Unless you’re living under a rock, or simply just don’t give a eff – you’ll know Marvel’s cinematic event ten years in the making is opening today. Just for clarification, I’m talking about Avengers: Infinity War.
What better way to celebrate this milestone than to cause some controversy by ranking my personal favorite (and maybe even a few of my least favorite) Marvel characters that have graced the screen.
This is completely spoiler free as it was written BEFORE I saw Infinity War.
Let’s set a few ground rules so we are all on the same page. I’ve never picked up a comic book in my life. This ranking is only the major characters from the eighteen movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) thus far. I am also extremely biased thanks to fandom. Sometimes so much so I forget what actually happened in canon, versus what happened online in fic/gifs/headcanon discussion.
Starting off, my number one and two should come as NO surprise unless you’re new around here. I mean, hello they are the entire reason I even became a Marvel fan.
1. Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier)
You know that meme “Don’t talk to me or my son ever again?” That’s basically my entire relationship with anyone who dares to badmouth Bucky Barnes. I LOVE HIM. HE IS MY RIDE OR DIE NUMBER 1. (I mean, that’s obvious right?) Once I didn’t go on a second date with a person because they called Bucky a stupid character. At least he didn’t call him a villain, than we really would’ve had a problem. He’s the longest serving Prisoner of War dang it. Even through years of brainwashing and torture, Bucky has a good heart and is loyal to Steve. He’s had literally decades of trauma, but ultimately wants to be on the right side with his actions. I will admit, I may be be biased. I love Sebastian Stan and the intricacy and subtleness he brings to the role that adds so much depth to the character.
2. Steve Rogers (Captain America)
Steve Rogers is the First Avenger and has been punching out Nazi’s since the start. Those roots are still evident in his respectable sense of what is right and wrong. The thing I love most about Steve is he feels like a real person. At the end of the day he’s a socially awkward dork, who will always be that small guy from Brooklyn. Like so many of his superheroes, he’s broken. In some respects his story is the most tragic. (You hear that far off sobbing? That’s future me curled in a ball crying if/when he dies. I’m still hoping Marvel just lets him ride off into sunset and live happily ever after with Bucky when Chris Evans’ contract is over.)
If you walked out of Black Panther and didn’t think Shuri was hands down the best part, did we watch the same movie? Not only is she breaking boundaries as a young woman of color who is smart as heck by creating the coolest gadgets, but she had a sarcastic quip for everything too. T’Challa wouldn’t be half the man he is without his younger sister keeping him in check. Plus, she held her own pretty good in the big battle. Not bad for a teenager. I wish I had half the self assuredness that Shuri does at sixteen.
4. Sam Wilson (Falcon)
Thank goodness for Sam Wilson and his comedic charm. The level of done that Sam is with everybody is basically at 100%. He’s not afraid to express it either. Within a short period of knowing Steve, Sam is the first person to really see him for who he is. Not to mention notice how much Steve is struggling in modern times. Sam Wilson is the ultimate wingman (pun intended.) It’s also fun rooting for one of the few “regular” humans hanging out with the superheroes.
When you first think of Valkyrie, you should think of her swagger and how she’s one of history’s best fighters ever. She could kick your butt, she could kick a God’s butt, she could kick everybody’s butt. That right there would be reason enough to love Valkyrie, but of course she has more qualities that rank her high on my list. There’s strength and vulnerability in Valkyrie that you don’t often see, especially in female characters. She’s incredibly flawed and unconventional, but that’s exactly what makes you root for her.
Ahh the semi-villain everybody loves to love. Loki brings with him both the good and the bad, but viewers can’t get enough of this mischievous God. Throughout multiple films, Loki has had a wonderful arc of growth, scheming, and even a bit of retribution. That’s not even me listing Loki’s most wonderful quality: sass, sass, and more sass. Did I mention sass? Not many people could be on Loki’s level in a sarcasm battle.
