A while back I did a few ‘versus’ duels between various characters. I’m revisiting this idea, and this fight is between superhumans.
In the blue corner – Khan.
In the red corner: Captain America.
They came about their powers via different means and use them for very different purposes. Let’s firstly take a look at who Khan is and what he can do. I’m taking the Khan from Star Trek into Darkness, and Captain America from the MCU.
Khan is the product of genetic experiments and he very much knows his own strength. His physical prowess is married to an enhanced intellect, which in turn leads him to believe in his superiority. As a result, Khan is extremely dangerous. In his appearance in the Kelvin timeline, Khan demonstrates numerous feats well beyond the average human, including his effortless takedown of at least a dozen Klingon warriors, wielding two guns (one of which was more like a cannon). His accuracy is remarkable.
So is his ability to take a punch. Kirk punches him repeatedly in a moment of anger, yet doesn’t appear to even phase Khan, much less hurt him. Khan also recovers very quickly from a stun blast and demonstrates raw strength when he brutally crushes a man’s skull with his bare hands. Perhaps though, his best efforts are saved for last. First, he not only survives a crash landing but then leaps 30 metres to get away from the ship he had just crashed. He then gets into a fight with Spock, who has demonstrated his own superior strength to the average human, and would have killed Spock if not for Uhura’s intervention.
So Khan is strong and he can fight. Can he beat Captain America?
Captain America (aka Steve Rogers) started out as a runt who nevertheless wanted to do his part and serve his country during World War II. He was the first to undergo an experiment designed to enhance the strength of soldiers. The outcome is great strength (he fights Tony Stark’s Iron Man to a standstill in Civil War) and endurance (in the same film he prevents a helicopter from flying off by holding onto it! He has easily overpowered enemies, even when greatly outnumbered (such as the lift scene in The Winter Soldier). We saw how fast he can run in The Winter Soldier, and in Age of Ultron he took on machines.
Conclusions: They’re quite similar in respect of their strength. Where they differ is in how they apply that strength, and this is what decides this fight in Khan’s favour. Captain America is noble and honourable – fine traits – but Khan is a ruthless killer. The only thing which might put this in Cap’s favour is if he has his shield – but that’s no guarantee of victory. Khan would not hesitate to risk bystanders – indeed, he might even use them – to get to Cap.