2019 kicked off with Captain Marvel,
and things only got better from there with the release of Shazam!
and the biggest superhero movie of all-time, Avengers: Endgame
. Dark Phoenix
put something of a dampener on things, of course, but Spider-Man: Far From Home
helped us get over that as did the downright amazing Joker
Each of these movies introduced new characters, and many brought back a lot of familiar ones. Now, we've combed through each of them to bring you a ranking of all the major heroes and villains.
It goes without saying that you guys will have some strong opinions about this ranking, and we're confident that our top ten, in particular, will surprise you. Oh, and if you think you've already figured out who comes in at #1, then you might need to guess again as it's not a certain Armoured Avenger!
So, to check out this ranking, all you guys have to do is click on the "View List" button down below.
Jennifer Lawrence didn't want to return as Mystique in Dark Phoenix
(she was contracted to do so), and that was evident from her uninspired, forgettable performance.
Killed off early on in the proceedings so the actress wouldn't have to wear the makeup any longer than she had to, it was a disappointing end for a character whose journey we've followed since 2011.
When it was revealed that Ronan the Accuser would return in Captain Marvel
, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the possibility of us getting to see how he became the unhinged villain we met in Guardians of the Galaxy
That wasn't really the case, though, and we ended up with little more than a glorified cameo. That could change in the Captain Marvel
sequel, but time will tell on that front.
Alexandra Shipp did a good job as Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse
and there was understandably a lot of excitement to see what she would bring to the table in Dark Phoenix
The actress has made it clear that she wasn't happy with her role in the movie and it's easy to see why. Once again, an X-Men
movie failed to do this great comic book character justice.
was a movie plagued by production issues and Vuk went from being a shape-shifting Skrull to a member of the D'Bari race. Regardless of which planet she hailed from, though, this villain sucked from start to finish.
Jessica Chastain's cool and calculated performance came across as disappointing and dull and her talent was wasted in the hands of a filmmaker like Simon Kinberg.
The Ancient One
It was fun to see The Ancient One return in Avengers: Endgame
but she ended up being little more than a plot device to explain the ramifications of removing one of the Time Stones from her timeline.
That's not exactly the best use of a character such as this one and it would have been nice to see her history in the MCU fleshed out in a more meaningful way rather than just moving the plot along.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
both is and isn't set in the MCU, so Agent Coulson's return in Captain Marvel
was definitely cause for celebration. Unfortunately, his role in the 90s set movie proved to be a complete let down.
Aside from us getting to see a little of his history with Nick Fury, Coulson failed to serve much of a purpose and this was definitely a missed opportunity of Marvel's part.
Brad Davis was meant to serve as a love rival of sorts to Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home
but he ended up being more of an annoyance to us moviegoers than the wall-crawler himself!
Ultimately, Brad just didn't bring all that much to the sequel and there were probably better characters who could have been given this role in the movie (Flash Thompson, for example).
Like Ronan, Captain Marvel
promised to delve into Korath's origin story...expect it really didn't! While we learned that he was loyal to the Kree, we didn't learn what led to him getting that robotic implant or why he was ultimately so loyal to Ronan.
Instead, he was included pretty much just for the sake of it and to add a familiar face to this tale set in the MCU's past. That's a problem that plagued this movie quite a bit in all honesty.
This werewolf version of Beast made his return in Dark Phoenix
and, well, he was as underwhelming as ever! His story arc in the movie was also a complete and utter mess.
Over the course of this finale to the X-Men
franchise, he went from being a hero to aligning himself with Magneto to being a hero again...and those makeup effects still look downright awful.
Talking of terrible characters with blue skin, Nightcrawler was another disappointing addition to Dark Phoenix
. With little else to do in the film, his powers were used relatively effectively but there's not much more to say beyond that.
Kurt is a fascinating comic book character whose motivations and personality were touched on in a mostly satisfying way in X2
. Here, though, he's just another mutant in the background.
There was nothing too terrible about Joker
's Thomas Wayne and he definitely served a purpose in the DC Comics adaptation. Beyond that, though, he was far too one-dimensional.
In many ways, that was the point, but not spending at least a little more time exploring what sort of man he is and only showing us the billionaire through Arthur Fleck's eyes meant that his potential was wasted to at least some extent.
As supporting characters go, Maria Rambeau certainly served a purpose but with fans far more invested in the hero her daughter one day becomes, it's fair to say that she didn't make the most significant of impacts.
