ByAntonio Ferme, writer at Creators.co
I'm a high school student who gets paid to write about movies and TV. Facebook: antoniojferme Twitter: antonio_Ferme [email protected]
Antonio Ferme

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of Hollywood's hottest franchises as the connected universe has produced 14 movies in less than a decade and has at least another dozen coming our way. On top of that, the MCU also contains some of the best comic book TV series we've ever seen such as Daredevil and Luke Cage.

One of the best parts about these movies is the fact that they feature an array of amazing characters — but some are definitely better than others. Let's take a look at the 50 best characters featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

NOTE: We are basing this list off of the characters featured in the MCU, not in the comics or other non-MCU material.

50. Agent Maria Hill

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Cobie Smulders
  • Appearances: The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron

Topping off this list is Maria Hill, who was the Deputy Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. before The Winter Soldier where she joined Stark Industries to avoid prosecution, but aided Nick Fury and Captain America on multiple occasions. At first, you may view her as a regular S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, but her tough-minded, professional, and loyal personality and her helpful attributions to S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Avengers opens a spot for her on this list.

49. Luis

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Michael Peña
  • Appearances: Ant-Man

If you didn't see Ant-Man, you may be wondering why one of Scott Lang's friends who helped him with his heists in the movie deserves a spot on this list. However, most people who saw the movie cannot deny that Luis stole almost every scene he was in. He's easily one of the funniest characters we have ever seen in the MCU and we can only hope Ant-Man and the Wasp gives Peña's character a larger role.

48. Quicksilver

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Aaron-Taylor Johnson
  • Appearances: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron

Quicksilver's time as an Avenger went by pretty fast (pun intended) thanks to the Battle of Sokovia, but the character made his impact on the team moving forward. While the character did have some cool moments and quips, we didn't get enough from him. Also, his ultimate sacrifice felt more forced than heartbreaking and it would have made more sense to make Hawkeye kick the bucket.

47. The Collector

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Benicio del Toro
  • Appearances: Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy

The Collector is one of the more interesting characters we have been introduced to in the MCU. He is nearly as old as the universe itself, able to manipulate others by reading their minds, and he probably has the most impressive array of relics and artifacts in the galaxy. He isn't just collecting space rocks or talking ducks — he is trying to collect all of the Infinity Stones. While he came close to owning a second one, the Collector still holds the Reality Gem, which I'm sure Thanos will snatch right from his hands in Avengers: Infinity War.

46. Jarvis

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: James D'Arcy
  • Appearances: Agent Carter

Edwin Jarvis was the prestigious butler of Howard Stark and later on, he helped Howard's friend, Agent Peggy Carter, on many of her missions featured on Agent Carter. Jarvis was a loyal, witty character who had a huge significance on the lives of Howard, Peggy, and even Tony Stark after his parents passed away. Essentially, Jarvis was Tony's "Alfred" until he passed away of old age, but he was "resurrected" after Tony built his A.I. system and named it J.A.R.V.I.S. in Edwin's honor.

45. Kilgrave

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: David Tennant
  • Appearances: Jessica Jones

"A hero is only as great as their villain" — a quote that directly applies to Jessica Jones, who became so much stronger of a character as a result of being Kilgrave's arch nemesis. Kilgrave is diabolically evil and is able to follow through with his actions because he technically doesn't kill his victims. He gets what he wants by using mind control to compel murder. Unfortunately, we won't be seeing much of Kilgrave anymore, but he had a fantastic run.

44. Odin

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Anthony Hopkins
  • Appearances: Thor, Thor: The Dark World

Odin is the father of Thor and Loki and the king of Asgard. While he is a worthy king, but his character hasn't developed any further than that. We see that he is very wise and has a surplus of knowledge concerning the cosmos in the first two Thor movies, but hopefully his character is expanded in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.

43. Karl Mordo

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Chiwetel Ejiofor
  • Appearances: Doctor Strange

Karl Mordo was one of the more interesting characters in Doctor Strange. He has very radical views as he is unwilling to bend the natural laws of the universe under any circumstances. Doctor Strange showed the beginning of Mordo's drastic character arc where he slowly realizes that there are too many sorcerers and that he needs to get rid of them. The sequel will definitely flesh out his character and he will become one of the best villains the MCU has ever featured.

