10 Superpowers Captain America Still Hasn"t Used After 13 Years In The MCU

  • Captain America has abilities not explored in the MCU, including slow aging, a sense of smell, and more.
  • Sam Wilson in the comics has super strength and abilities related to birds.
  • There's room to explore some of Sam Wilson's missing powers in upcoming MCU movies.
Captain America has had a long, storied history in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but not all of his comics powers have been used. Despite the MCU's use of the hero's powers, many of the smaller details that make up Captain America have been more or less ignored. Considering how the MCU has depicted Captain America, his most significant ability is the greatest willpower of virtually anyone in the universe. While true, there is more to both Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie's versions of Captain America and their abilities than this.
Captain America was initially conceived as being an exaggerated version of the height of man's physical condition. He was strong and in incredible shape, with expanded abilities that became canonical with the introduction of the super soldier serum. While details of the character's story have been adjusted in the Captain America movies, there have always tended to be vast implications in the comics for Steve Rogers' abilities based on how the serum works with his body. Many of these smaller impacts have not been directly addressed in the MCU.
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10 Regenerative Healing The Ability To Repair Damage To The Body Close Although he has always been able to walk away from a punch, Captain America's healing factor is more extreme than shown in the MCU. Not quite to the level of mutants like Wolverine and Deadpool, Steve Rogers' body was affected by the serum in a way that allowed his body to bounce back from virtually any affliction with incredible speed. This same power also disallows him from becoming drunk, an implication that has been addressed in his first MCU appearance, Captain America: The First Avenger.
What hasn't been shown is the impact this has had on his body. Recovery is quick and easy on his bones and flesh, with cuts and bruises healing in record time. Through the abilities granted to him by the super soldier serum, Captain America can maintain a bodily status quo at all times.
9 Slow Aging Captain America Is Nearly Immortal Close In the comic books, the super soldier serum causes Captain America to not age. Of course, this could not be exactly replicated in the MCU due to the performance by Chris Evans, who naturally aged throughout the role with each successive appearance. Certainly, old man Steve Rogers has appeared in the comics, but only under different circumstances. Instead of growing old, the comic Steve Rogers can only age when his serum has been neutralized.
An ageless paragon of brilliance and virtue could make for an exciting symbol in the MCU, but this was avoided by giving Steve a poignant ending in Avengers: Endgame and showing him as an old man. Due to the timelines, it could be that the hero still experienced a reduced rate of aging. However, nothing on the level of the comic books was attempted in the films. Seeing Captain America ageless for an eon would be a sight to behold, but difficult to pull off in live-action.
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8 Telepathy A Mental Connection With Avian Life Close The MCU has robbed Sam Wilson of his only ability, which is to speak with birds. This superpower seems strange considering the MCU's grounded nature at first glance, but audiences should remember that Ant-Man in the MCU does have a similar ability, and that has hardly hampered his success in the universe. Instead, the MCU has given Sam Wilson no powers up to this point, with only a metal suit and the shield to assist him in his endeavors.
Perhaps Captain America: Brave New World may add some features to Sam Wilson's repertoire and give the hero abilities of some kind. Still, a connection to avian life feels unlikely to occur in the MCU. While the comics have had ample opportunity to explore the significance of this ability, the winged connection of Sam Wilson in the MCU feels shallower and less inherent to a relationship with birds.
7 Tactical Genius The Ability To Create Plans And See Them To Fruition Close Even in X-Men '97, Captain America showed more technical prowess than he has in the MCU. For the cinematic universe, the character is certainly a good planner. However, the organization of the Avengers seems to be much more of a team effort. It is much more for Iron Man to point out the plans that the team should follow, and it is behind the will and banner of Steve Rogers that the Avengers go into battle.
In the comics, Captain America is a planner and is tactically brilliant. Like everything else in his body, this ability that complements his leadership is of the highest level possible. While occasions requiring tactical considerations have happened around Steve, these were generally helped by his associates like Nick Fury and Black Widow. In the MCU, his leadership directly results from his strength rather than any innate, intellectual ability to correspond to government operations and work within them.
