All 38 Marvel Cinematic Universe Superheroes, Ranked – Sorry, Moon Knight

Since Iron man first hit the big screen, it’s been a nonstop barrage of superheroes being introduced as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For crying out loud, there are even some that technically don’t even count at this point because they’re just popped up for a frame or two (we’re talking about you, Charlize Theron). Even discounting those newcomers, there are nearly 40 different superheroes in the MCU, many affiliated with the Avengers, however many also decidedly not.

With that in mind, we decided it was time to figure out who was the best of the best, which also means we had to determine the worst. We should note, however, that being the worst MCU superhero is like being the slowest Olympic runner. You’re still pretty amazing, aren’t you, Moon Knight?

So join us as we dive deep into the MCU and rank every single hero we’ve seen in action before. Of course, with so many movies and TV shows on the horizon, this list will surely change. For now, though, we feel confident about where everyone lands.

38. Moon Knight

First appearance: Moon Knight

When the best thing about Moon Knight is how charming Oscar Isaac is, that’s saying a lot. His standalone show wasn’t very memorable; he feels more disconnected from the rest of the MCU than anyone else. Moreover, we aren’t necessarily all that excited to see him join the gang–and with nothing announced for his future, we’re not even sure when that will be happening.

37. Iron Fist

First appearance: Iron Fist Season 1

Iron Fist is the worst of Netflix’s MCU heroes by a long shot. His standalone show did him no favors, and it doesn’t help that he’s bland and forgettable. At least he had a team-up with the Defenders, though.

36. Ant-Man

First appearance: Ant-Man

We don’t hate Ant-Man, though him placing so low on the list might make it look that way. Instead, we’re just unsure of his place in the MCU, what he brings to the table, and if there’s more to him than the jokes, he hurls out left and right. He’s fun to watch, but if you were picking out a team of heroes, he likely wouldn’t make the cut. Sorry, Scott.

35. Wasp

First appearance: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Her introduction in Ant-Man and the Wasp went as well as it could have, and while she may not be an A-list MCU hero at this point, she’s proven herself to be much better with her powers than Ant-Man. So that’s something.

34. The Eternals

First appearance: The Eternals

We’re lumping the Eternals together because, well, it’s hard to tell how they’ll do as individual heroes moving forward. After a single movie, we just don’t know enough yet. However, given how powerful they are–and how varied their powers are–They could easily move closer to the top of the list in time.

33. Kate Bishop

First appearance: Hawkeye

You might argue she’s not technically a superhero yet, but at a very young age, Kate has shown she’s more than capable of becoming the next Hawkeye. What’s more, we just really like her and think she has a pretty bright future ahead of her. Still, at this point, it’s going to take some work to move up the list.

32. Punisher

First appearance: Daredevil Season 2

You may love Punisher and the two seasons of TV dedicated to the character on Netflix. That doesn’t make him a good hero, though. He’s an anti-hero and not one you should be looking up to. In the words of Jon Bernthal, who played him on the show, “He ain’t got a f***ing cape. He ain’t got any superpowers. He’s a fucking tortured, angry father and husband who’s living in this unbelievable world of darkness and loss and torment.” Sounds like a cool guy.

31. Mantis

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

Mantis ranks last among the Guardians because, well, we’ve spent the least amount of time with her. Her powers are entertaining, she has a great dynamic with the team, and even played a role in Endgame. Ultimately, though, she will face fierce competition to move up the ranks.

30. Star-Lord

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy

Everyone may love Star-Lord, but we’re here to say he’s overrated. He’s a fun guy to have around but is also one of the least engaging members of the Guardians. And what’s he remembered most for? Trading barbs with Thor and Iron Man.

29. Nebula

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy

Nebula, on the other hand, is an interesting character to explore. Starting in the MCU as a villain before turning toward the light, this largely synthetic being is a tortured soul trying to finally do right by the galaxy, and it’s a redemption story we’re excited to follow going forward.

28. Monica Rambeau

First appearance: Captain Marvel

We first met Monica Rambeau in Captain Marvel as a child. Then, we saw her powers come to life in WandaVision. She’s slowly creeping her way up the ranking, and after we see what she’s made of in The Marvels, the sky may be the limit.

