Marvel Cinematic Universe Heroes Ranked, According to Screen Time

Marvel Studios celebrated its ten-year milestone with a major character cull courtesy of the Snap-happy villain, Thanos, in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War. With half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's population erased, the trailers for the film's sequel, Avengers: Endgame feature a depressingly empty world where our heroes are now few and far between.

While we're all left to wildly speculate about who will be restored to full pre-dust glory and who won't, let's take a look back and quantify their on-screen legacies in the most scientific way possible: how much screen time did each of them get between 2008 and 2018? (Credit to this exhaustive IMDb list for doing most of the heavy lifting.)

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For the sake of brevity, we'll only be including major heroes here. By "major," we mean heroic characters central to the MCU's over-arching story who have starred in multiple films, so don't expect to see the likes of Shuri, Wong, the Warriors Three, et al make the cut. With that caveat, let's get on with the list, in ascending order.


The Avengers' only artificial member was created by the villainous robo-son of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, Ultron, in Avengers: Age of UltronHe was brought to life by a bolt of lightning from Thor and sustained by the Mind Stone, until it was plucked from his forehead by Thanos in Infinity War to complete his Infinity Gauntlet. Despite his incredible origin and mind-bending powers, Vision's had the least amount of screen time so far at just 23 minutes.


Sam Wilson is a former para-rescue airman who, after bumping into Steve Rogers in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was inspired to help his fellow veteran the only way he knew how: with a big pair of mechanical wings. Since he joined the Avengers, he's stuck loyally by Cap's side through the team's tussles with Ultron, Thanos and each other. His screen time so far totals just under 30 minutes.


After a 15-second introduction in the Winter Soldier's post-credits scene, Wanda Maximoff made her proper debut with twin brother, Quicksilver, in Age of Ultron. While Pietro didn't make it out of Sokovia alive, Wanda signed up with the Avengers. Unfortunately, her inexperience on the team helped trigger the events of Captain America: Civil War, though she made up for this by putting up a good fight against Thanos in Infinity War. She's had 31 minutes of screen time.


The S.H.I.E.L.D agent who rounded out the first Avengers team was once just that "arrow guy" who spied on Thor's failed attempt to recover Mjolnir in New Mexico. He was forced to serve the bad guys for a while in The Avengers and offered the team some homely respite in Age of Ultron, but Clint was noticeably absent during the catastrophic events of Infinity War, leaving him lagging way behind Black Widow at just shy of 32 minutes.


Iron Man Nick Fury

The S.H.I.E.L.D director first appeared in the MCU in the post-credits scene of Iron Man, making him one of the oldest-serving characters. Since offering, rejecting and finally accepting Tony Stark's founding membership within his Avengers Initiative, he's popped up in eight movies, though he's only played significant parts in The Avengers and The Winter Soldier, taking his screen time total to 43 minutes.


We should have seen the last of James "Bucky" Barnes after he plunged to his supposed death in WWII during Captain America: The First Avenger. But, thanks to HYDRA's meddling, Bucky was brainwashed into becoming the feared, time-displaced assassin known as the Winter Soldier. His unwittingly evil acts tore the Avengers apart in Civil War, though as White Wolf, he officially rejoined the good side. His screen time clocks in at 45 minutes.


Avengers Infinity War War Machine

Rhodey has been through two different actors and two different versions of best bud' Tony Stark since the events of Iron Man. When the two fell out in Iron Man 2, Rhodey got his hands on a suit of his own to become War Machine, and then Iron Patriot temporarily in Iron Man 3. Thanks to his Avengers membership, he's supported Tony and the team significantly enough to have racked up 47 minutes on-screen.

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Daughter of the first Ant-Man, Hank Pym and his wife, Janet van Dyne, the first Wasp, it took Hope an entire movie before she could suit-up to adopt her missing mother's mantle. Though she was more than capable of doing the job herself, her over-protective dad had her train Scott Lang to don the shrinking suit instead. Hope ended up getting equal billing with Scott in Ant-Man and the Wasp, bumping her total screen time up to 50 minutes.


T'Challa got his origin story in the midst of the action in Civil War, taking the Wakandan crown and the Black Panther mantle over from his slain father, King T'Chaka. After trying to take his anger out on Bucky, he and his Wakandan forces later became an invaluable ally in the final stand against Thanos on Earth. In-between, he starred in a little Oscar-winning movie of his own, taking his screen time total to just over one hour.


Doctor Stephen Strange was a successful surgeon until a car crash irreparably damaged his hands and, by default, career. Desperate to reclaim a life of purpose, he fought through his own skepticism of the mystic arts to become a successful Sorcerer Supreme instead. Fans are convinced his glimpse into a winning timeline during Infinity War will prove instrumental in Endgame. Until then, his screen time totals one hour and 25 minutes.


Spider-Man Infinity War Tom Holland

While he technically first appeared in Iron Man 2, Peter Parker officially came home to the MCU just in time for Civil War, where he used inspiration from a Star Wars scene to trip up a giant-sized Ant-Man. After getting his first MCU solo film, we then saw him take inspiration from an Alien scene to suck Ebony Maw into space during Infinity War. (And then he broke all of our hearts with that death scene.) Spidey's screen time currently stands at an hour and a half, though that is subject to change, of course, in the upcoming sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home.

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We first met Black Widow in Iron Man 2 doing exactly what she does best: sneaking around powerful people and beating the crap out of unsuspecting henchmen. The top S.H.I.E.L.D agent quickly became a founding Avenger and a close ally to Captain America after the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D and his defense of Bucky turned him into a wanted fugitive. Surprisingly, her seven film appearances in the MCU only total one hour and 33 minutes of screen time.


It didn't take Scott Lang long to hop back on the criminal wagon after his release from prison at the start of Ant-Man. Luckily, his latest victim, the first Ant-Man, saw potential in the tech-savvy thief as his successor. Another spot of light thievery at an Avengers facility put Scott on Falcon's radar, pulling him into Civil War. The events of Infinity War left Scott trapped in the quantum realm, but he's still managed to steal just under one hour and 40 minutes of screen time in only three films.

NEXT PAGE: Who are The Top 5 characters in the MCU, according to screen time?

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