6 Sam Wilson's Super Strength Sam Wilson Has Physical Power On The Level Of Steve Rogers Close In the comics, Sam Wilson has incredible physical strength. While much of this is explained away in the comic book pages with an insistence that the hero is simply in incredible physical condition and that his abilities are, therefore, based on the powers of will, there are stories of Sam Wilson successfully going toe to toe with Steve Rogers and T'Challa. This level of strength is superhuman, whether acknowledged or not.
If Steve Rogers is capable of lifting 1,200lbs, an ordinary body, even of the utmost condition, would not be able to resist him in a fight. A single punch from Steve should be enough to kill a non-powered person. Sam Wilson, then, has enhanced strength in the comic books that needs to be explored in the MCU.
5 Heightened Sense of Smell The Ability To Track And Detect With His Nose Close The super soldier serum is supposed to enhance every part of Captain America's anatomy. However, some components have not been explored in the MCU. Captain America's nose is perhaps one of the most significant of these, where no attention has been paid to the hero's ability to sleuth through an increased sense of smell.
Though a difficult power to make relevant inside the MCU, Captain America's sense of smell has helped him in tactics and tracking in the comics. Seeing these details in the films would have helped to illustrate many of his other missing abilities, as well as his prowess for work in the army. Captain America's nose is a unique strength that the hero has not used in the MCU.
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4 Eidetic Memory Everything The Hero Sees Is Remembered Forever Close There has been little in the MCU that has required Captain America to remember with such perfect accuracy. Still, that does not excuse the omission of this character detail. Steve Rogers has a perfect memory and perfect recall. None of this ability has been explored in the MCU, and it perfectly aligns with the intelligence and tactical acumen he has shown in the comics.
Simply, Steve Rogers is not as mentally strong in the MCU as he is in the comic books. Instead, he is a paragon of virtue and a symbol of faith, allowing his team to rise from the ashes of S.H.I.E.L.D. but to do so in a way that upsets many. With a more comprehensive memory and considerations for the Winter Soldier's impact on Iron Man, his entire conflict with Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War could have been countered earlier with larger considerations for the greater picture.
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3 Resistance to Hypnotism Captain America Cannot Be Hypnotized Due To His Incredible Willpower Close In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlet Witch hypnotizes Captain America and sends him into a dream where he sees Peggy Carter. The hero eventually shakes himself free from this dream; however, it is notable that he stays there for some time. His ability to resist hypnotism here does not seem to be any greater than that of any other MCU hero.
In the comics, Captain America is very difficult to hypnotize. Like everything else in his body, his strength and willpower are successful against these kinds of mental threats. However, this ability of resistance has been ignored in the MCU.
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2 Cybernetic Implant Another Connection To Birds For Sam Wilson Close Sam Wilson was given an implant inside his brain that allows him to see through the eyes of birds. Combined with his abilities that allow him to connect with them through his mind, this additional power gives him the ability to take their sight and turn it into videos and data to be uploaded to a server. Through this, an entire catalog of data is constructed that is accessible by the Avengers.
Sam Wilson's connection with aviary creatures has been avoided in the MCU. Despite the character's wings, little has been done with his connection to birds other than his cybernetic assistant Redwing. With Brave New World ahead, it will be interesting to see if these details and abilities are explored in future MCU stories.
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1 Increased IQ of 250 One Of The Most Intelligent Characters In Marvel Close An IQ of 250 suggests a level of unprecedented genius that does not match the character's judgment or errors throughout his time in the MCU.
Over his time in the MCU, Captain America has made a number of smart decisions, from enlisting in the army to moving the team to Wakanda. While many of these choices have worked out, they are not the efforts of a tactical genius, nor are they the work of a man with a 250 IQ. Steve Rogers in the MCU is seen as an everyman, and allowing viewers to see his actions as merely extensions of his inherent goodness makes the character more relatable.
