Since 2008, we’ve met over 100 Marvel Cinematic Universe characters who either served in major or supporting roles. A nice handful of these characters have appeared in more than one film, and many fans have become quite fond of some of them. Several blows have been dealt to the MCU fandom over the years in terms of loss, and while some might bear a little more weight than others, it’s never easy to see a big or small character die.
Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr.) death in “Avengers: Endgame” is probably the most heartbreaking death in the MCU to date, and fans seemed to take it harder than Natasha Romanoff’s (Scarlett Johansson), which happened in the same film. Moviegoers even debated why one hurt more than another on Reddit, with one user saying, “Her death would have more impact if she had had [sic] solo movies before ‘Endgame.’ If we had been given a chance to invest in the character more.”
While everyone has their own opinions regarding their favorite MCU characters, the fandom as a whole normally seems to share the same positive feelings about particular ones. It would be truly devastating to Marvel movie fans to see certain beloved characters die, no matter how big or small their role. Take Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) death in “The Avengers.” It was a shocking gut-punch to see a sweet, innocent character suffer that fate. Here are the other MCU players who we’d be more than upset to see killed off.
As much as Chris Evans wants to pretend he’s done playing Steve Rogers in the MCU, we’re not convinced. The actor responded to a popular Deadline article citing he was in talks for two more Marvel Studios films earlier this year, tweeting, “News to me.” Now that it seems like Steve could return, bringing him back just to kill him would be blasphemy. Cap had such a beautiful ending in “Avengers: Endgame” with Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), and if that was tarnished in any way, fans might take to the streets.
Leading up to “Avengers: Endgame,” fans long suspected that either Tony or Steve would die, with many assuming there wasn’t a world where both would meet their end. All across social media, MCU stans guessed who would perish out of the two, and it seemed to be split right down the middle. In a popular Reddit thread, MCU fans were forced to choose between the two men, but there was no consensus among the dozens of users who participated.
It’s simple, no one wanted either man to die, but for the story’s sake, one had to. With Tony’s death set in stone in the Sacred Timeline, losing Steve as well in the future would just be too much and rather unnecessary.
Many a Marvel character has been killed in the comics, only to come back from the dead shortly after with a fresh new storyline. However, some aren’t as easily killed as others because of their powers. This is the case for Thor, who has only been killed by a few baddies in Marvel’s pages. The Thor (Chris Hemsworth) we know in the MCU is just as difficult to kill, meaning his death would be a true shock.
With Natasha and Tony six feet under, and Steve off living in some other timeline, the only remaining Avengers we have left are Thor, Hawkeye, and the Hulk. Since Marvel Studios can’t figure out what to do with the Hulk, and most people agree that Hawkeye sucks, Thor is the last great member of the team, and if he were to die, it would be nothing but a big bummer. It would have to be someone or something serious to take him out — that might make for a great scene, but we’d rather avoid it altogether.
There’s no telling what fate awaits him in “Thor: Love and Thunder,” but we do know that Hemsworth wants to play the character forever. “I’d play this character for as long as anyone would let me … I’ve loved it so much,” he told This Morning in 2019. We have also loved it so much, so let’s keep the God of Thunder alive and well, shall we?
If we were to list some of the most badass people in all of the MCU, you better believe Okoye (Danai Gurira) is going to be near the top of that list. With no superpowers, the Wakandan has proven she’s a force to be reckoned with, knocking out her fair share of Outriders in both the Battle of Wakanda and the Battle of Earth. She is fiercely loyal to her home country, even putting it above her love for her partner in “Black Panther.”
Okoye’s dedication to her people and whatever mission is at hand makes her easy to root for no matter what film she’s in. We know she’ll be appearing in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” and the untitled Wakanda Disney+ series, and we hope she makes it out of the latter alive. It would be so devastating to lose someone else from Wakanda, given the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman. We hope T’Challa’s family and closest allies make it through each and every impending battle so they can continue to honor his legacy.
This one should go without saying, but the death of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) would absolutely crush fans of the MCU. Since day one, he has been with the universe, appearing in six films as one of Tony Stark’s best friends. His most important role is dodger of Peter Parker’s phone calls, which is another reason we can’t help but love him. Happy just has that good guy quality about him, and watching him almost die in “Iron Man 3” had us wanting revenge on Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) ourselves.
It turns out Happy was supposed to die in the film, according to storyboards from the first script (via comicbookmovie.com). We’re not sure why the change was made, opting to have Happy survive the explosion, but we’re sure glad they decided to go with a more positive outcome. With the former security guard set to appear in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” we’re hoping for nothing but positive things for him — especially since it looks like he and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) will finally hook up. Hopefully, he stays safe throughout the film because we don’t want to imagine any world where there is both no Tony and no Happy.
