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The Biggest Unsung Heroes In The MCU

Updated February 5, 2021 9.8k votes 1.5k voters 128.2k views13 items

List RulesVote up the side characters who deserve more credit for their contributions to advancing the MCU.

For every superhero with their name on a marquee, there's an unsung Marvel hero who did their good deeds without any praise. These are the characters who helped create the heroes, helped guide them along their way, or maybe did a significant chunk of the actual hero-ing while an Avenger got the acclaim. Whatever the reason is, these are supporting characters who deserve a little more credit

You don't exactly become a billionaire playboy philanthropist by giving other people credit, though, so it makes sense that these supporting characters have remained "supporting." Even so, it's about time someone shined a light on all the non-Avenger heroics taking place in the MCU.

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  • Photo: Iron Man / Paramount Pictures

    Ho Yinsen is one of the main reasons there's an MCU in the first place. He was a doctor who was taken by the very same terrorist organization that imprisoned Tony Stark in the beginning of Iron Man, and he was ordered to tend to Stark's injuries. 

    Stark and Yinsen were then ordered to build weapons for the terrorist group, but instead, Stark and Yinsen began developing a suit of armor they could use to escape. To give Stark the time he needed to power up the suit and free himself, Yinsen bravely sacrificed himself by taking on the terrorists alone. This act of self-sacrifice ultimately saved billions of lives through the future heroics of Iron Man. 

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  • Photo: Thor: Ragnarok / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Heimdall has a long history of being an unsung hero of Asgard. In Thor, Heimdall was one of the few Asgardians to openly oppose Loki, and in Thor: The Dark World, Heimdall caught the Dark Elf Harrow as he attempted to escape and fought back against Malekith's forces. While both of those deeds were heroic, there's no comparing them to what the Asgardian guardian did in Thor: Ragnarok

    Hela, warrior princess and supposed heir to the Asgardian throne, neutralized Thor and Loki early on in Thor: Ragnarok to put an early stop to them meddling in her plans. With them out of the picture and off playing games on Sakaar, Hela tore through the Warriors Three and quickly took over Asgard. Heimdall evaded her initial strike and got to work shepherding refugees out of the city. Heimdall and Thor were also able to communicate across planets, and it was Heimdall who told Thor how to get off of Sakaar. Not only did Heimdall keep the people of Asgard safe, but he also had time to help Thor in his little side quest. Heimdall then stood his ground and fought valiantly during the battle on the rainbow bridge. 

    In Infinity War, Heimdall's last living action was to send Bruce Banner through a portal to escape Thanos, potentially saving the entire universe by giving Dr. Strange and Iron Man enough warning to throw a wrench in the Black Order's initial visit to Earth.

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  • 3

    M'Baku Provided Refuge To T'Challa, Even After Their Duel

    Early on in Black Panther, M'Baku challenged T'Challa for the throne of Wakanda. He lost, and T'Challa spared his life instead of slaying him.

    M'Baku repaid this debt at a critical point later in the film by providing a safe refuge for T'Challa and his family after he was badly injured by Killmonger. Even though T'Challa had defeated him, M'Baku remained loyal to his king and helped nurse him back to health. M'Baku even went to battle with T'Challa against Killmonger's forces, helping the Black Panther to secure his place at the head of Wakanda once again. Without the help of M'Baku, no one would have had the strength to stand in Killmonger's way.

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  • 4

    Abraham Erskine Not Only Created The Super Soldier Serum, But Also Handpicked The Perfect Soldier To Take It

    Photo: Captain America: The First Avenger / Paramount Pictures

    "Everything special about you came out of a bottle," is the famous insult Tony Stark directed at Steve Rogers in The Avengers. If he were right about that, that would mean Abraham Erskine, creator of the Super Soldier Serum, should get all the credit for Captain America. The ironic thing is that even though Stark was clearly wrong about what made Steve Rogers truly super, Dr. Erskine should still get credit for knowing that from the beginning.

    Erskine wasn't just the man who created the serum; he also handpicked Steve Rogers to become Captain America. As Erskine put it, "The serum amplifies everything that is inside, so good becomes great; bad becomes worse." Erskine was fully responsible for the success of Captain America because he was the one who chose Steve Rogers. He saw the spark in a scrawny kid from Brooklyn and knew that he was the perfect candidate. Thanks to Erskine's wise decision-making, the MCU was saved multiple times over. 

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