10 MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE Characters Marvel Studios SERIOUSLY Dropped The Ball On
It's hard to fault Marvel Studios in many respects, but over the course of the past thirteen years, there's no getting around the fact the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn't done every character justice...
Marvel Studios has created one heck of a franchise with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as this shared world continues to expand both on the big and small screens, we have a lot of reasons to be excited about what's to come over the next few years and beyond.
However, with an almost endless list of characters who have appeared in the MCU since Iron Man was released in 2008, it's inevitable that some heroes, villains, and supporting players haven't necessarily been portrayed in a way that's going to make every fan happy.
It's those we're focusing on today as we take a look back at the characters Marvel Studios have dropped the ball on in a big way over the past thirteen years to so. We're by no means attacking the MCU here; instead, it's just a case of calling out some noteworthy blunders.
To see who made the cut, all you guys need to do is click on the "Next" button below!
Doing the rounds to promote Army of the Dead, Dave Bautista expressed his dissatisfaction with how Drax has essentially just become a comedy character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
As much as we love the role the character has played in recent years (and let's face it, the actor has incredible comedic timing), it's easy enough to see where the actor is coming from, especially when we look back to 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. There, Drax was on a mission of revenge, desperate to kill Ronin - and later Thanos - to avenge the murder of his family.
That never came.
Instead, Drax became comic relief, never so much as got to exchange blows with the Mad Titan, and now feels somewhat directionless as we head into Vol. 3. "The Destroyer" has never been seen in the MCU, and can't help but look back at what might have been.
9. Baron Strucker
Baron Wolfgang von Strucker has taken aim at everyone from Captain America to Wolverine in the comic books, pushing those heroes to their limits and proving himself a legitimate threat.
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he was little more than cannon fodder for Ultron, and it's a great shame that Marvel Studios never took advantage of him as a big bad controlling HYDRA from his fortress. Pivotal in the "creation" of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, Strucker could and should have become a recurring threat, with WandaVision an ideal place for him to return.
Unfortunately, his time in Avengers: Age of Ultron went by so quickly that he didn't even get a cameo in the Disney+ series!
It's too late to make this right, and that's a shame as the MCU has been robbed of a great bad guy.
8. Ronan The Accuser
Ronan the Accuser was a solid enough villain in Guardians of the Galaxy, though it wouldn't be unfair to say that many fans missed the complexities of his comic book counterpart.
By quickly killing Ronan off, we were robbed of the chance to ever follow his journey to becoming a hero and left thoroughly underwhelmed by his motivations for wanting to wield an Infinity Stone. Honestly, any number of cosmic characters could have filled the role he played in this movie.
When news broke that Lee Pace had been enlisted to reprise a younger version of the villain for Captain Marvel, we all started getting excited about exploring his pre-Thanos time in the MCU.
Alas, it was no better, and he ended up being little more than a familiar face in Carol Danvers' origin story.
7. Maria Hill
Maria Hill's introduction in The Avengers worked pretty well. Joss Whedon laid the groundwork for her transformation into an antagonist, but by the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron rolled around, she'd basically become Coulson-lite.
Her role would only continue to diminish from there, and it's arguably way too late for her to now become the same woman who once took aim at Captain America and forcibly unmasked Spider-Man.
You don't need us to tell you that S.H.I.E.L.D.'s time in the MCU was cut short, and had the organisation stuck around (instead of being relegated to television), perhaps Cobie Smulders could have been given the chance to shine in a way that meant she'd make a lasting impact.
Seeing as a Skrull was posing as Hill in Spider-Man: Far From Home, we can only hope there are plans for her in Secret Invasion or The Marvels.
6. Uncle Ben
While it's easy enough to understand why Marvel Studios chose to avoid retelling Peter Parker's origin story, it's still a little strange we've never learned about how he gained his powers and what prompted him to become a superhero.
The death of Ben Parker has been alluded to on multiple occasions, but with no sign of the character, this Spider-Man franchise has also overlooked his iconic "With great power there must also come great responsibility" line. That's never even received a mention, and Peter has instead looked up to Tony Stark.
