8 Great Comic Book Characters Who Were Completely Wasted In Marvel Studios Movies

8 Great Comic Book Characters Who Were Completely Wasted In Marvel Studios Movies

8 Great Comic Book Characters Who Were Completely Wasted In Marvel Studios Movies

Thought Marvel Studios could do no wrong? Think again! They've dropped the ball on many fan-favourite characters over the years, so hit the jump for a breakdown of those who ended up being totally wasted...



Given how damn good the vast majority of their movies are, it's often said that Marvel Studios can do no wrong. In fairness, even their weakest releases are often a million times better than those put out by rival studios, but when you take a closer look at those, it actually becomes apparent that they don't always stick the landing, especially when it comes to the way certain characters have been handled. 

In fact, looking over the first couple of Phases (and the start of the third), it's pretty clear that there are some heroes and villains Marvel has dealt with really poorly. Whether we're talking about the way they were portrayed or how they were introduced to moviegoers - only to then vanish - what you'll find here is an in-depth look at the eight best characters totally wasted by Kevin Feige and company...


8. Hank Pym



I liked Ant-Man and thought that Michael Douglas was a great Hank Pym, but let's be honest, the character could and should have made a much bigger splash in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. A founding Avenger in the comic books, both Hank and Janet (a.k.a. The Wasp) should have been part of that movie, but the studio's decision to wait on Edgar Wright to make Ant-Man put a stop to that fairly early on.

Paul Rudd is so great as Scott Lang that it feels almost silly to complain about this, but he's a character we could have seen introduced in a later Ant-Man solo movie had Hank shown up somewhere in Phase 1! The older Hank's quest to save Janet from the Quantum Realm looks set to be explored in Ant-Man and The Wasp, but it's hard not to feel like we've lost something here. Wright's Ant-Man would have reportedly seen Hank revealed as the villainous Black Ant, and if nothing else, that would have been an interesting nod to the character's psychological issues.


7. Maria Hill



The comic book version of Maria Hill has been softened up in recent years, but after being named the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., she pretty much started off as a full on villain. From unmasking Spider-Man against his will and using psychics to probe his mind to attempting to arrest Steve Rogers during Civil War with a battalion of Cape Killers by her side, Hill was not someone to be messed with.

It's a shame then that when Joss Whedon introduced her in The Avengers, the character had lost her adversarial nature almost entirely (though there is a deleted scene where we get at least a taste of that). Since then, she really hasn't done anything of note despite showing up briefly in the likes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Absent from Captain America: Civil War, Hill's future is now uncertain, but it's unlikely we'll ever get to see her opposing Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the same way as her comic book counterpart. 


6. Doc Samson



To be fair to Marvel, Modern Family star Ty Burrell wasn't a household name when they cast him in the thankless role of Doc Samson in The Incredible Hulk, but they still wasted the character by making him Betty Ross' instantly forgettable new boyfriend. In the comics, the psychiatrist attempts to cure Bruce Banner, but ends up exposing himself to a small amount of Gamma radiation in the process. Sporting green hair and a pretty impressive fraction of the Jade Giant's powers, Samson would go on to fight alongside The Avengers and act as both a friend and foe to The Hulk over the years.

Had Marvel put a little more thought into the character's future, we could have seen him play a key role in Bruce's story moving forward, with Burrell becoming someone who pops up throughout all of these movies. Instead, the studio made the same mistake Fox has in their X-Men franchise by using a familiar name and wasting them in the process.


5. Stature



There's no denying that the relationship between Scott Lang and his daughter in Ant-Man was extremely touching, but Marvel really missed a trick by not making her at least a few years older. While the studio could hire a new actress to have her age a little faster, we're currently a long way off from seeing Cassie Lang becoming Stature.

That doesn't mean a Young Avengers movie is off the table (and by the time Phase 4 rolls around, a new actress being hired to play a slightly older Cassie would arguably work), but it's still surprising that Marvel didn't think about setting the stage for that in Ant-Man by making Cassie a greater focal point as she often was in the comic books during Scott's earliest adventures as Ant-Man. Her being older in the character's first solo outing would have also made their dynamic more interesting as she would have had a better understanding of her father being in jail rather than simply being a youngster who idolises him.
 

4. Agent Coulson



Many of the characters listed here were handled poorly during their introductions, but that's not true for Agent Coulson. He became a fan-favourite pretty much from the very start, and after making a real impact in the likes of Thor and Iron Man 2, you can understand why Marvel and Joss Whedon decided to play with the hearts of the audience and Earth's Mightiest Heroes by having him die heroically at the hands of Loki.

Unfortunately, the decision was then made to resurrect him for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, something which robbed his death of any real sort of impact. Rather than making his sacrifice something which would have a lasting effect on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Coulson came back a year later (with a very silly explanation given as to how) in order to serve as the focal point of a series which has arguably made him the least interesting character in a show full of leads who honestly aren't all that compelling. 


3. Bucky



Just to be clear, what the Russo Brothers have done with The Winter Soldier has been pretty much perfect. His journey in the past two Captain America movies has been both compelling and satisfying in equal measures, but looking back at The First Avenger, it's pretty clear that Marvel and director Joe Johnston dropped the ball there. That movie definitely got some things right (Bucky protecting his scrawny best friend Steve Rogers from bullies for example), but nowhere near enough time was devoted to their friendship.

That's something which could have been rectified had The Howling Commandos - who barely served a purpose in the movie - been left out. By far the biggest let down here though was the hero's death; by rights, Bucky should have gone down fighting the Red Skull alongside Steve, but he was instead given a forgettable death scene on that train which didn't have much of an impact on Cap or the audience.
 

2. The Leader



Marvel being sold to Disney obviously complicated the chances of a sequel to The Incredible Hulk, and while it appears as if The Leader was being set up as a future foe for the Green Goliath, cramming his origin story into this movie was a strange decision on the part of the studio. It's hard to get a read on what they were planning here; how would a man - who was perhaps a little unhinged - intent on helping Bruce Banner go from being his ally to one of his most iconic villains?

The scene where his head starts to change shape is actually pretty cringeworthy, and if it was Marvel's plan to have him return, could they not have chosen a better actor than Tim Blake Nelson?! A comic book sequel would later reveal that Samuel Sterns ended up in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, but at this stage, it feels like it's too little too late for the villain as him returning now would almost feel forced. Marvel missed an opportunity here to introduce an Avengers level threat.


1. Spider-Man



Did I enjoy seeing Spider-Man make his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War? Of course! However, I can't help but feel that the character was wasted to some extent despite this movie clearly being little more than an introduction for him. With the wall-crawler showing up was clearly a last minute thing, we never really got to fully explore why he would choose to side with Iron Man or get a lengthy scene between him and Captain America where the young Peter Parker gets to see a different perspective on the conflict between The Avengers.

Introduction or not, Captain America: Civil War should have given Spider-Man at least a little more screentime to delve into his role in the battle, something which is unlikely to be addressed when Spider-Man: Homecoming is released next year. All in all, Spidey is leaps and bounds ahead of other characters listed here, but his MCU debut wasn't as good as it could have been despite the great action scenes.

Which of these characters do you think has been wasted in the worst way in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? As always, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

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