The 100 Greatest Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters (80-71)

Whether you think it’s the worst thing to happen to cinema or the only thing keeping it alive, there’s no denying the MCU changed Hollywood forever. Kevin Feige and his producing partners at the time should never stop getting praise for creating the franchise mold everyone borrows from now and for finally delivering the connected superhero universe every comic book fan dreamt about for ages. They weren’t the first to produce quality superhero movies but they were the first to make each film an event by making you see how each one was going to connect to the next and what it was all leading to. It was a ballsy move that ended up being the most successful gamble in Hollywood history. It has spawned over 30 movies and almost half as many TV shows. Not all of them have been great but almost all of them have produced great characters. Characters that turn no-name actors into instant movie stars and make B-tier comic creations into instant fan favorites. This franchise will continue to thrive for years to come because the actors they cast are always on point (well, most of the time) and the writing keeps them feeling distinct and instantly memorable. No other franchise has produced this many unforgettable characters and I predict, no other franchise ever will.

These are the 100 Greatest Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters of All Time.

80. Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis)

No character on this list generated more of a “YOU KILLED HIM?” exclamation than the man named Klaue. Introduced as a vibranium smuggler in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he loses his hand, had a somewhat big villain role in Black Panther then DEAD — killed by Killmonger! But hey, MCU characters should never stay dead. I have a few theories about how he comes back as the insane Klaue that I recall from the comics, and we should hope he comes back for Avengers: Secret Wars.

Ralph Hosch

79. Daisy “Skye” Johnson / Quake (Chloe Bennet)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. struggled out of the gate to get viewers to care about any S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that wasn’t named Phil Coulson. Coulson’s hand-picked team felt very bland with the writers just throwing stuff at them and hoping some sort of personality would stick. Luckily, Captain America: The Winter Soldier gave the writers’ room the twist they needed, which instantly transformed the vanilla team into unique, well-rounded characters. “Skye” benefitted the most from The Winter Soldier twist and the subsequent Inhumans storyline, learning that her real name was Daisy Johnson (a pretty relevant character in recent comic book stories) and that she was an Inhuman.

The following seasons saw Daisy grow into her Inhuman powers, with Chloe Bennet excelling at displaying the internal struggle she felt. Plus, her character’s relationship with Coulson was just too damn enjoyable and was definitely one of the highlights of the series. Every show has growing pains in its first season and S.H.I.E.L.D. quite possibly felt the hurt a lot more than other shows airing around that time. But once you get through the first half of Season 1, S.H.I.E.L.D. will reward you with storylines and character arcs that I dare say are better than what some film characters have received through five or six films. You better have brought Bennett back for Secret Invasion, Marvel, or you’re going to feel the fandom’s wrath!

Marmaduke Karlston

78. Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors)

It may be a little premature to claim Kang is one of the best things in the MCU, but Kang is one of the best things in the MCU. His entrance in Loki as He Who Remains is exceptionally good, somewhere between the charmingly anticlimactic reveal of the Wizard of Oz and the portentous menace of an imprisoned Magneto. Jonathan Majors has already proven himself a phenomenal talent outside of the role, and almost singlehandedly managed to make Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania worth a watch. “See you soon.”

D.N. Williams

77. Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale)

It’s a shame that we won’t get to see more of Christian Bale in the MCU. It’s also a shame that he didn’t get more screen time in Thor: Love and Thunder. As an antagonist, his motive is at the very least compelling. At most, it’s justifiably righteous. Obviously, the kidnapping of children is never a good look, no matter how wronged you feel by the universe. However, we could have used pretty much a whole movie of Bale’s Gorr on a dark and grisly revenge tour through the cosmos taking down various deities.

