Characters: Marvel Cinematic Universe

aka: MCU Heroes

This page lists characters that appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Marvel One-Shots and The Avengers.

  • Iron Man note 
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. (the organization) note 
  • The Incredible Hulk note 
  • Thor note 
  • Captain America note 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the series) note 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy note 
  • Agent Carter note 
  • The Avengers: Age of Ultron note 

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Other Superheroes


Scott Edward Harris Lang / Ant-Man II

"One question... Is it too late to change the name?"

Portrayed By: Paul Rudd
Appearances: Ant-Man

A professional thief who is seeking to make amends for his crimes. He is approached by the original Ant-Man, Dr. Hank Pym, who tells him to use his technology in order to pull off a major heist that can save the Earth. He is able to shrink in size, gain enhanced strength, and communicate with insects using his suit.

    Black Panther 

King T'Challa / Black Panther

Portrayed By: Chadwick Boseman
Appearances: Captain America: Civil War | Black Panther

The King of the African nation of Wakanda, and the inheritor of the title of "Black Panther" from his father, T'Chaka. His powers include enhanced senses, superhuman strength, speed, and durability, heightened reflexes, and the knowledge of the Black Panthers who served before him.
  • Legacy Character: He inherited the title of "Black Panther" from his ancestors.
  • Super Reflexes: He has heightened agility.
  • Super Senses: All of his senses have been enhanced and he can recall anything he has smelled or heard for a long time afterwards.
  • Super Speed: He's faster than any recorded human athlete.
  • Super Strength: T'Challa is far stronger than even an Olympic weightlifter, though not to the level of Hulk or Thor.

    Doctor Strange 

Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange / Doctor Strange

Portrayed By: Benedict Cumberbatch

An expert surgeon whose career ended abruptly when a car crash destroyed the nerves in his hands. He eventually sought out the Ancient One in search of a cure for his condition, and he became the Sorcerer Supreme once he proved himself worthy. He regained the ability to use his hands once more - and as long as he can use them and speak, he can utilize a slew of magical abilities.
  • Alliterative Name: Steven Strange.
  • The Archmage: It comes with the territory of being the Sorcerer Supreme.
  • Badass Bookworm: He's able to know quite a lot about the magical world while still being able to kick enough ass to protect it.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Of a sort - Jasper Sitwell mentions him as being one of Project Insight targets in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Word of God states that this was before he became Sorcerer Supreme, though.
  • Fingore: He lost all control of his hand nerves in a car accident.


Peter Benjamin Parker / Spider-Man

Portrayed By: ???
Appearances: Captain America: Civil War | Spider-Man

An Ordinary High-School Student who received superpowers as a result of a bite from a scientifically-altered spider. He can now crawl walls, spin webs, sense nearby threats, and had the proportionate strength and speed of a spider.
  • Badass Bookworm: Not only is he highly intelligent, but he's also the strongest street-level hero.
  • Kid Hero: He's still in high school when he's introduced, making him the youngest superhero in the setting.
  • Nephewism: His parent died and left him in the care of his aunt and uncle.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: A fašade he has to keep up for a while.
  • Secret Identity: One of the few characters in the setting to have one and actively maintain it.
  • Spiders Are Scary: Not really, considering that he's fairly outgoing.
  • Spider-Sense: But of course. He's able to sense a threat quickly enough to be able to dodge it almost instantly.
  • Teen Genius: A bright mind in the MCU, and he's not even out of high school.
  • Unexpected Character: With Sony having an iron grip on the film rights to the character, no one expected him to appear in any Marvel Cinematic Universe films. The fact that Marvel managed to get them to deal at all came as shock to just about everybody.
  • Wall Crawl: One of his most well-known abilities.

    Captain Marvel 

Carol Danvers / Captain Marvel

Portrayed By: ???
Appearances: Captain Marvel

A woman that came into contact with the alien species known as the Kree, granting her super-powers. Her powers include extremely improved strength, speed, and durability, along with flight, the ability to anticipate the moves of her opponents, photonic blasts, and energy absorption.
  • The Smurfette Principle: So far, she is the only female character in the MCU to lead her own movie.
  • Spider-Sense: She has precognitive powers, but they aren't as reliable as Spider-Man's.

    The Inhumans 

The Inhumans

Portrayed By: ???
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. | Inhumans

A hidden race of superhumans. The alien race known as the Kree once visited the planet Earth in its infancy and granted enhanced intelligence to a select group of primitive humans. The Kree later abandoned their creations, who now resided on an island called Attilan. On Attilan, these humans discovered Terrigen Mist, which gave them superpowers and altered their appearances. They remained hidden throughout history, but were eventually called upon to deal with a threat that would not only endanger their own species, but the human race as well.

