giving orders, telling his fellow Avengers what to do, and his fellow Avengers follow his orders. At one point Cap is seen giving orders to NYPD officers on how to evacuate civillians from the battlefield, and the officer responds with “Why the hell should I take orders from you?” Before he can respond verbally, about five or six flying enemies descend upon them at once, and Captain America takes them all down with nothing but his hands and his shield. Nothing else needs to be said, and the police officers immediately turn around and start relaying Cap’s orders to the other officers. The guy’s a born leader, there’s really no question about this one.

  18. It’s kind of amusing how many people list ego as a drawback of a good leader. Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, and Napoleon. What do these people have in common? Well, they were all great leaders, who also had huge egos.

    Thor is an alien, Cap is a WWII relic. None of the two has sufficient understanding of the modern world. Iron Man should be the one to lead.

  19. Leader: Captain America
    Strongest: Iron man
    Hero: Iron man

  20. captain america because he is hot strong and doesn’t have alot of ego and why wasn’t blackwidow or the hulk nominated

  21. Captain America cause he is the first avenger, his shield can respond and reflect the attack to the attacker so if Hulk punches his shield, it wouldn’t hurt for captain but hulk. And he is smart. (Iron man is smart in tech way)

  22. THOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THOR IS SOO CUTE

  23. Well it is funny no one said hulk .. After he is a genius doctor . Control issues yes.. But he is no dummy . 2nd , iron man is very intelligent as well. . Cap has the mind of a general but comes off as a bland do gooder . All are great defenders. But either cap or ironman should lead . Hey even black widow warrants some consideration . But isn’t the leader usually the guy who assembles the team ? So maybe the point is moot … Ya think ?

  24. Being a Leader is not matched in Strength, It’s 99% Mentality and 1% Physically so I Choose Cap.

  25. Captain America is literally useless in the films, Ironman is obviously they most powerful superhero if you counter intelligence. He is a genius and a billionaire, and he saves the whole of Manhattan, you can’t get much more noble than that. Capsicle just chills in the corner being useless, he isn’t even pretty.

  26. What sucks for you is that Iron Man was clearly the leader in the movie.

  27. Thor and Iron Man will make great leaders, but if up to me, Captain would’ve been leader because he has a better experience

    He’s cute
    he saves everyone from danger
    he has biceps
    he has abbs
    he is CAPTAIN america
    and duh he tells everyone what to do!
    that my answer!