9 Great Marvel Characters Who Were Robbed in the MCU

The Wasp Should Have Been A Founding Avenger

Even with 23 films under its belt, there are still characters missing from the MCU. With decades of publishing, it’s really no surprise the MCU hasn’t gotten to everyone yet, but at the rate Marvel is pumping out these movies, fans of even the most obscure characters won’t have to wait long to see their favorites. Even if they do get to see their deep-cut No. 1 hero on the silver screen, there’s a chance it may not meet their expectations.

The MCU is beloved by fans even though the films often opt away from following the comic book source material too closely, instead choosing to take the characters in new directions. This has worked out incredibly well a lot of the time for Marvel, but it has left a few of the characters in the dust. Whether they were sidelined to give room in their films for other characters or simply adapted in an ill-conceived way, not all of the characters turned out as well as Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man or Chris Evans’s Captain America. 

1. Quicksilver Perished Way Too Soon

Quicksilver Perished Way Too Soon

In the MCU, Quicksilver and his sister, the Scarlet Witch, were born in the war-torn region of Sokovia. After mortars destroyed their home, they were able to see that the weapons being used against them were created by Stark Industries, inspiring a hatred of Tony Stark in the twins. 

This set them on a path to Hydra, where Baron Strucker experimented on the twins and gave them incredible powers. They used these powers to join up with Ultron to exact revenge on Stark. Eventually, they switched sides, and Quicksilver lost his life in the battle with Ultron. His sister went on to become an Avenger, but his story sadly came to an end. 

In the comics, Quicksilver is the son of Magneto and a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Along with his sister, he defected from his life of evil and joined the Avengers, serving as a member of the team for years. Sadly, his tenure was cut all too short in the MCU. 

2. Sif Was Completely Left Out Of ‘Thor: Ragnarok’

Sif Was Completely Left Out Of 'Thor: Ragnarok'

Sif is an important figure in the life of Thor Odinson, but not so much in the MCU adaptation. Sif is in the first two Thor films, albeit in a fairly small role, but was completely left out of Thor: Ragnarok. There’s no writer, director, or meddling executive to be blamed for this slight, though. Jamie Alexander just didn’t have time to be in the film. She did have time to make a few appearances on TV with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though. 

Luckily for the comic book version, there are no scheduling issues that can keep Sif away from being one of Thor’s truest and most powerful allies. Most recently, Sif has taken over as the Guardian of the Bifrost, the role Heimdall occupied in the MCU. 

3. Taskmaster Was Made Into A Robotic Afterthought As Opposed To The Menacing Mercenary From The Comics

Taskmaster Was Made Into A Robotic Afterthought As Opposed To The Menacing Mercenary From The Comics

Tony Masters is the Taskmaster of Marvel Comics, and he doesn’t take any crap from anyone. The skull-faced mercenary can replicate the physical skills of anyone he sees due to his “photographic reflexes.” Yes, comic books are weird, dumb, and great all at the same time. Anyways, Masters is always out for himself and has been a thorn in numerous superheroes’ sides over the past 40+ years. He even teaches superpowers to others from time to time to make money.

Antonia Dreykov is the Taskmaster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and her life story is much more depressing than Tony Masters’s. Marvel Studios ended up making the MCU Taskmaster much more sympathetic, but also sort of turned the character into a less menacing shell of the comics version in the process. Olga Kurylenko hardly even gets to say anything at all in Black Widow, and her character is just a silent assassin for the majority of the movie.

4. Maria Hill Is Always Around But Never In The Spotlight

Maria Hill Is Always Around But Never In The Spotlight

Maria Hill has appeared in five MCU films and three episodes of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show. Throughout her MCU tenure, the plot has never centered on her. She has always been a supporting player without a whole lot to do. It’s not that she doesn’t get enough screen time; it’s just that she’s never had a real character arc or meaningful plot point other than backing up Nick Fury while he saves the day. To twist the knife even further, by the time she starts showing some actual depth in Disney+’s Secret Invasion and could further examine her character, she’s killed off at the end of the premiere episode thus squandering a great opportunity.

In the comics, following Fury’s involvement in an unsanctioned attack on Latveria, Hill became the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Throughout Brian Michael Bendis’s run on the Avengers comic, the weight of this title, and the stress on her, is made clear. When she’s on the page, her decisions and choices are genuinely meaningful. Desperate to prove herself to be different than Fury before her, Maria Hill is dogged in her mission to hold superheroes accountable. She is a stark defender of the Superhero Registration Act and was on Iron Man’s side in the “Civil War” comics event, eventually giving her position as S.H.I.E.L.D. director over to Stark himself.