Eventually, two unaware Inhumans gained powers upon exposure to Terrigen Gas: Daisy Johnson and Raina. See those respective pages for details on those characters.
  • Badass Family: The royal family of Inhumans are related to one another in addition to kicking ass.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Their first appearance - in the second season of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. - came in 2014, a whole four years before their movie was slated to release. Then it was taken even further when Inhumans got delayed another year to make room for Spider-Man.
  • Expy: Their roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe seem to be based on those of the X-Men, which Marvel Studios can't use in their movies until they work out a deal with 20th Century Fox, who own the rights.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The royal family that rules over Attilan will fight to protect their race.
  • Super Empowering: Inhumans gain their powers through Terrigen Mist.
  • Ultraterrestrials: The Inhumans are all born on Earth, but only exist because of Kree influence.


Matthew "Matt" Murdock / Daredevil

Portrayed By: Charlie Cox
Appearances: Daredevil | The Defenders

A lawyer from Hell's Kitchen who saved the life of a blind man as a child. The man was about to be met with exposure to a dangerous chemical, but Murdock stepped in to shield him - which ironically ended up blinding him. While the chemicals took away his sight, his other senses were enhanced greatly, and he was able to become a Living Lie Detector in addition to gaining an echolocation ability. He became an extremely versatile gymnast and martial artist as well, and he decided to take the law into his own hands when the traditional justice system failed.
  • Alliterative Name: Matthew Murdock.
  • Anti-Hero: Unlike most Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes, he is firmly established as being morally ambiguous from the get-go.
  • Boxing Battler: He takes a bit after his father, who was a professional boxer.
  • Brooklyn Rage: He lives in Hell's Kitchen. He will raise Hell in battle.
  • Cane Fu: His cane also serves as a pair of billy clubs.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: As mentioned, his superpowers don't necessarily help him in combat so much as they help him maintain heightened awareness. Everything else is the result of pushing an otherwise-normal human body to the limit.
  • Cool Shades: As Matt Murdock, he wears a pair to get by with blindness.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: In spite of wearing all black, and later donning a devil outfit, he's a heroic character.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: His only powers are his super-senses; otherwise, he's as vulnerable as any other human. Nonetheless, he's able to put up quite a fight when push comes to shove.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's a capable lawyer in addition to being a skilled combatant.
  • Handicapped Badass: He can kick your ass in a fight and in the courtroom.
  • Living Lie Detector: He's able to figure out if the person he's talking to is lying based on sensing their heartbeat.
  • Movie Superheroes Wear Black: His first outfit is made up of black cloth. However, it should be noted that this is a Homage to a costume that the character wore during Frank Miller's run rather than getting rid of the color in the process of adaptation; the red costume is said to make an appearance eventually.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Just like in many adaptations, Matt is redheaded.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Because he's blind.

    Jessica Jones 

Jessica Campbell / Jessica Jones / Jewel

Portrayed By: Krysten Ritter
Appearances: A.K.A. Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | The Defenders

A detective who had a car accident as a child that doused her in chemicals and left her comatose. When she awoke, she realized that her family had perished, and she was adopted soon thereafter. She later discovered that she had superpowers - specifically, flight and enhanced strength/durability. She became a low-key superhero for a brief period of time, until she was kidnapped by Zebediah Killgrave, who subjected her to mental torture. Eventually, she escaped, but she started a detective agency dealing with superhumans, in part to continue protecting the law, and in part to get revenge on the man who put her through torment.

    Luke Cage 

Carl Lucas / Luke Cage / Power Man

Portrayed By: Mike Colter
Appearances: A.K.A. Jessica Jones | Luke Cage | The Defenders

A "hero-for-hire" from Harlem who had been convicted of a crime he did not commit. When offered parole in exchange for working under an experiment, Cage took the opportunity, which allowed him to gain a Healing Factor along with improved strength, durability, and stamina. Later on in his life, Cage became romantically involved with Jessica Jones, and joined forces with Iron Fist on several occasions.

    Iron Fist 

Daniel Rand / Iron Fist

Portrayed By: ???
Appearances: Iron Fist | The Defenders

The head of the Rand Corporation who sought out the mystical city of K'un-Lun after his parents. While his mother and father both died on the expedition, he was adopted by the monks of the city and was taught a number of martial arts. Pushing the power of his own fists to the limit, he harnessed the power of ki in his attacks, and learned to use it to accomplish a number of other superhuman feats. He returned to New York after a decade of training, seeking justice for the deaths of his parents.