27. Drax

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy

While it’s easy to reduce Drax to his inflated sense of self-worth, the jokes he makes, or his inability to turn invisible, he’s also an incredibly powerful warrior with one of the best backstories among the Guardians. His whole existence was based around destroying Thanos for killing his family. Now that Thanos is gone, we’re excited to see what’s next for Drax.

26. Groot

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy

Sure he’s a tree, but he’s also a pretty good hero. After all, the Guardians likely would have died at the end of the first movie had Groot not sacrificed himself–allowing us to watch him grow up all over again.

25. Luke Cage

First appearance: Jessica Jones Season 1

Nobody delivers a beating quite like Luke Cage and his standalone Netflix series proved that. However, like the rest of his Marvel/Netflix comrades, he doesn’t quite fit into the MCU–at least not yet. We’ve seen Daredevil make the full transition into the MCU and should Luke be next, he would make a formidable addition to the gang.

24. Jessica Jones

First appearance: Jessica Jones Season 1

Like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones is incredibly strong and practically unbreakable. Like Luke, she’s also in that group of Marvel/Netflix characters that only sort of exist in the MCU. There’s certainly time to change that and establish Jessica as a massive hero in her own right. At the very least, she has the distinction of having the best Marvel/Netflix show, as Season 1 of Jessica Jones was practically perfect.

23. Daredevil

First appearance: Daredevil Season 1

Daredevil was the launching pad for Marvel on Netflix and has also been the first of those heroes to make the jump to the theatrical MCU–officially joining the two universes on-screen. He’s a classic Marvel superhero and his portrayal on Netflix was very good. Still, as with the rest of the Netflix characters, they need to be more firmly established in the MCU.

22. Ms. Marvel

First appearance: Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan has entered the MCU and we couldn’t be more excited. Sure, her powers are a bit of a remix of what we know from the comics, but it’s all very exciting. At this point, though, she’s still figuring out how to be a proper superhero. Chances are that by the time we get to The Marvels, she will be climbing the list even further.

21. America Chavez

First appearance: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

We’re only just been introduced to America Chavez via the latest Doctor Strange movie, but she’s already off to an incredible start. Her power to travel between universes is flat-out incredible, and now that she’s training under Wong, she will more than likely be able to harness that power to be a very successful superhero moving forward. We can’t wait to see her evolution.

20. Gamora

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy

As far as the Guardians go, Gamora stands tall. She rose above her tragic upbringing to become a fierce warrior dedicated to stopping her adopted father Thanos, which ended up costing her life. At the very least, though, Endgame introduced a 2014 variant of Gamora. So while her memories may not be there, we know she’s still alive and well.

19. Nick Fury

First appearance: Iron Man

There is no Avengers without Nick Fury. The former director of SHIELD started the Avenger initiative and at this point we know he’s out there in space somewhere, just waiting for the change to wind up back on earth.

18. Hawkeye

First appearance: Thor

While he’s one of the original Avengers, he’s also the least spectacular member of the team. That said, the standalone Hawkeye series on Disney+ did a lot of rehab of the character and, dare we say, we’re going to miss Clint if he is indeed retired.

17. Valkyrie

First appearance: Thor: Ragnarok

From Thor’s sarcastic ally in Ragnarok to the current king of Asgard, Valkyrie simply rules. She’s the greatest. Still, while we love the character, we’re excited to see her in action more.

16. Vision

First appearance: Avengers: Age of Ultron

As with Wanda, who we’ll discuss later, Vision’s character greatly benefited from WandaVision. While we knew how powerful he was and that he was fascinated by humanity, with that show he became a fully fleshed-out character, even though he was already technically dead. Here’s hoping we haven’t seen the last of Vis.

15. Captain Marvel

First appearance: Captain Marvel

From her first ’90s-soaked adventure through her appearance at the climax of Avengers: Endgame, we’ve got a good idea of how powerful Captain Marvel is. Power isn’t everything, though, and after two appearances, we simply need more. That someone like Captain Marvel hasn’t cracked the top 10 is telling. However, there’s plenty more to come–namely The Marvels–that could improve her standing here.

14. War Machine

First appearance: Iron Man

Tony Stark’s most tried and true friend is also the Avenger that most closely aligns with what he believes the team should be. With a powered suit of armor like his friend, War Machine often toes the line of the government in any given mission, though ultimately he ends up standing for whatever is right.

