Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Marvel: Ranking the 15 best MCU characters on Disney Plus in 2021

Here are the best 15 Disney Plus Marvel Studios characters from 2021.


2021 was a great year for Marvel Studios on Disney Plus. Each of their shows were astounding hist. Even in a world where people would rather binge shows all at once, the weekly releases worked. It kept people excited for the day they came out. People were talking about the show on social media as soon as they were released and, yes, they were usually released at 3am EST.

Each of the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows on Disney Plus had standout characters. Some of them had even more than one. The best part is that each of them were different in their own ways. A lot of them will be back in future projects. Sadly, others will be one and done.

Now let’s look at ones that will always be remembered.

15. Party Thor

Marvel show: What If…?

Party Thor made his debut in episode 7 of What If…?. Here, Thor lived a life where Loki wasn’t his adopted brother in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this universe, Odin gave his wayward son back to his father instead. Thor was still destined to be King of Asgard and remained a phenomenal warrior and God of Thunder. The difference is that Thor lived to party.

“Party Thor”, as he was known, was hilarious. Thankfully, his love for festive gatherings didn’t make him any less of a fighter or hero. There was one story where he threw a party on a meteor and made sure no one got hurt.

Hopefully Party Thor will return in a future season of What If…?. Just keep him away from Las Vegas.

14. Kate Bishop

Marvel show: Hawkeye

Hailee Steinfeld was a perfect representation of Kate Bishop in the MCU. Obviously, some things had to be changed to work on a TV format. Nonetheless, she got as close to the source material as possible. She was funny, highly skilled, and truly embraced the bow and arrow.

This writer fully expects Kate Bishop to be an even better hero the next time we see her, especially since she’ll be more experienced than some of the other Young Avengers who may or may not appear beside her. Billy and Tommy may have helped their mother save the day in WandaVision, but Kate also went up against Wilson Fisk and won. That’s enough to earn anyone’s respect. She’ll most likely be the leader of the team if we do see a Young Avengers project in the future.

13. Maya Lopez

Marvel show: Hawkeye

Alaqua Cox absolutely knocked it out the park in her first acting role as Maya Lopez. She was asked to be a crucial part of the story and nailed it – something that was especially important as she was playing a character that a lot of non-comic book fans might not know about. After this performance, though, fans wanted to know more about Maya Lopez.

The star defiinitely got fans excited for her solo adventure, the Disney Plus series Echo. Granted, it’ll be a while before we see it (2023 at the earliest it seems). However, don’t be shocked if she appears in a future Disney Plus project before that, like Moon Knight. She has a history with that character in the comics and, aside from that, it would be cool to see Maya go up against Moon Knight. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

12. Clint Barton

Marvel show: Hawkeye

Hawkeye is the best we’ve seen from Clint Barton in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. In the movies, we didn’t really get to know him in depth. That may have made sense since he had to share the screen with Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and the other more popular Avengers, but it didn’t help his character. Thankfully, Jeremy Renner had a chance to shine in Hawkeye.

Clint’s character development was thrown at us in a short amount of time and it worked. We got to see him as the family man trying to make his loved ones happy, a reluctant mentor, and the hero that doesn’t miss. It was especially great to see him be funny. With any luck, this won’t be the last we see of Clint as Hawkeye in the MCU.

11. Baron Zemo

Marvel show: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Baron Zemo didn’t get the respect he deserves as a villain in the MCU. Other than Thanos and Hela, who can say they accomplished what he did? Zemo pits the Avengers against each other and causes their breakup. It’s more impressive because he did it without powers.

In The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, we saw more of his genius. Zemo didn’t have to fight anyone to be a major player. All he needed was his intelligence, savviness, and some money. It won’t be surprising if he escapes Wakanda and ends up in another MCU project.

10. Ultron

Marvel show: What If…?

Ultron from Disney Plus’ What If…? may be the biggest bad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He didn’t just defeat the heroes in his world. He went on to attack other worlds throughout the multiverse. He also beat The Watcher in a way that isn’t normally seen. The fact that he could sense him was shocking enough. To defeat a being with power like The Watcher’s is something else all together. That alone puts him in the top ten. Then, seeing him up against the might of multiple heroes solidified it.

9. Agatha Harkness

Marvel show: WandaVision

Kathryn Hahn is a rock-star performer. She’s a comedy veteran and she certainly got the chance to showcase that in the early episodes of WandaVision. It made some fans think Agnes might not actually be the Agatha Harkness from Marvel Comics they initially expected her to be. As we saw, though, she’s every bit the witch she is in the comics – and Kathryn Hahn played her sensationally.

When thinking of Agatha, fans tend to instantly go to the Emmy-winning song “Agatha All Along”. That was only a small part of her greatness. Agatha pleading while almost being killed during her origin scene showed range. Then, when she went full-on powerful witch, we knew Agatha was something special. Her upcoming Disney Plus show, Agatha: House of Harkness, will show more of Kathryn Hahn’s brilliance.


8. Star-Lord (T’Challa)

Marvel show: What If…?

