Ranking every new MCU Phase 4 hero from worst to best
The MCU's Phase 4 movies and Disney+ TV show introduced a staggering number of new superheroes. But how do all these new heroes compare?
Phase 4 of the MCU introduced a ton of new superheroes. Coming out after Avengers: Endgame, Phase 4 of the MCU has always been about expansion. The shared cinematic universe has morphed into a transmedia multiverse, and the overarching narrative continues on the Disney+ streaming service. This means that stage 4 actually contains more content than stages 1-3 combined.
This also means that Phase 4 introduces a large number of superheroes, while the setting introduces many more. The focus on the multiverse means there are many different variants from different dimensions, with two different versions of Agent Carter (one in Marvel's "What If?" and one in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness middle). To be fair, this list only includes live-action heroes who have a significant opportunity to develop into characters. It doesn't include heroes like Brett Goldstein's Hercules, who appears briefly in post-credits scenes, or future heroes like Kit Harington's Black Knight. So here's a phase 4 hero comparison.
19/19 Jane Foster's Mighty Thor
Sadly, last place had to go to Jane Foster's Mighty Thor. Natalie Portman's character was introduced as Thor's love interest, but was underdeveloped and sloppily written microcontroller. She returns in Thor: Love & Thunder, claiming Odinson's magical hammer, Mujo, in an adaptation of one of the most influential comic book storylines of the past decade Mjolnir. Unfortunately, the film fails to exploit Mighty Thor's full potential. The MCU version lacks any real sense of agency, only gaining her powers in the first place because of the blessing Odinson bestowed upon her. All in all, it's such a waste, what a shame.
18/19 Red Dagger
Introduced in the Ms. Marvel Disney+ TV show, Aramis Knight's Red Dagger is a local Pakistani hero. Red Dagger's rewrite of the MCU's origins is actually a joke in the comics, which openly mocks the superhero trope because they're part of a secret ancient order. The MCU's odd choice of straightforward tropes makes Red Dagger feel rather odd and out of place in a show that should really be centered on Kamala's home city of New Jersey. Still, Knight does a great job as Red Dagger, and it's easy to imagine clever writing saving him The characters fit into the overarching narrative of the MCU, which means they're best judged as one entity right now. The casting is excellent, with some heroes standing out - notable examples being Lauren Ridloff's Makkari and Barry Keoghan's Druig ). For now, though, the Immortals still feel like they still have unrealized potential. The future of Eternals in Phases 5 and 6 is still a mystery, so hopefully that will come to fruition.
17/19 The Eternals
^ David Harbor's Red Guardian is another great casting choice, but he's pretty low on this list simply because he's (for now) more of a supporting role. A former Soviet super-soldier, the Red Guardian's presence hints at an unseen superhero side of the MCU's 20th-century Cold War. He's only had one appearance in the MCU so far, in Black Widow, but he's returning as a member of the Thunderbolts. It will be exciting to see what the future holds for Red Guardian.
Wyatt Russell's American agent is introduced in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and he is quickly shown to be more of an anti-hero than anyone else. john walker starts to be next Captain America, but he sure doesn't deserve to wield a shield - take a super soldier serum and then use Steve Rogers' shield to kill a defeated opponent. The two Captain Americas in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, John Walker and Sam Wilson, effectively present contrasting perspectives on American self-identity, an engaging discussion drawn directly from the comics. Rehabilitated by the U.S. government as a U.S. agent, Walker will undoubtedly continue to be the flawed hero of the upcoming Thunderbolt film.
16/19 Red Guardian
WandaVision is the origin story of Monica Rambeau, played by Teyonah Parris, who is destined to become a superhero in her own right (and to work with Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel in the Marvel series). The script is smart, focusing on themes of grief and loss, and Monica's own experiences help her understand why Wanda Maximoff became Scarlet Witch. Monica is a delightful character, and she's low on this list because she hasn't had much of a chance to shine in the MCU thus far.
15/19 US Agent
Xochitl Gomez made her debut as America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and she is quite possibly one of the most important roles Heroes throughout the Multiverse Saga. She's the only character (for now) in the mainstream MCU timeline to have the ability to travel across the multiverse, and Doctor Strange deduces that her powers include the ability to navigate where she needs to go. Gomez does a good job, but she doesn't get much development in this multifaceted road trip flick. America trains with Wong in Kamar-Taj and is sure to be even stronger when she comes up next time.
14/19 Monica Rambeau
Tatiana Maslany is the MCU's She-Hulk, another example of perfect MCU casting. She-Hulk's ability to break the fourth wall makes her a unique hero, leading to She-Hulk: The Lawyer's interesting ending. Marvel doesn't seem to have much faith in this particular Disney+ TV show, relying on a steady stream of cameos to keep people interested, but Maslany is easily competent enough to stand alone. Hopefully, the MCU will correct this approach as She-Hulk's adventures continue.
13/19 America Chavez
Marvel's first special, Night of the Werewolf, introduced Gael García Bernal as Jack Russell - a werewolf whose devotion to his humanoid friend led him to infiltrate a pack of monsters hunter. Marvel's first real foray into the horror genre, Night of the Werewolves was one of the highlights of Phase 4, adding thematic and tonal variety to the MCU. The fact that werewolves were barely present in Night of the Werewolves was a deliberate decision, but it still meant viewers didn't really get a sense of what Jack Russell was capable of.