42. Cottonmouth

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Mahershala Ali
  • Appearances: Luke Cage

Speaking of amazing villains, Luke Cage showcased Cottonmouth, who is one of the best Defenders villains we have ever seen. Mahershala Ali did a stupendous job humanizing the character in a world filled with fictional superheroes. Cottonmouth wants to be a good guy with morals and values. He talks about following a code and knowing that he's doing bad things but he can forgive himself because he is following the rules. Diamondback was a great villain, but he was featured in the weaker half of Luke Cage where Cottonmouth was no more.

41. Thanos

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Josh Brolin
  • Appearances: The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron

It feels like a crime to rank Thanos this low on the list considering the character will probably be in the Top 10 after Avengers: Infinity Wars. As of now, Thanos really hasn't done anything. In the Age of Ultron post-credit scene, we finally see him rise up from his chair and grab his gauntlet, proclaiming that it is time to do it himself after multiple henchmen failed to receive the Infinity Stones for him. His villainous presence alone gives him a spot on this list — people don't give the Mad Titan enough credit for making Ronan almost crap his pants in Guardians of the Galaxy.

40. Hope Pym

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Evangeline Lilly
  • Appearances: Ant-Man

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been criticized for not including enough strong female characters. Ant-Man managed to introduce Hope Pym, daughter of Hank Pym, and make her a complete badass way before she even received her superhero costume and identity. Hope is a strong and independent character that is an expert scientist and has a large array of mix martial arts including Muay Thai, Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, and aikido.

39. Red Skull

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Hugo Weaving
  • Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger

Seemingly the most underrated supervillain the MCU, Red Skull was the perfect antagonist for Captain America to go against. Red Skull is not only menacing on the outside but his Nazi values are a complete contradiction to Captain America's patriotic beliefs. Red Skull is the closest to pure evil we have ever received in the MCU yet and we can only cross our fingers that he will return in the cosmos in Avengers: Infinity War.

38. Ghost Rider

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Gabriel Luna
  • Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. However, the Ghost Rider arc on the show was amazing and he easily stole the show. In fact, Ghost Rider was such an amazing character that Marvel is rumored to be replacing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with a new Ghost Rider series. The character's origin is twisted from the comics yet it is still remarkable, we care about him, and he is the most badass character we have seen on Marvel television (excluding Netflix, of course).

37. The Ancient One

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Tilda Swinton
  • Appearances: Doctor Strange

When Tilda Swinton was first cast as the Ancient One, many of us were upset that Marvel would not only whitewash but gender-swap a classic Marvel character from the comics. However, the Ancient One ended up being one of the most interesting characters Doctor Strange had to offer. She is a wise Master Sorcerer that is more powerful that Stephen Strange could ever imagine. She had a lot of stand-out moments and by the end of the movie where she passed away, the audience was invested in her character.

36. Alexander Pierce

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Robert Redford
  • Appearances: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Some of you may be confused that a HYDRA leader would rank higher than characters such as the Ancient One, Red Skull, and even Hope Pym. Even though Pierce doesn't have any superpowers, he is one of the best written and most menacing characters we have ever seen in the MCU. Originally viewed a respected leader, Pierce was actually a loyal agent of HYDRA beneath the disguise of a good man. Pierce was cleverly able to shelter his true evil goals to keep his respectful image intact. Even though the Red Skull was a more "evil" presence, Alexander Pierce was a more effective and intriguing character.

35. Helmut Zemo

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Daniel Brühl
  • Appearances: Captain America: Civil War

That's right — I just went there! Captain America: Civil War is my personal favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film to date as it is difficult for me to find a true flaw with the movie. Many fans will say Zemo was one of the weakest parts of the movie but truthfully, his character was genius. Instead of being a villain like Loki or Ultron where he would gather an army just to eventually be defeated by the Avengers, Zemo realized that the only people who could destroy the Avengers are themselves. Consequently, he ripped the superhero team apart from the inside in a ingenious plan that is heavily overlooked. We can only hope Zemo's amazing character is expanded upon in an upcoming film.

34. Elektra

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Elodie Yung
  • Appearances: Daredevil

Personally, I believe the second season of Daredevil is the best season of any Marvel series. A huge reason why the second season surpassed the first was due to the introduction of many new and amazing characters. Elektra was easily a highlight from the season and she finally got the bad taste out of our mouths from Jennifer Garner's portrayal of the character. Elektra has a mysterious backstory with Daredevil and you're never sure whether or not we can trust her. Her character not only elevates Matt Murdock, but she is a badass character on her own.

33. Claire Temple

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Rosario Dawson
  • Appearances: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage

Claire Temple has been the one character that has appeared across all of the Netflix shows, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the upcoming Iron Fist. Claire is a night shift nurse who works at the Metro-General Hospital in New York City and has fixed up Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. She is a caring person that shines bright no matter what Netflix series she is featured in.