Peter Quill’s Star-Lord is a good character. He comes off as mostly goofy, but there’s depth to him. What If…? episode 2, however, showed fans how Star-Lord could live up to the title. He could become someone who brought peace to the universe. Then again, T’Challa may be the only person to do something like this.

How good was T’Challa when he was Star-Lord? He convinced Thanos to stop pursuing his goal of snapping away half the universe. Not only that, the Mad Titan was happy. He smiled and was trying to make amends for all the harm he caused. T’Challa did all of this by just being T’Challa.

7. Bucky Barnes

Marvel show: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Sebastian Stan continued to show everyone why he’s one of the best additions to the MCU last year. As Bucky Barnes, he showed a range of emotions throughout The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Of course, the buddy comedy aspect of the show between Bucky and Sam Wilson was everything fans wanted. Getting the serious conversations about his life, trying to date, and how the trauma affected him wasn’t expected.

We knew that the Winter Soldier did some horrible things while he was under Hydra’s control. He could have gone through life acting like it didn’t happen, especially since it wasn’t his fault. However, he took responsibility for it and tried to atone for the sins of his past, even though he knew it may cost him relationships he cherished.


6. Captain Carter

Marvel show: What if…?

Peggy Carter was a tough woman and incredible character in Captain America: The First Avenger. She didn’t need the Super Soldier Serum to make an impact on the war or history. Nevertheless, giving her the serum that made Captain America in the first episode of What If…? pushed her to even greater heights.

Captain Carter’s crowning moment may be in the final episode of What if…? season 1. She became the leader of a team of heroes she didn’t know without knowing it. She gave orders and everyone followed them. This isn’t something just anyone can do. Peggy Carter led by example and it made everyone trust what she was doing. This writer will say it again, Disney Plus should make a Captain Carter series.

5. Falcon / Captain America

Marvel show: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

Sam Wilson had the same problem that Clint Barton did. He didn’t have much of an opportunity to show his greatness in previous MCU films. It led this writer to wonder whether or not having him star in a show was a good idea. That wonder was immediately gone when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier started.

Anthony Mackie was superb as The Falcon and eventually Captain America. Sam had heartfelt moments throughout the series. His first was when he gave up the shield – a big moment that shouldn’t be forgotten about. Then, he continued to spotlight racial issues that a lot of people may not have thought about. And Anthony Mackie ended his character’s journey towards becoming Captain America with a phenomenal performance was Sam delivered a speech to the world after defeating the Flag Smashers. A perfect beginning to his time as Captain America.

4. Doctor Strange

Marvel show: What If…?

What is the biggest change to a character in the What If..? series? To this writer, it was easily Doctor Strange. The Sorcerer Supreme didn’t just become the antithesis of himself, he destroyed his entire universe. He may say that it was out of love, but it seemed more like hubris. He knew the consequences and ignored them. That’s not love, it’s arrogance.

Seeing Doctor Strange become a distorted version of himself was interesting. Besides witnessing his downfall, we saw what he’s truly capable of. He spent years absorbing the darkest beings into himself to gain power. Then, he battled himself and absorbed him too. In the end, it seemed like his goal was to protect reality from Arnim Zola and Killmonger. However, the look he gave at the conclusion suggested otherwise.

Plus, we may have seen him in the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. What’s next for Supreme Doctor Strange?

3. Wanda Maximoff

Marvel show: WandaVision

You don’t really need to say much about Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff. Her fans say it for her. Without the success of WandaVision, the Disney Plus Marvel Studios shows wouldn’t have taken off the way they did. As incredible as Vision, Agatha Harkness, Darcy Lewis, and Monica Rambeau were, Wanda carried that show on her back.

You want to talk about range? Wanda went from happy, to sad, to full of rage in seconds. We saw her deal with the loss of her beloved Vision in a horrific way. And she was the actual villain of this story. Nevertheless, it was easy to sympathize with her. Who wouldn’t bring their loved one back if they could? And, unlike Doctor Strange, she took ownership for what she did.

It was difficult not putting her at number one or two.

1A. Loki

Marvel show: Loki

When Loki was on his own in his self-titled Disney Plus series, he was the entertaining God of Mischief that we’ve come to know. Except for one thing: He was doing it on a larger platform.

Loki wasn’t the supporting character here. He was the star of the show. That meant he could have more time to show that he’s more than just an opportunist who only eventually helped out. He was actually caring and could learn from his mistakes. It was obvious that seeing himself die due to his own mistakes helped him change who he was. And what a character arc that proved to be for him.

1B. Sylvie

Marvel show: Loki

Sylvie was perfection. In most of Loki, she stole the show. She was a better fighter than Loki and most likely better with magic as well. Seeing her constantly defeat and outsmart the God of Mischief was really funny. He had no idea that someone could do the things she did and refused to accept it. Eventually, they stopped fighting, teamed up, and she helped Loki become a better person

In the season finale, Sylvie had a choice to make. Would she trust Loki or get her revenge? She chose the latter. In her defense, she had spent an untold amount of time looking for payback. It only makes sense that she would choose that path. This leaves her with a bigger story going forward. Is she on the run, working with Kang, or is she actually the one in charge?