The Marvel Cinematic Universe is one of the biggest superhero movie franchises that has ever existed. Inspired by the comic books written by Stan Lee, there has been a total of twenty-two films released (so far), beginning with Iron Man in 2008 and the latest 2019 film Avengers: Endgame. The movies have followed a very detailed and lengthy timeline. Some of the characters have their own individual films while there have also been several collaboration films involving the Avengers—both the original team members and eventual new recruits.
Speaking of the Avengers squad, MCU fans known that the original six include: Tony Stark as Iron Man, Steve Rogers as Captain America, Clint Barton as Hawkeye, Natasha Romanoff as Black Widow, Bruce Banner as the Hulk, and the God of Thunder, Thor. However, these are not the only heroes to exist in the MCU, at least not anymore. More recently the universe has spread out a bit and included other teams such as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and Black Panther.
In the two recent Avengers films, all of the heroes have come together from all corners of the universe to fight their common enemy, Thanos, the Titan supervillain who used the infinity stones to erase half of the population.
Tony Stark (Iron Man) is one of the first six original Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to his development of the suit, Tony was just a mere wealthy businessman who had an affinity for science and technology. While in captivity the suit was a way for him to save his own life. After Nick Fury, an associate of S.H.I.E.L.D approached him and he learned the truth about what existed in the universe, Tony adopted the persona of Iron Man fully.
Steve Rogers (Captain America) is one of the first six original Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To be more specific, he is the first Avenger. Before Steve had become Captain America with the help of a certain super-soldier serum, he was just a simple man who wanted to make a difference. It was his personality which led him to be selected in the first place. As a result, Steve inherited many unique abilities such as increased strength, speed, and combat skills.
Thor is one of the first six original Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His arrival on earth the first time was a form of punishment given to him by his father Odin. He lost the privilege of using Mjolnir—which had been enchanted so only those “worthy” could wield it. Thor’s heroic actions of protecting the planet deemed him to be worthy. As the Prince of Asgard, he felt particularly responsible when his brother Loki began wreaking havoc on the planet.
Clint Barton (Hawkeye) is one of the first six original Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He has a long history with another one of the Avengers, Black Widow, being that both of them are agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It was revealed that Hawkeye was an agent before her, and was actually instructed to “take her out.” Instead he spared her, and the two had become best friends. In fact, she was the only one in the group that knew he had a secret wife and family.
Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) is one of the first six original Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just like her close associate Hawkeye, Black Widow doesn’t have any genetically enhanced superhero abilities. All of her spy and fight skills come from extensive training on her behalf. She has stated time and again she’s done things in her life that she’s not necessarily proud of, and her work with the Avengers team is a way to make up for it. What do we think?
Bruce Banner (Hulk) is one of the first six original Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He’s a unique character due to the fact that he is depicted as two people—the mean green other guy, and the scientist. As the franchise progressed and more films were released that featured the Hulk, it was evident that he was sort of evolving. Before all he knew to do was “smash,” but over time he was demonstrating more restraint. Eventually, Bruce learned to accept the other part of him.
Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) is a newer recruit onto the Avengers team that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When she was first introduced into the franchise, Wanda and her brother were depicted as “villains,” or at the very least anti-heroes. They were against the Avengers because of Tony’s technology taking their parents from them. She and her brother were experimented on and she developed superhuman abilities. Wanda is able to manipulate minds and the things around her with ease.
The Winter Solider
Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) is the best friend of Steve Rogers and the two have a long history. During the war, Bucky was captured by HYDRA and Steve risked his life to go save him and his squad. Not long after the two were going on missions together, until one day Bucky falls from the train and Steve believes he’s lost forever. Little did he know that Bucky was retrieved and turned into an experiment. With a series of words he would become a “mindless” obedient soldier.
T’Challa (Black Panther) is one of the more recent characters introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, when he makes his debut his father is actually the Black Panther while T’Challa was merely the prince of Wakanda. After he loses his father to an explosion, T’Challa makes it his mission to use the suit and its powers to track down the person he believed was responsible. In the beginning he thought it was the Winter Soldier, but came to realize it was someone else entirely.
Peter Parker (Spider-Man) is one of the more recent characters introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was recruited in the film Captain America: Civil War by Tony Stark, who discovered the truth about what he really was. Peter shares that he wants to use his new gifts and abilities to help other people, which Tony seems to appreciate. He gives Peter a suit upgrade, one that he takes advantage of in a later film that puts other people’s lives at risk.
Carol Danvers (Captain Marvel) is the latest superhero to be introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is perceived as Kree (an alien race) who was a member of the Starforce. Little did she know she was actually born a human, but this becomes apparent when she starts to uncover her past memories. Her mentor was working on a secret mission to help another alien race, which resulted in Carol absorbing cosmic energy. She developed incredible abilities such as flight and blasting energy from her body.
Vision is one of the more recent additions to the Avengers team that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a more unique character due to the fact that he’s actually an android made from synthetic metal. He was completed and “brought to life” with one of the six infinity stones—the Mind Stone. Despite the fact that part of him was also part of Ultron, the villain, Vision proved he was fighting for humanity when he was able to wield Mjolnir.