In the comics, Steve Rogers is incredibly smart. An IQ of 250 suggests a level of unprecedented genius that does not match the character's judgment or errors throughout his time in the MCU. It is only in the comics that Captain America is smarter than Iron Man: if Tony Stark only has an IQ of 186, it seems impossible that the MCU version of Steve Rogers can score any higher. Still, making Captain America a more accessible hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a boon for the character, helping to popularize him further.
Captain America: The First Avenger SuperheroActionAdventureScience Fiction Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 superhero movie starring Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, a weak patriotic civilian who becomes the test subject for the military's Super Soldier project. The film was the fifth film in the long-running MCU franchise and also starred Samuel L. Jackson, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, and Sebastian Stan.
Director Joe Johnston Release Date July 22, 2011 Studio(s) Marvel Distributor(s) Paramount Pictures Writers Christopher Markus , Stephen McFeely , Joe Simon , Jack Kirby Cast Chris Evans , Hayley Atwell , Hugo Weaving , Sebastian Stan , Tommy Lee Jones , Samuel L. Jackson , Dominic Cooper , Stanley Tucci , Toby Jones Expand Captain America: The Winter Soldier SuperheroAction Sci-FiThriller Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the ninth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After being awoken from cryosleep in the previous film, Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world. As he adjusts, he must battle a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.
Director Joe Russo , Anthony Russo Release Date April 4, 2014 Studio(s) Disney Distributor(s) Disney Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus Cast Chris Evans , Hayley Atwell , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Robert Redford , Anthony Mackie , Cobie Smulders , Frank Grillo , Sebastian Stan Expand Captain America: Civil War Sci-FiThrillerAction This third Captain America film adapts the "Civil War" storyline from Marvel Comics and sees Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) at an impasse over who governs superheroes and how. Captain America: Civil War pits two teams of Avengers against one another and introduces new superheroes Black Panther and Spider-Man. The divide between the two perceived leaders of the Avengers caused the other members to choose sides. It all started when the UN decided to take control of the superheroes’ involvement in fighting crimes. Steve disagreed with the UN’s proposal, while Tony supported the decision. Things turn for the worst when Steve’s friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan), also known as the Winter Soldier, becomes the prime suspect in a terrorist bombing.
Director Anthony Russo , Joe Russo Release Date May 6, 2016 Studio(s) Marvel Studios Distributor(s) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Writers Stephen McFeely , Christopher Markus Cast Martin Freeman , Daniel Brühl , Robert Downey Jr. , Sebastian Stan , Elizabeth Olsen , Chadwick Boseman , Chris Evans , Paul Rudd , Frank Grillo , Scarlett Johansson , William Hurt , Paul Bettany , Anthony Mackie , Emily VanCamp , Tom Holland Expand Captain America: Brave New World FantasyAdventureAction Captain America: Brave New World (formerly titled New World Order) marks Sam Wilson's first MCU big-screen appearance as Steve Rogers' successor after receiving the suit and shield in Phase 4's The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Anthony Mackie returns as the titular Avenger alongside Danny Ramirez as Joaquin Torres, Carl Lumby as Isaiah Bradley, and Tim Blake Nelson as The Incredible Hulk's former ally Samuel Sterns. Harrison Ford makes his MCU debut replacing the late William Hurt as Thaddeus Ross.
Director Julius Onah Release Date February 14, 2025 Studio(s) Marvel Studios Distributor(s) Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Writers Dalan Musson , Malcolm Spellman Cast Anthony Mackie , Harrison Ford , Tim Blake Nelson , Carl Lumby , Danny Ramirez , shira haas Expand Upcoming MCU Movies
Release Date
Deadpool & Wolverine
July 26, 2024
Captain America: Brave New World
February 14, 2025
May 5, 2025
The Fantastic Four
July 25, 2025
November 7, 2025
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
May 1, 2026
Avengers: Secret Wars
May 7, 2027


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