In the iconic tabletop game Dungeons and Dragons, one of the ways player characters are developed is by using an alignment chart. Since CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR was released about a month ago, I thought categorizing characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) into those same alignments could be a fun exercise.

The alignment chart is broken into nine categories, which are: lawful good, neutral good, chaotic good, lawful neutral, true neutral, chaotic neutral, lawful evil, neutral evil, and chaotic evil.

It was harder than I expected to break down the MCU into alignments because, as with any complex character, many of them can fit into different categories.


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Lawful Good: Nova Corps (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)

Traits of Lawful Good:

You do good by upholding the law. Truth, justice, and honor are all highly valued in this alignment, however, being “Lawful Good” can sometimes restrict freedom.

Why are the Nova Corps considered Lawful Good?

The members of the Nova Corps are “Lawful Good” because they are the military and police force for the Nova Empire, headed by Nova Prime. The Guardians of the Galaxy are free-spirited and prefer to help people, whether within the reaches of the law or not. When Nova Corps confronts the Guardians on Xandar it is easy to see how they differ – the Guardians do whatever they feel is right, while Nova Corps does what is right and within the law.

mcu Nova_Corps2131

Neutral Good: Captain America (THE AVENGERS, CAPTAIN AMERICA)

Traits of Neutral Good:

Doing what is right is better than following rules, though the rules aren’t necessarily bad. A main trait of Neutral Good is doing good things without bias.

Why is Captain America Neutral Good?

Captain America is “Neutral Good,” especially as we see him in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. He knowingly breaks the law by refusing to support the superhero identification act and choosing to stand against the Sokovia Accords with Bucky and the other heroes. He believes that people with abilities should not be forced to register with the government and that registering could potentially cause problems, because the government can easily be compromised, as seen by Hydra taking over S.H.I.E.L.D in THE WINTER SOLDIER.

READ: Want to check out some of the best Cap comics? Check out our essential CAPTAIN AMERICA reading list! 

Chaotic Good: Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)

Traits of Chaotic Good:

Order and discipline can get in the way of doing good. Using your free spirit to positive ends is the key to being “Chaotic Good.” This alignment can cause problems when people believe that laws and structure get in the way of what’s right.

What makes Peter Quill Chaotic Good?

Peter Quill and the rest of the GUARDIANS are textbook chaotic good. In GUARDIANS, we see Quill, at the beginning of the film, find the Orb. He goes to Xandar to sell the Orb, but is confronted by Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot. Nova Corps puts a stop to the fighting by arresting them all, forcing them to work together to escape from the prison. Once they all escape, Gamora leads them to a person interested in buying the Orb, where they learn about the Infinity Stone inside of it. More struggle ensues and in the end, Quill and the Guardians end up using the Stone to defeat Ronan. They ultimately make the decision to defeat Ronan and turn the Stone over to Nova Corps, because it’s safer for them (and everyone else).

mcu peter-quill


Traits of Lawful Neutral:

Those who fall under the Lawful Neutral alignment believe that law and order are more important than anything. Reliable and honorable, though sometimes this stance limits freedom and choice.

Why is Black Widow Lawful Neutral?

Black Widow was difficult to place, but I decided on lawful neutral for a few reasons. The first, because she is on the side of the law, especially in CIVIL WAR. In CIVIL WAR she supported Tony and the Sokovia Accords which — depending on who you talk to — are limiting and restricting of freedom, making life dangerous for many superpowered individuals. However, nearing the end of CIVIL WAR, Black Widow stops T’Challa from catching Steve and Bucky, allowing them to escape. This shows that she ultimately cares for her friend Steve, above the power struggle.

True Neutral: Drax the Destroyer (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)

Traits of True Neutral:

Acts without bias and compulsion; oftentimes indifferent.

Why is Drax True Neutral?

Drax is true neutral because for most of the movie he is motivated by himself, and indifferent to the goals of the others. Drax had been arrested prior to the start of the film for murdering many after his wife and daughter were killed by Ronan. When the Guardians are thrown into prison after their fight on Xandar, Drax helps them escape and joins them when he learns of their plans to go after Ronan. He is desperate for revenge on Ronan for the murder of his family, using that as motivation for much of the movie. In the end, he ultimately helps the others, because helping them would destroy Ronan.

drax mcu

READ: Marvel has started their CIVIL WAR II event. Check out our review of CIVIL WAR II: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN!

Chaotic Neutral: The Hulk (THE AVENGERS)

Traits of Chaotic Neutral:

Based on true freedom from the restrictions of society and a moral compass. Doesn’t particularly care for morality either way, just … does things.

Why is The Hulk considered Chaotic Neutral?

The events that lead up to the Sokovia Accords are a good example of why the Hulk is chaotic neutral. One of the primary reasons the Accords were implemented was to cut back on the destruction and deaths caused by superhumans. The Hulk, though not the only person to cause destruction, was arguably the largest culprit. Dr. Bruce Banner struggles often with the Hulk side of his personality. Banner wants to be heroic, but he constantly feels like The Hulk does more harm than good. The Hulk acts out of anger and defeats anything that gets in his way – be it enemy, friend, or skyscraper.