Stephen Strange (Doctor Strange) is one of the more recent additions to the Avengers team which is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before he became a “superhero,” Strange was a surgeon who was very good at his job. So good, he only took on patients with extreme or difficult procedures. Unfortunately for Strange, he was in an accident that resulted in the loss of function in his hands. As a last resort, he turned to the mystic arts and evidently discovered his true calling.
Scott Lang (Ant-Man) is one of the more recent additions to the Avengers team that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Like some of the other superheroes from this franchise, Scott doesn’t have any physical enchantments or superhuman traits, but merely a suit that allows him to do unnatural things. Some of those unnatural things include growing enormous and also shrinking very small. So small he’s able to travel into the quantum realm. He does this on multiple occasions and discovers that time works differently there.
Gamora is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When she is first introduced to the franchise, Gamora is revealed to be the daughter of Thanos. At the time, he was beginning his quest of collecting the six infinity stones, and Gamora was tasked with retrieving one. As it turned out, Gamora had every intention of betraying her father so he could never erase half of the universe like he planned.
Sam Wilson (Falcon) is one of the more recent additions to the Avengers team that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Captain America’s return to the modern age, Steve struggles a little bit with adapting to his new life. He becomes acquainted with Sam after the two bonded on their daily runs. It is revealed that Sam used to be a pararescue in the army, and since had adopted the “Falcon” persona where he can fly with his mechanical wings.
Shuri is not technically a member of the Avengers team from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although she has assisted the team (more specifically her brother) on more than one occasion. Her mind is her greatest asset, as are her many inventions. With the use of the highly advanced metal known as Vibranium, she is constantly updating the Black Panther suit. Additionally, Shuri was the one who was tasked with removing Vision’s Mind Stone when Thanos and his army invaded Wakanda looking for it.
Hope van Dyne (Wasp) is also not technically a member of the Avengers team from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although she is the partner of Ant-Man. As the daughter of Hank Pym, Hope was well aware of his unique inventions, more specifically his shrinking suit. When Scott Lang accepted the role as the new Ant-Man, her father had also revamped her mother’s old suit as The Wasp. Hope was the one who helped Scott actually train in close combat so he could defend himself if necessary.
Mantis is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When the team was in the midst of a mission, Rocket puts all of their lives in danger by stealing from their client. They’re hunted down as a result, and only manage to escape with the help of a mysterious man. This man turned out to be Peter’s father, and Mantis was his caretaker. She is an empath and can both feel and alter people’s emotions with a single touch.
Valkyrie is a member of the “Revengers” team (one that she, the Hulk, and Thor initiate) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is introduced in the film Thor: Ragnarok on Planet Sakaar, where she was working as a bounty hunter. After noticing her tattoo, Thor realizes shes a Valkyrie, who were female Asgardian warriors sworn to protect the planet. Unfortunately Valkyrie was unsuccessful in defeating Hela, so she exiled herself as a form of punishment. Thor was able to recruit her once more to stop his sister for good.
Peter Quill (Star-Lord) is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a half-human half-celestial that was taken from his planet as a boy. His adoptive father Yondu was tasked with retrieving all of Ego’s children, but the Ravager decided to keep him. Peter learned all about the Ravager’s way, which included being a criminal. This led him down the path of taking the Orb (which turned out to be the Power Stone.
Pepper Potts is not technically a member of the Avengers team from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she is married to one. Prior to their romantic relationship, Pepper was Tony’s personal assistant. She was promoted to being his business partner when she helped save his life, and later became the CEO of Stark Industries. Despite their rough patch (i.e. when Tony became consumed with making new Iron Man suits), they always managed to find their way back to each other.
Loki is the brother of Thor and is classified as an anti-hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although there were times when he was certainly the villain. During a war against the Frost Giants, Odin had spared infant Loki’s life and raised him as his own. He began the God of Mischief, and no matter what he did he never seemed to gain the approval of his father. This evidently led him to betray his brother countless times despite the fact that Thor believed he could be good.
Nick Fury is the man responsible for bringing together the original Avengers team in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He had first learned that there was more in the universe than just humans of Earth when Captain Marvel returned home. Fast forward many years, as the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, Nick intended to continue to protect the planet from any alien invasions. He had kept many things hidden from the world, including the existence of the Tesseract. He was known for not always being conventional in his work life.
Groot is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He makes his initial debut as a bounty hunter of sorts, and his one and only friend is Rocket Raccoon. They were sent to retrieve Peter Quill because he had stolen the Orb, but somehow managed to get detained as well. Groot is unique due to his physical appearance, and he changes drastically throughout the franchise (he’s seen in adult, baby, and teen form).
James Rhodes (War Machine) is one of the more recent additions to the Avengers team that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a close friend to Tony Stark, who of course designed his own unique suit. Prior to his work with the Avengers, Rhodes was an officer in the Air Force. When the government decided to put the Sokovia Accords in place, Rhodes sided with Tony and signed the agreement, despite the fact that some of his fellow comrades did not.
