The Marvel Cinematic Universe is primarily built on characters. From the charismatic egomaniac Tony Stark to Groot the adorable living tree, the MCU is home to some of the most beloved personalities in popular culture.
Among all of the stellar gems in the series, though, there are plenty of faces who either don’t get the recognition they deserve, or otherwise would benefit hugely from a little more space to tell their stories. Characters like Agent Phil Coulson and Peggy Carter have managed to explode off the big screen and into their own television shows, and with a pilot for an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff in the works (though in serious jeopardy) it looks like more established MCU characters may be getting their own television shows before long.
So who else ought to have their own time in the spotlight? Which minor characters in the MCU deserve to be the star of the next Agent Carter? Here are 12 Minor MCU Characters Who Should Get Their Own TV Show.
Jeremy Renner’s straight-shooting superhero has been a fan-favorite choice for a Netflix TV show since news of Daredevil and the Defenders first broke. While Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow would make a better fit for a Marvel movie, Hawkeye’s less impressive screen presence (and less bankable actor) is more suited to a smaller-budgeted television series.
Renner has expressed interest in being involved in a Hawkeye series, but that’s only part of the reason this show sounds so appealing to fans. At around the time that the first Avengers first hit cinemas, a run of comics written by Matt Fraction was wowing Marvel comics fans for its quirky story of what Clint Barton gets up to when he’s not teamed up with the Avengers. The series also heavily features a second Hawkeye, Kate Bishop, who had previously appeared in the Young Avengers comic series, and who quickly grew to be a fan favorite character.
A Hawkeye TV show would be an excellent opportunity to further explore the least useful Avenger in a setting that would better showcase his abilities and pit him against threats that are actually befitting his power level. Introducing Kate Bishop to the MCU would also be enough to justify this series in the eyes of many fans, especially if the show were to take inspiration from Matt Fraction’s comic story arc.
11. Erik Selvig and Darcy Lewis
The two supporting characters from both Thor movies that deserve more screen time than they typically get, Dr. Selvig and Darcy, are the perfect fit for their own ongoing series. Selvig, played by Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, has appeared in four Marvel movies to date, showing off his scientific genius and helping to explain the technobabble that drives the plot. A show where Selvig investigates the various scientific anomalies of the MCU would harken back to the early days of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but would be better suited to make use of the premise of discovering the inner workings of the world of magic and aliens that make up the science of the franchise.
Throw in the earnest political science major Darcy Lewis, and the show would not only have an interesting sci-fi premise, but would also be filled with light humor and warmth. Kat Dennings is a fantastic comedic actor, and her character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs more time to shine in a role other than as a sidekick.
10. Maria Hill
Why Marvel hasn’t involved Maria Hill in a larger role in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is anybody’s guess, especially since actress Cobie Smulders has been finished with How I Met Your Mother for a while now. Nick Fury’s right-hand woman has appeared in just three episodes of the series centering around Phil Coulson, and it’s not entirely clear what Hill is up to most of the time.
Maria Hill’s notable absence from the events of Civil War could be used as a launching point for her own series, with Hill going undercover or otherwise involved on dangerous missions for either the Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. that could be documented in television episodes. Certainly for many fans, it would be a treat to see what the character gets up to when the Avengers aren’t fighting aliens, robots, or Hydra.
9. Lady Sif and the Warriors Three
Another character who’s been underutilized in Thor movies thus far, Sif has made several appearances in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., where she’s faced off against Asgardians attempting to infiltrate and invade the Earth, and even gone undercover as a human for a while before suffering from a textbook comic book case of amnesia.
There’s certainly plenty of stories that could be told with Sif, either on Asgard in a Game of Thrones–style period piece, or on Earth as the Norse heroine works to save humanity from various alien threats. That said, as actress Jaimie Alexander is now involved in a starring role in a show on another network (NBC’s Blindspot) it’s unlikely she’ll be able to find the time for more ABC Marvel projects anytime soon. This being the case, there’s always the Warriors Three – Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun, who have a long history of getting up to hijinks in the comics that would work wonderfully in a light-hearted but action packed television series.
8. Trevor Slattery
To say that fans were divided over the portrayal of The Mandarin in Iron Man 3 is something of an understatement. While universal support for the oblivious actor masquerading as a terrorist is somewhat lacking, there’s no denying that Ben Kingsley’s performance is nothing short of fantastic – the celebrated actor both delivers a commanding presence as the Mandarin’s stage persona, and is hilarious as the less terrifying Trevor Slattery.
In spite of negative fan reactions to this version of The Mandarin, a Marvel One-Shot has explored Slattery’s life in prison, to hilarious effect. In the short movie, Trevor Slattery’s life history is documented and audiences see him face off against a few prison thugs, before it’s revealed that his use of the Mandarin identity may have gotten him into more trouble than he’d initially realized.
It would be wonderful to see this storyline continued, and for audiences to get a chance to see more of Slattery as he’s embroiled in a terror plot that’s way over his head – it’d also be fantastic to see the MCU create a more intimidating Mandarin for Trevor to annoy.
7. Howard the Duck
While the Howard the Duck cameo at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy was initially meant as little more than a joke, fan reception of the introduction of the character into the MCU may have Marvel planning a larger role for the infamous mallard – after all, it’s been a long time since George Lucas’ take on the character, and most audiences have been forgiving towards good old Howard.