As Carol Danvers' closest friend, she's another character who served a purpose but there are plenty of comic book movie supporting players who have made just a single appearance but still made a much larger impact than Maria did in Captain Marvel
Spider-Man: Far From Home
added a little more depth to Flash Thompson by pointing to him having an unhappy home life but that was mostly superficial and, beyond that, the character remains quite bland.
He neither an effective bully nor a supporting character in Peter Parker's world who brings anything noteworthy to the table and this interpretation of Flash is way off from the comics in terms of personality.
Sophie Turner did her best with the material she was given but with Simon Kinberg serving as both Dark Phoenix
's writer and director, we were never going to get a decent version of Jean Grey as she found herself overtaken by the Phoenix.
There were glimpses of greatness, however, and Turner did a solid job of portraying a Jean who was being pushed to the edge by powers she couldn't understand or control.
As little more than the object of Arthur Fleck's affections in Joker, Zazie Beetz was never really given the opportunity to shine but the character certainly served the role she needed to in this origin story.
In a movie which should ensure that Joaquin Phoenix walks away with an Oscar next year, it's just a disappointment to see that lead actress wasn't given similarly challenging material.
Yet again, the latest instalment of the X-Men
franchise hit the reset button on Magneto in order to serve this story's purpose. As a result, he became the leader of Genosha...a field full of huts.
That sucked big time but Michael Fassbender's performance did not and it was great to see Magneto unleash some of his powers in a comic accurate way both in New York City and during the surprisingly great action sequence on the train.
Gemma Chan will return to the MCU as part of the Eternals cast and it's easy to see why Marvel Studios wants to give her another chance after this disappointing turn as Minn-Erva.
She looked great in Captain Marvel
and was definitely a badass but there's not much to say beyond that and this interpretation of the villain didn't live up to her comic book counterpart.
The way the Supreme Intelligence was used in Captain Marvel
was clever but an argument could definitely be made that Marvel Studios made a huge mistake by not showing its true form.
Comic book fans would have loved that and the reveal is one that would have made this somewhat bland origin story feel as weird and wonderful as Guardians of the Galaxy
The time jump between Spider-Man: Homecoming
and Spider-Man: Far From Home
meant we never got to delve into Aunt May's reaction to her nephew being a superhero but it was certainly a lot of fun seeing how supportive she had become.
Her romance with Happy Hogan was also good fun and while a larger role for May certainly wouldn't have been a bad thing, she remains one of the franchise's most likeable supporting characters.
Say what you will about Green Lantern
but Mark Strong was a great Sinestro. Seeing him return to the DC Universe as the equally evil Dr. Sivana proved to be a real treat and he did a stellar job in Shazam!
The bland looking Seven Deadly Sins certainly didn't help matters but, beyond that, he was an effectively fleshed out foil for the titular superhero and someone it would be great to see more of one day.
Some of you will no doubt be disappointed not to see Talos ranked higher and while it was definitely refreshing to see Ben Mendelsohn play a very different kind of "villain," Captain Marvel's take on this character wasn't the best.
After all, someone who had the potential to be one of the MCU's most fearsome bad guys became a comedy sidekick to Carol Danvers and those prosthetics left much to be desired.
Whether it's that touching exchange with Morgan Stark at the end of Avengers: Endgame
or his newfound mentorship role in Spider-Man: Far From Home
, 2019 was a great year for Happy Hogan.
He's always been an entertaining presence in the MCU, of course, but the character has grown by leaps and bounds since those early Iron Man movies and we can't wait to see him again.
We've established that Dark Phoenix
sucked but it's hard to fault James McAvoy's performance as Professor X even if the way he was vilified came across as both random and a little bit odd.
Despite that, the actor did a solid job of portraying a Charles Xavier who wasn't quite as clean cut as we thought and it's definitely a shame his tenure as the character has reached its end now.
War Machine has never really been the MCU's most interesting superhero but his presence in Avengers: Endgame
proved to be quite a bit of fun and those badass new armours definitely left us with plenty to talk about.
Whether it was his interactions with Nebula or just how badass he was during that final battle, this movie didn't make us want a War Machine
spinoff but it still gave him a much needed overhaul.
Child actors tend to be a little hit and miss but Akira Akbar was immensely likeable as the young Monica Rambeau and with fans anxious to see her grow up and become a superhero (that will happen in WandaVision
), the actress perfectly laid the groundwork.
Monica's relationship with Carol Danvers was a highlight in Captain Marvel
and while we likely won't see Akbar in the role again, it will be fun seeing references to her history with the hero.