32. Agent Coulson

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Clark Gregg
  • Appearances: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, The Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Phil Coulson is the former director of S.H.I.E.L.D. who stood behind Nick Fury as he joined him on many important missions until his fake death in The Avengers and he was brought back to life on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and became a main protagonist. Coulson can be a very serious and threatening character when he needs to be, but he is generally a humorous and caring character who puts other people's needs before his own. His charm was so appealing that his death in The Avengers was heartbreaking to watch.

31. Hank Pym

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Michael Douglas
  • Appearances: Ant-Man

Hank Pym is the original Ant-Man in Marvel Comics, but Marvel Studios decided to take a twist with his character and place the character in an older mentor role to the new Ant-Man: Scott Lang. Pym is a brilliant and passionate scientist who was traumatized from losing his wife in a battle and become a very distant and distrustful. He also has an intriguing aggressive side to him as he tends to lash out at people very easily. His character went through an amazing character arc in Ant-Man where he demonstrated the idea that everyone deserves second chances and in theory, gave himself a second chance.

30. Howard Stark

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Dominic Cooper/John Slattery
  • Appearances: Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Agent Carter

Howard Stark has become a prominent history figure in the MCU and he has become a fan-favorite, especially after Agent Carter expanded on his character. He is a very similar character to his son Tony as he is brilliant yet cocky and dons a huge ego. Agent Carter showed the audience that the public looked down on Howard not just for his playboy lifestyle but for being a fugitive and a traitor after some of his inventions were found overseas in enemy hands. Stark went into hiding but he went through an amazing character arc where he had to clean up his act and convince the public and himself that he was a good man.

29. Ultron

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: James Spader
  • Appearances: Avengers: Age of Ultron

This is most likely the most controversial entry on this list as half of Marvel fans probably wouldn't even include this villain in the top 50, let alone this high on the list. At the end of the day, while Ultron definitely wasn't as amazing as he could have been, he was still one of the better villains the MCU has introduced.

Most people were disappointed with the character because they had high expectations, but when you place those aside along with his rushed introduction, Ultron is a great villain. He raised the stakes for the Avengers as he was a huge threat not just to New York, but to the entire world. You can feel his hatred and pain towards humanity and how his character reflects Tony Stark's character is very canny of Joss Whedon.

28. Gamora

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Zoe Saldana
  • Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy

The Guardians of the Galaxy has become one of Marvel's best superhero teams primarily due to its diverse set of unique characters. Gamora is my least favorite member of the team, because she is still a very underdeveloped character that will be expanded upon in the sequel (like Black Widow was). Nevertheless, she is still a very confident character who is surprisingly not over-sexualized. She still has a lot of development to undergo, but for now, she's still one of the most badass female characters in the MCU.

27. War Machine

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Don Cheadle/Terrence Howard
  • Appearances: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

Many people like to call War Machine a rookie version of Iron Man, but there is much more to his character that just that. Rhodey is a loyal military man who still keeps a solid, realistic friendship with Tony Stark, who is always getting himself into trouble. Rhodey is a smart, well-minded person who is surprisingly a very intriguing addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

26. Drax The Destroyer

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Dave Bautista
  • Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy

Drax is one of the founding members of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the MCU. At first, Drax's character looked like he was going to be "the muscle" of the Guardians and nothing more. If you have seen the 2014 hit blockbuster, you know that is completely false and the character has an intriguing backstory and set of motives. Drax's family was killed at the hands of Thanos and as a result, Drax wants to spill his blood all over the galaxy. He is very naive at times and likes to use his muscles more than his brain, but he is a big softie deep down inside.

See also:

25. Scarlet Witch

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Elizabeth Olson
  • Appearances: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

Scarlet Witch is a very underrated player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as she is a very complex and powerful superhero. Between losing her parents, having immense trouble controlling her powers, and then losing her brother, Pietro, in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Wanda has been through a lot. She is easily one of the most powerful heroes we have been introduced to so far, but she is very inexperienced at the same time. She is at the brink of becoming one of the most intriguing characters in the entire MCU, but we will probably have to wait until after Phase 3 for that to happen.