Universal Enemies

    The Chitauri 

The Chitauri

A mysterious race of cyborg aliens in the employment of Loki and the Other. They invade Earth in The Avengers.
  • Alien Blood: It's purple.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: As Thor notes, they exist solely to wage war and chaos.
  • Another Dimension: Or at least a "new universe", if Erik Selvig's comment in The Avengers is anything to go by.
  • Arm Cannon: The cannons that some of the Chitauri have (including the eponymous Item 47) seem to be fit around their arms to fire one-handed. They, however, do not seem to actually be the arm, since an arm falls out when Captain America chops it off of one of them.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Their main transport is the Leviathan, a gigantic flying serpent-like creature that carries hundreds of soldiers and can fly through skyscrapers. It takes huge amounts of explosive or electrical damage to put one down. Or one Hulk punch and a several Stark missiles.
    • Or blow one up from inside.
  • Bayonet Ya: Their infantry sport them on their rifles.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: They appear to come from a planet that uses electrical currents in a similar way to bodily fluids. This is demonstrated when Coulson's team encounters a Chitauri virus that is transferred between infected via static shock, and need the antidote to do so as well.
  • Blood Knight: They grow restless when denied war. The tactical problems with this are summed up in a deleted scene:
    Loki: Your force lacks... finesse.
    Other: Our warriors are fearless! They welcome a glorious death.
  • Boom Stick: Their standard infantry blast lances seem to be staves with the ability to fire out blue blasts of energy.
  • Canon Immigrant: While the Chitauri are (very loosely) based on an alien race in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, it's this version of them that's making the leap into the classic Marvel Universe.
    • Ret Canon: In Hunger, the Ultimate Universe's Chitauri's true forms are revealed to look more like the versions from the movie.
  • Continuity Cameo: A Chitauri makes an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, in Knowhere, trapped in a case as part of the Collector's collection.
  • Cyborg: They clearly have both mechanical and organic parts, and shut down when their command ship is destroyed.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: A single nuclear warhead to their mothership halts the entire invasion.
  • Expy: Of Darkseid's Parademons. Which is fitting, since their leader, Thanos, was originally designed as a Darkseid expy.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Two varieties. One is fired from a thin spear/rifle used by Chitauri foot soldiers. The other is a powerful Arm Cannon that's mounted on Chitauri commanders and units riding in hovercraft. Both fire blue colored beams.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Barring the freaky double-thumbs and evil-looking skull-faces.
  • Keystone Army: Taking out their command ship shuts them down.
  • Martyrdom Culture: As pointed out by Loki, that's not exactly helpful for an army.
  • Mooks: Not the worst ever, not the best ever. But certainly numerous.
  • Nightmare Face: Vaguely birdlike under metal masks.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Everyone is fair game in their rampage across Manhattan.
  • Unusual User Interface: Their flying craft are piloted by a soldier connected to some kind of metal harness.
  • Zerg Rush: They only pose a threat to a well-equipped fighting force like the Avengers through sheer overwhelming number and utter lack of self-preservation, a strategy that somewhat displeases Loki.

    The Other 

The Other

"We look beyond the Earth to greater worlds the Tesseract will unveil."

Portrayed By: Alexis Denisof

An alien who acts as the liaison between the master of the Chitauri and Loki.
  • Back for the Dead: Appears in Guardians of the Galaxy in a couple of scenes, acting as a middleman between Ronan and Thanos. When Ronan goes to see Thanos in person, he grows annoyed with the Other constantly arguing with him, and kills him.
  • Black Cloak: He wears a black robe that covers the top half of his face.
  • Canon Foreigner: Created for Marvel Cinematic Universe. However...
  • The Dragon: Appears at first to be working for Loki, but is quickly revealed to be the intermediary for the even more powerful Thanos. After his untimely death, it appears the Titan's adopted daughter Nebula will take his place instead.
  • Easily Conquered World: Believed Earth would be one of these, and that the entire Earth would surrender the minute the Chitauri landed.
  • Expy:
    • Of Emperor Palpatine, a nasty-looking, cloaked and evil benefactor of someone else, who often speaks in a hammy, raspy voice. Though it turns out he's The Dragon to the MCU's true counterpart to Palpatine, Thanos.
    • Given as noted above, the Chitauri are expies if the parademons and Thanos is triadtionally a expy for Darkseid, he could be one for Dessad.
  • Flanderization: In The Avengers The Other was much more subdued compared to his mostly shrieking role in Guardians of the Galaxy. His constant harping about respecting Thanos gets him killed by Ronan.
  • Humanoid Aliens: He has the same general shape as a human (and of course is played by a human actor), but the details are very different. For starters, he has two thumbs on each hand. It's not really clear if he's of the same race as the Chitauri.
  • In the Hood: His hood helps to further obscure his face. You get to see his surprised eye when Ronan kills him.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: A servant of Thanos who hides half of his face.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Serves as the mouthpiece for his master.
  • Nightmare Face: Though we only see some of it.
  • Neck Snap: Ronan kills the Other using a blast of force from his hammer, not only breaking his spine but twisting his head nearly 180░.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Something of a given for anyone who willingly serves Thanos.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: In Guardians of the Galaxy, he only appears briefly before Ronan kills him.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: From the start of The Avengers, he shows annoyance over working with Loki. Though, it was ultimately up to Thanos to make that decision. In Guardians of the Galaxy, he also doesn't like working with Ronan the Accuser much either, chastising him for talking to Thanos without the proper respect. This provokes Ronan into killing him.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his master, Thanos.
  • The Worf Effect: James Gunn acknowledges doing this with him on the commentary for Guardians, saying seeing the guy who Loki was submissive towards killed so easily was meant to drive home how dangerous Ronan was.



