Over the course of the last eight years, Marvel Studios has brought an entire stable of awesome characters to the silver screen. From superheroes, to sidekicks, to villains, each movie in the franchise seems to add at least one new face that we instantly fall in love with. With Phase 3 now upon us, we highly doubt that phenomenon will end anytime soon.
However, the size of the Marvel Cinematic Universe can also represent one of its biggest weaknesses. Some genuinely engaging characters have come and gone throughout the course of the universe’s existence, and not all of them received proper closure. We’ve compiled a list of nine forgotten MCU characters that we really want to check in on at some point in the very near future. Now let’s get started with a woman we haven’t seen or heard from since 2008…
Remember back in 2008 when the Marvel Cinematic Universe hadn’t quite found its footing, and Bruce Banner look suspiciously like the guy from Fight Club? The inclusion of Thunderbolt Ross in Captain America: Civil War means that Marvel can no longer ignore the fact that The Incredible Hulk very much exists within this continuity, which means that Bruce Banner’s one true love, Liv Tyler’s Betty Ross, also exists. Instead of another forced romance with Black Widow, we want to see Marvel acknowledge this fundamentally important character to Hulk’s lore and, even if they don’t get back together, at least show us what she’s been up to since Bruce mailed her the necklace he recovered from a pawn shop.
Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan became an instant fan-favorite character when he landed on the scene in the opening minutes of Iron Man. As Tony Stark’s bodyguard and best friend, Happy accompanied the Iron-clad hero on all of his adventures, and provided much needed assistance from the sidelines. His last appearance saw him emerging from a coma at the end of Iron Man 3, and we want to know where he went from there. Did he continue to dutifully protect Pepper Potts, or has he retired to watch reruns of Downton Abbey? Even if Jon Favreau does not return to direct another Iron Man movie, we still want a proper conclusion to Happy Hogan’s character arc... or an extension of it!
Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis has to be the most underrated side character in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. In a franchise full of people with genius-level intellects, insane combat training, or even more insane bank accounts, Darcy Lewis is just an average millennial trying to keep up. The last time we saw her was during the climax of Thor: The Dark World, and although the next Thor film will take place primarily away from Earth, we think her humorous fish-out-of-water observations could really help to add some comedy to Ragnarok.
There was a time when Marvel seemed supremely confident in its ability to carve out a place for Bruce Banner’s portion of the MCU. Alas, The Incredible Hulk underperformed and the not-so-jolly green giant was relegated to a position as a supporting character. This is genuinely disappointing, because the end of The Incredible Hulk seemed to point towards Dr. Samuel Sterns becoming the iconic Hulk villain The Leader. Essentially the polar opposite of The Hulk, The Leader is a hyper-intelligent being with minimal physical strength of his own. We know that The Incredible Hulk still exists within the MCU continuity, so we want to see where Sterns went after getting up from his laboratory floor.
Of all the characters present on this list, Odin is the one whose arc absolutely needs to be resolved at some point in the near future. The last time we saw the character interacting with his son, Thor, it turned out to be merely an illusion by Loki, with the fate of the real Odin somewhat unclear. With this hanging plot thread, Marvel Studios needs to return to Asgard during the events of Thor: Ragnarok in order to let us know what happened to one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel mythos. Whether he lives or dies, Odin’s story is one that deserves a satisfying conclusion.
Iron Man 2 is not as bad of a movie as people claim. Is it one of the weaker entries in the MCU? Yes. Does it have some seriously awesome elements? Most definitely. One of the most sorely underrated elements of Iron Man 2 came in the form of Sam Rockwell’s awesome portrayal of arms dealer Justin Hammer. A dark mirror to Tony Stark – with all of the resources and none of the charm or morals – Justin Hammer was arrested at the end of Iron Man 2 for his involvement in Ivan Vanko’s plot to kill Iron Man. However, MCU prisons are nothing if not flawed, and we want to see the smarmy industrialist make his way back to the forefront of the MCU to keep creating weapons for The Avengers to face off against.
After seeing the destruction that Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk can cause, it’s almost impossible to imagine that a singular being can stand up to him. Enter Emil Blonsky a.k.a Abomination. Seemingly imprisoned at the end of The Incredible Hulk, the character has been referenced several times throughout the course of the MCU, but has never reappeared. Blonksy has the potential to level the playing field against the strongest Avenger, and if Marvel ever decides to put together a Thunderbolts movie (which they should strongly consider), Abomination could make for a perfect heavy hitter to fill in the team’s roster. Besides, who doesn’t want more of Tim Roth’s amazing scenery chewing?
The inclusion of Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery in the Marvel Cinematic Universe may go down as one of Marvel’s most divisive decisions ever. Some people found the Mandarin switch to be a disservice to the character, while others considered it an ingenious twist. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, as Marvel decided to tease the existence of a real Mandarin in the All Hail the King One-Shot, which filled in the gaps of Slattery’s backstory. This short film represented a perfect jumping off point for an Iron Man 4, and we would love to see what happened to Trevor Slattery upon learning that there’s a real life version of the terrorist leader he spent so long imitating.
In another, better world, the romantic subplot of the Thor films would have centered upon the son of Odin and his female combat companion, Lady Sif. Unlike Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, actress Jaimie Alexander brought a confidence and viciousness to her character that made her endlessly endearing and a seemingly perfect match for the God of Thunder. Although Jane Foster will sit out the events of Thor: Ragnarok, rumors seem to indicate that Tessa Thompson’s character in the film will replace her as Thor’s love interest – once again relegating Lady Sif to the sidelines. Sif deserves better, and audiences have clamored to see what she’s been up to since the events of Thor: The Dark World.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.
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