The one thing Marvel consistently gets right with every film is its characters. Who gets the role? How they will portray the character? What they will bring to the film? Many times for the past 11 years, Marvel Studios has given us characters who seem inseparable from their actors (e.g., Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America).
Every once in a while, however, Marvel introduces a side character, a supporting role in creation but a centerpiece in realization–a “guy in the chair,” as Edward “Ned” Leeds would call them–who steals not only every scene they appear in, but the hearts of the audience as well.
Since so many of these characters have been introduced in the MCU, let’s rank the top 10 Marvel supporting roles from all the movies. Who is the most entertaining, meaningful, and best of all, hilarious guys or gals in the chair we have seen so far.
10. Darcy Lewis, Thor: The Dark World
Oh, Darcy. Those intentions were good, but she hardly brought anything special to the table in Thor: The Dark World. She wasn’t allowed the opportunity. She was a fairly forgettable character, which is sad because she had so many funny one-liners and quips to provide audiences. Darcy should have been so much more, but, wasn’t allowed. Too bad because she deserved better.
9. Wong, Doctor Strange
Wong was an instant superstar when he first appeared in Doctor Strange. He was a lovable, yet stern, badass who we wanted to interact more with the Avengers in the future. His character isn’t given much to do at all really, other than to just sit around and tell Strange “no” all day long. Hopefully, Scott Derrickson will give us all something more to chew on with this character when Doctor Strange 2 arrives.
8. Happy Hogan, Iron Man
Jon Favreau, the man who started it all with directing Iron Man, plays Happy Hogan, Tony Stark’s right hand man. Happy became a fan favorite in short order so Favreau in Iron Man 1 and 2, and Shane Black in Iron Man 3. If Tony is there, Happy has been right there. Everybody loves Happy, but he almost feels like an extended cameo. At least he got to see some action in Iron Man 3, before being out in a coma for the rest of the film. Sigh.
7. Agent Phil Coulson, Avengers
Agent Coulson has been with us since the beginning. He’s the one of the main reasons why the Avengers were brought together in the first place. It wasn’t until Avengers that he was given a true character with his fanboy-ish charm and witty humor (of course, before being stabbed through the heart by Loki). However, he was brought back as the leader of a TV show, a decision that divided the fan base. Even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be good now (I don’t really know, haven’t seen it), this choice undercuts the gravity of his death in Avengers. We wanted more of him, but his story suffered.
6. Valkyrie, Thor: Ragnarok
Badass, warrior, proud woman, finds humor in any situation, and drinks most immortal men under a table — what isn’t there to like about her, except maybe the last part? (Or, maybe not.) She’s one of more dynamic and layered characters we’ve seen introduced lately in any Marvel film. Given who she is and what she was to become, it’s strange that she was primarily used for gags in Ragnarok, rather than to expand upon her potential. If any character on this list deserves a stand-alone movie on this list, it’s Valkyrie.
5. Shuri, Black Panther
Shuri is the Tony Stark of Wakanda. She is a genius in every sense of the word–a woman of creativity, a freaking badass, and still manages to have an enjoyable personality. While she isn’t one of the most important characters in the MCU as of now, she is definitely one of the more interesting. Like Valkyrie and Wong, I can’t wait to see more of her in Black Panther 2 or any other way Wakanda is involved in Phase 4.
4. Yondu, Guardians of the Galaxy
After playing a less than intriguing role in Guardians of the Galaxy, everything about his character was dialed up to 11 in the sequel. So much so, that many of us cried when he died Volume 2. (C’mon. You know you did a little.) He’s given more backstory, more tasks, and more emotional beats. That can of investment forces us to genuinely care for him by the end of the second movie. Fingers crossed, we get to see Rooker reprise his role in a future movie or TV series on Disney+.
3. Korg, Thor: Ragnarok
“Hey man.” Who doesn’t like this big pile of rocks? On top of making us love Thor’s character even more, Ragnarok introduced us to some of the most memorable supporting characters in the MCU with Valkyrie (number 6) and Korg. He is easily the funniest character in the series thus far. Every single line of his cracks you up. Every line! Fans are now clamoring for a Thor 4 just so we can see more of this guy.
2. Ned, Spider-Man: Homecoming
While Ned may not be a classic character from the comics, he’s a brand new creation that feels just as iconic. He’s funny, entertaining, and, best of all, loyal to his friend. As a side character and supporting role in the MCU Spider-Man, Ned is given more depth and a character arc that not many other side characters get. The writers do such a great job at making us feel like we are a part of Ned’s and Peter’s wonderful relationship, showing us the friend we all wish we had in high school.
1. Luis, Ant-Man
It’s him: The king of all stories, Luis! If Ant-Man wasn’t big enough of a surprise for you with how good it is, Luis definitely was. No matter how you feel about this movie, you just gotta love Luis. He’s so lovable and funny. Watching this movie, or the sequel, makes you want to be friends with him more so than anybody else in this series, or even on this list. My only complaint is that he hasn’t been utilized more. At least, he should be.
And those are the top 10 side characters of the MCU. This list was so hard to make because every single one of them are just so good in their own ways. Fingers crossed ‘Avengers Endgame’ will introduce us to new characters like these. Have fun seeing the movie this weekend, and remember, don’t spoil the Endgame!