Okoye is not technically a member of the Avengers team from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although she has been aligned with them on a number of occasions. Her true loyalty is with the Black Panther, due to the fact that she is a general of the Wakanda forces. She has proven time and again that she is a sworn protector of her country, and takes great pride in that. Even if it means she has to stand up against those she loves, including her own husband.
Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver) was not technically a member of the Avengers team from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although he did fight alongside them at the Battle of Sokovia. He and his sister have very similar origin stories, which involved agreeing to be experiments of HYDRA. They had done it out of vengeance and ended up inheriting unique superhuman abilities. Pietro developed superhuman speed which came in handy when he needed to protect his sister. He ends up sacrificing himself to protect Hawkeye.
Rocket Raccoon is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is first introduced to the franchise alongside Groot, where both were working as bounty hunters and Peter had become their latest target. Although Rocket’s personality involved him only caring about his and Groot’s life, he eventually came to see reason that stopping Ronan’s plans was in his best interest. Together he and Peter are always arguing about who’s in charge.
Phil Coulson is not technically a member of the Avengers team from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he stood by Nick Fury’s side when he brought the team together. He was a young recruit at the time when Nick first started the Avengers Initiative following the events involving Captain Marvel. Phil was also the one responsible for running the team that investigated Thor’s hammer Mjolnir when it first showed up on earth. It is no secret that Captain America was his favorite Avenger (evident by his trading card collection).
The Ancient One
The Ancient One is not a member of the Avengers team, although she plays a vital role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was the famous sorcerer that Stephen Strange sought out when he wanted to heal his hands. She showed him the mystics arts, although initially rejected him to be his student. She was afraid he would turn against her the same that Kaecilius had. Nevertheless, he trained under her care and became the guardian of the Time Stone.
Heimdall is not part of the Avengers team, although he is an important character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is an Asgardian who was given the responsibility of protecting and guarding the Bifrost Bridge. He also had a certain unique ability of being all-seeing and all-hearing, which essentially meant he could see or hear every person in the Nine Realms. Thor often asked Heimdall how Jane was doing down on earth. When Hela escaped and returned to Asgard, Heimdall took the sword and went into hiding.
Nebula is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was not always on team good—in fact, for almost her entire life she was a loyal servant to Thanos despite how he treated her. She would always fight with her sister Gamora because she was upset that she was their father’s favorite. Eventually Nebula came to the realization that Thanos was the true enemy, and became a guardian and honorary Avenger in later films.
Jane Foster is known for her association with Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is one of the characters who doesn’t have any unique superhuman strength or skill, although some would argue her intelligence is impressive. In fact, it was with her science that she discovered the anomalies which led her to Thor in the first place. Upon trying to track him down, Jane came in contact with the Aether (otherwise known as the Reality Stone) as was brought to Asgard to get it removed.
Wong is known for his association with Doctor Strange from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He had been a Master of the Mystic Arts long before Strange ever came to the facility. Upon his arrival, Wong was in charge of protecting the ancient books because Kaecilius was after certain information. Wong and Strange had the chance to bond because of this, being that he was just beginning to study the mystic arts himself. Wong stood beside Doctor Strange and the other masters to stop Dormammu.
Maria Hill was the deputy director of S.H.I.E.L.D and worked alongside Nick Fury on his Avengers Initiative project. She made her debut in The Avengers movie, and was aboard the helicarrier when the team was first brought together. Although she didn’t have superhuman powers or fancy suits of armor, Maria proved she could protect herself despite just being human. She was dedicated to S.H.I.E.L.D and worked very hard to maintain its many secrets. Maria was with Nick when he sent the distress signal to Captain Marvel.
Drax is one of the members of the Guardians of the Galaxy which is a space organization from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was already in the lock-up facility when Groot, Rocket, Peter and Gamora arrive. He actually recognized Gamora as the daughter of Thanos, and wanted to hurt her because of it. When she convinced him and the other inmates that she wasn’t loyal to him, Drax assisted the others in their escape. He takes on the role of being the comic relief in the group.
Yondu is known for his association with Peter Quill (Star-Lord) and is an important character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yondu is definitely cast into the role as being an anti-hero, although proved time and again that he had a certain soft spot for his adoptive son, Peter. He came to the rescue when Peter’s real father Ego tried to get him to stand by his side and become all mighty and powerful. He sacrificed his life so that Peter could live in the end.
Hank Pym is known for his association with Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne (Ant-Man and the Wasp), and proves to be an important character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is depicted as being a physicist who first developed the Ant-Man suit and at a time worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. He passed the Ant-Man torch onto Scott, and helped to develop the machine that allowed him to travel into the quantum realm. Years later, Hank used this very technology to save his wife.
Peggy Carter is known for her association with Steve Rogers (Captain America) in the beginning films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Peggy is first introduced as being an agent who was working with the Strategic Scientific Reserve during the war. Steve worked under her supervision, and when he was selected to be experimented on using the super-soldier serum, Peggy was the one who brought him to the facility. She was upset when Steve sacrificed his life to protect the world from HYDRA.