One of the most famous and beloved Marvel Comics, What If?, had a pretty simple concept. The issues would take a look at famous scenes from various Marvel issues and try to imagine what would happen if some key factor was different. What if Punisher had the Venom symbiote? What if Hulk finished off Wolverine? Fans could finally see their frantic imaginings brought to very vivid life. While we’re not likely to get any What If? style movies in the MCU, fans still love to speculate about the big events that could have gone differently. This is true of Infinity War like no other MCU movie before it -- in a film filled with so many characters, fans like to imagine the different way things could have gone down.
But what if there had been still more characters? The MCU has a thriving TV universe of characters, but issues with scheduling and creative coordination have kept them off the big screen. That’s not enough to stop the fans, though: what if Ghost Rider fought The Maw? Could Purple Man beat Thanos? These are the kinds of questions that keep fans speculating long after the credits have rolled. Don’t worry: we brought enough speculation for all of us. Keep reading to learn all about 20 TV MCU Characters That Could’ve Made a Difference in Infinity War!
When it comes to TV MCU characters who could have made a difference in Infinity War, there’s only one man who can be at the top of our list: Daredevil! Obviously, the character has his own issues he’s working through (having narrowly survived the explosive finale of The Defenders), but if he was in the movie, he could have changed things in a drastic way. In fact, thanks to both his skills and powers, there are several ways he could have chipped in and helped when Thanos and his buddies came to town. First, his ability to track people down might have helped Cap and crew find Scarlet Witch and Vision even sooner than they did.
Alternatively, his impressive fighting skills could have helped Iron Man and Spider-Man fight off Maw on Earth.
And once most of the drama moves off our planet (for a while), Daredevil would have been good at maintaining order on a chaotic planet. He could effectively help rally other powered beings together (more Defenders, perhaps?) and create a superhero “Plan B” that would come in handy once Thanos has gotten rid of half of the heaviest hitting heroes in the universe. What do you say Marvel, will we see him in Avengers 4?
19 THE PUNISHER
If you’re thinking about the kinds of heroes that would help The Avengers fight evil, chances are that Punisher is the last character you’re thinking about. There are a few reasons for this: Punisher mostly sticks to street-level, non-powered villains and, on top of that, his murderous ways mean that he’s not likely to be welcomed among The Avengers. Nonetheless, we’re confident that Punisher has a unique set of skills and experiences that would have been very helpful over the course of the movie.
First off, while Punisher mostly chases down gangsters and lowlifes, he’s able to hold his own with superpowered individuals. Remember when he so effectively got the drop on Daredevil? And in the comics, Punisher has been able to successfully wage war on the entire Marvel Universe, so we think he could help take out Maw and the Children of Thanos. Weirdly enough, Punisher might even understand the Big Bad on a personal level -- Thanos seems truly stricken about the loss (by his own hand) of Gamora. Punisher’s every action is driven by the need to get revenge for the death of his children. If anyone will know how Thanos thinks, it’s this guy... and that’s crucial to any kind of real victory.
18 LUKE CAGE
For MCU TV characters, there are obviously varying levels of strength. Some characters are on this list because of their big scientific brains or their connections to powerful networks. And some are on here because they are just plain powerful! Luke Cage is arguably the strongest of the MCU TV heroes, armed with both unbreakable skin and enough strength to go at least a few rounds with the Hulk. Put it all together and there’s a lot of potential for fighting Thanos and his minions. Let’s start at the top, shall we? One of the most heartbreaking scenes of the movie is when our characters come so close to getting the Gauntlet off of Thanos. Unfortunately, Star-Lord gives in to his emotions and basically dooms the universe. What if Luke Cage was there?
His raw strength would be good at both subduing Thanos and wrestling the glove off of him.
Alternately, Luke Cage would have been one of the strongest fights in the battle of Wakanda, able to send those bizarre creations flying with a single blow. If we can get Luke Cage in an MCU movie in the future, it will feel a bit like his catchphrase: “Sweet Christmas!”