That could be put down to Spidey wanting a father figure to replace his uncle, but by glossing over the web-slinger's past, Marvel Studios has, in many ways, hurt the hero's future.
We're hopeful that Spider-Man: No Way Home could rectify this, but won't bank on it.
5. Bucky Barnes
The Falcon and The Winter Soldier went a long way in redeeming Bucky Barnes, and it certainly managed to help move him past being The Winter Soldier.
However, before that, Marvel Studios failed to give this character the attention he needed and deserved. Captain America: The First Avenger barely had a chance to establish him as Steve Rogers' closest friend before he was "killed" (a moment that should have been saved for the final battle), and while we can't fault the sequel, everything that followed was a tad rushed.
Bucky needed more room to breathe in Civil War, but ended up being little more than a supporting player in Cap and Iron Man's story. This was the perfect chance to better explore his friendship with Steve, and Bucky once again fell by the wayside in Avengers: Infinity War.
As excited as we are to see Sam Wilson as Captain America, we also can't help but wonder if Bucky should have been given the chance to wield the shield first.
Looking at the Thor franchise, it's not hard to find characters who were completely wasted by Marvel Studios. The Warriors Three, Heimdall, and even Odin (to an extent) failed to live up to expectations.
However, it's the mishandling of Sif we really struggle to forgive. After breezing past her feelings for the God of Thunder in Thor, Thor: The Dark World did little to nothing with the badass female warrior, and we haven't seen her since (which, honestly, still kind of blows our mind).
Jaimie Alexander is set to reprise the role in Thor: Love and Thunder, so redemption is still possible. As things stand, though, years have been wasted that could have seen Sif used as a major, major player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We just hope Marvel Studios has a good explanation for her absence...
On the one hand, we really can't fault the way Nebula's story has played out on screen up until now.
Seeing her go from Thanos' right hand to being a "hero" in her own right has been beyond satisfying, and watching that arc continue to play out as we head into Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 should be a blast. However, not given Nebula the chance to take revenge on the Mad Titan feels like a great storytelling opportunity that's been missed in a big way.
As great as it was to see Iron Man make the ultimate sacrifice to beat Thanos, not having Gamora at least attempt to do the same - possibly restoring her non-robotic appearance in the process - is crazy.
Had she undergone that transformation, Nebula would have been set on a whole new path again, giving Marvel Studios a lot of exciting directions to take the character in. Now, it just feels like we'll be getting more of the same, so here's hoping Gunn has some surprises planned.
This could change down the line, but right now, Mac Gargan remains one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most sorely underutilized characters.
As origin stories go, it was pretty weak to have him injured by the wall-crawler in Peter Parker's early battle with The Vulture, but that and a post-credits scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming set the stage for an eventual transformation into Scorpion. We can only assume this was something Sony pushed for, though, because Marvel Studios has never bothered to revisit that idea.
In the comics, Gargan is a private eye hired by J. Jonah Jameson to find out Spidey's secret identity. When that doesn't work, The Daily Bugle Editor-in-Chief pays for him to undergo a transformation that will allow him to battle the webbed menace. Well, it goes wrong, and the Scorpion is born!
Glossing over all of that is baffling, especially when Scorpion could have quite easily been the lead villain in a future Spider-Man movie.
1. Iron Man
We're all too aware that Iron Man was one of the most beloved characters in the history of this shared world, and while his story was a satisfying one to follow, we can't pretend not to be at least a little disappointed.
As soon as it became clear that the Armored Avenger was a box office drawer, Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark became a focal point of this franchise, and even Spider-Man continues to live in his shadow (we're cautiously optimistic that Marvel Studios will move on from that in No Way Home).
That aside, and glossing over "Demon in the Bottle" and Iron Man's battles with alcoholism robbed us of a huge part of who the character is on the page, as did failing to explore his battles with The Mandarin and the key role he played in "Armor Wars."
We never even got to see this Tony become Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and there was a lot of untapped potential that was sacrificed for commercial success. We get it, but that makes it no less disappointing.