Lawful Evil: Red Skull

Traits of Lawful Evil:

Well-structured, methodical, typically successful. Believes in keeping order, regardless of the cost.

Why is the Red Skull Lawful Evil?

The Red Skull is lawful evil because in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER we learn that Johann Schmidt, who would become the Red Skull, had worked with Hitler for a time, before deciding that Hitler wasn’t doing enough. Schmidt helped form HYDRA to do more experimentation to develop super soldiers, like Captain America, for the scientific branch of the Nazi military. He creates a highly regimented force within HYDRA and, even after his death, remnants of the organization continue his work.

red skull mcu

READ: Why do fans love iconic hero fights, like BATMAN V. SUPERMAN and CIVIL WAR? Comicsverse analyze why we all love it and why we choose sides. 

Neutral Evil: Thanos (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY)

Traits of Neutral Evil:

Generally work in their own self-interest, regardless of harm caused to others. Representative of pure evil without honor.

Why is Thanos Neutral Evil?

Thanos is power hungry and wants to control all of existence. He’s untrusting, manipulative, and hated by both of his adopted daughters – Gamora and Nebula. He tries to work with other people, such as Ronan, but when they all let him down, Thanos decides to get the Infinity Gauntlet and go hunting for the Stones alone. Thanos’ goal is to lead the galaxy, no matter what the cost.

Chaotic Evil: Loki (THOR, THE AVENGERS)

Traits of Chaotic Evil:

Evil for Evil’s sake. Chaotic Evil characters are Narcissistic, and reliant on self-interest. They believe rules are irrelevant and Chaotic Evil characters will hurt people that stand in their way.

Why is Loki considered Chaotic Evil?

Loki is absolutely, in my mind, chaotic evil. He is the “God of Mischief,” and he takes that title to the extreme. Loki has sociopathic tendencies, displayed in THE AVENGERS when he tries to control the gala in Germany, before being stopped by the Avengers. When fighting his brother, Thor, Loki holds nothing back. A lot of Loki’s anger comes from the fact that Loki wants to be the king of Asgard, but cannot, so he follows his selfish impulses to do everything he can to rule.

loki mcu

Where does Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) fit in?

LISTEN: Our podcast on Marvel’s CIVIL WAR and the influence that it will have on the new event, CIVIL WAR II. 



Like Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes generally did what he thought was right. He liked protecting people, but not necessarily following rules to do so. In CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, Bucky is seen getting into fights with bullies to protect Steve, though fighting is generally frowned upon.

bucky mcu

Chaotic Neutral/ Lawful Evil: The Winter Soldier (CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER & CIVIL WAR) 


The Winter Soldier, on the other hand, was harder to place.

I’d place him in Chaotic Neutral because, while he was following orders, his actions are illegal and generally invoke chaos, even without personal connection. In fact, he really doesn’t have any control or recollection of his activities as The Winter Soldier.

His following of these orders is why he could also be considered Lawful Evil. As mentioned above, being Lawful Evil requires you perform acts that are generally considered evil, because there is a rule set or code that instructs you to do so. Even though Bucky didn’t really understand what was happening, he still followed the orders.

What do you all think? Do you agree with the analysis? We want to hear what you think about characters in the MCU! Comment to this post or chat with @comicsverse on Twitter to share your opinions!


  1. Nexus

    October 9, 2018 at 3:38 am

    Thanos is not neutral evil. His goal isn’t to “control the universe”. In fact that never even came into play. His ONLY motivation is to SAVE the universe. He made that abundantly clear. It isn’t a lust for power, it isn’t domination over everything. He saw what happened to his own planet, saw it happening across the universe, and he did everything he could to stop it from self destructing. Yes he killed countless numbers of beings, but that was just to save countless others from extinction. If anything he’s lawful neutral. He believes in order and balance in the universe. He sees that there is no longer balance and he hunted the infinity stones so he could restore it. He doesn’t WANT to kill people. He HAS to for the “greater good”. That is the textbook definition for lawful neutral. If he was truly evil in any sense he wouldn’t have stopped at the end of the infinity wars. Likewise.. if his goal was indeed total domination, he did NOT need to kill off half the universe. He had the infinity stones, he was basically unstoppable at that point. He already technically did control everything at that point. But, he sacrificed that power, his daughter, and countless others to give everyone else in the universe hope and life.


    • Evelyn

      January 5, 2019 at 1:00 pm

      While reading, I was thinking the same exact thing. Everything about Thanos screamed Lawful Evil. He loved his daughter, punished her sister that he knew she loved to help her to see the ‘truth’ of his way. He showed remorse for having no choice in killing countless, but he felt vindicated because it was for all those lives he did save. He even stated something along the lines of there would be room for beings to thrive again. Children would no longer have to starve because of overpopulation. He did what he thought he had to do for the sake of all living. He knew it would cost him the love of those he was trying to save, but he felt the ends justfied the means. This is Lawful Evil in it’s purest form.


  2. mack

    August 20, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    I disagree on Loki he is the dictionary definition of chaotic neutral


  3. Chris

    May 4, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Should thanos be updated in this one? it seems maybe even to chaotic evil? he is not after power for personal gain, or to control the universe ultimately


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