17 AGENT COULSON
Agent Coulson is something of an anomaly in the MCU. He’s been there since the beginning, working with Iron Man and Pepper Potts and later encountering Thor. And his death in the first Avengers movie was the catalyst for the team pulling it together and fighting Loki. Through some shady alien technology, Nick Fury was able to bring Coulson back, where he’s been starring in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. show for many years. However, the big screen MCU never really acknowledges the small screen MCU, so we haven’t seen Coulson working alongside the Avengers since his death.
That could have changed in Infinity War. First, Coulson had some advanced knowledge of alien races and even spaceships -- when the action shifted off Earth for a while, he could have provided some good info. He’s also become handier in a fight, as Coulson now sports a robotic hand and some cool technology like a hardlight holographic shield, meaning he could help battle the Children of Thanos. Finally, while the world believes they are dissolved, Coulson leads what is left of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he could marshal those forces to keep order as the world goes to hell all around them. Here’s hoping to see Coulson in a future movie!
16 JESSICA JONES
There’s heroes, there’s antiheroes, and then there’s Jessica Jones. She soured on the superhero life after her run-in with Purple Man, and now she just wants to get paid and live her life. However, we’re pretty confident that when New York is falling apart around her, it will be enough to get her in the fight. Furthermore, we’re confident that she could have a major impact in the struggle against Thanos. This is due to both her super strength and other powers as well as her prowess as a private eye.
A big part of what pays her bills is being able to track people down who don’t want to be tracked down.
She might have been able to discover where Bucky was before Cap told everyone, allowing Winter Soldier to join the fight much earlier than he did. She is also an expert researcher, and she might have been able to find out some info about the Infinity Stones that could help our heroes. And, of course, she’s great in a fight: she can hit and take a hit, heals super-quickly, and has the ability to fly for a limited time. This could help tilt any battle in the movie in our heroes’ favor.
As you may or may not remember, fans were skeptical of the idea of having the MCU carried on via Netflix television shows but Daredevil helped win fans over. However, as great as Charlie Cox’s performance is as the leading man, it was arguably Kingpin that really won skeptics over. Vincent D’Onofrio brought lots of hidden depth, emotion, and even vulnerability to a character that is often just presented as a giant brute. However, he can be brutish when he wants to, like when we see him brutally dispose of an associate using only a car door.
We think that Kingpin could have made a difference in Infinity War for multiple different reasons. First, he is able to carry his weight (so to speak) in a fight. Like Punisher, Kingpin is a non-powered human that has been able to hold his own against powered characters like Daredevil, so we think he could be surprisingly difficult for Thanos’ minions to fight. Kingpin is also dangerous because of his connections: he has been affiliated with The Hand, and their mystic arts and martial arts combined could insure that Thanos had a really bad day! And if we can’t see Kingpin fight Thanos, is it too much to ask to see him in a Spider-Man movie?
14 IRON FIST
Oh, Iron Fist. His very name is a bit controversial due to two big factors. The first is that his first season was very disappointing: compared to sizzling series like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, Iron Fist as a show just seemed boring and derivative. Second, Iron Fist himself is a bit of a dud as a hero: he basically bumbles through his own story before engaging in boring fight scene and then going back to bumbling. However, we’ve got to give credit where it is due, and he would present a significant threat to the plans of Thanos.
While he’s still learning to use it effectively, that Iron Fist is quite a powerful weapon.
It lets him hold his own in fights with powerhouse characters like Luke Cage, meaning that it might be enough to keep the Children of Thanos down. Plus, as Iron Fist is slowly discovering, the Fist can do a little bit of everything: he can break walls, heal others, and so on. In the right place at the right time, Iron Fist could punch a hole in the spaceship before it leaves Earth, or healed Bruce Banner’s mind so Hulk could come out. In this sense, Iron Fist would be the ultimate team player!