24. Nick Fury

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Samuel L. Jackson
  • Appearances: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron

Nick Fury could have been a stale, normal man yet Samuel L. Jackson managed to make Fury an excellent addition the Marvel Universe. He is the one who assembled the Avengers due to his impeccable leadership skills and like Claire Temple is for the Netflix series, Nick Fury is the connecting tissue in Phase 1 leading up to The Avengers. Even after that, Captain America: The Winter Soldier dived deeper into Nick Fury's character and made him more relevant than any Marvel fan could ever imagine.

23. Bucky Barnes

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Sebastian Stan
  • Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War

Bucky Barnes is the best friend of Steve Rogers and was a role model for him in The First Avenger until his ultimate "demise." In present day, a brainwashed Bucky returned as the Winter Soldier, elevating Captain America's character and pushing him to new limits.

In Captain America: Civil War, we saw Bucky struggling to keep his alter ego tucked away while staying away from Iron Man and the government. At the end of the movie, he made some very hard choices such as deciding to freeze himself again to keep Steve and the rest of the world out of harm's way. Let's not forget to mention that Bucky and The Winter Soldier are badasses.

22. Agent Carter

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Hayley Atwell
  • Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Agent Carter

Agent Carter is a perfect example of a strong female character in the MCU as she has to deal with men always underestimating her skills as an agent, but Peggy always topples over anybody who ever doubts her. She is a strong, smart, caring, and likable character that is so much more than Steve Rogers' girl.

21. Vision

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Paul Bettany
  • Appearances: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

The Vision is one odd character, but we can't help but love him. I loved Vision in the comics and the moment where he picked up Thor's hammer in Avengers: Age of Ultron, I fell in love with Paul Bettany's portrayal of the character. He is beyond fascinating and we can only hope that we get more of his character in Avengers: Infinity War and beyond considering we have only received a glimpse at this amazing character who is placed in a confusing world and has to decide what is right and wrong, who is good and evil, and who he wants to be.

20. Jessica Jones

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Krysten Ritter
  • Appearances: Jessica Jones

When Jessica Jones was first announced, many people were uncertain that the comic book character would be able to hold up her own show. Marvel and Netflix shut those people up pretty quickly when the series was released and people went bonkers for it. Jessica Jones' character has so many layers of depth and the show did an spectacular job making the audience care about her. Jessica is by far the most realistic character Marvel has given us. Her character deals with gigantic, real world issues such as abuse, rape, and anxiety. Not only is Jessica Jones a great character, but she's an important one.

19. Luke Cage

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Mike Colter
  • Appearances: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage

How can an indestructible man can be so vulnerable and soft? Luke Cage is slightly better of a character than Jessica Jones because of how sweet and passionate he is, but he can be a brutal and terrifying man in a snap. Luke Cage is just a man trying to get by and only use his powers when he wants to, but he goes through an amazing arc where he slowly realizes that he has to step outside his barber shop and save Harlem from those taking advantage of its weakness. Also, watching him fight off criminals and gang lords is almost, if not more entertaining than watching a character such as Iron Man blasting down robots.

18. Falcon

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Anthony Mackie
  • Appearances: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War

Falcon doesn't have the most character development nor is he the strongest, smartest, or coolest looking superheroes out there. However, Anthony Mackie as Falcon has become a personal favorite of mine. Sam Wilson is a normal man who used to be a soldier and was placed into very odd situations and eventually became an Avenger. Sam is a charismatic guy that we can relate to and he is also a funny character, even though he's not trying to be most of the time. He has a great friendship with Captain America and an even better "rivalry" with Bucky. Also, Falcon's wing suit is pretty epic and looks fantastic in action.

17. Hawkeye

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Jeremy Renner
  • Appearances: Thor, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

Hawkeye was the Aquaman of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a good amount of time. Not only was Hawkeye almost completely useless already using a bow and arrow against an army of Chitauri, but Joss Whedon decided to brainwash him for almost the entire time during The Avengers. However, the sequel managed to make people care about his character as we were introduced to his family. Hawkeye is an ordinary man fighting alongside super powered men and gods. While he still doesn't stand alongside his fellow Avengers on this list, he still is a great character.

16. Groot

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Vin Diesel
  • Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy

"I am Groot!" Groot is such a simple yet magnificent character that everyone fell in love with after watching Guardians of the Galaxy. He is very sweet and has a big heart, but when time comes to shove, he becomes the most deadly member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Also, event though Groot has an extremely limited vocabulary, he is still one of the most expressive characters in the entire movie. He is sweet, he is kind, he is Groot.