Night of the Werewolf also stars Laura Donnelly as Elsa Bloodstone, the daughter of a famous monster hunter who later becomes the de facto leader of an entire secretive community. Elsa is the most fan-favorite character in the comics, even though Donnelly's interpretation has changed so much that she doesn't feel like Marvel's version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The character is delightful, there's a great chemistry between Donnelly and Bernal, and she's set as the main character in Phase 5.
11/19 Werewolf By Night
Hawkeye's Disney+ TV show introduces Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, a hero who later becomes the leader of Marvel's Young Avengers in the comics. Stanfield has been a popular fan actor for years after her performance in Bumblebee, and she totally lives up to those expectations. The interactions between Stanfield and Hawkeye Jeremy Renner are delightful, making the show the perfect Christmas gift for viewers. Marvel has yet to reveal what it is Their new Hawkeye future already awaits - but it does look very bright.
10/19 Elsa Bloodstone
MCU's Phase 4 gave each member of the OG Avengers a new legacy counterpart, with Florence Pugh officially the new Black Widow. She's also the only one of these new MCU heroes to appear twice in Phase 4; she first appeared in Black Widow and then met Clint Barton in Hawkeye. Pugh clearly enjoys playing the role, injecting ex-assassin Yelena Belova with delightful charm and a sense of humor. Yelena is very different from Natasha Romanov. She's more impractical, and therefore somehow feels more dangerous. She will join the Red Guardian and US Agent in Marvel's Thunderbolts.
9/19 Kate Bishop's Hawkeye
Another unrealistic character, Sophia Di Martino's Sylvie is a variant of Loki with attitude. Betrayal comes naturally to any version of Loki, and that's the case with Sylvie. Her relationship with Tom Hiddleston's better-known incarnation is thrilling, with so many twists and turns before reaching its inevitable conclusion. Sylvie is a power player in the Multiverse Saga, last seen in the Citadel at the end of time, which is the same as The first multiverse war.
8/19 Yelena Belova
Dominique Thorne stars as Riri Williams, Marvel's official Iron Man replacement, a teenage genius whose invention causes endless trouble in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Blissfully unaware of the consequences, like Tony Stark, she dons her Ironheart armor anyway and joins the fight against the Talokan army. Riri will return in her own Ironheart Disney+ TV series, and she may create a new armor without Wakanda's help. Hopefully, Letitia Wright's Shuri will still make an appearance, though, as the dynamic between the two actresses is fantastic.
May Calamawy's Layla becomes her own superhero in the final episode of Moon Knight, blessed with the power of Taweret and becomes Scarlet Scarab. Marc Spector's wife, Layla, has proven herself to be a powerful ally to the mercenaries even before they level up. Phase 4 of the MCU has introduced many international superheroes, and it's great to see Egypt represented by a character who shows such potential. There's no official word on Moon Knight season 2 yet, so the Scarab's future remains a mystery for now.
6/19 Riri Williams' Ironheart
Marvel Studios has a well-deserved reputation for star actors, but Iman Vellani is one of them Best option so far. The teenage actress actually embodies Kamala Khan, a Captain Marvel fan who gains superpowers and tries to do the right thing with them. Some of the creative choices Marvel made for Ms. Marvel were rather odd; her power set had changed so much in ways that still seemed unexplainable, Marvel decided to make Kamala Khan their first official mutant. Still, Kamala should indeed be one of the most important MCU characters going forward, especially since she'll have a major role in Marvel Comics.
5/19 Scarlet Scarab
Simu Liu was another epic pick for Marvel, an actor who publicly asked on social media to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe - years later, he got his wish. His character Shang-Chi is a stark contrast to the typical superhero. Powerful and skilled as he may be, he feels more like a regular guy caught in a world of magic and chaos. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ends with its hero gaining the full power of the Ten Rings, and gives him an important role in Phases 5 and 6. Shang-Chi is indeed one of the best new heroes in the game MCU's Phase 4.
4/19 Ms. Marvel
Oscar isaac's performance in Moon Knight is commendable. Marc Spector has multiple roles, which means Isaac actually has to play several different characters on one show, but he's brilliant. His success is especially notable in the scenes where the alters interact with each other, with Isaac making both Steven Grant and Max Spector feel real and well-developed. Moon Knight's ending revealed a third change, and should Marvel renew the show for a second season, there could be some exciting twists. Hopefully there will be more news about Moon Knight soon.
Marvel saved the best for last, as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever introduces viewers to Tenoch Huelta's submarine Namor. One of the oldest superheroes in Marvel Comics, Namor often plays antagonists simply because his first priority is to defend his people. The MCU reimagined Namor, possibly in part to avoid comparisons to Aquaman, but also to introduce a similar theme of colonialism to the underwater kingdom of Taloqan. Thoughtful and confident, Huerta's Namor is a physically strong man with a commanding air who truly feels he can conquer the world. he must be one of them Future stars of the MCU.
2/19 Moon Knight
Next post: What's next for Namor after Black Panther: Wakanda Forever?