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SPECULATION Which MCU Film Introduced the Most Iconic Characters?

Discussion in 'Disney/LFL' started by cawatrooper, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Which MCU film introduced the most major characters? In thinking about the character-heavy films of the MCU, which films featured the most new additions that had staying power?

    In looking at this, I'm trying to determine this from a list of a few things:

    1) Must be in more than one film (so even though Hela is great, I can't count her). I'll also consider the TV shows as an entry, too (with the exception of What If, because everyone is in that). If they're a super main character (like Shang Chi) that has only been in one film, I reserve the right to reassess this on a situational basis. This is particularly so for characters likely to appear in future media (so Yelena from Black Widow makes the cut, Red Guardian does not currently).

    2) Can be played by more than one actor (so I'm considering Hulk's first film as 2008's entry, not Avengers)

    3) "Major" is kind of a subjective term, so you'll just have to bear with me on that one. For instance, I'd consider Jimmy Woo from Ant-Man to be a major character, but not Dastmalchian's "Kurt" character. So, being in multiple films doesn't necessarily make someone a major character, but it helps. Similarly, some villains like Abomination just barely make the list in my opinion, while other more minion-like villains like Baron Strucker don't quite make the cut. Again, it's kinda subjective at times.

    4) Post-credit scenes count

    5) Only currently released media counts

    So... let's see! (And if you disagree with me on the placement of anything, let me know and I'll see if it needs fixing)


    Iron Man: (7)
    Tony Stark, James Rhodes, Pepper Potts, J.A.R.V.I.S., Phil Coulson, Happy Hogan, Nick Fury


    The Incredible Hulk (3)
    Bruce Banner, Thaddeus Ross, Emil Blonsky

    Iron Man 2 (2)
    Natasha Romanoff, Howard Stark

    Thor (10)
    Thor Odinsson, Jane Foster, Loki, Erik Selvig, Heimdall, Darcy Lewis, Odin, Frigga, Clint Barton, Lady Sif

    Captain America: The First Avenger (5)
    Steve Rogers, Johan Schmidt, Peggy Carter, Bucky Barnes, Zola

    The Avengers (2)
    Maria Hill, Thanos

    Iron Man 3 (0)

    Thor: The Dark World (1)
    The Collector

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier (5)
    Sam Wilson, Brock Rumlow, Sharon Carter, Wanda Maximoff, Pietro Maximoff

    Guardians of the Galaxy (9)
    Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, Groot, Rocket, Ronan the Accuser, Nebula, Yondu Udonta, Korath

    Age of Ultron (2)
    Ulysses Klaue, Vision

    Ant-Man (5)
    Scott Lang, Hope van Dyne, Hank Pym, Janet van Dyne, Cassie Lang

    Captain America: Civil War (5)
    T'challa, Peter Parker, Baron Zemo, Everett Ross, May Parker

    Doctor Strange (3)
    Stephen Strange, Wong, The Ancient One

    Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 (1)
    Mantis

    Spider-Man: Homecoming (2)
    MJ, Ned Leeds

    Thor: Ragnarok (1)
    Valkyrie

    Black Panther (4)
    Nakia, Okoye, Shuri, M'Baku,

    Avengers: Infinity War (4)
    Cull Obsidian, Proxima Midnight, Ebony Maw, Corvus Glaive

    Ant-Man and the Wasp (1)
    Jimmy Woo

    Captain Marvel (3)
    Carol Danvers, Talos, Monica Rambeau

    Avengers: Endgame (0)

    Spider-Man: Homecoming (1)
    J Jonah Jameson

    Black Widow (1)
    Yelena Belova

    Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2)
    Shang Chi, Xu Xialing
    --- Double Post Merged, Oct 21, 2021, Original Post Date: Oct 21, 2021 ---
    Not too surprising that shifting to a new setting (Asgard in Thor, cosmic in GOTG) sees a big shift in new characters. But I was really surprised by how many major characters the first Thor added still, even with me perhaps being a bit liberal with claiming Odin and Frigga as major characters.

    Not too surprising that crossover films are less likely to introduce new characters.

    It does feel like newer films have been adding less major characters lately. I wonder if that might change in the rest of this phase, given the wiping of the slate after Endgame.
     
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  2. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    First of all, great list! Second of all, I have a question about your lack of Katy in the Shang-Chi part - HOW DARE YOU. :p:D

    Third, I'd still say Iron Man 1 introduced the most iconic characters. Iron Man is a household name, Nick Fury is easily recognizable, and Happy has gone on to be a solid character in the MCU Spider-Man movies. Coulson's death was a major plot point for the Avengers and he got an entire spin-off show, JARVIS became Vision more or less, and the Ten Rings subplot was introduced. Sure, Iron Man 1 Rhodey had his actor replaced, but the character is still around and has his own Disney+ show coming out next year I think.

    Ultimately, I guess I'm viewing how characters are considered "major" depends on their impact on the MCU as a whole, which is different from what how you're doing it. But I still really love the list!
     
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  3. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Whoops! That's the one released film I haven't seen yet, so I wasn't sure exactly who to add- I figured the main character, and apparently the other person was important. I didn't know about anyone else, but we can consider her added :)


    Very fair, that is probably more the lens I was going through. And of course, I wasn't weighting how major a character was, but Iron Man 1 would definitely be a heavy hitter in that regard.
     
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  4. Master_Farkaz

    Master_Farkaz Wolfmaster

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    Nice list @cawatrooper!

    I just have one little peeve... the second Spider-man movie is ofcourse named : "Far from Home"! ;)

    I second this line of reasoning!

    So Iron Man 1st, with Guardians as as a close second imho. (though these characters aren't of Tony Stark, Bruce Banner or Thor Odinsson caliber, they are pretty iconic nonetheless!) :cool:
     
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  5. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    Good catch



    Kind of along that line that we're discussing... a tier list of Marvel characters would be interesting. Not like which characters are coolest or whatever, but who is most iconic and integral to the MCU.
     
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  6. cawatrooper

    cawatrooper Dungeon Master

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    WOW, Eternals might've potentially dropped a lot.

    Again, going forward it's going to be tough to necessarily say who's "Iconic" and who isn't without the benefit of hindsight (plus that itself was already a complicated task) but I think the following have a lot of potential to play a big role in the series going forward:

    Sersi
    Kingo
    Sprite
    Phastos
    Makkari
    Druig
    Thena
    Dane Whitman
    Blade
    Pip the Troll
    Eros

    That's 11! Technically that could put it above all the others, if each of these ends up becoming iconic in their own rights. Now, I think that's to be expected with a large new team being introduced, but the inclusions of Black Knight, Pip, Starfox, and even technically Blade really bolster these intros. I think this was really the shot in the arm that the post-Endgame cast needed (and I'm also looking forward to finally seeing Shang-Chi this weekend as well).

    And honestly, I loved the movie. It utterly baffles me that it's getting bad reviews, because I thought the ideas were really cool, well shot, and man, I'm a sucker for how they jumped around and showed the team at various eras in time. AND THE LOVECRAFTIAN ELEMENT OF THE CELESTIALS... ugh, inject that into my veins.

    Anyway, I'd honestly say that I think Eternals easily makes it into my top 10 MCU films, perhaps top 5.
     
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