The original line-up of the Avengers, which Joss Whedon first brought together in his 2012 blockbuster, seems to be a thing of the past. The MCU has been priming a new batch of Avengers for a few years now, and with the events of Avengers: Endgame (SPOILER ALERT!) putting Iron Man and Captain America out of commission, it looks like they’ll finally be taking over the team and leading the MCU’s future. Based on the solo movies we’ve seen so far, it looks like a promising group of heroes. So, here are All The Newer Characters Leading The MCU’s Future, Ranked.
10 Doctor Strange
He may have been the mastermind behind the “one in 14 million” scenario that led to a tremendous final battle scene in Avengers: Endgame, but the MCU’s characterization of Doctor Strange is neither interesting nor original. The comics are filled with rich potential for future movies that could take him to some very dark and surreal places. But as it stands, we’ve got a solo movie with the dullest, most overdone presentation of an origin story in the franchise, and the character of Stephen Strange himself is depicted as a poor man’s Tony Stark. Still, who doesn’t love Benedict Cumberbatch?
9 Captain America (Sam Wilson)
Many viewers going into Avengers: Endgame speculated that Steve Rogers would relinquish the title and shield of Captain America to his old pal Bucky, but he actually ended up giving it to Sam Wilson. Sam has spent years figuring out his Falcon technology, and now, he’ll have to figure out how to use Cap’s curiously bouncy vibranium shield. Sam was never particularly interesting as the Falcon, so it’s hard to imagine he’ll be any more interesting now that he goes by Captain America. Still, it could just be that he was never given enough screen time before to really shine and we’ll fall in love with him.
After being absent from Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man really pulled through in Endgame. Not only did he come up with the plan that saved the world; he was the funniest guy in every scene. He reacted hilariously to everything, from his realization that Back to the Future is “a bunch of bulls**t” to getting his taco blown away on the Avengers HQ’s landing pad. It’ll be fun to have the endlessly likable Paul Rudd around for mind-bending quantum physics lessons and comic relief. However, as the “funny guy,” he has a tougher time carrying his own movie than, say, Black Panther. At least the Guardians of the Galaxy are a team of comic-relief characters.
Fortunately, Tessa Thompson returns from an enticing Thor: Ragnarok debut and a confusing Infinity War absence to a bigger role as Valkyrie in Avengers: Endgame, and an even bigger one set up for the future. Now that she’s been appointed the Queen of New Asgard (which is located on Earth in Norway), we should be seeing her involved in a lot more battles with Earth’s mightiest heroes.
She’s a powerful warrior who proved herself to be one of the most capable fighters in the MCU in the battle against Thanos in the big finale of Endgame. Her final encounter with Thor in the movie set her up for a bright future in the franchise, one that will be welcomed with open arms by fans.
T’Challa’s sister Shuri has been officially confirmed as the latest addition to Disney’s roster of princesses. Without a doubt, she’s already the smartest and strongest of the lot. She’s a scientific genius who has designed dozens of ass-kicking gadgets for her brother – and for herself – to use in battle. She hasn’t been given her own solo movie, and she doesn’t even have one in development, but thanks to her awesome characterization and Letitia Wright’s brilliant performance as the character, she’s quickly becoming a fan favorite. We’ll definitely see her in the Black Panther sequel, and hopefully a lot more after that.
5 The Wasp
Joss Whedon wanted to introduce the Wasp in 2012’s The Avengers, but Kevin Feige told him to hold off until they could do the character justice. He was wise to do so. The Wasp is an Avengers legend in the comics. It may have seemed disingenuous to have a movie called The Avengers without the Wasp in it, but our patience was rewarded with a faithful portrayal of the character by Evangeline Lilly. She manages to be as funny and lovable as Paul Rudd’s Scott Lang, but she’s also smart and actually understands the technology she uses the shrink and fly.
4 Guardians of the Galaxy
Now that they have Gamora back in the line-up – albeit a blank-slate Gamora from the past who’s never met any of the team before – and Thor has butted into the group, trying to take the leadership role away from Peter Quill, we’re shaping up for one heck of a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. After Thor: Ragnarok turned Thor into a comical cosmic character and Avengers: Endgame turned him into a beer-swilling slacker, it was a no-brainer that he would join the Guardians of the Galaxy on their adventures. The only downside is that, due to the whole James Gunn ordeal that ended up back at square one, we’ll now have to wait a few years before Vol. 3 hits theaters.
3 Black Panther
When your movie is the first ever superhero movie to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and the first ever MCU movie to win an Oscar, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be kept around as a major player in that franchise. Black Panther was also the highest grossing solo movie in the MCU, with a worldwide box office gross of over $1.3 billion, and the fourth highest grossing movie of all (behind the first three Avengers movies).
But that’s all industry stuff. As a character, he’s deserving of all this praise. T’Challa is a king, his worldview has been challenged, and now, he’s committed to using his political power to make the world a better place, in addition to being Black Panther – he’s two types of hero.
There’s little doubt in anyone’s minds that Tom Holland is the best cinematic Spider-Man at this point. While Tobey Maguire made a great Spidey and a not-so-great Peter Parker and Andrew Garfield made a great Peter Parker and a not-so-great Spidey, Holland has found the best of both worlds: he’s a great Peter Parker and a great Spidey, which is an impressive feat. The immediate future of the MCU is actually resting on Spidey’s shoulders, because Spider-Man: Far From Home is following up Avengers: Endgame in just a couple of months, and it reportedly begins just minutes after the end of Endgame.
1 Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel has a bunch of incredible superpowers that even she doesn’t know about yet. Ever since the Cosmic Cube exploded and imbued her with impeccable abilities, she’s pretty much been winging it. She can punch starfighters out of space like an arcade game and she can manipulate energy with her hands. Those two powers alone would be enough to make her the worthiest hero to lead the Avengers, but she can do so much more than that. In Endgame, she hinted that she would be spending a lot of time in the wider universe, helping people there, and wouldn’t join the Avengers an awful lot. But fingers crossed that she’ll become their captain and lead the charge.