13. Shang-Chi

First appearance: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

The future is bright for Shang-Chi. With a very good movie under his belt and the future ahead of him, we don’t doubt Shang-Shi will become a powerful piece of the MCU–but it could be argued he already is. Given that he’s already met Wong, Captain Marvel, and Hulk, chances are we aren’t too far away from his integration into the larger MCU.

12. Doctor Strange

First appearance: Doctor Strange

We love Doctor Strange. He’s the cocky and sarcastic magical uncle we all wish we had. He also, along with America Chavez, is now the only MCU superhero with experience jumping across the multiverse. He’s also an incredibly powerful magician who helped defeat Thanos, survived the blip, and seems to have his hands in almost every corner of the MCU–whether we know it or not.

11. Rocket Raccoon

First appearance: Guardians of the Galaxy

Rocket may be foul-mouthed and prone to violence, but he’s also the heart of the Guardians of the Galaxy. What’s more, he’s Groot’s de facto father figure and best friend. James Gunn has said himself that the Guardians films, overall, are centered on Rocket’s story arc and we can’t wait to see how it concludes.

10. Winter Soldier

First appearance: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

What a long, strange trip for Bucky. He went from Steve Rogers’ best friend to a brainwashed supervillain, to one of the best heroes the MCU has. On the long and torturous road that Winter Soldier has gone down, he’s more than proven himself in the world of superheroes.

9. Falcon/Captain America

First appearance: Captain America: Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson went from Cap’s buddy to Falcon with relative ease, working his way up the superhero ladder. Now, post-Endgame, he’s taken on the mantle of Captain America himself, establishing his place in the MCU for a long time to come.

8. Black Panther

First appearance: Captain America: Civil War

It’s entirely possible that, had star Chadwick Boseman not passed away, his Black Panther would wind up at the very top of this list, eventually. Still, with just a handful of team-up movie appearances and a single standalone film, Black Panther’s importance in the MCU is set in stone.

7. Scarlet Witch

First appearance: Avengers: Age of Ultron

This one is tough, is Wanda a superhero or a supervillain? Truthfully, a bit of both. But that’s what makes her so good. Even before WandaVision, Wanda proved time and again how powerful she was and what she was willing to do for those she loved. She may have taken that too far in the latest Doctor Strange movie, but she made the right choice in the end, proving she’s ultimately a hero.

6. Hulk

First appearance: The Incredible Hulk

It’s been a long, strange trip for Hulk and he’s come out better for it. Now permanently stuck in his green skin, Hulk is a central MCU figure, even if Mark Ruffalo’s never gotten a standalone movie to play the character.

5. Spider-Man

First appearance: Captain America: Civil War

In terms of who’s left standing, only Thor tops Spider-Man on the MCU food chain, if we’re being completely honest. The web-slinger is out of high school, nobody knows his true identity, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him leading the charge of the Avengers in the future.

4. Black Widow

First appearance: Iron Man 2

Black Widow is a master assassin that was not only the first female Avenger but quite possibly the most deadly–even without superpowers. We will never be over the way she was killed in Avengers: Endgame, but we remain so glad she got her own film.

3. Thor

First appearance: Thor

Thor was always at his best when he popped up in the team movies. While Thor and Thor: The Dark World aren’t bad movies, they are nowhere near the level of the other mainline MCU titles. Thankfully, Thor: Ragnarok set the god of thunder on the right track, establishing Thor as powerful, hilarious, and willing to do whatever it took to win the fight. It also formed his close friendship with Hulk, which we’ll never be tired of.

2. Captain America

First appearance: Captain America: The First Avenger

Choosing the best between Captain America and Iron Man is pretty difficult. It’s essentially a tie, as both define the very essence of the group as the premier superhero of the MCU–or at least they did. After the events of Avengers: Endgame, both have taken their final bow. Still, what sets the two apart is Steve Rogers going back in time to change the timeline to end up with Peggy, something we are still not over.

1. Iron Man

First appearance: Iron Man

Tony Stark is the Avenger that started it all. From the first Iron Man film, through the climax of Avengers: Endgame, he often found a way to make it all about him–and for good reason. It’s interesting that as cocky and brash as Tony started out, he sacrificed as much–if not more–than anything. And in the end, he paid the ultimate price to save the universe.

Honorary mention: Korg

First appearance: Thor: Ragnarok

We can’t exactly count Korg as a superhero…yet. Right now, he’s Thor’s best bro and a pretty rad gamer. How could we not include him, though? He’s the best of us all.

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