15. Black Panther

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Chadwick Boseman
  • Appearances: Captain America: Civil War

Not only was Captain America: Civil War practically an Avengers movie, but it introduced two main players into the mix: Black Panther and Spider-Man. There was high expectations for both of these characters yet both of them exceeded expectations, especially Black Panther. He is unlike any character we have ever seen in not just the MCU but in any comic book movie and even though he has only appeared in one movie, he has become a fan-favorite.

Every single scene Black Panther was in, goosebumps ran down my neck as I whispered to myself "Badass." T'Challa is the king of an advance civilization, he is highly sophisticated and experienced, and has one of the best looking costumes the MCU has ever created.

14. The Punisher

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Jon Bernthal
  • Appearances: Daredevil

The Punisher character has been adapted in multiple feature-films, but Marvel was never able to truly get the character right. Marvel made a bold decision to include him as a main character on the second season of Daredevil, and he was so amazing that Netflix immediately starting planning his own show. Frank Castle is a troubled character who makes Matt Murdock question his own morals, even though he knows he's doing the right thing. However, Frank is not a bad man but surprisingly a sympathetic one and goes through some really intriguing arcs and storylines that made his character so much more interesting. Also, the man knows how to use a gun.

13. Spider-Man

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Tom Holland
  • Appearances: Captain America: Civil War

It hurts to have to rank Spider-Man only at number 12, especially when looking at Tom Holland's amazing performance as the web-slinger. However, a character with less than 20 minutes of screen time would never usually rank this high, yet Holland's Spidey is too good not to.

Peter Parker was brought into the MCU more perfectly than fan's could ever imagine. Spider-Man is definitely a wise cracker who loves to make jokes about his enemies during battle. He is still a teenager, which correlates to his inexperience. Everything about this version of Spider-Man was spot-on and in a few months, we should expect Spider-Man to crack the top five.

12. Ant-Man

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Paul Rudd
  • Appearances: Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War

Ant-Man could have easily become one of the biggest jokes out of all the superheroes in the MCU, but we ended up laughing with him, not at him. As much as I would have loved to see the hot-headed scientist, Hank Pym, put on the Ant-Man suit, Scott Lang really worked as a character who has a criminal background and now, he feels like he has to redeem himself not just to Hank Pym, but for his daughter. Scott is a very funny character who is an ordinary guy that we can all relate to. We are invested in Scott Lang's storyline and I cannot wait until Ant-Man and the Wasp in 2018.

11. Doctor Strange

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch
  • Appearances: Doctor Strange

At the top of this list, almost all of these characters have had multiple appearances, but Doctor Strange has only appeared in one solo film and he almost cracks the top 10. Stephen Strange is an arrogant, self-righteous guy in the beginning of Doctor Strange — and not in delightful way Tony Stark was in Iron Man. Stephen was a complete ass but the movie shows an amazing character arc. Let's not forget to mention that Doctor Strange has some of the most unique abilities and powers that sets him apart from the rest of the MCU (both literally and figuratively).

10. Kingpin

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Vincent D'Onofrio
  • Appearances: Daredevil

Before the release of Daredevil, fans were worried that if the movies weren't able to make great villains (for the most part, of course), then their TV shows would have even more mundane and uncharismatic antagonists — but Daredevil shot that idea right out of the sky with the Kingpin.

Wilson Fisk is such an incredible character that we cannot help but love. A hero is only as great as its villain, and Kingpin is easily the second best in the MCU. He has a passionate vision which he believes is the right thing to do but due to an abusive, troubled past, Wilson Fisk is far from a hero. However, even though Daredevil and Kingpin's ideals are complete polar opposites, Daredevil still has its viewers asking themselves who's right and who's wrong.

9. Daredevil

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Charlie Cox
  • Appearances: Daredevil

A lot of lists have Daredevil ranked much lower than both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, but I personally believe that Matt Murdock is the strongest character. While Daredevil being the best series out of the three definitely attests to that, Matt Murdock is an extremely intriguing character who goes through the worst situations but always manages to come out on top. His blindness only makes him an even stronger fighter against the biggest crime lords in Hell's Kitchen. He is involved in some of the best fight scenes in the MCU and at the same time, he gives the most motivational speeches.

8. Rocket Raccoon

  • Portrayed By: Bradley Cooper
  • Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy

That's right — a talking raccoon ranks higher that The Punisher, Black Panther, and most other Marvel characters. Rocket Raccoon was one of the main highlights from Guardians of the Galaxy. He is a cute but deadly raccoon running across the galaxy with Groot searching for trouble. Rocket loves his weapons like any other bounty hunter, but he's never afraid to point out the odds. Even though Rocket can be a jerk sometimes, the team still loves him as much as we do.