7. T’Challa (Black Panther)
Trust a King to bring a calmness to the Marvel branch of superheroes that is much needed. T’Challa stands alone with his steady and introspective presence. He’s genuinely a good man who doesn’t have many of the normal reasons to pick up the mantle and that sets him apart. In the end of Captain America: Civil War his views on justice concerning Bucky and his father T’Chaka, prove that he’s voice of reason. It’s also refreshing that T’Challa is one of the few superheroes who hasn’t lost everything – instead his family and his country are his biggest reasons for fighting.
8. Baby Groot
Adult Groot? Okay. Teenage Groot? TBD. Baby groot? The most adorable little character that we have ever witnessed. I would sit and watch an entire movie of just Baby Groot. (To be honest, that’s basically what Guardians of the Galaxy II was to me.) There’s a rough mentality to most of his fellow Guardians. Baby Groot adds a much needed softness to their rag-tag group of superheroes. You’ll be wanting to protect this precious cinnamon roll within seconds of seeing him for the first time.
9. Peggy Carter
When we talk about female badasses, Peggy Carter was the OG. Nobody underestimates Agent Carter and if they do, they’re going to get a rough awakening. She knows her worth and will prove it time and time again. Peggy uses ingenuity and creativeness to get out of any sticky situation she may find herself in. Has anybody kicked butt and looked so stylish doing it? Her red lip is ALWAYS on point.
Characters Close to Faves:
- Peter Parker (Spiderman) – Tom Holland is finally giving us the Spiderman we deserve. He’s slightly naive, but whipsmart. In other words, the perfect combination for an onscreen version of Peter Parker. Give me a few more on par performances and he may just crack the list.
- Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) – I will fully admit, this is probably partially just due to my love of Elizabeth Olsen and Wanda’s fabulous outfits. Wanda hasn’t had much development yet to be fully fleshed out as anything but a secondary main character, but I’m really hoping that changes.
- Thor Odinson – If Taika Waiti would gladly direct all Thor movies/appearances, he would hands down be one of the most lovable MCU characters. Thor is at his best when he’s funny and charming, not dumb and serious. (Even Chris Hemsworth agrees with that statement.)
- Erik Killmonger – Of all the villains, Killmonger had the most morally compelling reasons for his decisions. I would’ve loved to see him stick around longer and have a redemption arc like Loki.
Characters I Want to Love:
- Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) – A character with so much potential that seems to constantly be misused or underused in the entire MCU. Unfortunately, her “romance” with the Hulk may have been the final straw. If we could just have more of the Natasha from Captain America: The Winter Soldier with her dry humor, sharp edge, and slight nerdiness we’d be set.
Characters I Can’t Stand:
- Rocket Racoon – I have literally never been more annoyed by a character. He’s a jerk, plain and simple.
- Drax – His thing is supposed to be stupidity right? We’re all supposed to find it funny and laugh with him? Well…I don’t. At all.
- Mantis – She seems to only be included in the plot to be the butt of the joke. That trick got old fast.
….Are you noticing a trend? I basically don’t like anyone from Guardians of the Galaxy save for Baby Groot. They all make me cringe every time they appear on screen. I know their whole appeal is they’re kind of rough, but it gets tiring.
- Dr. Strange – I know the whitewashing controversy is partially behind this position and that’s okay. I don’t think much could save my opinion of him though. He’s arrogant and not really likable in any way? Other than the special effects, Dr. Strange the film wasn’t worth writing home about.
If we’re being honest…
- Tony Stark (Iron Man) – Cue the gasp heard around the world. It’s not that I hate Tony, but he does get under my skin. Many of the qualities he’s known for are turn-offs in my everyday life, so it’s really hard to get behind him. He also was against Bucky and Cap, so let’s be real, we knew there would be a problem there. However, Robert Downey Jr. portrays Tony Stark to a perfect T, it’s hard not to appreciate the character, even if I’m cringing or rolling my eyes.
Who is your favorite or least favorite Marvel character? Will you be seeing Infinity War?
P.S. – Ever wanted to see a play-by-play of someone becoming a hardcore Marvel fanatic before your eyes? My live-blogging experience of the very first time I watched the Captain America trilogy is guaranteed to give fans of the movies a good laugh.
Until next time,