The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of dozens of characters. While there are a lot of main personas who have gotten their own movies, there are even more side characters who have been featured to varying degrees. With so many characters, the MCU isn’t always able to focus on all of these characters as much as they should.
Many fascinating and fan-favorite figures haven’t gotten enough attention in the movies, plus the talents of the actors were basically wasted.
Here are 10 MCU characters that the franchise didn’t give their due.
Vision is on this list because he’s been made to seem way less powerful than he was originally set up to be. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, we see Vision come to life as part Jarvis and part the mind stone. He is set up to be an extremely powerful and influential character, but this seems to be basically dropped.
While the stone in his head is a major plot point in Avengers: Infinity War, the character could have used a lot more development. However, there is still time for that as a Disney series is going to feature him and Scarlet Witch.
9 LADY SIF
Lady Sif is a character who was featured briefly in the opening two Thor movies and was then dropped from the movies, although the Asgardian makes an appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. She is a fierce warrior who fought alongside Thor. It seems in these early years of the MCU that the franchise didn’t know what to do with female characters unless they could be a possible love interest, and this meant Lady Sif didn’t get much development at all.
While other similar archetypal characters might have taken her place, she was a character many fans would have liked to see more of.
8 SCARLET WITCH
Scarlet Witch is another character whose powers have been underutilized in the MCU. Similarly to Vision, she was set up as being one of the most powerful Avengers, but her abilities weren’t really explored in depth.
She has had some strong moments - such as destroying Vision’s stone in Infinity War while fighting off Thanos - but it seemed like the MCU could never quite decide Scarlet Witch's power level.
7 MARIA HILL
Sadly, many of the characters on the list are women. While the MCU has gotten better with having a variety of female characters with distinct personalities, the franchise didn’t start out that way. Maria Hill was one of the early women in the franchise that fans really liked but she didn’t get enough screen time.
Hill has been a side character in a few different movies and she is luckily returning for Spider-Man: Far From Home. We got to see more of her in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier; however, after that, her story was mostly dropped.
6 PEGGY CARTER
Peggy is sadly another woman on this list, and it’s such a shame that the MCU didn’t give her her due. In Captain America: The First Avenger, she had a prominent role and was a strong, capable leader.
Given that Avengers: Endgame set up Peggy as Captain America’s final love interest, having her feature more in the MCU films would have been great. While there was briefly the Agent Carter television show, the movies should have included her a lot more than they did.
5 WAR MACHINE
War Machine, mostly known as Rhodey, is another side character that should have gotten more focus. While he was definitely a unique and independent character in the Iron Man trilogy, there is definitely an argument that could be made for him getting his own movie. While that didn’t happen, hopefully, he will get more screen time in the future in further movies or television series.
He’s a fascinating counterpart to Iron Man and he deserves to have his back story explored further.
4 SAM WILSON
Sam Wilson is another side character that has been underutilized; that said, this issue seems set to be fixed soon. Now that Sam has been given the Captain America shield, there is a lot of opportunities to explore this character further and learn more about him.
In The Falcon and the Winter Soldier series, fans will finally get to see the character more in-depth and have him be featured as more than just a best friend and sidekick to Steve Rogers.
3 BUCKY BARNES
It’s no secret that Bucky Barnes is a hugely popular character with fans and in fandom. However, he’s had shockingly little screen time in the MCU since he first appeared in The First Avenger.
Plus, most of his screen time hasn’t included any dialogue. The MCU has definitely wasted the character as well as the acting talents of Sebastian Stan. But, just like Falcon, Bucky’s character will be explored in the upcoming series.
2 BLACK WIDOW
Black Widow might have been one of the original six Avengers, the franchise was all over the place with her characterization. In early MCU films, she seemed more like a teenage fighting fantasy and didn’t have much of her own character.
Then, the Age of Ultron storyline came out of nowhere and made it seem like she hated herself because she couldn’t have children. And, to top it all off, in the end, she was killed in Endgame. As the only female Avenger, she deserved a lot more love in the franchise than she got.
1 MOST OF THE VILLAINS
A lot of the villains in the series didn’t have a lot of development or even make a lot of sense. Most of the interesting conflict in the MCU involves the issues between the heroes themselves.
Villains like Ultron and the Mandarin really fell flat, although for very different reasons. While it’s hard to focus on villains given how many heroes don’t even get enough screen time, many of the villains could have been written better.