Whilst Howard the Duck is hardly prime material for his own movie, there’s potential for the character to have an ongoing series. Howard’s brief cameo was voiced by Seth Green, an actor who’s also known for his quirky humor and his work on a variety of animated works, such as Robot Chicken. It wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world for Marvel to trust Green with creating an animated series based on Howard the Duck, as the character fits perfectly into his typical style of work.
6. Luis and Crew
Ant-Man introduced the world to Scott Lang, an ex-con with a heart of gold who’ll do anything he can to see his daughter – including pulling jobs with his former cellmate Luis (Michael Peña) and his somewhat ineffective crew.
Scenes with Luis, particularly when he’s describing the chain of gossip and rumors that leads to him knowing about opportunities for crimes, are among the most Edgar Wright-esque moments left in Ant-Man, and it would be wonderful to see this team of bumbling criminals in a regular series of heists, trying their best to steal from some of the more dangerous minor characters in the MCU.
Mike Peterson stands out as being the most relatable character in the first episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and his tragic story arc as a loving father who’s turned into a cyborg killing machine by Hydra is one of the most emotionally poignant elements of the entire MCU. Sadly, Deathlok hasn’t been seen for a while now in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the character is the perfect choice for his own ongoing television series.
Deathlok represents two sides of the MCU – both a fantastical character with superhuman powers to rival an Avenger, and a darker character befitting the Netflix shows, with a more complex backstory than most Marvel heroes. Seeing the world through his eyes (literally at times) would make for a unique show that’d be unlike anything else currently in the MCU.
4. Rhomann Dey
One downside to the Guardians of the Galaxy is the underutilization of the Nova Corps – fantastic actors including Glenn Close, Peter Serafinowicz and John C Reilly ended up with little more than bit-parts in a movie that focused more on the slimy underbelly of the galaxy than on its upstanding police force.
One character in particular, Rhomann Dey, played by John C. Reilly, seems to have more of a backstory than the audience gets to see. The character’s familiarity with Peter Quill suggests that he’s had some experience dealing with space pirates in the past – it’d be wonderful to see what Rhomann Dey gets up to over the course of his day as a member of the Nova Corps. There most certainly aren’t enough sci-fi procedural space cop shows on television at the moment, and with Reilly reportedly not returning for next year’s Vol. 2, there’s no better time than now to greenlight a series starring the 50 year old funnyman.
Love interest for Matt Murdock, Elektra Natchios makes a dramatic impact on the events of the second season of Daredevil. Skilled in combat and full of personality, Elektra is a quintessential Marvel character who, after her initial appearance in the Daredevil comics, has gone on to be as influential a character as The Punisher or Black Widow, so it would be a shame to see her role in the MCU come to a close so soon.
Elektra’s death in the comics is a pivotal, infamous moment in Daredevil’s life. It also doesn’t manage to slow Elektra down all that much, as she’s promptly resurrected both in the comics and in the less than popular movie starring Jennifer Garner, itself a spin-off from Ben Affleck’s loathed Daredevil film. Considering the frequency with which Elektra’s risen from the grave – and the established precedent with characters like Phil Coulson, Nick Fury, Steve Rogers, Loki, and others all conquering death on multiple occasions – it wouldn’t be the most impossible thing to see a return of Elektra, even after the events of the Daredevil television show.
2. Hank Pym
Ant-Man hinted heavily at the incredible exploits of the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, long before even characters like Tony Stark started flying around in costume. Pym got involved in plenty of espionage and adventure alongside his wife Janet before the opening scene of Ant-Man, and it would be interesting to get to see these scenes take place.
Considering that Pym was regularly involved with Peggy Carter during this time, it’d also be a wonderful opportunity for the founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. to return to television after her own show wasn’t renewed by ABC.
The only problem is who would play the character. The CGI’d de-aging technology which created a youthful Michael Douglas for the beginning of the movie is an impressive special effect, but it can hardly be used for an entire series. Instead, it might be better to cast a particularly young Hank Pym and detail the story of his youth and the initial discovery of Pym Particles, long before his adventures reached their climax and caused the death of his wife.
1. Stan Lee
No minor character has appeared in more MCU movies than Smilin’ Stan Lee himself, co-creator of many, many Marvel characters and the initial driving force behind the popularity of Marvel Comics. Stan’s appeared in various movies as a security guard, a cop, and a FedEx driver – when he’s not draped on the arm of an attractive woman for roles as a beauty pageant judge, Hugh Hefner lookalike, or international playboy. Even well into his nineties, Stan’s sense of humor is solidly intact, and he doesn’t mind poking fun at himself in various projects that he gets involved with.
Fans have speculated that many of Stan’s cameos might add up to a single role – an elderly gentleman who always happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (An alternate theory argues that Lee is an embodiment of The Watcher, a cosmic being who observes all significant events on Earth, but this theory is a bit more fantastical.)
It would be wonderful to see the MCU from the perspective of a beleaguered old man who keeps getting in the way of major events in New York – either getting trapped under a rain of rubble from an alien attack or accidentally getting in the way of The Punisher. It’d be fun to see Stan’s sense of humor shine through as chaos erupts around him, and it’d be a very fitting way to pay tribute one of the most notable creators in the history of comics.
Post Credits Scene
The MCU is constantly growing and evolving, with Disney planning to use the saga as a source of income for the foreseeable future. As time goes on, it’s likely that an increasing number of side characters and bit parts from famous actors will be spun out into larger stories, including the introduction of more television shows.
Beyond the names on this list, there are of course a variety of other characters who would work wonderfully at the center of their own shows. Who do you think would work best? Do you agree or disagree with any of the characters on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments section.