In 10 years, we've seen a multitude of colorful characters appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). It's an unparalleled achievement and will go down in the history books for being able to bring so many heroes and villains together in one shared – and cohesive – cinematic universe. You only need to look at Avengers: Infinity War to see how Marvel Studios managed to pull it off and deliver one gargantuan spectacle. Speaking about the MCU's characters to Vanity Fair, Kevin Feige said: "There [are] a lot of stories to be told from existing characters to characters that we haven't brought to the screen yet, because there have been immensely talented, creative people creating new stories once a month, every month, every year for the last 50-60 years."
Feige's right; however, the reality is that certain characters will receive preference over others. Even now, we've seen the likes of Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man receive the bulk of the screen time, while others have hovered on the periphery of things. Sure, you could argue that they're supporting cast members, but there are some individuals that will be long forgotten in the MCU in the near future. In the case of a select few, it's a shame because they're considered A-listers in Marvel Comics yet borderline nobodies on the big screen. Thus, it's our responsibility to ensure that these superheroes aren't overlooked by masses. This is the time to remember and treasure these characters, as they undoubtedly deserved better than what they've received.
When you see what Evan Peters' Quicksilver has achieved in Fox's X-Men films, it's almost tragic to think about what Aaron Taylor-Johnson's speedster was relegated to in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Peters' version of the character steals the show in each scene he's in, while the MCU's Quicksilver might only be remembered as Hawkeye's human shield.
In Marvel Comics, the silver speed demon plays an important part in several mutant teams. He's way past being remembered strictly as Magneto's son and Scarlet Witch's brother as he's been involved in numerous major storylines. In the MCU, though, it's unlikely that anyone will even give him a second thought.
14 WAR MACHINE
You know how every group of friends has that one guy who's always there but you wouldn't know it until someone points him out? Well, Rhodey is that guy in the MCU. While he's appeared in a bulk of the films, you never really know why he's there. Apart from Iron Man 2 and Captain America: Civil War, where he served a narrative purpose, he's been the wallflower of the Avengers.
No matter how many upgrades to his suit or throwaway lines he receives, no one seems to care much about War Machine. Alas, he's doomed to live in the shadow of Tony Stark forever.
After fairly prominent roles in Thor and Thor: The Dark World, Jaimie Alexander's Sif disappeared into the ether. She didn't show up in Thor: Ragnarok, reportedly because Alexander was filming Blindspot, nor Avengers: Infinity War. Although, director Joe Russo did state that Sif is one of those disintegrated by Thanos' finger snap at the end of the movie.
So, how do you go from being a huge part of Thor's story to an FYI after the biggest film in MCU history? In fact, it looks like Valkyrie has taken her place by the side of the God of Thunder, and it's looking unlikely that we'll ever see Sif again.
12 HOWARD THE DUCK
Look, it's doubtful that Howard the Duck will ever receive his own film in the MCU. After that weird movie that Willard Huyck made, we're not sure if Howard deserves his own standalone at all. Still, to see him stuffed in as a cameo in the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and be cut from Avengers: Infinity War is rather harsh.
The fact that a tree, which speaks three words, is given more screen time than Howard in the MCU is a travesty. Give him something important to do. Heck, why not let him wield the Infinity Gauntlet for a while? It'll be fun.
11 JANET VAN DYNE
The whole Ant-Man part of the MCU feels strange to longtime fans as we skipped an entire generation of stories. Instead of getting to know Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, we're seeing Scott Lang as the world's smallest hero and Hope Van Dyne as the Wasp. It's a shame, really, because Janet is an engaging and dynamic character in the comic books.
Even in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Janet served a – pardon the pun – small role, as she only appeared towards the end of the film. Then, that post-credits scene happened and it looks like she's gone again. Sigh. It doesn't seem like we'll get to see much of Janet at all.
10 JANE FOSTER
In all fairness, the Jane Foster of the MCU was never as big or influential as the Jane Foster of Marvel Comics. We've seen numerous stories that have showcased what she's truly capable of, including the iconic one when she's deemed worthy and became Thor, Goddess of Thunder, in 2014.
After appearing in the first two Thor films, actress Natalie Portman decided not to reprise her role as Jane for future films. So, what did Marvel do? They closed the story loop by saying Thor and Jane broke up and making a silly joke of it. Really, is that all that a character like Jane deserves?
After starring in two Guardians of the Galaxy films, Yondu Udonta became a fan-favorite character. Memes were created about him and his memorable lines, as well as his parting dialogue with Peter Quill. Unfortunately, he met his maker and is no longer a part of the MCU.