Rocket (Bradley Cooper) might be a little bit of a jerk most of the time, but we know it’s because he’s suffered from quite a difficult life. He’s been experimented on over and over again in the past, but we still know so little about his backstory. He definitely has strong feelings when it comes to those he loves, primarily for Groot as we saw him weep when his friend first died in “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
Hopefully, in the next “Guardians” film, we can see a little more of Rocket’s origin story, which we’d like to see mirrored with a happy ending. If Rocket were to die in an upcoming project, we suspect audiences wouldn’t take it very well. To be fair, whenever an animal dies in a movie, it always seems to have a more significant impact on the viewer than when a human dies. Obviously, there are always exceptions to the rule, but seeing a poor little raccoon — albeit a wisecracking, mutated one — die on the big screen would be truly devastating. Just take Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) instead, James Gunn — we’re begging you.
Florence Pugh took the MCU by storm after debuting as Yelena Belova in “Black Widow.” Serving as the sister of Natasha Romanoff, the former assassin helped fight back against Dreykov (Ray Winstone) to take down the Red Room, ultimately coming out victorious. The Scarlett Johansson-led film was well received by critics and fans, earning 79% and 91% critic and audience scores, respectively, on Rotten Tomatoes.
The film wasn’t without its flaws, but it was widely accepted that one of the best things about “Black Widow” was Yelena herself, thanks to Pugh’s stellar portrayal. From the way she poked fun at her sister’s superhero landing to her convincing breakdown at the family reunion, Yelena is one of the more relatable MCU characters out there. We suspect Yelena has a healthy Marvel Studios run ahead of her, with her next appearance in the Disney+ series “Hawkeye” opposite Jeremy Renner. With how much fans loved Yelena from the get-go, we’d be shocked to discover she wasn’t appearing in several properties after that. Someone needs to carry on Natasha’s legacy, and there is no one better to do it than her. If Kevin Feige and company kill off Yelena somewhere down the line, it’s going to be one hell of a hit to the MCU fandom.
Regarded as one of the most influential superheroes of all time, it’s probably best if Marvel Studios opts to keep Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in the world of the living. Spider-Man has always been one of the most widely loved superheroes, and the massive success of the Sam Raimi-directed trilogy ($2.5 billion combined per The Numbers) in the early-mid ’00s is definitely proof of how much fans always wanted to see the web-slinger on the big screen.
Holland does a stellar job of portraying the MCU’s Spidey, and he’s often regarded as the best Spider-Man actor out of the three men who have put on the suit. He brings an innocence to the character in ways not captured by Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield, and his naive nature fits the teenage hero to a tee.
Technically, yes, we did see Peter die in the finale of “Avengers: Infinity War.” While we also witnessed more than a handful of other heroes dissipate alongside him, audiences seemed to groan more at the “Mr. Stark; I don’t feel so good” line. Despite Holland being in the MCU a shorter amount of time compared to other fan-favorites, his “Infinity War” death proved how much audiences have accepted his version of Spider-Man. Putting the permanent kibosh on Peter would leave the MCU fandom feeling some type of way for sure.
Groot (Vin Diesel) made his MCU debut in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and was immediately loved by all, despite only speaking four different words in the entire film. Groot is fiercely loyal, especially to Rocket, and he has a ride-or-die nature that isn’t evident in all Marvel film characters. This was evident in his ultimate sacrifice at the end of the movie, where he creates a cradle out of his body to save the rest of the Guardians from an otherwise deadly crash.
Viewers fell for the talking tree in just two hours, and his death in the film was shocking. We had just been introduced to this new superhero team, and losing one of the members right off the bat was a bold writing choice. Luckily, we didn’t have to wallow in our grief for too long as it was revealed in the movie’s finale that a part of his shattered body was planted, and a new Groot was born.
While teenage Groot tends to be annoyingly angsty, we know that inside he’s pure of heart. Watching Groot suffer a permanent death would be pretty difficult, and watching other Guardians go before bidding farewell to the beloved tree might be easier.
It was a casting no one saw coming. In late 2013, The Wrap exclusively revealed Paul Rudd was in talks to play Ant-Man, and fans of the funnyman were thrilled. With two solo films and two team-ups under his belt, Scott Lang has become a staple in the MCU. Serving as one of the sillier characters in the film universe, Scott instantly got the fandom behind him, and he’s become one of the MCU’s leading stars with characters like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Natasha Romanoff out of the game.
If Scott were to die in the upcoming “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” or another team-up film, the MCU fandom would riot — on their computers. It’s not so much that killing off Ant-Man would devastate moviegoers, as much as saying goodbye to Rudd would. His comedy never feels forced, and there is so much more to explore with the character. No more Scott means no more Rudd in Marvel projects, and that’s not something we’re prepared to handle just yet.
