The Marvel Cinematic Universe concluded Phase Two this year with two movies: the status quo-shaking Avengers: Age of Ultron, and, two months later, the smaller-scale (pun intended) Ant-Man. It was an interesting move to have such a grand event open up the year and follow it up an origin tale, but it paid off. While not everyone enjoyed them, both movies were overall critical and commercial successes, and much of that was due to the new players we met.

Just like we did with Marvel’s small screen endeavors over the last year, we’ve gone through and selected the best characters the studio introduced in 2015. While Marvel still has yet to get a good handle on most of its movie villains, this year saw several great protagonists debut who made great impressions in their first appearances, from heroes getting their start to supporting characters who helped out. And even better, most (if not all) of these folks will be returning in the near future. Take a look at who made the final cut.

5. Hope van Dyne
5. Hope Van Dyne
Although Scott Lang was Ant-Man’s eponymous protagonist, without the strong and confident Hope van Dyne, the mission wouldn’t have been successful. Hope had all the skills and knowledge necessary to infiltrate Cross Technologies, so if her father hadn’t been worried about her suffering the same fate as her mother, Janet van Dyne, she would have been the one in the Ant-Man suit and Scott would have simply given pointers on breaking and entering. Regardless, she proved herself to be a key ally and talented fighter, and in the midst of all the insanity, got to strengthen her relationship with her previously estranged father. Hope didn’t have the chance to suit up alongside Scott in the movie, but with Ant-Man and the Wasp coming in 2018, we’ll finally see her inherit the Wasp mantle from her mother and fight crime as a superhero, just like many hoped she would.

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