Steve Rogers is known as being one of the most loyal and self-sacrificing heroes in the entire MCU. During his time as Captain America, and even before, he exhibited a lot of bravery and heroic behavior. However, he’s also a complex character, and he wasn’t always perfect.
There were times where his behavior was less than heroic, even if he didn’t intend for it to be wrong. There were also some instances in the MCU when Steve Rogers made some big mistakes that seemed more like something a bad guy would do than a good guy.
Here are the five times Steve Rogers was a total hero and five he was a bit more like a villain.
10 VILLAIN: WHEN HE WOULDN’T SIGN THE ACCORDS
The main times when Steve lost sight of his more heroic ways took place in Captain America: Civil War. While he might have been trying to follow his convictions and own moral code, the consequences of his actions were still rather negative.
He may have had shortcomings about signing the accords, but he should also have recognized the importance of trying to keep the team together and accepting some oversight in the lives of superheroes.
9 HERO: WHEN HE PUT THE PLANE INTO THE ICE
This is probably one of the most heroic Steve Rogers moments in the entire MCU because he was willing to sacrifice his life to save other people.
When the tesseract was on the plane with the weapon of Red Skull’s, it would have killed millions of people if it had reached landmass. So, to save others, Steve was more than willing to crash the place knowing full well that he would most surely die. This is definitely the mark of a hero.
8 VILLAIN: WHEN HE FOUGHT AGAINST TONY AND THE OTHERS IN CIVIL WAR
This is one of the roughest moments to watch in a Captain America movie as it pits Steve and his team against the other heroes.
While clearly none of them actually want to hurt one another, seeing them at odds and fighting is quite frustrating. It’s clear that both sides are both in the wrong and in the right, but Steve was definitely stubborn about how he went about things.
7 HERO: WHEN HE RISKED HIS LIFE AND FREEDOM TO SAVE BUCKY IN CIVIL WAR
Some of Steve’s most heroic moments have to do with him saving and caring about the people he loves. This is most apparent in his relationship with Bucky. He spends a lot of his movies trying to save Bucky from HYDRA and other people who want to hurt him.
While he might have to set aside some of his other ideals, his loyalty to Bucky is definitely heroic and admirable. He is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure Bucky is safe.
6 VILLAIN: NOT TELLING TONY STARK THE TRUTH ABOUT HIS PARENTS’ DEATH
This is another big misstep that Steve takes in Captain America: Civil War. It’s made clear that Steve actually knew that Tony’s parents were murdered by HYDRA, not just in a random car accident. When Tony finds out that Steve knew about this but didn’t tell him, he feels understandably betrayed.
This is the moment that really ruins things between these two. While Steve might have thought he was protecting Tony, he should have been upfront about this information.
5 HERO: WHEN HE WAS WILLING TO FACE THANOS AND HIS ARMY ALONE IN ENDGAME
One of the most dramatic moments in Avengers: Endgame is when Thanos and his army have nearly beaten the Avengers. Almost everyone else is down and out, and Steve has been beaten down, too. But, he gets up again anyway, as part of his bravery and heroism is about never giving up or quitting.
In a dramatic shot, he is shown facing up against Thanos and his entire army alone. Even though he knows he wouldn’t win, he’s willing to try until he dies.
4 VILLAIN: THE FIGHT WITH IRON MAN AT THE END OF CIVIL WAR
This was one of the most dramatic moments in the entire Steve Rogers arc in the MCU. While Tony Stark and Steve didn’t always have the friendliest relationship, they did work together and had times when they were friends. So, when the two fought against one another, it wasn’t a heroic moment for either of them.
While Steve was trying to look out for Bucky, he should have handled things with Iron Man before it got to this point.
3 HERO: BEING WORTHY OF WIELDING MJOLNIR
This moment is one that made a lot of fans happy. When it was revealed that Steve Rogers was worthy of wielding Mjolnir, many fans were cheering.
Considering that he is such a loyal person with a good heart, it’s no wonder that he was able to do so in such a dire moment. This was definitely a moment fit for a hero like Captain America.
2 VILLAIN: GOING BACK TO THE PAST AND LEAVING HIS FRIENDS BEHIND
This is probably one of the most controversial moments that Steve Rogers has had in any MCU movie. While some people liked this ending for his arc, others thought it was out of character and rather selfish.
It felt like he had just given up on being a hero and helping fix the world and went back to get what he wanted. It’s also true that he abandoned all of his friends such as Sam and Bucky to go to the past.
1 HERO: THROWING HIMSELF ON THE GRENADE IN THE FIRST AVENGER
While there are many heroic moments that Steve has after he becomes Captain America, arguably the most powerful moment of all happens before the serum.
This moment, when Steve Rogers throws himself on a grenade, shows that he is willing to sacrifice to save others no matter how strong he is and who they are. This is why Dr. Erskine talks about how he “isn’t a perfect soldier but a good man.”