A character with one of the most complex story arcs in all of the MCU is Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen). As a matter of fact, it doesn’t seem like her arc is even close to being finished at this point as she has only recently become the Scarlet Witch after the events of “WandaVision.” While it looks like she might be on the path to darkness, watching Wanda die would be pretty painful. We know the true, good-natured Wanda is still in there somewhere — we’re just hoping light triumphs over evil in her next few appearances.
Wanda has had way too much happen to her in her life, from the death of her parents, to the death of her brother Pietro (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), to the 276 deaths of Vision (Paul Bettany), to the complete breakdown of her not-so-happily-ever-after in Westview — the woman needs a break. If anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s Wanda, and that certainly isn’t going to happen with her death. She deserves so much more than to be written out of the MCU, and even if her death comes in some sort of sacrifice, fans still won’t be happy with it.
Hundreds of Redditors agree that Wanda deserves a happy ending the most out of everyone in the MCU. Whether that happy ending includes some form of Vision remains to be seen; we just hope we don’t have to see that poor son of a gun go out one more time.
There are awesome MCU characters, and then there are protect-at-all-costs characters, and one of those is Mr. Jimmy Woo (Randall Park). First debuting in “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” Jimmy was a funny, quirky FBI agent assigned as Scott Lang’s parole officer. There is something so endearing about Jimmy, which was further amplified when he showed up in Westview for “WandaVision.” He fights for the side of good and rebels against leadership when he knows something is afoot.
Jimmy is one of the few people who understands that Wanda isn’t trying to hurt anyone and tries desperately to get through to her to no avail. He helps to take down Hayward (Josh Stamberg), proving, like others on our list, you don’t have to have superhuman strength to defeat the bad guys. The allure of Jimmy is similar to that of Scott, as both characters are played by actors loved by the public. If anyone played Jimmy other than Park, fans across the globe might have been less likely to fall in love with the agent.
Throughout the airing of “WandaVision,” viewers campaigned across social media to get Jimmy his own spinoff series, according to The Direct. Some Redditors even dubbed him the best new Marvel character, so if he dies off in a future phase, we can expect some serious backlash from fans.
Who knew a Kronan could be so lovable? Who even knew what a Kronan was before Korg, for that matter? The world was introduced to Korg (Taika Waititi) in “Thor: Ragnarok” as a prisoner of the Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) on Sakaar. It was impossible not to like him immediately, thanks primarily to the tremendous voice work by Waititi. The gentle giant has a way of seeing the positive in every situation and seems like someone you just want to get a beer — or whatever Kronan’s drink is — with on the weekend.
Imagining Korg dying is a terrible thought to process. Even though we know all of this is fictional, it’s never easy to see someone so pure of heart go out. Korg deserves nothing but happiness in his future, and if the powers-that-be at Marvel Studios plan to kill him off at some point in time, they might have an army of Kronan fans seeking answers. Fans so adore the lovable rock-like behemoth that even just a photo of him on Reddit earned over 15,000 upvotes. That’s no easy feat. We’d be willing to bet if we see Korg die on screen, Reddit threads condemning his death will have three times as many clicks.
One of the best moves ever made in the MCU’s casting history was the switch from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle for the part of Colonel James Rhodes. Sometimes those kinds of actor replacements can ruin the movie, but that wasn’t the case at all here. Rhodes is another of Tony Stark’s closest friends and confidants who always has his back. He’s also instrumental in the fight against Thanos and one of the few who participates in the Time Heist. We’ve been through so much with Rhodes that seeing him go down would be so difficult to watch.
Case in point, it looked like Rhodes met his end in “Captain America: Civil War” after Vision accidentally knocked him out of the sky. When he hit the ground, audiences across the world gasped — evident in this fan reaction video. It was a moment when many MCU fans realized they cared a hell of a lot more about the character than they thought they did. It would be tough to watch that kind of moment again with Rhodes, as we need as many people as we can carrying on the memory of Iron Man. With Cheadle set to return in the upcoming Disney+ series “Armor Wars,” we hope nothing but good things are on the horizon for War Machine.
If you want to picture MCU fans really losing their minds while they sob uncontrollably, imagine the death of Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) in a future film. Killing off Peter Parker’s best friend would hurt just as bad as killing Spidey himself — OK, that might be an exaggeration — but nevertheless, it would be a brutal blow to the Ned stans of the world.
