From Captain America to Captain Marvel, the MCU has further made these comic book characters heroic icons. But part of the reason the MCU is so successful is that they are willing to show these superheroes as flawed. And in some cases, it makes fans question if these characters deserve to be idolized.
While some mistakes made by the Marvel heroes make them more relatable, others have crossed a line that skews closer to villainy. They can be selfish, reckless, and even put other people in danger. As iconic as they might be, there is a question if these MCU characters deserve the admiration of fans.
Though some might argue against the fact that he is admired, there are those who point to proof that Thanos was right and a tragic hero of the MCU. But while he was certainly a compelling and complex villain, that is where any admiration for Thanos should end.
Not only would his plan of wiping out half of the universe not actually help much, but his means are cruel and sadistic. He seemed to enjoy torturing his daughters, slaughtering countless people, and making himself a god. His reasoning seemed like just an excuse for the carnage.
Among the massive cast of Eternals, Kingo stands out as the most fun character. He cracks jokes, has a great backstory, and it all makes him seem more likable than his overly serious teammates. But while he might be funny, Kingo isn’t much of a hero.
It is true that Kingo stands in Ikaris’ way when he attacks the others, but he also sits out the final fight because he reveals that he actually agrees with Ikaris. It is hard to cheer for a hero who is fine with the idea of destroying an entire planet.
Thor’s first solo movie follows other heroes like Iron Man and Doctor Strange in being a tale of him learning to be less self-involved and gain some humility. But fans also seem to forget just how dangerous Thor’s ego was before he came to Earth.
Rather than just being a pompous and arrogant prince of Asgard, Thor was an uncaring and bloodthirsty warmonger who wanted to wage war on a less powerful planet simply because he felt insulted. It’s good that he learned the error of his ways but he doesn’t deserve praise for it.
Before her solo movie delved into it in more detail, Black Widow was known to have had a dark past. The “red in her ledger” was frequently mentioned as driving her path of redemption, though it seemed as though that was all done when she was brainwashed by the Red Room.
However, Black Widow reveals that Natasha earned her place in S.H.I.E.L.D. with an assassination attempt in which she knowingly sacrificed a little girl. While it makes her need for redemption more powerful, it is a pretty shocking moment.
There had been several attempts to make Hawkeye a more interesting character in the MCU, including letting him become Ronin. While it is taken from one of the best Hawkeye comic book storylines, it is strange to see the hero take such a violent turn.
Hawkeye’s grief is understandable and his targets are villains, but his vigilante methods are the kinds of things the Avengers would fight against. Killing Echo’s father in Hawkeye also shows the effect of his brutal actions.
Ever since he stepped out of the shadows at the end of Iron Man, Nick Fury has been the glue of the MCU. Bringing the Avengers together shows that he is an ambitious and risk-taking man when it comes to protecting the world, but he can also go too far.
The Avengers reveals that Fury was using the Tesseract to build weapons, mirroring what Red Skull did in WWII. Even worse, he implemented a plan in Captain America: The Winter Soldier to surveil and destroy threats before they even occur, which disgusted Captain America.
After being a secondary character in Guardians of the Galaxy, Yondu was given more to do in the sequel and made more sympathetic. Becoming a father figure for Peter Quill, Yondu’s death makes for one of the saddest endings in the MCU.
But while Quill seems to realize that Yondu was like a father to him, he ignores the fact that they met because Yondu kidnapped Quill from Earth as a child. Any good parenting moments after that pale in comparison.
Odin was not only seen as the powerful king of Asgard but also a wise and caring man who cared for his children and his people. But Thor: Ragnarok also revealed how Odin became ruler of the Nine Realms, and it is decidedly unheroic.
Odin unleashed his daughter Hela, the Goddess of Death, to destroy all his enemies, leaving no one to stop him. And when Hela got too powerful to control, Odin locked her away and never spoke about her again.
Though fans feel as though WandaVision hinted at Wanda’s villain arc in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, she was doing plenty of villainous things before that. Wanda has surely lived a tragic life which gains her a lot of sympathy from fans, but she has also done some terrible things.
Not only did she begin her path in the MCU as a villain, but she enslaved an entire town and subjected the people to psychological torture. She got off very easily for such a horrific act and it makes her massacre of the Illuminati a lot less surprising.
Given that he was the first big bad of the MCU, it is strange how easily Loki has been embraced by fans. He was a complex villain, living in his brother’s shadow and wanting to impress his father, but that doesn’t excuse any of the things he did.
From trying to kill Thor to attempting genocide on the Frost Giants to attacking Earth and killing countless people in the process, Loki hasn’t done nearly enough to earn fans’ admiration.
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