The Disney+ shows that are part of the MCU have done a great job of blending the new and old of the franchise. Established characters have been given extra time to develop their personalities like Wanda Maximoff, Sam Wilson, Clint Barton, and more. However, the true highlight is the addition of new characters.
Each of the five series to debut on the streaming platform has managed to bring in at least one character who wasn’t previously seen in the MCU and they’ve often stolen the show from those who fans already knew. That includes complex villains, likable heroes, fun supporting characters, and more.
Updated on July 14th, 2022, by Kevin Pantoja: 2022 has already seen some intriguing new additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe including two feature films and two more Disney+ shows. Among those is the recently wrapped-up finale of Ms. Marvel, which has social media buzzing. While the quality of these Disney+ series can be argued, one thing that each of them has done well so far is introduced new characters who fans are hoping to see more of down the line.
WandaVision – Agatha Harkness
One of the things that WandaVision did well was to shine a brighter light on existing characters like Wanda, Vision, Jimmy Woo, Darcy Lewis, and even Monica Rambeau, who was finally seen as an adult in the series. There is no question though that the best new addition was Agatha Harkness, played by Kathryn Hahn.
When she was only seen as Wanda’s nosy neighbor, Agatha was a hilarious bit of comedic relief thanks to Hahn’s fantastic performance. The reveal that she was actually a witch who was behind a lot of what happened on the show (including her already iconic “Agatha All Along” theme song) only made her even better. In fact, Agatha was such a fan favorite that she’s getting her own show down the line.
The Falcon And The Winter Soldier – John Walker
More than any other Disney+ show in the MCU, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier relied on existing characters. Bucky, Sam, Zemo, and Sharon were at the center of it all. Karli Morgenthau was an intriguing inclusion though some aspects of her storyline got muddled, seemingly by production issues due to COVID-19.
A more fleshed-out and interesting character is John Walker. He was a seemingly perfect candidate to take over as Captain America but his struggle with being beaten handily by super soldiers and the Dora Milaje eventually led to him snapping, which made for great TV. While he’s certainly not likable, Walker has a complicated story and will be gripping to watch in the future.
Loki – He Who Remains
If any show had multiple strong candidates for the best debuts, it was Loki. The only real established person on the show was the titular God of Mischief, so everyone else had to engage the audience with new stories. Sylvie, a female variant of Loki, was great as was Owen Wilson’s Mobius M. Mobius but the finale gave everyone a true star.
Jonathan Majors shined as He Who Remains, the person at the end of it all who was behind the Time Variance Authority. He Who Remains captivated viewers in his lone episode despite never really getting in on the action and just telling a story. His presence is set to change the course of the MCU as he might be the next overarching big bad.
What If…? – Strange Supreme
Although the entire premise of What If…? was to showcase alternate versions of heroes and villains everyone knows, most of them were still quite similar. Star-Lord T’Challa and Captain Carter were probably the most likable of the bunch but they still kept a lot of their original personality traits. On the flip side, there is someone who stands out as the most intriguing of them all.
Doctor Strange continually had to witness the death of Christine Palmer, leading him down a dangerous path. It ended with him as Strange Supreme, an obscenely powerful version of the sorcerer who was haunted by death and failure before ultimately helping the Guardians of the Multiverse against Ultron. His upcoming appearance in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness only adds to it all.
Hawkeye – Kate Bishop
In a lot of ways, it seemed like the main point of Hawkeye was to establish Kate Bishop as the franchise’s next great archer. She immediately became a fan favorite for her plucky attitude and desire to be a hero who is eventually accepted as Clint Barton’s partner. Their chemistry made for some truly enjoyable scenes.
Kate is already among the funniest MCU characters thanks to her sarcastic humor and quick-witted nature. On top of that, she also showcased immense bravery when going head-to-head with Kingpin despite being severely outmatched. Add in the incredible dynamic between Yelena Belova and Kate Bishop and the latter is someone audiences can’t wait to see more of.
Moon Knight – Marc Spector/Steven Grant
The MCU Disney+ shows from 2021 were centered on already existing and established heroes so the best new characters introduced were part of the supporting cast. However, the series from 2022 featured debuting characters like the titular Moon Knight, which allowed them to be the highlights.
Oscar Isaac delivered a compelling performance throughout the entire six-episode run thanks to his dual role. He made sure that Marc Spector and Steven Grant were totally unique despite being two personalities of the same person. The character’s backstory was tragic and his turn into a true hero by the end gave him the kind of arc that a protagonist needs.
Ms. Marvel – Kamala Khan
One of the most popular comic book characters to debut in the past decade is Kamala Khan, who is now the star of her own show in Ms. Marvel. Like Moon Knight, being at the center of a series gave her time to shine as a standout character and like Oscar Isaac, this worked extremely well because of the casting.
Newcomer Iman Vellani looked every bit like a veteran actor thanks to her stellar performance that was filled with charm. Kamala is someone the audience can totally get behind and she’s endearing to watch. From learning about her powers to how much she cares about her friends to the relationship with her family, everything surrounding Kamala was great.