We should note that rumors suggest Ned will take on a villainous role in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” according to Fandomwire. Some believe Ned will portray Hobgoblin, a villain he becomes in “Amazing Spider-Man” #249 thanks to some brainwashing by Roderick Kingsley. This might mean death is coming sooner rather than later for Ned if Peter is forced to either kill his friend or if something catastrophic happens while the plan to take out the mastermind behind his brainwashing fails. There is also a possibility that this villain version of Ned is just from another universe, and he’s not the cutesy-smiley one we know from the MCU “Spider-Man” films. No matter which Ned dies — if he does — it’s not going to be an easy one to digest.
We’ve seen a love interest of Spider-Man die on the big screen before, and it’s nothing we’re interested in going through again. The death of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was a total shock, and if that type of twist was delivered twice to Spider-Man fans, it would be way out of left field.
Zendaya does an incredible job portraying MJ in the MCU’s “Spider-Man” films, and now that she and Peter Parker are finally getting together, it would be horrible to lose her so soon. Sometimes close friends and love interests are killed off in films to give the protagonist the push they need to defeat the big bad — hello, Coulson — but we’re hoping that’s not a route the MCU takes with MJ. She could prove to be a strong ally to Peter, possibly adopting her own powers in the future. With a talent like Zendaya on your roster, it’s best to keep her around to keep the people happy and the movies that much better.
It took all of one episode for “Loki” viewers to fall in love with Mobius M. Mobius, the Time Variance Authority agent played by the charming Owen Wilson. The actor had undeniable chemistry with Loki himself, Tom Hiddleston, and every scene involving the duo was pure magic. Fans absolutely lost their minds when Mobius seemingly died in Episode 4 of the series after being pruned by Judge Renslayer (Gugu M’Batha-Raw). We had only known him for a few episodes, but the determined yet kind TVA agent became a favorite in no time.
Thankfully, we found out in Episode 5 that one doesn’t die when they’re pruned but instead transported to The Void at the End of Time. It’s pretty much a death sentence, but Mobius was able to get out, in addition to surviving all the events of “Loki,” which suggests we will see Wilson back in action.
If we lose Mobius in a future MCU project, fans will not go quietly. For weeks, the fandom took to social media to express their love for the mustache-rocking agent, with many a thread on Reddit dedicated to the hopes of seeing Mobius on a jet ski in the future. If he does die — which he better not — we just hope he has one hell of a ride on a Sea-Doo before biting the bullet.
Wong (Benedict Wong) is a force to be reckoned with in the MCU, and we’re not quite sure the sorcerer’s full potential has been revealed just yet. When he first debuted in “Doctor Strange,” it seemed like Wong would primarily serve as a sidekick to Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), but the last several years have proven he’s his own man. Wong has shown up in four different MCU flicks and will also have roles in the upcoming “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
If Wong is killed off in the second “Doctor Strange” flick, it’s going to send some serious waves through fandom. The character is undoubtedly a fan favorite thanks to his dedication to his craft and perfectly timed one-liners. Wong feels like a security blanket, always there to protect you and make you feel warm and fuzzy. Losing Wong wouldn’t just be a blow to the fans, but the MCU as a whole — especially Doctor Strange. Without Wong to keep the still-kind-of-arrogant Sorcerer Supreme in line, the ramifications of losing him could be catastrophic.
Shuri (Letitia Wright) just might be the most intelligent character in the MCU right now. Rocket might give her a run for her money, but with Tony Stark in the ground and the Hulk constantly switching between forms, the Wakandan is one of the brightest minds on the planet. While it’s still up in the air what role she will move into in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Shuri is likely to play a more significant role in the MCU as a whole.
The loss of Shuri isn’t something audiences would handle very well, especially since she is the only child of King T’Chaka left. As we previously said when discussing Okoye, it would be pretty difficult to see the loss of another major Wakandan character. Shuri has so much to offer the world and her superhero friends that her loss would be devastating on so many levels. Justifying her death would be a difficult task for writers, and we’re hoping she sticks around for quite some time.
Talk about an MCU character who has been through the wringer. Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) — aka the Winter Soldier — has appeared in five films and one Disney+ series, serving as the loyal best friend of Steve Rogers. Despite his hardened exterior, Bucky has long been a fan-favorite in the MCU who has one of the most tragic character arcs in the Infinity Saga. He has persevered despite being brainwashed by the enemy, and comes full circle and repents for his past transgressions in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
Some fans on Reddit were bummed out that he didn’t take on the mantle of Captain America as Steve Rogers passed over his shield, but Bucky himself seemed to approve the honor belonged to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie). Bucky has an all-around good heart, and fans have only ever wanted the best for him, given his tragic past with Hydra. If he were to die in an upcoming project after the beautiful closure he had in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” it would be a travesty. Some people just deserve goodness thrown their way, and Bucky is one of them.