The Marvel Cinematic Universe teems with extraordinary characters. Gods, super-soldiers, assassins, aliens, and people using extreme technology, they have all saved the universe again and again. But they don’t fight alone. Sometimes fighting alongside them, or acting as their “guy in the chair," there are the ordinary people who help them out. These are people with no special powers, no suit to protect them, they’re just pitching in to do what’s right.
To be considered a non-super character, these are the parameters that: They cannot be an Avenger, so even though they have no special powers, Black Widow and Hawkeye are out. They can’t have a suit that gives them super powers, which eliminates people like Rhodey and Falcon. And only MCU film characters are considered, which discounts Melinda May and Fitzsimmons.
10 Happy Hogan
Happy Hogan loves Tony Stark. Everything he does, he does for Tony. He can go overboard, and often does, but his heart is always in the right place. He is incredibly loyal, extremely eager to please, and truly believes that Tony is the best person in the world, even when Tony himself doesn’t believe it.
After Tony dies, Happy knows one of the people he cared most for in the world was Peter Parker, so Happy does his best to keep Peter safe. It doesn’t hurt that Happy adores Peter’s Aunt May. Happy does have a romantic side. His favorite TV show is Downton Abbey, probably in part because the chauffeur (which is how Happy started out) eventually becomes part of the family, which is all Happy truly wants. And Tony wisely makes him part of his.
9 Phil Coulson
When thinking of a covert agent, Phil Coulson is not the type of person to immediately come to mind. He may wear a suit and have dark glasses, but other than that, he doesn’t have the look. He’s open, congenial, soft-spoken, and pragmatic. He’s a fanboy of Captain America and doesn’t keep those literal cards close to his vest at all.
But his everyman looks help him fly under the radar. He’s adept at hand-to-hand and gun fights. He’s willing to do anything to keep the world a safe place. And when he “dies”, it’s the catalyst that turns the Avengers into a team.
8 Maria Hill
There is no nonsense with Maria Hill. She’s straightforward to the point of being blunt. She’s also incredibly loyal. But her loyalty doesn’t prevent her from calling people out if she thinks they’re wrong. It doesn’t matter if it’s her boss Nick Fury or Captain America, she’ll give them her opinion even if they don’t agree. That doesn’t mean she’s not any fun. She cracks jokes from time to time, and teases Cap about his aversion to cursing. But when things go south, she’s ready with her gun drawn.
Maria Hill isn’t as showy as some of the other supporting character but when the chips are down, she’s the one who you’d want at your back. Nick Fury is incredibly paranoid. He himself has acknowledged that he trusts virtually no one. But the one person he calls when he’s in trouble and needs back-up is Maria Hill.
In a film full of great characters, M’Baku stood out in Black Panther as one of the best. The rival leader of the mountain tribe, Jabari, in Wakanda, he wasn’t friendly with T’Challa or the rest of the kingdom. He challenged T’Challa’s rule, battling him for the throne of Wakanda. Though the battle was close, T’Challa ultimately got the upper hand and M’Baku surrendered when reminded that his tribe needed him. Still, when T’Challa is gravely injured and dethroned by Killmonger, M’Baku shelters him and his family. He also provides backup when T’Challa battles Killmonger to retake his throne.
Despite his initial introduction, M’Baku is shown to be kind and humorous. He teases T’Challa and Everett Ross. He has a strong sense of honor which is why he fights against both Killmonger and Thanos. If he had defeated T’Challa, Wakanda would still have a great leader in him.
6 Agent Peggy Carter
Some people may describe Peggy Carter as the love of Steve Rogers’ life, but she was so much more than that. As part of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, she was essential to the development of the super soldier program that created Captain America. She had been a code-breaker in Bletchley Park and worked for MI5. Despite her obvious brains and bravery, she had to fight chauvinism and misogyny every step of the way.
It did show her whom she could trust and who saw her worth. After Captain America disappears, she continues to work at the SSR and continues working with Howard Stark. And eventually she founds S.H.I.E.L.D. along with Stark. She was a woman ahead of her time who would not compromise who she was. Before Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, and Black Widow could run, Peggy Carter had to walk.
On one hand, Korg is a joke of a character. He’s a pile of rocks who accidentally kills his friend who has scissors for hands (though, he turns out not to be dead), but he’s forced to be a gladiator because he was defeated by a lack of paper. (The pamphlets explaining his revolution.) That being said, he became a fan favorite after his appearance in Thor: Ragnarok. His earnest desire to help Thor, and his lack of guile is incredibly endearing.
Despite his enormous size and his intimidating rock body, he’s one of the gentlest souls in the MCU. His revolution is about making the world a better place for everyone. He befriends Thor immediately and welcomes everyone he comes across to join his escapes. A solid dude in more ways than one.
Scott Hope meets Luis when they’re cellmates at San Quentin and they become best friends. Luis is the one who picks Scott up when he’s finally released. He’s perpetually upbeat, even when discussing how he’s been dumped, his mother died, and his father was deported. At first his prison time hadn’t reformed him, but that just meant that he was eager to offer backup for whatever legally iffy caper Scott had to pull off. He and Scott later channel their energy into opening X-Con Security Consultants, taking their criminal backgrounds and using it to secure other businesses. Luis is basically the best friend a guy could ask for. He rolls with everything that’s thrown at him, and he keeps a smile on his face even when things are rough.
In some ways Shuri is a typical younger sister to T’Challa. She teases him, pesters him, but is also concerned for him when he’s injured or in trouble. But that’s all that’s typical about Shuri. Despite her young age, she is the head of the Wakandan Design Group. She is a genius, who spends her days using vibranium to develop more tech.
She’s not satisfied with having something good enough or working fine, continuing to innovate. She has fun with her designs and enjoys using her tech, even if she designs most of it for the Black Panther. On the few occasions she’s had to fight, she holds her own. She may be a princess, but that’s the least interesting thing about her.
Michelle Jones, also known as MJ, isn’t your typical love interest. She’s sarcastic, withdrawn, a loner, and doesn’t like engaging with people. But she’s also highly intelligent, observant, and occasionally shows a desire to belong to a group. She does belong to the Academic Decathalon team and when she answers the final question correctly and they all congratulate her, she allows herself a rare smile.
Most of her observational prowess is reserved for watching Peter Parker. She admits in Spider-Man: Far From Home that she watches him because she likes him. It’s through that observation that she realizes Peter is actually Spider-Man and she helps him realize that Mysterio is a fraud. And despite her desire to appear nonchalant, when she thinks Peter is in danger, she goes running into battle carrying a mace. She’s not a damsel in distress, she’s very much her own person.
1 Nick Fury
Nick Fury isn’t actually that ordinary. He’s been to space. His eye was lost to a monster alien cat. But he is just a man. It’s what he’s done in his position as S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and later director that makes him appear larger than life. The Avengers Initiative was his idea. He gathered together Earth’s (and really, the universe’s) most powerful heroes to protect the world. And even if The Avengers don’t always agree with his choices, it’s clear that they always respect him.
He learns from his mistakes and doesn’t repeat them. And he listens to his team and respects their opinions. His only goal is to keep the world safe. Even if he doesn’t have super-powers, he saves the world all the same.