Now that the Avengers saga has ended, my attention into the MCU has ended too. After 22 films, this franchise did something no other film series could have dreamed of, and all others who have tried have failed. DC has been the absolute worst. It looks like they’re walking away from that now. Good on them. I think the rest of Hollywood has walked off from it too, as they all have tried and failed. Marvel did the impossible, and will never be able to do it again. So now that it’s done, let’s talk about my favorite characters in the running saga. Lots to talk about here.
I actually didn’t think much of the first Guardians movie when it came out, aside from one of my favorite characters, who you will see much higher up on this list. But Nebula started growing on me with the second movie. She went from a generic villainess to someone with a complicated backstory who didn’t know what she wanted. By the time Infinity War rolled out, she’s disillusioned with Thanos and is trying to get revenge, only to find that in the end, it only got her more alone, as her sister had died. Once we see her in Endgame, she’s come full circle, trying to be a good person, and make up for misdeeds. What’s more, she’s bonding with people outside of the circle we knew of. It helps that she’s kinda hot, in that blue chick sorta way.
9. Black Panther (Only in Civil War)
I didn’t like the Black Panther film. At all. It was preachy, and stupid. This character started out with so much promise, it’s a shame that it all went down the tubes. However, when you first meet him in Civil War, he was a fun character. Out for blood after the murder of his father, you like this guy from the first meeting. He is distrusting of outsiders, and in a situation that is ugly. With the death of his father, he goes from a man seeking vengeance to seeing what that mission leads to, ultimately choosing to show mercy and look to taking up the mantle of hero. Helps that he was pretty badass in the film too.
This dude is just too much fun. Like I said earlier, I didn’t like the first Guardians movie all that much. By the second, all the characters in there really came into their own. And this guy is just too much. It’s so ironic that Dwayne Johnson gets so much recognition as an actor when every movie he is in is shit. Meanwhile, here’s a guy who goes from wrestler to actor and does it flawlessly. This character is so adorable. His deadpan way of talking about things that are absurd is just the best. When they find the body of Thor in Infinity War and he is talking about how handsome he is just tickles me pink. Dave Bautista is the only man I can see making a role like this work. It’s part of why I want to see Guadians 3, if only to see how that saga ends.
7. War Machine
I’m so glad they changed the actor on this to Don Cheadle. This guy had so much great comedic timing. Plus, the chemistry between him and Robert Downy Jr. was so much better than the first guy. Col. Rhodes, Stark’s best friend, makes for a great superhero. More of a sidekick to Iron Man, but that’s not a bad thing. He’s a soldier, after all. He likes to know where he fits into things. I’m one of those people who actually liked Iron Man 2, and his debut in that was pretty fantastic. I do admit that Civil War would have been more powerful if he had died in it, but you know what, seeing how his arc also comes full circle in Endgame was worth it. Cool suit of armor, badass, and played by a fun actor. What’s not to love?
6. Doctor Strange
I mean, it’s Benedict Cumberbatch. You kinda knew that he was going to end up on this list. God this dude just exudes cool. Like, so much. Having his ego up against Stark’s made for some of the best content in Infinity War. And I did like the movie where he gets his namesake. It was a formula that was done to death, but it was all in the execution. The crazy fractal world of magic was rad. Seeing his personal journey from an arrogant surgeon to the Sorcerer Supreme was believable. I hear that the next film with him is going to be a straight-up horror movie, with a lot of Lovecraftian themes. We’ll see if that is any good. I’ll admit that a superhero horror movie has a lot of potential. Especially with this character.
One of the things that Marvel was (rightly) criticized for is having lame villains. So when the previews were coming out for Infinity War, the big question was – what is Thanos going to be like? What is this villain that they have been building up for so long going to be like? What we got blew everyone away. This dude was unbelievable! Josh Brolin brought him to life in a way that no one else could. His beliefs about the universe, and the forces that drove him were just spectacular. A drive and dedication for a cause that has some real-world questions. As morally awful as it is, overpopulation is a problem. What should be done? That’s hard to say. Plus, he dies like an absolute boss. When Stark gets the stones and does the snap, destroying everything, he dies with a lot of dignity. Just sitting down and accepting it. Such a boss. Glad that the film series goes out on one of the definitive high points.
4. Nick Fury
It’s Samuel L. Jackson. You had to know that he was going to be on this list. Now, aside from the stupid shit in Captain Marvel that ruined some pretty epic lines in Winter Soldier, this dude has been excellent. He’s a soldier, and a man of secrets. He wants to do the right thing by the world, but often has a bad habit of being his own worst enemy. Still, we see him change over the course of the narrative. If it wasn’t for the dumb shit in the equally dumb movie Captain Marvel, his badassery in the franchise would be uncontested.
This little bastard is the one thing about the original Guadians movie that stood out. I love this character so much. A lot of it is behind the guy doing the voice. Rocket is just the best. He’s a violent bastard who loves killing. He’s a complete antihero, stuck doing heroic things with his friends, but doing little things to undercut it wherever he can. His history is more than a little soft spot, and that’s one of those things that hasn’t really been explore, but still. The scene in Infinity War, where he watches Groot die, again, was just heart-breaking. Then we see in Endgame where he covers Groot when the ship is firing on them, not wanting to let his young charge get hurt again. That familial relationship is just the best. Sassy, badass, loves guns, and has a heart of gold under a streak of bad bits. There’s nothing I don’t like about this character.
I cannot tell you how much I love that they FINALLY got this character right. For those of you who didn’t know, I HATED the Tobey Macguire version. With the heat of a thousand suns. The Andrew Garfield version had potential, but then wasted it. Tom Holland, on the other hand, is just perfect. When we first meet him in Civil War, he’s this adorable awkward teenager, just trying to do the right thing. It begins the absolutely touching father-son relationship between him and Stark. Homecoming was a good continuation of that. It has the two cementing this. However, the death in Infinity War was so heart-breaking. The look in his and Stark’s eyes as he is vanishing away, and then in Endgame where he has to say goodbye to this man who is a mentor to him. Great stuff. This character is loads of fun, and only gets better. Haven’t seen Far From Home, hear good things. Will Netflix it, someday.
And my favorite MCU character is…
1. Iron Man
I mean, who else? Robert Downy Jr. brought this character to life a way that ONLY he could. No other actor could have made this character work in the way he did. His perfect mix of sarcastic ego and genuine drive to do the right thing makes for a fantastic juxtaposition. From the first time we meet him, you see his personal goal of finding redemption for his weapons being used against people he cares for. This goal is what carries him all the way to the final choice he makes, to end Thanos and friends with a single snap of his fingers, with the Infinity Stones. How his character went out in Endgame was inspiring. I will say that the ending bit with him and the speech being delivered through a hologram was cheesy. It would have had more weight if it was just a message he recorded and it showed the funeral and maybe having people move forward around him. He’s gone from the franchise, and that’s the biggest reason I’m checking out. Nobody else can take the reigns of this character like Downy Jr. Nobody.
Until next time, a quote,
“No, it’s you who doesn’t understand! Thanos has been on my mind for the last six years, since he sent an army to New York, and now he’s back! And I don’t know what to do.” – Tony Stark, Avengers: Infinity War