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Top 50 MCU Characters Of All Time, Year Three Edition, #10-6

Christian Heckmann
Rheinland Pfalz
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Shit. Two weeks from now, I've got to start with my Top 50 (or rather Top 75, because why not?) Board Games Of All Time, Year Four Edition, and I haven't even started to compile that list. Ah well. Maybe next weekend. We'll see. For now, let's continue with the countdown of the 50 greatest MCU characters of all time. We've entered the Top 10 and... there's probably gonna be one or two surprises. Especially when it comes to the position of some characters, that I'm sure a couple of people will have expected a bit higher. You'll see...

#10: Peter Parker

From gallery of Harblnger

"Civil War" is a really good movie altogether, but I'm still a bit weirded out by that strange part in the middle, where both Steve Rogers and Tony Stark start to recruit random people for a relatively trivial (albeit cool) punchup at an airport. Like teenage-vigilante Peter Parker. I mean, it was cool to see Spidey enter the MCU and Tom Holland is a fantastic actor for the part (and definitely the best one we've seen... I'd say ever), but it conceptually, it wasn't one of the MCU's brighter hours. But Holland certainly made up for that slight misstep with his two solo-outings and appearances in the subsequent "Avengers"-movies. Although he was already 21 when he starred as the 15-year-old Parker in "Spider-Man: Homecoming", he was pretty believable as a slightly geeky, socially awkward youngster and the movies leave enough room to explore his character. Also his relationship with his (surprisingly youthful) aunt is adorable. "Spider-Man: No Way Home" is scheduled to be released... what? Friggin' eighteen days from now? I'm gonna watch "Shang-Chi" tonight and still haven't seen "Eternals" (plus only the first episode of "Hawkeye"...). When am I gonna catch up with all of that? But yeah, this is gonna be great.

#9: Nick Fury

From gallery of Harblnger

If Happy Hogan doesn't return in "Spider-Man: No Way Home", Nick Fury, played to perfection by the legendary Samuel L. Jackson, will probably be the undisputed longest serving character in the MCU. After his first appearance in the original "Iron Man", the "most paranoid and dangerous man on the planet" (as Quentin Beck called him) has popped up everywhere as a bit-player and after his starring role in "Captain Marvel", he's now gonna get a show that is truly focused around him in the form of 2022's "Secret Invasion". And I personally can't wait to see him in this. Some people have lamented that his goofier turn in "Captain Marvel" has made him a less interesting character, but I liked him in it and think that it gives his usual tough-guy persona even more facets. Also at this point in his career, Samuel L. Jackson can do whatever the fuck he wants and it's gonna be great. May he stay with us for a long time.

#8: Tony Stark

From gallery of Harblnger

Didn't see that coming, huh? I mean, for many people, Tony Stark will probably sit comfortably at the top of this list. And here I am, placing the top seller of the whole universe up until the end of phase three at a mere rank eight. What's wrong with me? Well... I am not easily impressed by superficially flashy things. OOOOOOH, NEW EXPANSION FOR RISE OF THE NECROMANCERS! I NEED THAT! GIMME GIMME GIMME! Err... sorry, where was I? Ah, right, Tony Stark. Iron Man. Look, Robert Downey Jr. is (or rather "can be if he wants to") a fantastic actor and he really fills the character of Tony Stark with a lot of charisma and his arc over the course of the ten movies he appeared in has been a very interesting one. But even at the end of it, he's still a kind of terrible dude. Charming, funny (although a bit grating at times), endlessly inventive and pretty badass, sure. But I don't think that I would ever want to hang out with him even for five minutes in real life and some of the things that he has done and caused and planned are kind of appalling. So while he's certainly a good character, I just don't "like" him that much, if that makes any kind of sense. But yeah, rank eight ain't half bad, eh?

#7: Bucky Barnes

From gallery of Harblnger

Still, one worse than rank seven, which is filled by Sergeant James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes, the Winter Soldier, the White Wolf, the semi-stable 100-year-old man. Steve Rogers' best friend. Sam Wilson's comrade in arms. Seemingly killed in World War 2, brainwashed by Hydra and kept in cryogenic stasis for a long, long time, only to be released every now and then to commit assassinations all over the globe, you know the drill. He's kind of back on track now (at the end of "The Falcon And The Winter Soldier") after having spent a lot of time making amends for his evil deeds but of course there's still an undeniable darker edge to him that might come back to the forefront in the future. You never know. It's not currently clear whether he'll be in "Captain America 4", even though his connection to both Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson, as well as his presence in all of the other "Captain America"-movies immediately suggests that he should be. And I hope that he will be, because I really, really like Bucky as a character and Sebastian Stan's portrayal of him.

#6: Phil Coulson

From gallery of Harblnger

And once again I'm kind of bending the canon, because while Agent Phil Coulson ("His first name is Agent") originated within a part of the MCU that is still canonical (he appeared in the first "Iron Man", then in "Iron Man 2", "Thor" and finally the "Avengers"), he gained a lot more depth over the course of the dubiously cannonical TV show "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.", where - spoilers ahead - he was resurrected with Kree-technology after being killed by Loki during the events of "Avengers" and soon became the new director of a new branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the events of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier". The show was off to a rocky start, the first half of season one is really mediocre at best, but man, did it take off from there. Still haven't seen season seven (apparently it'll start on Disney+ three days from now... where the fuck am I gonna take all the time from that I need to watch all of this?) although since - even more spoilers - Coulson is "canonically" dead again at this point in time I feel like it's safe to say that his character arc has been completed. And what an arc it was. From uptight field agent to leader against his will, to reluctant father figure to Daisy Johnson and back again, Coulson grew a lot over the course of the five seasons "he" was in. So yeah, me liking the guy as much as I do does mainly stem from his appearances in something that isn't really relevant to the movie-universe (anymore), but I can't deny that I love the man dearly, so... fuck this categorization-bullshit. I'm gonna completely smash that next week anyway.

Which leads us to the big question... Who's gonna be at the top? Which big players haven't appeared yet? Which improbable characters have snuck into the uppermost five ranks? Who do you think will make an appearance a week from now? And which one of those characters will occupy the top spot? Share your predictions in the comments if you want to, that'd be great.

Also buy my album(s). That'd also be great.

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