Marvel Studios gets a ton of credit for the way it has interwoven the characters and movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it's all deserved. Other studios have tried to do the same thing and have failed (some miserably so), so it's not like anyone can just create an expanded film universe and have it all just fall into place without some serious preparation and planning.
With that being said, even the MCU has struggled to keep all its characters and story lines relevant over the last decade. Franchise plans fall apart, movies are poorly received and more often than not, characters are the casualties of those situations. Would Marvel Studios continue to be successful if it continued to push Marvel characters and plots that audiences took issue with?
Hell no, but even so, it's kind of bittersweet that some of these Marvel characters had to be shunned so that others may live. Whether we'll eventually hear from these characters again or not remains to be seen, but the fact that Marvel hasn't been referencing them as of late seems to imply the answer is no.
Lady Sif (Jaime Alexander)
Jaime Alexander's Asgardian warrior Sif was around for Thor, Thor: The Dark World and even a few episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but she didn't appear in Thor: Ragnarok and has not been confirmed for Thor: Love and Thunder. Sif was supposed to be in Ragnarok, but was cut due to a scheduling conflict. She's since been "snapped" and resurrected, but will she return? Fans (and Alexander) seem to want it to happen, so maybe she'll be Valkyrie's new queen.
Betty Ross (Liv Tyler)
Betty is the daughter of Thaddeus Ross and the former love interest of Bruce Banner in The Incredible Hulk. The two seemed to have some unresolved feelings at the end of the Edward Norton-led film, but all that was seemingly swept away when Mark Ruffalo took over as Hulk. Bruce Banner went on and formed some type of semi-romantic bond with Black Widow, which is now officially done. Could Hulk come back to her now? It's unlikely, but possible given her father's re-emergence.
Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings)
Thor: The Dark World is one of the most poorly-received Marvel movies of the MCU, but one wouldn't know it from Avengers: Endgame. The plot featured a pretty heavy callback to that movie, but still managed to completely leave Kat Dennings' Darcy Lewis out of the fun. It's not surprising considering many fans believe she and Ian Boothby are the most meaningless characters of the Thor sequel, but perhaps there's redemption for them coming in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Abomination (Tim Roth)
Remember Abomination, and how Marvel had a One-Shot that showed he was in consideration to join The Avengers before Hulk was eyed? The MCU sure pretends like it doesn't, and has been keeping Emil Blonsky on ice in a cryo-cell under S.H.I.E.L.D. custody since his defeat in The Incredible Hulk. Given Marvel and Universal have yet to collaborate on another Hulk solo film and Tim Roth thinks his character's return is doubtful, it's likely Abomination will stay in that cell into the end of time.
Mitchell Carson (Martin Paul Smith)
Remember Mitchell Carson? If not, that's completely fine because it seems as though Ant-Man and the rest of the Marvel movies have forgotten about him as well. Carson was Pym's rival outed to be a H.Y.D.R.A. agent who escaped at the end of the first movie with some Pym particles in a briefcase. From there, we don't know what the hell happened because Carson wasn't in Ant-Man and The Wasp, and hasn't been seen around the MCU since. Hopefully we'll get some resolution to that soon.
Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell)
Justin Hammer had quite a fall from grace in Iron Man 2, where he went from major competitor of Tony Stark to inmate at the Seagate Penitentiary. Like Abomination, he's locked away and has been promptly forgotten about by the MCU ever since. Iron Man's death makes it feel as though that's that last we'll hear of him, outside of any rogue references to Hammer Industries, which seemed to press on without its fearless leader.
Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp)
Here we have the niece of Peggy Carter and an agent who played a part in helping Captain America during some key adventures. Steve and Sharon shared a kiss during Captain America: Civil War, which didn't sit well with a good number of Marvel fans. Things only got more complicated when the MCU introduced Cap altering his future, which may mean Sharon french-kissed her uncle. Incest may work well enough for some franchises, but it's not the type of thing people like to see in the MCU. With that said, there's a chance Sharon will re-surface in The Falcon and The Winter Solider, so perhaps she'll be relevant once more.
Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård)
Erik Selvig initially seemed to be one of the staple minor Marvel characters of the MCU, with several appearances in the franchise following his debut in Thor. Selvig's in-person appearances have halted following Avengers: Age of Ultron. Still, his character has been pictured in Marvel movies like Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame, so perhaps Marvel is planning on bringing him back for Thor: Love and Thunder?
The Leader (Tim Blake Nelson)
The Incredible Hulk did something really cool when it teased Tim Blake Nelson was going to turn into Marvel villain The Leader, and over a decade later, we're still waiting on The Leader to appear. Honestly, he's probably never going to appear, but what a twist it would be if he were to all the sudden re-emerge as the ringleader in some sinister plot. If anyone could pull it off, it's the MCU.
Should Marvel Studios work on putting these forgotten characters back into the MCU, or was it a good thing that audiences may never see many of them ever again? Sound off in the comments below and be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest news on things happening with Marvel, other films, and television.