Raf Stitt

76. Taneleer Tivan / The Collector (Benicio del Toro)

In the comic books, The Collector is one of the Elders of the Universe. Each Elder being the last survivor of their race and functionally immortal, they rely on their personal obsessions to maintain their will to live over the millennia. I’m not sure this is related to their MCU versions, but the obsession aspect remains. The Collector (Benicio del Toro) is more of a plot device than a character, existing to provide a place for some of the Infinity Stones (well, just the one, the Reality Stone, given to him by the Asgardians). He attempts to procure another from the Guardians of the Galaxy (and provides an info-dump about the Stones in the process), but that goes awry. Then Thanos shows up to beat the Reality Stone out of him. Del Tor does what he can with the character, making him smarmy, intense, and kind of a dick, but there’s not much for him to work with. He’s mostly a punchline (literally in some scenes). It’s fun to peruse his on-screen collection for Marvel Easter eggs, though.

Bob Cram

75. May Parker (Marisa Tomei)

How do you follow up Rosemary Harris and Sally Field as the iconic Aunt May? Well, in the MCU it turns out you do that by giving her the relationship with Peter that we typically see from Uncle Ben. It looked as though the MCU simply was skipping over the iconic arc — Uncle Ben is already dead and buried at the start — and giving that partially to Tony Stark. Only to sweep the rug from under our feet with that arc superimposed onto Aunt May in Spider-Man: No Way Home after developing Peter and May’s relationship over three movies. Marisa Tomei gave the character a new energy as the cool and understanding Aunt who helps guide Peter as he figures out his place as a hero.

Jacob Holmes

74. Virginia “Pepper” Potts / Rescue (Gwyneth Paltrow)

What do you do when your boss is a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist? What any sane person would do. You pop a Xanax, throw your hair into a bun, and keep on trucking. Just joking. You marry him and plan to spend the rest of your lives together … or plan to, at least. Pepper has nerves of steel putting up with Tony’s various antics over the years, even becoming the CEO of Stark Industries and dawning her own set of armor at one point. I have always gotten a kick out of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lack of MCU knowledge over the years, but I can’t blame her. She originally turned down the role so it’s clearly not important to her. Will we see Pepper again? Who knows!


73. Leopold James “Leo” Fitz (Iain De Caestecker)

Out of all the original characters created for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., no one went through more physical and emotional turmoil than Leo Fitz. Let’s run down some of the big ones: gets brain damage at the hands of HYDRA, loses his love interest to a giant Monolith and spends months figuring out how to get her back, unknowingly becomes a dictator in a virtual reality ruled by HYDRA, gets put in prison and then suspended animation for 74 years, and then still has to confront his lingering dark side from the alternate HYDRA reality. It sounds rather silly when you smush it all together, but spread out over seven seasons it’s quite the character arc.

Fitz was one of the most boring characters in Season 1, with the writers trying to have him be the smart, yet lovestruck character. Thankfully, Fitz (as well as the rest of the team) grew into his own, complex character that quickly become one of my favorites. When he was absent for the bulk of the final season, I was quite disappointed, but I can’t blame the writers too much since they ultimately gave him the happy ending he spent seven seasons trying to grasp hold of.

Marmaduke Karlston

72. Hela Odinsdottir (Cate Blanchett)

Cate Blanchett just absolutely slayed in this role. Being Odin’s firstborn, it only makes sense that she would inherit Asgard for herself, right? Wrong! She gets nothing! She lost! Good day madam! Now that she is free, she has come to claim what she feels is rightfully her own: the kingdom of Asgard and to claim the throne for her own. In the end, Ragnarök came for Asgard ultimately destroying it and killing Hela as a result. It’s a shame we won’t be seeing more of her, out of all of the Thor villains, she was probably the best so far and she really didn’t do much at all. With the exception of Loki, it tells all you need to know about Thor’s villains in general.


71. The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton)

Sure, there was a slight grumble from us comic book purists when Marvel announced a gender/ethnic-bending change for the Ancient One. Long-time readers were used to the character being portrayed as an older Asian male, what we got was a Caucasian female and it made zero difference. Tilda Swinton still nailed it. The Ancient One had the task of training Doctor Strange, then popping up in Endgame to put a hurt on the Hulk and then give him the Time Stone. If you didn’t know by now, the Ancient One is gone, or is she? I seriously doubt we’ve seen the last of her in the MCU.

Ralph Hosch

90-81 | 70-61

What are some of your favorite ’90s movies? Maybe they’ll show up later in the list!

Author: SAW Community

A group effort by the entire gang.