13 CHASE STEIN
Depending on how much you love Marvel Comics or the MCU, Chase Stein may not be a name that means much to you. He’s actually one of the Runaways, and it’s pretty easy to underestimate him. After all, he has no superpowers and is just a human. However, he has a few tricks up his sleeves... or, more accurately, on his sleeves. He helped perfect some flame-spewing, hard-hitting robotic gloves that he calls Fistigons, and though he’s still learning to use them, they are enough to make him a contender in any given scrap with bad guys.
Chase has another weird ace up his sleeve when it comes to taking on Thanos and crew. He’s been working on perfecting some of his father’s technology that allows him to get transmissions from the future. While this crazy technology is still very much a “work in progress,” it would give our heroes the ultimate edge against Thanos. How do you stop someone who can do whatever he wants to do? By knowing what he’ll do even before he does! We’re calling it now: if Iron Man could swing by Los Angeles and grab Chase Stein, the next Avengers movie might be pretty damn short!
Aida was one of the main villains in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and she is a great illustration of how creative the MCU can really be. After teasing Life Model Decoys for years, we see S.H.I.E.L.D. actually develop the tech (with the help of a somewhat mad scientist). However, in a post-Ultron world, it went down the only way it could: she created a robotic army and trapped our heroes in a weird Matrix-like nightmare reality as a way of achieving her own freedom from her programming.
All told, Aida is a big threat to Thanos on several different fronts.
First, her virtual reality stunt has some serious implications. How do you stop a guy who is hell-bent on getting all of the Infinity Stones? By trapping him in a reality where he thinks he has already won, meaning he has no reason to rebel against the reality and escape. However, she’s also a more direct physical threat to Thanos: the ability to command an army of super-tough robots means that she could contain his henchman. Finally, one of her last tricks in the show was to absorb the powers of multiple Inhumans so she could command them all at once. At that time, she was one of the strongest characters on Earth and a serious threat to the survival of Thanos!
Obviously, many characters are on this list because they have several different ways they could fight Thanos. In the case of Lash, he’s only on here for one reason, but it’s a pretty big one: He is practically unstoppable! Lash started life like any other human, but when his Inhuman Powers activated, he found out that he was big, blue, and super strong. Specifically, he had superhuman strength, durability, and was able to blast energy from his body. Put it all together and he represents a major physical threat to Thanos!
While Lash did not seem as strong as someone like Hulk, he was much stronger than any given human, and he was able to destroy almost every metahuman he encountered. One of the reasons is because his body was super durable, as he could shrug off things like gunshots and use his crazy healing factor to recover from any injury. We would most have liked to see Lash fighting Thanos and his forces in Wakanda, as his powers are versatile enough to take on all comers and leave him able to get back up for more. And did we mention he can just blow away his enemies with a single blast of energy?
If we only got to pick one martial arts badass to pluck from the MCU TV universe and place into Infinity War, it would be Elektra. Between character flashbacks and present day action, we have seen a pretty full arc for this character: she was initially trained by Stick (the same crusty warrior that trained Daredevil) to fight The Hand and stop rise of The Black Sky, a mysterious figure who would lead The Hand to world domination.
She died fighting The Hand, but then they resurrected her and the enhanced Elektra now was The Black Sky.
While we’re not sure of her current fate (she was buried in a pit as a building exploded above her), we’re pretty sure she would be a tough contender against Thanos and his cronies. Once she was resurrected and juiced up by The Hand, she was tough enough to knock out Luke Cage (which is damn near impossible) and effortlessly take a punch from the powered-up Iron Fist. She also has enhanced speed and senses, making her a switch hitter. While she would be great in any fight, we’d love to have seen her embrace her assassin background and try to quietly destroy Thanos, Maw, and the others.
9 FITZ AND SIMMONS
Yeah, this entry is a two for one. As any Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan knows, these two egghead agents are virtually inseparable. They have different skill sets (he’s technology, she’s biology), but they work together to be the brains behind Agent Coulson’s team. We think they could have made a big difference in Infinity War because of the film’s brain drain: with Iron Man and Doctor Strange off-planet (and Bruce Banner a bit out of his head), Earth seemingly only had one operating genius in the form of Shuri in Wakanda. We think Fitz and Simmons could have helped her out in a big way.
