There’s no denying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a colossal success for both Marvel Studios and their parent company Disney. Thus far, the MCU has released almost thirty feature-length movies, with Thor: Love and Thunder being the studio’s twenty-ninth cinematic outing. The MCU has also branched out in the realm of television, with a number of Disney+ TV shows, such as Loki and Ms. Marvel, directly linking with the main timeline of the series.
While the MCU has been an overwhelming success, packed with great characters, action set-pieces, and poignant moments, it has not been infallible during its more than ten-year history. The MCU has made a number of missteps during its time, and fans of the series have been having their say over on Reddit regarding the MCU’s biggest failures so far.
Killing Quicksilver Too Soon
Pietro Maximoff, better known by his comic-book mantel Quicksilver, was introduced in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, along with his sister Wanda Maximoff. Played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, the character only made one further appearance, playing a role in Avengers: Age of Ultron before being unceremoniously killed at the end of the movie.
Many Redditors, such as kraken_enrager, bemoan the fact that the character was killed so soon, lamenting it as “a lost opportunity.” Given how much character development Quicksilver’s sister, Wanda, received in her own Disney+ series WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it’s even more surprising that Quicksilver’s character didn’t get a fair crack of the whip. Given Taylor-Johnson has taken on the role of Kraven in Sony’s upcoming Kraven The Hunter movie (per Collider), it’s unlikely fans will see his version of the character again.
Whiplash In Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2, the follow-up to the widely beloved and acclaimed Iron Man, failed to deliver on a number of fronts, but the one area where many Redditors feel the movie failed most was in the character of Whiplash.
Many Redditors point out that Mickey Rourke was wasted in the role, given little character exploration, and a weird character trait where he is obsessed with a bird. As Redditor BassCreat0r points out “Mickey Rourke went super in-depth into his character for it, even learning Russian and all that, and Marvel just wasted him. God what a shame.” It’s highly unlikely, with Iron Man gone, that fans will be reunited by Whiplash, or his bird, in any future MCU movie.
Killing So Many Villains In Their 1st Movie
Throughout its run so far, the MCU has some truly great villains. However, it’s also had its fair share of one-show villains that have been quickly killed off after their initial appearance. For every great villain, like Thanos or Killmonger, there’s a handful of sub-par villains that weren’t given the opportunity to shine.
Redditors like lepslair have pointed out that the MCU has the Raft, an iconic prison for villains in the comic books, which would be perfect for storing the MCU’s rogues gallery, but too often the villain is killed: “They have the Raft and they use it to house the Avengers mainly, while killing off so many good villains they could easily put there.” In fairness to the MCU, they seem to be addressing this issue, bringing back villains like Baron Zemo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Abomination in the upcoming She-Hulk.
Killing The Warriors Three And Then Ignoring It
The Warriors Three first appeared in Thor’s solo outing way back in 2011. The characters are a key part of Thor’s supporting cast, meant to be his closest friends. While the characters didn’t have major roles in either Thor or Thor: The Dark World, they were still somewhat core to the character. All that went out the window in Thor: Ragnarok when all three were quickly dispatched by Hela during her invasion of Asgard.
As many Redditors pointed out, it’s not only the manner in which The Warriors Three were taken out so easily by Hela, it’s the fact that the characters aren’t even mentioned again in the movie. As v_OS notes, “…Thor forgetting their existence” after their deaths is a pretty big omission.
Sharon Carter Becoming Evil
First introduced as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Sharon Carter, great-niece to Peggy Carter, served as an ally to Steve Rogers and his friends, helping to expose HYDRA and free Bucky from imprisonment. Her character was left a little in limbo following the events of Civil War in 2016, but when she reappeared recently in The Falcon and the Winter Solider she’d turned to the dark side as the villainous Power Broker.
Sharon’s turn to the dark side was something numerous Redditors cited as a huge misstep for the MCU. As many pointed out, such as Redditor warminthestarlight, “Perhaps Emily Van Camp is a good actress, but Power Broker was not the role for her.” Whether or not Sharon becomes a member of the Thunderbolts in the upcoming MCU movie, or where she might appear next, is currently unknown.
Bucky’s Vibranium Arm
Bucky Barnes is one MCU character that has had a consistent amount of character growth across a slew of films. From his initial appearance as Steve Rodgers’ best friend in Captain America, to coming to terms with his villainous past in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Bucky has grown into a fan-favorite character. However, one aspect of the character’s evolution that let Redditors down is his vibranium arm.
Given to Bucky from the Wakandans in Infinity War, fans were excited to see what Bucky would be able to do with Wakanda’s notoriously sophisticated technology. Redditors, like killerqueendopamine, pointed out their disappointment that Bucky gets a “…cool new arm from Wakanda…and then using a gun in the last 2 films.” It is a strange choice that Bucky’s arm lacks the kind of capability of other Wakandan technology.
Black Widow’s Solo Movie Being More About Yelena
Black Widow is one of the few MCU box-offices disappointments thus far, with many pointing out that the movie came too late in the game for Natasha given that she perished in Endgame. While the movie was meant to serve as a sort of swansong for one of the MCU’s original Avengers, many Redditors were disappointed that the movie pushed its central heroine aside in favor of building up the character of Yelena.
As Redditors like Arch0_Moggins pointed out in relation to the movie, it’s “…barely a Black Widow movie. Its basically just the origin story of Yelena.” While Yelena has grown into one of the best Phase 4 MCU heroes so far, it’s disappointing that Natasha was let down in her long-overdue solo outing.
Everything About Taskmaster
Taskmaster is a comic-book fan-favorite character for many, therefore, their arrival in the MCU via the Black Widow movie had fans very excited. The character’s outfit and fighting style depicted in the trailers had fans very excited for this interpretation of the character, but when the movie finally came out, fans were extremely disappointed.
Numerous Redditors expressed their dismay with the way the character was portrayed. Botol-Cebok referred to the version of Taskmaster presented in the movie as “an abomination. Very disappointing”. It was a theme that continued with numerous other fans of the character who felt the Taskmaster character in Black Widow was basically just a glorified henchman.
Hulk’s Character Arc In Infinity War/Endgame
As one of the original six Avengers from Phase 1, and Infinity War/Endgame promising big conclusions for those characters, many fans were left thoroughly disappointed by the direction of Hulk’s character in the final two Avengers movies.
Redditor Lost-Challenge7790 notes that Hulk’s defeat at the hands of Thanos in Infinity War lays the groundwork for a rematch in Endgame, a rematch that never happens, instead he “…becomes Intelligent Hulk offscreen and never fights Thanos again.” It’s narratively very unsatisfying that Hulk’s transformation is shown off-screen, but even more than that, the lack of a rematch between Hulk and Thanos is a sore point for many MCU fans.
The Lack Of Resolution For Steve And Bucky’s Arc
The friendship between Steve and his childhood friend Bucky is one of the character’s defining traits during his MCU journey. Losing Bucky in his first movie, fighting him in his second, and saving him in his third, mean that, in many ways, the Captain America movies are about Steve’s love for his best friend. Despite this, when it came time for Infinity War and Endgame, there was very little closure to their long and arduous friendship.
As Redditor Taserface616 points out, “Steve risked everything for this dude and he seemed so meh about it. The ending of Endgame happened so fast.” Many other Redditors were quick to point to this as well, that the ending of Endgame didn’t give the characters an opportunity to talk to one another, instead focusing on Steve passing the Captain American mantel to Sam. It is an unsatisfying end to a relationship that is one of the MCU’s most powerful.