Cyclops is a character who has never really received the treatment he deserved on the big screen but Dark Phoenix
did at least portray him as a leader and his relationship with Jean paid homage to the source material in an effective enough way.
Tye Sheridan got some badass moments as Scott Summers in this movie and while his time as the mutant has reached its end, there's bound to be another superhero role out there for him.
Loki had only a very, very minor role in Avengers: Endgame
but it was definitely memorable and proved to be one of the epic ensemble's biggest talking points (especially with Disney+'s Loki
on the horizon).
His unexpected return here was a treat for fans and helped offer a very different perspective on the events of The Avengers
as he made his escape from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody with the Tesseract in hand.
With the Guardians of the Galaxy dead and gone, Rocket became a member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers: Endgame
and it was damn fun to see.
Whether we're talking about his interactions with characters like Tony Stark and The Hulk or simply what he brought to the table as a member of the team, Rocket put himself on the map in a big way in this movie.
The Shazam Family
We've lumped the Shazam Family (not Shazam himself, mind you) into one slide as their screentime in the DC Comics adaptation was minimal and their screentime was brief.
Despite that, it was great fun seeing this lot in action and while some better casting decisions probably could have been made, the potential for greatness moving forward is definitely there.
None of us expected to see Gamora in Avengers: Endgame
but with us taking a trip back to 2014, a version of the character who had yet to meet Star-Lord and company made her presence felt in the MCU.
After she once again embraced her heroic nature, there's a lot of excitement surrounding where things could go next for Gamora as we look ahead to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Robert DeNiro in a superhero movie? Who'd have thunk it, eh? As despicable talk show host Franklin Murray, the legendary actor delivered a superb performance despite and shined opposite Joaquin Phoenix.
Together, those two delivered magic and seeing Murray verbally sparring with Joker before he got what he "f***ing deserved" made for one of the best scenes in any 2019 comic book adaptation.
J. Jonah Jameson
Sure, he only appeared in a post-credits scene but J.K. Simmons' return as J. Jonah Jameson was both a jaw dropping moment and an absolute blast as the actor effortlessly stepped back into the role he made iconic.
We can't wait to see him continue to butt heads with the webbed warrior moving forward and there's an awful lot that Marvel Studios can do with this modern interpretation of the character.
Valkyrie's role in Avengers: Endgame
was a minor one but how could you not get a kick out of seeing her race into action atop her flying horse with Spider-Man following closely behind during that awesome final battle?
Throw in her later being named the ruler of New Asgard and it's fair to say that Valkyrie's brief appearance in the movie was one that definitely had some major ramifications for her MCU future.
Heading into Avengers: Endgame
, it seems doubtful that anyone expected Nebula to make such an impact in the movie. From her journey through space with Tony Stark to her battle with her villainous past self, Nebula really got the chance to shine here.
Fully established as an Avenger, Guardian, and full-fledged superhero, the future looks bright for the character and the Russos did a stellar job of making her a major player in this shared world.
would have benefited from further exploring Clint Barton's time as Ronin but his story arc was one which definitely did the character justice for perhaps the first time in the MCU.
As he fought to bring his family back, Hawkeye was certainly put through the wringer and he had to watch his best friend die before embarking on a daring race through the battlefield with the Stark Gauntlet in hand.
Billy Batson could have easily been the kid we wanted to get off the screen as soon as possible in order to get back to Shazam but Asher Angel's performance ensured that wasn't the case.
He gave this hero heart and the scene in which he learns the truth about his mother is both heart-breaking and chill-inducing, especially when he leaps off that building and embraces his new role as a superhero.
Thanos was an incredible villain in Avengers: Infinity War
and it saddens us not to rank him any higher here. Unfortunately, the 2014 version of the character in Avengers: Endgame
just wasn't that impressive.
The nuances the Mad Titan had in his previous appearance were gone as was his relationship with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. What we were left with was just another big bad with a huge army for Earth's Mightiest Heroes to square off with.
"My friends call me MJ" will probably be forever remembered as one of the worst lines in the MCU but the character became arguably Peter Parker's best big screen love interest in Spider-Man: Far From Home
Smart, funny, and extremely likeable, MJ proved to be a perfect match for the wall-crawler and their relationship continuing to develop should be a highlight of future films.
We all saw Yon-Rogg's villainous turn coming from a mile off but it's hard to think of another character from this year's superhero movies who has generated so much speculation and excitement even if his true name was revealed courtesy of an action figure!
