Marvel Comics is omnipresent in the realm of superhero movies. Just last year, we got Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and X-Men: Days of Future Past all bearing the red banner of Marvel for three different studios. The rights issues prevent all these companies from playing in the same sandbox (though they’ve made progress on that front), but fans of the various properties still have several opportunities to see their favorite heroes onscreen.
Sure, there have been some clunkers along the way (2005 Fantastic Four), but more often than not, the filmmakers and the actors inhabiting the roles deliver highly entertaining films full of memorable characters that we can’t wait to see again in sequels (part of why their brands have endured for so long). Here are Screen Rant’s 5 Favorite Marvel Movie Heroes. [Please note that any studio that owns Marvel characters were eligible for this list.]
A couple of years ago, few knew who Peter Jason Quill even was, but after the unprecedented success of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s become one of the leading figures in the MCU. He may fly around in space and hang out with aliens, but Star-Lord doesn’t have any super powers, per say, allowing him to be a little more human and relatable than other entries on our list. His admiration for Earth’s pop-culture and strong emotional connections to his home planet makes it easy for audiences to see themselves in him, painting Quill as an ordinary person thrown into an extraordinary situation.
Star-Lord also has a Han Solo-esque roguish streak about him that makes moviegoers want to live vicariously through his onscreen exploits. Again, a large part of that charm has to do with the actor playing him; Chris Pratt may have had a cult following from his role on Parks and Rec, but now he has the masses behind him. In his hands, Star-Lord has become a movie icon endeared to viewers all around the globe. We’re hooked on a feeling he will be around for many years to come.
Everyone has that one figure in his or her life they look to for guidance, and the many attendees of Charles Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters have one of the finest mentors around in Professor X. Yearning to establish a world where humans and mutants co-exist peacefully, Xavier gives frightened, young mutants a place where they are welcome, and instructs them in methods to control their abilities and use them for good. Professor X was even able to connect with the lost soul of Wolverine, so he’s obviously doing something right.
Actor Patrick Stewart was already a fan-favorite star thanks to his role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard on Star Trek: The Next Generation – and for any true X-Men comic book fan of the ’90s, he was the ONLY choice in fantasy casting an X-Men movie. When director Bryan Singer actually chose Stewart to play Prof. X in the 2000 X-Men film, fans were ecstatic, and Stewart has never let them down in the fifteen years since. T00 bad the same can’t be said of the films themselves (see: X-Men Origins: Wolverine and X-Men: The Last Stand – or rather, don’t).