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MCU Side Characters Who Are The Hero Of Their Own Stories

November 16, 2020 464 votes 85 voters 6.3k views12 items

List RulesVote up the MCU side characters who lived through real drama in the background.

The MCU films might be named after the heroes who saved the world or galaxy from utter destruction, but that doesn't mean they don't also have plenty of side characters who are the hero of another story. The universe spans 23 movies now, meaning there have been dozens of side characters who are living out their own incredibly dramatic lives. Their stories may not have galactic consequences, but they give depth to minor players that sometimes overshadow the super-powered leads

Some of these characters play directly into the main plot of the films they're in, but a lot of them just sort of have their own things going on. Even if you were friends with a superhero, it's not like your whole life would suddenly revolve around them. Everyone has their own stuff to work out, and sometimes that has to be worked out while a person with superpowers saves the world.

  • Yondu Was Forced To Choose Between His Adopted Son And His Crew
    Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Yondu's relationship with Peter Quill dramatically altered the course of his life. When Yondu first met Quill, he was one of the most ruthless Ravagers in the galaxy. His willingness to work for Quill's father, Ego, and track down his children lead the rest of the Ravagers to exile Yondu and his crew from their official ranks.

    Meeting Quill changed Yondu entirely. He chose not to send Quill to his end and instead brought the child into his crew. When Quill betrayed him in Guardians of the Galaxy, Yondu went after him but ultimately helped his adopted son defeat Ronan. To be clear, this wasn't out of the goodness of his heart. Yondu did this with the promise he would get to keep the orb containing the Power Stone. 

    In Guardians of the Galaxy 2, he fought with Quill once again but ultimately decided to let the Guardians of the Galaxy walk free, even though it upset his crew to the point of mutiny. This marked a change of heart in Yondu, as he didn't help the Guardians for his own gain like before. Yondu turned over a new leaf and set out to become the father figure Quill had long deserved when he broke free with Rocket and Groot to save his son. It all built to Yondu's sacrifice to save Quill.

    A man too disturbed for the other Ravagers ended up sacrificing himself for the good of others.

    Dramatic journey?
  • Happy Hogan Dealt With The Loss Of His Closest Friend By Taking Care Of His Daughter And Protégé
    Photo: Avengers: Endgame / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Tony Stark's demise at the end of Avengers: Endgame left a massive hole in the MCU. Happy Hogan, one of Stark's closest friends, should have been the most affected by this, but instead of letting it get him down, he went to work, making sure the young people in Stark's life that counted on him had someone else to lean on. 

    During Stark's service, Hogan sat with Stark's daughter, comforting her and promising to do his best to look after her. Even though he himself was in tears, he focused on the people around him. In an adorable moment, he promised Morgan that he'll get her "all the cheeseburgers she wants." 

    Spider-Man: Far From Home showed a little bit more about how the rest of the MCU recovered from "the Blip" and the new Iron Man-less status quo, and Hogan's second act continues there. He stepped in as a mentor to Peter Parker even though he didn't have the Avengers-grade pedigree of his former boss. When Peter Parker was brought to his lowest by Mysterio, he called Hogan to help him save his classmates and a significant number of London citizens. 

    Hogan went from being the man Stark could always count on to becoming the man everyone who relied on Stark can now count on. 

    Dramatic journey?
  • Korg Pulled Himself Out Of A Depressive Funk And Finally Contributed To A Successful Revolution
    Photo: Thor: Ragnarok / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Thor: Ragnarok serves as one of the high points of the MCU, and in a movie full of high points, Korg might be the tops. Voiced and motion-captured by the film's director, Taika Waititi, Korg was one of the few friendly faces Thor met on the planet of Sakaar. Korg may look like a pile of rocks, but "[he's] actually a thing, [he's] a being!" Korg was always good for a laugh when he popped up in the film, but he also had quite the story arc happening off-screen. 

    When Thor first met Korg, the alien had been on Sakaar for a while, and he had actually tried to start a revolution before. As he explained it, he didn't print enough pamphlets, and only his mother and step-father (who he hates) showed up. Thus, he was forced to fight in the gladiator arena. Among the gladiators, Korg took on a kind of parental role, asking others to clean their arms and the like. When Thor finally got to Sakaar, Korg finally had a real shot at escaping and rallied his fellow troops to help Thor succeed. 

    Korg then traveled with Thor to Asgard and helped fight against Hela to save the refugee Asgardians. In the end, Korg went from failing to start one revolution to participating in two successful ones.

    Dramatic journey?
  • After Initially Choosing The Wrong Side, Skurge Heroically Sacrificed Himself For Asgard
    Photo: Thor: Ragnarok / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    For most of Thor: RagnarokSkurge was a complete and total coward willing to do whatever it took to get ahead and stay alive. When Hela came to Asgard, Skurge was the only Asgardian who immediately submitted to her. While Hela laid waste to the Asgardian army, Skurge stood by and watched his people be mowed down. There were moments where Skurge clearly took issue with Hela's methods, but again, he was too cowardly to stand up for himself or anyone else. 

    Even when Thor returned to Asgard, Skurge helped lead Hela's forces against him. The moment the tide turned against Hela's army, though, Skurge ditched the goddess and attempted to blend in with the Asgardian refugees. It wasn't until he was on the ship with the refugees that he jumped out to fight Hela's army, sacrificing himself for the greater good. In his last moments, he finally became the hero he always wanted to be by blasting away the villainous army with his twin M-16s. 

    Dramatic journey?