The first Captain America, Steve Rogers’ journey and legacy lives on in the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, with his successor, Sam Wilson, helms the newly announced film, Captain America: New World Order.
While Steve always seemed to be the role model for the superhero, he certainly wasn’t perfect. Throughout his journey in the MCU, certain characters have helped Star Spangled Man become the Avenger and hero he was always meant to be.
10 Nick Fury
Samuel L. Jackson’s Colonel Nick Fury has been a major influence on Steve Rogers’ life. As one of the first faces Cap saw after breaking out of the ice, he has remained one of Avenger’s closest allies into the modern day. Fury was the one who recruited Steve into the Avengers and helped him take down SHIELD after it was taken over by Hydra.
Although they rarely agreed on matters of espionage and heroism, Nick and Steve had a profound impact on each other. Nick gave Steve purpose after he woke up in an unknown world. And while Steve might have hated to admit it, it was Fury who really brought Captain America into the modern age, reviving one of the most important superheroes ever created.
9 Sharon Carter
Emily van Camp plays Sharon Carter, a former SHIELD and CIA agent who recently became the villainous Power Broker in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Before her disappearance, Steve fostered a relationship with Sharon, who just so happened to be the niece of his long-lost love Peggy Carter.
Although their relationship stunted after his death on the Blip, Sharon proved to be a valued ally and friend of Steve’s during their time together. She has consistently supported him, putting her own life and career at risk on multiple occasions. While she would eventually succumb to darker impulses, Sharon was at her best when aligned with Steve Rogers.
8 Johann Schmidt
Played by Hugo Weaving, Johann Schmidt, aka Red Skull, is Captain America’s first enemy and one of the best villains in the MCU. As the leader of Hydra, the scientific division of the Nazis, he also became a super soldier, albeit a monstrous and weaker version of what he intended to be. He faces Captain America during World War II in an attempt to gain the power of the Tesseract, though he never fully understood what it was.
As the Red Skull, Schmidt pushed Steve to act like a superhero instead of the public figure he has become. His villainy lit a fire under the inexperienced superhero, putting him in a position where he had to choose between his own judgment and what was expected of him. Ultimately, Schmidt’s evil plan also led to Steve’s suspension on ice for 70 years, bringing him into the modern day.
7 Howard Stark
Dominic Cooper’s Howard Stark was one of Steve Rogers’ best friends during World War II. As one of the masterminds behind Project Super Soldier, Stark was heavily involved in Steve’s work as Captain America, even creating his iconic shield out of the small sample of vibranium he managed to get his hands on.
Although their time together was short, Steve always had a deep love for Howard Stark. The two shared a friendship that even Howard’s son Tony would be well aware of. Despite all his vices, Howard implicitly believed in Steve, proving to be a true friend and loyal ally in the midst of the worst war this world has ever seen.
6 Dr. Abraham Erskine
Stanley Tucci plays Dr. Abraham Erskine, the German scientist who invented the super soldier serum, in Captain America: The First Avenger. Erskine chooses Steve Rogers to be the first test subject for his new serum, creating the first successful super soldier and the future Captain America.
Without Dr. Erskine, Steve would never enlist in the United States Army, let alone become the superhero known as Captain America. It was the scientist’s genius that made super soldiers possible, but it was his good judge of character that gave the world the noblest hero of all time.
5 Natasha Romanoff
Natasha Romanoff, also known as Black Widow, was one of Steve’s closest friends among the Avengers. The two worked together many times as agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., leading to a lasting friendship that would persist even after the Avengers parted ways after the events of captain america civil war, until Natasha’s heroic death years later.
Though he didn’t trust her at the time, Natasha befriended Steve when he needed it most, becoming one of his few companions after waking up in the modern day. She always made sacrifices based on Steve’s judgment, offering him the benefit of the doubt on multiple occasions and thus giving him the confidence to do what he believed was right rather than what everyone else told him to do.
4 Peggy Carter
Hayley Atwell’s agent, Peggy Carter, was the true love of Steve’s life. The two met during the war, when Steve was selected as Dr. Erskine and would quickly fall in love, though their relationship was doomed to be destroyed after Steve’s apparent death.
Although time and space kept them apart, Steve never forgot the impact Peggy had on him. Even 80 years after their breakup, Steve was still in love with his first love, leading him to sacrifice everything he had built in the modern world to return to her after the Battle of Earth.
3 Sam Wilson
Anthony Mackie’s Sam Wilson Meets Steve Rogers for the First Time at the Beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, leading to a historic partnership that would last for years. Sam eventually became the Falcon, flying alongside Captain America for years before finally inheriting the mantle after Steve retires, now taking a leadership position in the Avengers.
Sam filled a hole in Steve’s life that had been present since he lost Bucky during WWII. Though it often comes at a great price, Sam remained loyal to Steve no matter the circumstances, even risking his own freedom to support his brother-in-arms during the superhero civil war. In the end, it’s no wonder Steve passed his shield on to his most loyal friend.
2 Tony Stark
Although they rarely got along, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers were one of the most important people in each other’s lives. The two met during the formation of the Avengers in 2012 and would continue their professional and sometimes non-professional relationship for over a decade until Tony’s death in 2023.
While they fought on several occasions, Steve learned many important lessons from Tony and vice versa. The two superheroes took each other to new extremes, each forcing the other to undergo tremendous character growth. Ultimately, it was Tony’s example that led to Steve starting his own family, leaving the Captain America role behind for good.
1 Bucky Barnes
James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes is Steve Rogers’ best friend. The two ended up serving side by side in the Howling Commandos during World War II, and while Bucky appeared to die during the war, they would come together decades later on opposing sides of a new conflict.
Bucky has always stood up for Steve, protecting him before he could protect himself. His example led Steve to do the same for his friend when he was revealed to be the Winter Soldier. Steve put everything on the line for Bucky in a heartbeat, never giving up on him even when things looked hopeless. In the end, Steve would see his friend restored to his old self, against all odds.