5. The Nova Corps Was Turned Into A Largely Ineffective Police Force

The Nova Corps Was Turned Into A Largely Ineffective Police Force

Nova (Richard Rider) is one of the greatest heroes in Earth-616’s corner of the Marvel Comics cosmos. He’s a part of the super-powered space militia of the planet Xandar, and the Nova Corps is a lot cooler than what you saw in Guardians of the Galaxy. Think of them as Marvel’s answer to the Green Lanterns, except instead of rings that allow them to project energy from their minds, they have helmets that turn them into “human rockets.” 

Guardians of the Galaxy – a film with a tree as a main character – apparently decided that the comic book version of the Nova Corps is still too campy for the MCU. The filmmakers replaced the corps fans know with an unrecognizable army who only share a vague aesthetic resemblance to their comic counterparts. And Richard Rider? Nowhere to be seen. It’s a real shame, as he’s a frequent ally to the Guardians in the comics and even gave his life (for a while – it’s the comic book world) while fighting Thanos on a dying planet with Star-Lord.

6. The Wasp Should Have Been A Founding Avenger

The Wasp Should Have Been A Founding Avenger

Janet van Dyne is an Avenger through and through. After getting extraordinary powers from her scientist husband Hank Pym (AKA Ant-Man), she became a founding member of the Avengers. She served as a member of the team for years and even became the chairman at one point. 

In the MCU, Janet is left out of The Avengers entirely. With the Ant-Man films choosing to focus on the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, she didn’t even appear in those until Ant-Man and the Wasp. She was an agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. but became lost in the Quantum Realm after sacrificing herself to stop a missile. She was eventually rescued by Lang and co. and will presumably appear in future MCU movies, but this doesn’t make up for what Wasp could have been in the franchise.

7. The Mandarin Turned Out To Be A Fake

The Mandarin Turned Out To Be A Fake

The Mandarin is one of Iron Man’s most fearsome nemeses. After finding his famed ten rings on the site of a downed alien space ship, he was given incredible magical powers. Ever since his debut in 1964, he has been at the throat of Tony Stark. One of the most important aspects of their matchups is the ideological confrontation between magic and science, so it didn’t make much sense for the films to remove the magical element of the character. 

In Iron Man 3, The Mandarin is revealed to be an actor known as Trevor Slattery. Instead of mystical objects from space, “Ten Rings” is just the name of a terrorist organization. While an interesting twist on the story, in no way does it properly represent the character of the Mandarin. After fan backlash to this revised Mandarin, Marvel released “All Hail the King,” a short film that revealed there is a different, real Mandarin somewhere in the MCU. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings finally gave him his time to shine.

8. ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Raced Through Ghost Rider’s Story

'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Raced Through Ghost Rider's Story

Ghost Rider is one of the most recognizable characters in the Marvel Universe, mostly thanks to his flaming skull and omnipresence on comic racks in the ’80s and ’90s. He even got his own movie adaptation where the hero was played by Nicolas Cage. While those films weren’t made by Marvel thanks to the well-publicized rights issues with the characters, the rights for Ghost Rider reverted back to Marvel Studios in 2013. 

What has Marvel done with the Ghost Rider property since then? He guest-starred for half a season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While the series did a decent job of telling the origin of Robbie Reyes, the “All-New Ghost Rider,” the special effects required to pull off Ghost Rider are more than a television budget can handle. Though the ABC show did a good enough job of bringing the character to life, the main issue here is that Reyes and the other Riders deserve more time than a guest appearance on a show.

Hopefully, Robbie, or Johnny Blaze himself, will be given proper screen time in an MCU film soon.

9. Betty Ross Disappeared After ‘The Incredible Hulk’

Betty Ross Disappeared After 'The Incredible Hulk' 

Betty Ross has been a comic book mainstay ever since the Hulk’s inception, but in the MCU, she’s been largely forgotten. Since appearing in the Hulk’s solo film, she has been absent from Banner’s life, even though her father, General Ross, still occasionally appears as an antagonistic symbol of MCU bureaucracy. Banner doesn’t even seem to remember his comic book love when he has a charged emotional affair with Black Widow. 

In the comics, Betty Ross has made quite the name for herself. She’s been married to Banner and has her own gamma-powered alter ego in the Red She-Hulk. She has the history with the Jade Giant to go toe-to-toe with him in human or super-strong form.