Summary

  • MCU heroes constantly overcome impossible odds in their battles against evil, showcasing their resilience and determination.
  • The heroes’ ability to survive and exist as superheroes is often due to a series of unlikely events, but the movies make it seem effortless.
  • These heroes, such as Star-Lord, Captain America, Iron Man, and others, defy the odds through sheer luck and skill, making them exceptional in the face of danger.

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The heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe often find themselves in dangerous situations, and many of them have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds throughout the franchise’s story. From the very beginning of the MCU’s movie timeline, the franchise has always had stories about heroic figures saving the day at its very core. The heroes of the MCU come in all shapes and sizes, with a variety of powers and gadgets that enable them to fight evil. Even with all their might, however, they occasionally face villains of immense power or even more abstract dangers, leaving them up against seemingly impossible odds.

One of the most common threads in the entire MCU is its heroes overcoming adversity and proving themselves as steadfast defenders of the innocent, but sometimes their ability to survive (or even to exist as heroes in the first place) comes about through an incredibly unlikely series of events. Thankfully though, the movies of the MCU have successfully sold the idea of these heroes beating the odds, making their seemingly impossible strokes of fortune look like just another display of power or skill. Even so, here are 10 MCU heroes who beat the most ridiculous odds.

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10 Star-Lord Survived Exposure To Space Three Times

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

The Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy is widely considered one of the most consistent in the MCU, but this accolade is earned in more than just quality. The three-film arc is also consistent in the way in which it has Star-Lord survive against all odds, as each movie puts him in a situation that likely should have killed him outright. The ending of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 marks the third occasion on which Star-Lord has faced the vacuum of space, each time defying the odds to narrowly escape with his life.

9 Captain America Was Found In The Ice Just In Time To Fight Loki

The Avengers (2012)

Captain America's shield being found in ice in Captain America: The First Avenger

All things considered, Captain America being located frozen in the Arctic might not seem like the most impossible thing in the MCU. However, weighing up the specifics of the timeline actually makes the moment of his discovery seem all the more fortuitous. As Captain America crashed in 1945, it took over 60 years to locate him, lining up perfectly with the events of The Avengers where he was needed to combat Loki’s invasion of Earth. Finding Captain America just in time to save the Earth from Loki was remarkably convenient, meaning that Cap beat the odds even while frozen.

8 Iron Man Managed To Make It Back To Earth

The Avengers (2012)

Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man lying unconscious in The Avengers (2012)

Though Tony Stark was initially portrayed as a less heroic figure than his fellow Avengers, he happened to be one of the first heroes to defy the odds in an act of pure heroism, saving New York and destroying the Chitauri fleet in the process. As the Battle of New York rages, Iron Man diverted a nuclear missile through Loki’s wormhole, then fell, unconscious, through space. Thankfully, he just made it through the wormhole before it closed, despite having no control over the situation, beating the odds to make it home to Earth.

7 Iron Man Returned To Earth Again

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark being rescued in Avengers: Endgame

Tony Stark safely returning to Earth from space was actually a long shot on two occasions in the MCU, as the beginning of Endgame sees him adrift after being defeated by Thanos on Titan and assuming he’ll never make it home. In an incredible stroke of luck, Stark is rescued by Captain Marvel, who emerged just in time to save his life and return him safely home to his fellow surviving Avengers. Considering the vastness of space and the imminent aftermath of Thanos’ snap, it was remarkable that Captain Marvel was able to find Tony and rescue him in time.

6 The Avengers Defeated Thanos By Undoing The Snap

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange holding up one finger in Avengers Endgame

Though it might have seemed a foregone conclusion that the Avengers would find a way to defeat Thanos, it was actually a near-impossible feat of overcoming the odds, as explained by the franchise itself. In Infinity War, Doctor Strange looks into millions of potential futures to assess a means of defeating Thanos, finding only one in which it was possible. Endgame sees this single possible timeline come to pass, and though Strange did what he could to ensure it would happen, it was, objectively, an astounding way to beat the odds.

5 Korg Could Easily Have Been Left On Sakaar

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

Korg in gladiator armor in Thor Ragnarok

Korg might not seem to be one of the MCU’s luckiest characters, but his role as Thor’s friend only came about through an unlikely series of events. After finding himself on Sakaar, Thor happened to share a cell with Korg, who then helped him to escape. Considering the size of Sakaar and its huge population, Korg was incredibly lucky to have encountered Thor, as otherwise he likely would have remained stranded on Sakaar instead of helping the Avengers and traveling the galaxy with Marvel’s God of Thunder.

4 Captain Marvel’s Existence As A Hero Was A Stroke Of Luck

Captain Marvel (2019)

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers smiling in Captain Marvel (2019)

Though Captain Marvel is one of the MCU’s most powerful female heroes, Carol Danvers only gained her powers and heroic status through a series of unlikely events. First, she was selected for the dangerous test flight instead of Maria Rambeau, then was inadvertently given powers by the exploding light-speed engine. Finally, her sudden bout of amnesia allowed Yon-Rogg to manipulate her into acting on the Kree’s behalf, leading into her involvement in the Kree-Skrull conflict and, indirectly, her eventual role as Avenger. It’s an unlikely chain of events, meaning that Carol Danvers overcame the odds simply to become a hero.

3 Ant-Man Getting Out Of The Quantum Realm

Ant-Man (2015)

Paul Rudd as Ant-Man immediately after returning from the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man saw Scott Lang given the heroic mantle by Hank Pym, with the former thief learning to become a hero on the job. The film’s ending also sees Lang beat some heavy odds to return to reality after making a dangerous heroic gesture. After shrinking to a sub-atomic level, Ant-Man finds himself adrift in the Quantum Realm, from which he was told he couldn’t return. In a moment of improvisation, he’s able to find his way back, despite this previously being considered impossible. It’s a triumphant moment for the fledgling hero, but was also an incredibly unlikely turn of events.

2 Hawkeye Survives Multiple Super-Battles Despite Having No Powers

The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016)

On the surface, Hawkeye might not appear to be any luckier than any of his fellow Avengers. In actuality, he’s one of the most fortuitous, as the MCU makes it clear he possesses no superpowers whatsoever, but is simply an incredibly skilled marksman. Despite this, Hawkeye is shown on multiple occasions heading into battle with and against individuals wielding devastating powers, each time walking away relatively unscathed. The simple fact that he was able to avoid being caught in a magical crossfire or killed by a rampaging alien is itself a remarkable feat of luck.

1 Black Widow Survived An Impossible Freefall

Black Widow (2021)

Although the Avenger had already died ahead of the release of her solo movie, Black Widow’s ending saw Natasha Romanoff impossibly survive an act which should have killed her long before her heroic sacrifice in Avengers: Endgame. After destroying Dreykov’s aerial Red Room facility, Black Widow leaps into the open air, collides with her sister and fits her with a parachute, then leaps away to battle Taskmaster in midair. Jumping from one piece of debris to another, the hero is able to slow herself enough to survive the impossible fall in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most death-defying feat to date.

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