One obvious way is that they could have helped Shuri get the Mind Stone out of Vision that much more quickly, potentially turning the tide of the battle for our heroes. Alternately, they might have been able to help modify the forcefield protecting Wakanda: with a little enhancing, it might have been able to withstand the Children of Thanos indefinitely, giving us a very different ending to the film. Finally, Simmons might have been able to figure out if there was a biological or psychological component keeping Hulk from coming out and allowing him to join the battle in a big way.
8 MELINDA MAY
If you’re not familiar with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Melinda May is basically their version of Black Widow. While she wasn’t trained as part of a Russian spy program, she is an expert pilot, investigator, and above all, crazy fighter. She’s the one they send in when a foe just won’t stay down, and that’s why we’d love to see her join The Avengers in Infinity War. Whether it’s searching for Infinity Stones or helping out in a fight, we think she’d be a great fit in the movie and a bit hit with viewers.
First, we like to think she’d be an asset in space.
She’s actually fought aliens and flown spaceships before, so she could be an asset at tracking down Infinity Stones and even fighting Thanos. Alternately, she would definitely come in handy on Earth, fighting the Children of Thanos off and helping to defend Wakanda from invaders. In addition to her actual skill and strength as a fighter, Melinda May has another quality we think would come in handy: the ability to be as ruthless as needed and get the job done. When the heroes’ backs are to the wall, we think they could use someone who won’t hold back.
7 NICO MINORU
One of the interesting things about the MCU is that Doctor Strange is the only big-time magic guy. Thor seems amused by this when they first meet, noting that Earth now has wizards. And while Strange is apparently very good at his job, he is taken off the board (or at least, the planet) pretty early on in Infinity War. Wouldn’t it be handy if there was another wizard who could step up in his absence? As it turns out, there is, and her name is Nico Minoru.
If that name leaves you asking “who?,” then you clearly need to watch more of the Runaways TV show. Nico is a normal human until she steals the Staff of One from her mother. While Nico is still trying to use it, the Staff is able to magically conjure up (almost) anything that she needs and to make her desires into reality. Needless to say, this could be huge in Infinity War. What if she could remove the Gauntlet with a magic spell? Or transport Thanos into the sun before he snaps his fingers? Nico is destined to be one of the most powerful people on Earth due to her magic, and we’d love to see her unleash it on Thanos and his minions!
We could understand if Diamondback’s name on this list made you scratch your head. After all, Diamondback wasn’t much of a villain on Luke Cage, and he seemed like an over the top disappointment after the focus on Cottonmouth for the earlier parts of the season. However, Diamondback packed more than just a goofy personality and an ugly suit -- he knew how to get the kinds of weapons that can destroy people with powers. This feat is relatively unmatched in the MCU, and it proves why he could have made a difference in the Infinity War movie.
The best (and scariest) thing about Diamondback was that he was the great equalizer. He had weapons and ammo that could hurt and even destroy Luke Cage, who is one of the strongest heroes we see in the entire MCU. Because of this, Diamondback could make a difference in any given fight with Thanos and his goons, from their first appearance in New York to the final clash with Thanos. It’s a bit brutal, but if Diamondback could have shot Thanos when they still had him subdued, he could have helped save the entire universe. Maybe it’s time to see what this villain can do on the side of angels!
5 KAROLINA DEAN
In the post-credits scene of Infinity War, the big moment is when Nick Fury sends a distress call to Captain Marvel right before he disappears. While we’ll see more of what she can do in her own prequel movie, we already know that she’ll have experience tangling with aliens like Ronan the Accuser. And depending on how quickly they hew to her comic origins, she may be powered partially by alien DNA. In short, the surviving Avengers need an expert on dealing with aliens. But what if they could have had more than one?
In the Runaways show, we are introduced to Karolina Dean. At first, she appears to be a relatively normal human whose parents insist that she always wear a special bracelet. When she takes it off, she discovers that she is an alien with the power to fly and emit bursts of energy. She’s still learning to master her powers, but having another flying heavy-hitter could have turned the tide in Wakanda, and her connection to other members of her race out in space could have helped Rocket and Thor in their quest. Instead, we’ll just have to wait until the second season of her show to see what she can do!