7. Thor

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Chris Hemsworth
  • Appearances: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Doctor Strange

Thor is one of the founding members of the Avengers and he will always have a spot in our hearts. He has been an enjoyable addition to the superhero team and has had his fair share of great moments and is certainly far from an average character as he is amazing and he is a fan-favorite.

However, he does rank lower than the other core Avengers members on this list primarily because his character still has some development to undergo. His solo movies are some of the weaker installments in the MCU, but Chris Hemsworth has still shined on through both of them. Thor: Ragnarok looks to be the best of the Thor trilogy and the team working on it has said that Thor will be at his funniest and best in this movie and I am excited to see the character progress.

6. Star-Lord

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Chris Pratt
  • Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy

Star-Lord is far more than a wisecracking human living in outer space. Peter Quill lost his mother at a young age and was taken by Yondu and the Ravangers and while they did raise him, he still had a difficult time. Under that sarcastic tone and "legendary" Star-Lord identity, there is a vulnerable Peter Quill. He's not entirely trustworthy or reliable, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will show Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy becoming better people and an even better team.

5. The Hulk

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Mark Ruffalo/Edward Norton
  • Appearances: The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron

There's not many more entertaining elements to watch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe than to watch the Hulk unleash on an army of Chitauri or Ultron bots. Behind the brawn, there is a multi-layered "brain" character: Bruce Banner. The Bruce Banner/Hulk relation has never really been incorporated well until this iteration of the character.

Bruce Banner has a very difficult time adapting to this new lifestyle and even though it's not a very relatable situation, you still care for the Hulk's character. Bruce Banner is a quiet yet charming scientist who is also funny at times but in a very gentle way.

4. Black Widow

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Scarlett Johanson
  • Appearances: Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

Even though Black Widow hasn't received her own solo film yet (we're still praying), she is still the best female character the MCU has ever debuted. In some ways like many other characters on this list, Natasha Romanoff is an ordinary woman who steps up to an extraordinary task. However, there is a lot more to her backstory that meets the eye in Iron Man 2, where there was little to love about her character.

She has a very rough backstory that was discovered in Avengers: Age of Ultron, which contributes to her tough personality. Despite her lack of superpowers, she is still capable of playing with the big boys in the sandbox, which is a nice use of symbolism of women's role in the real world.

3. Loki

[Marvel Studios]
[Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Tom Hiddleston
  • Appearances: Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World

If a DC fan is getting on your case about how Marvel has no "great" villains, pull the Loki card on them. Loki is not only the best character the MCU has ever shown us besides its two main characters, but he is even better than his brother by a decent amount of spots. Loki isn't a mustache-twirling bad guy as he still has some good in him, but he is a mischievous, untrustworthy character who just wants to step out of his brother's shadow.

Loki is a very troubled character who was adopted by Odin, who always played favorites and it was usually in Thor's favor. We never know what to expect from Loki whether its trying to destroy New York City or faking his own death, and that lands him a higher seat than Thor in my eyes.

2. Iron Man

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Robert Downey Jr.
  • Appearances: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War

Iron Man is the first key player to be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the universe has been built upon his shoulders yet we still can't get enough of him when appears on-screen. Out of all the characters in the MCU, Tony Stark has definitely had the best character arc of all. He has went from a cocky, egotistical, millionaire playboy who only cares about himself to a world-renowned superhero who feels the need to protect each and every person.

Seeing a new suit in each one of his movies is a sight to see and his humor is still fresh and unique nine years later and we could never imagine anyone else don the Iron Man suit than Robert Downey Jr. himself.

1. Captain America

[Credit: Marvel Studios]
[Credit: Marvel Studios]
  • Portrayed By: Chris Evans
  • Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War

I think most people can agree that Captain America and Iron Man are the two best characters in the MCU — but which one's the best? Captain America: Civil War effectively had fans debating not only if they are Team Cap or Team Iron Man, but who is the better superhero. I am fully pledged to Team Captain America. He stands for everything a superhero should stand for and his morals are in the right place.

Many people like Iron Man better because of his amazing character arc, but what makes Captain America so special is because he is still the same Steve Rogers from World War II. Watching him being taken out of time and being placed in a confusing time where people have a difficult time depicting what is "right" and "wrong" yet Steve is well aware of what is the American thing to do at all times and even though he realizes he can't save everyone, his first priority is to save the world.

Poll

Who is your favorite MCU character?

There are so many amazing characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but which ones are YOUR favorite? Discuss it below!

Latest from our Creators