The audience's attention span is only as far as the next movie and there's a real risk that Yondu might be forgotten by the time the next Guardians of the Galaxy film rolls out. It's understandable why the storyline decided to do what it did to him, but there are a handful of other useless characters that could've been chosen instead.
8 BETTY ROSS
Now, here's an interesting one. In Marvel Comics, Betty Ross is a fundamental part of the Hulk's lore. Even in the first two Hulk films released in the '00s, Betty appeared and served as the one person capable of bringing Bruce Banner back to reality from his rage-filled state.
Since Hulk joined up with the MCU, she's nowhere to be found. In fact, Black Widow has been utilized in the Betty role and as a potential love interest for Bruce. We've seen Betty's father, General Ross, pop up, but why not her? With each passing film, it seems like Betty might be lost in this universe and never return.
7 SHARON CARTER
The introduction of Sharon Carter in the MCU could've been handled differently. Yes, we all know she's related to Peggy Carter and this makes her relationship with Steve Rogers a little weird just even thinking about it. However, it was made to be even creepier. There's something just borderline wrong with seeing her and Cap share a kiss.
Additionally, Sharon hasn't done much in the movies, either. She slinks around, but does anyone actually remember her adding any value to a specific arc or movie? If so, please do comment because we seriously can't think of a single significant thing that she's done in this cinematic universe.
6 THE WATCHERS
The Watchers are a group of cosmic beings who've played pivotal roles in several major Marvel storylines. When they appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, they served as nothing more than a gag for a Stan Lee cameo. Literally, some of the most important characters in comic-book history were crammed into what could've been the perfect vehicle for them as comedic relief.
As such, we shouldn't expect many people to remember the Watchers after this. The MCU has already embarked on a few cosmic journeys, but it has failed to utilize the likes of these important characters. Not everything is meant to be funny.
Korg, as portrayed by Taika Waititi, brought the laughs in Thor: Ragnarok. The quips and awkward one-liners added a little gloss to the show, even if the character himself could've been entirely removed from the story and it wouldn't have changed a single thing.
The question is, do we need to see Korg again? Feige says that he and Miek will appear in future films, but in what capacity? Chances are that he might appear in a cameo role, but nothing more substantial than that. In fact, years from now, he'll probably pop up on some Characters You Didn't Know Appeared in the MCU list.
Hawkeye, the true star of the Avengers, has never been respected. First, his retirement from the team was promoted and teased, then he required Quicksilver as his own shield. While everyone was fighting Thanos and his thugs in Wakanda, Clint Barton was nowhere to be found. Seriously, where was this guy?
While we're sure that he'll likely appear in Avengers 4, the damage has been done already. He's the joke of the Avengers and never seen on the same level as his contemporaries. Years from now, no one will talk about Hawkeye in the same breath as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Black Widow.
3 CASSIE LANG
Cassie Lang experienced popularity as a member of the Young Avengers and The Initiative. As one of the new breeds, she's a superhero for a younger generation of fans, whether as Stature or Stinger. In the MCU, she's portrayed by 10-year-old actress Abby Ryder Fortson, which is a bit of a problem.
In order for us to see the best of Cassie, Fortson will need to be a little older. While this is an easy fix and the MCU will only need to hold out on the character for at least half a decade, do you really think that Marvel will do it? It's more likely that Cassie will disappear into the background soon.
2 BILL FOSTER
Considering the Scott Lang version of Ant-Man is the MCU's preferred one, it prevents us from exploring some of the best characters from the Pym era. Dr. Bill Foster, aka Black Goliath, Goliath, and Giant Man, proved to be the exception to the rule. We did get to see a more reserved adaptation of the character in the form of Laurence Fishburne, just not the superhero element.
Fishburne's role in Ant-Man and the Wasp was probably it for the character. Unless there's a plan for a Pym origin story set back in the day, we really don't think that Dr. Foster will appear on our screens again.
1 COSMO THE SPACEDOG
Cosmo the Spacedog isn't an A-lister? How dare you! All dogs are the real MVPs of any story and Cosmo is the most important pooch in Marvel Comics. Originally created as a tribute to Laika, one of the first animals in space, Cosmo was a telepathic dog and member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
He made his debut in 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy as a living exhibit in the Collector's museum. After the explosion caused by an Infinity Stone, he's freed and we see him hanging with Howard the Duck. He appeared as a still image in the sequel, but sadly Marvel decided to give more screen time to losers like Peter Quill.