4 GHOST RIDER
In this list of MCU TV-based heavy hitters, we’ve discussed the difference that assorted heroes, villains, metahumans, and aliens could all make. But what about someone straight out of Hell? In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we are introduced to the character of Ghost Rider. At first, Robbie Reyes was a normal human... but after he was murdered, he makes a deal with the devil to come back as a spirit of vengeance, able to to hunt down and kill people with his fantastic powers. And it’s these powers that could make him a serious threat in Infinity War. Ghost Rider basically got a buffet’s worth of superpowers.
He's super-strong, super-tough (which is backed up by an impressive healing factor), and has absolute control over fire.
If this wasn’t enough, he is also able to put some of his power into objects (like his car) and turn them into indestructible weapons. We think Ghost Rider would have been most useful at the Battle of Wakanda, with his powers making him able to hold off multiple creatures at once. However, we’d love to see if the powers of Hell would have been enough to beat Thanos once and for all! Maybe in the next movie?
3 PURPLE MAN
So, we didn’t restrict ourselves to living characters on this list, and that’s why Purple Man is on here. As you know, Purple Man was killed by Jessica Jones at the end of her first season. She basically made the call that he was too dangerous to live thanks to his power. And what power is that? It’s really simple: whatever Purple Man says, you have to do. If he tells you to destroy yourself, you cannot stop until that happens. In this way, he was one of the greatest threats the MCU had ever seen.
While it’s understandable that Jessica Jones had to kill this character, we can’t help but wonder what it would have been like if Purple Man tried to use his powers on Thanos. While Jessica eventually broke free of his control, she is literally the only person to do so, and his ability to control both Jessica and Luke means that his powers work on superhumans. So, what would a clash between Thanos and Purple Man look like? We think it would only last long enough for Purple Man to say “Destroy all your allies and then destroy yourself.” It’s good he wasn’t in the movie, though, as he would make it last only about five minutes!
For most of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Glenn Talbot was a normal human. He would hardly pose much of a threat to Thanos or, if we’re being honest, any superpowered character. Then something kind of funny happened in season five of the show -- a special process infused Talbot with Gravitonium, giving him complete control of all of gravity. Once this happened, Talbot was a threat on a galactic scale. And we do mean “threat”. Whether his mind cracked from the procedure or absolute power truly does corrupt absolutely, Talbot became the kind of person who would kill anyone who stood in his way. Thanks to the weird time-jumping of that season, we know exactly how powerful Talbot was.
Left unchecked and unstopped, he literally blew the Earth apart.
Fortunately, Quake and the other agents were able to stop him and save the planet, but his raw power meant that he might be able to defeat Thanos himself. Or, at the very least, he might be able to destroy the planet or ship Thanos is on at the time, giving the other heroes a better chance of capturing or killing the Mad Titan. While Talbot’s death means we’ll never see that fight, we can only dream of how cool it would be!
1 BLACK BOLT
Yeah, Black Bolt! Look, we get it: we’d like to forget the Inhumans show was ever a part of the MCU just as much as you would. However, it’s just as real as the other forgettable entries (Thor 2, anyone?) and it introduced us to some of the most powerful characters in the MCU. The most powerful of them is Black Bolt, and he has a truly unique power: he has something called a “hypersonic voice” that allows him to release utterly destructive waves of sound whenever he speaks. We see this in action when him simply saying the word “goodbye” is enough to level a building.
Thanks to the Inhumans show being mercifully cut short, we never saw the upper limits of Black Bolt’s powers in the MCU. However, if he can destroy a building by speaking one word in a normal tone of voice, what would happen if he screamed at Thanos? Black Bolt would have a fair shot at destroying the Mad Titan outright or leaving him unconscious for the other heroes to deal with. Throw in his super-strength, and we think Black Bolt could have stopped Thanos from assuming ultimate power and destroying half the universe.