As Carol Danvers' mentor, Yon-Rogg's betrayal still stung and as soon as Jude Law went into full-blown villain mode, he became even more fun to follow. That final battle with Captain Marvel, meanwhile, was both brilliant and
While Black Widow will return in a solo movie next May, the character's time in the present day MCU came to an end in Avengers: Endgame
in a powerful and emotional sequence.
Even before she made that ultimate sacrifice, though, Natasha's story arc was a highlight as she battled with depression and did everything within her power to bring back those who were lost after Thanos' attack in Avengers: Infinity War
Without Scott Lang, Thanos may have never been defeated and billions would have remained dead. The pint-sized superhero emerged from the Quantum Realm with a plan to save the universe and while he took a backseat from there, he still made one heck of an impact.
Avengers: Endgame would not have been the same without him and he also delivered a lot of major laughs along the way.
Nick Fury disappointed in Spider-Man: Far From Home
in many respects but in Captain Marvel
, the actor was on top form. As a younger version of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Samuel L. Jackson was clearly having a blast.
Seeing him without the edge and experience we're used to proved to be quite an experience and while not everyone loved the way he lost his eye, it was still an awesome moment.
Yes, we all knew that Mysterio would be outed as a bad guy by the time all was said and done in Spider-Man: Far From Home
but the reveal still made for a fun, albeit cheesy moment and Jake Gyllenhaal was on top form her from start to finish.
Whether it was his fake mentorship to Peter Parker or his unhinged side really coming out before he outed Spidey's identity to the world, this is one MCU bad guy who definitely made an impact.
Not everyone was on board with Thor's physical transformation in Avengers: Endgame
but his journey in this film was a significant one and led to some of the biggest changes for the God of Thunder to date.
After fighting through severe depression, Thor embraced his past failings to become a true hero again and that ultimately put him on a new path as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
It's a shame that Bruce Banner's transformation into the "Smart Hulk" wasn't shown on screen but what an impact the Jade Giant still ended up making thanks to his brand new persona.
Not only did he deliver some of Avengers: Endgame
's biggest laughs but we also got perhaps the most unique take on the character to date and one that opens the door from everything to Maestro to Jennifer Walters' transformation into She-Hulk.
didn't earn anywhere near as much as it deserved at the worldwide box office but we need to see more of Zachary Levi's Shazam in the DC Extended Universe as soon as possible.
His fun, heartfelt performance as the character certainly made a lasting impact on moviegoers and while the suit and inflated muscles should probably be overhauled in the sequel, this is a superhero with so, so much potential.
Mourning the death of his mentor Tony Stark, Peter Parker was put on a very different path in Spider-Man: Far From Home
and by the time the final act rolled around, he had fully embraced his role as a superhero.
Unfortunately, the rug would quickly be pulled from underneath him but that's the typical Parker Luck for you! Tom Holland's performance was spectacular and we're infinitely grateful that he'll remain part of the MCU moving forward.
Taking aside all the ridiculous controversy surrounding her smile and comments deemed offensive by some white, midde-aged males, Brie Larson did a stellar job as Captain Marvel in a solo movie which didn't take anywhere near enough risks.
Despite that, Carol Danvers was still established as one of the new faces of the MCU and Avengers: Endgame
proved that she's someone we should be keeping an eye on as she single-handedly destroyed Thanos' ship.
Considering the fact Avengers: Endgame
marked Robert Downey Jr.'s final appearance as Iron Man and his character made the ultimate sacrifice at the end of the movie, you were probably expecting him to be #1, right?
Well, there's no denying that the actor was phenomenal here and Iron Man's story did have a perfect ending. However, there are a couple of other characters who just manage to pip him to the post...
may not have strictly adhered to the comic books but it was a masterpiece and Joaquin Phoenix's performance was both Oscar worthy and unlike anything we've seen in the genre before now.
His transformation from Arthur Fleck into the Clown Prince of Crime was amazing and that scene on the cop car was iconic. Honestly, we can't wait to see the actor pick up all the awards for his work in this movie next year!
That's right, Chris Evans' Captain America quite rightly takes the top spot here! He was Avengers: Endgame
's heart and soul and the ending the character received was nothing short of perfect.
The moments which saw him pick up Mjolnir and later cry "Avengers Assemble!" ensured he would always end up in the top spot here, while that final dance definitely should have brought tears to your eyes.
What are your thoughts on this ranking on these characters? Do you agree or disagree? As always, be sure to head to the comments section below to let us know your thoughts on that!