"I shall honor our agreement, Kree, if you bring me the Orb. But return to me again empty handed, and I will bathe the starways in your blood."

Portrayed By: Damion Poitier, Josh Brolin
Appearances: The Avengers (Portrayed by Damion Poitier) | Guardians of the Galaxy | Avengers: Infinity War

The master of the Chitauri, and the Overarching Villain of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. He lent Loki his forces in exchange for Loki promising him the Tesseract in The Avengers. He later promises Ronan the Accuser that he will destroy the homeworld of the Nova Corps in exchange for the Orb in Guardians of the Galaxy. All in order to gather the six Infinity Stones that together will grant him ultimate power.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The guy has Chronic Getting-Backstabbed Disorder.
    • Gamora and Nebula both hate Thanos and abandon him the moment they see a chance.
    • As soon as he gains the power to destroy planets, Ronan betrays and promises to kill Thanos.
  • Abusive Parent: He "adopted" both Nebula and Gamora after killing their respective families. He then surgically modified both with cybernetics to become his personal enforcers. Gamora calls her time with Thanos worse than any nightmare, and Nebula states that Thanos turned her into a monster.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Has purple skin.
  • Archnemesis Dad:
    • Gamora, one of his adopted daughters, fights against his forces in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • While his other daughter Nebula continues to serve him, she really hates Thanos and turns against him as soon as she gets the opportunity, joining Ronan.
  • Artifact of Doom: Wants to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet in order to take over the Universe.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Makes violent, inventive threats to both Loki (through the Other) and Ronan (in person).
    • Doesn't react at all when Ronan kills the Other in front of him. Nebula at least looked up, Thanos didn't even bother to turn around.
    • Everyone who works for him in Guardians of the Galaxy takes the earliest possible opportunity to betray him.
  • Big Bad: Serves as the main villain of the Avengers: Infinity War films, where he finally completes his Artifact of Doom and every hero in the Universe comes after him.
  • Bigger Bad: While not directly involved in any of the early films he appears in, he's the galactic Evil Overlord driving events from behind the scenes. All in order to gather the Infinity Stones and take over the Universe.
    • In The Avengers, his mouthpiece tells Loki to get Thanos the Tesseract as promised, or suffer unimaginable pain. But even though Thanos is the leader of the Chitauri, Loki's the one leading the invasion on his own accord.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos himself tells Ronan the Accuser he'll only honor their deal to destroy Ronan's enemies if Ronan brings him the Orb. If Ronan doesn't, Thanos promises he will bathe the stars in Ronan's blood instead. Thanos is prevented from taking the Big Bad position when Ronan betrays him halfway through.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Favors employing women as his agents and enforcers, adopting various "daughters" he conditions into living weapons.
  • Chair Reveal: We get our first full glimpse of Thanos when Ronan kills his enforcer and asks him to directly address him, cue a slow swivel and we see Thanos in the flesh.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: His bright blue eyes glow slightly.
  • The Dreaded: He didn't earn his title of "the Mad Titan" by kicking grass. His minions are terrified of him. Just standing up caused The Other to hastily duck his head.
    • Loki was clearly intimidated by the Other's threats of Thanos's wrath,
    • Korath briefly tried to talk Ronan out of betraying the Titan, warning "Thanos is the most powerful being in the Universe".
    • Ronan himself, when face-to-face with Thanos, also recoils in fear when Thanos speaks down to him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite all the abuse, he sees Gamora as his favorite daughter.
  • Evil Overlord: Thanos has entire planet-conquering armies, a personal retinue of Bodyguard Babes, and scares the hell out of anyone who's ever worked for him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a very deep, booming voice.
  • Galactic Conqueror: He's the one who lent Loki a planet-conquering army. He also promises Ronan he will destroy Xandar, homeworld of the Nova Empire, in Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Graceful Loser: He doesn't seem to mind too much that Loki failed to conquer Earth and bring him the Tesseract. Keep in mind he's lost two Infinity Stones in one go note . Later, when Ronan takes the Power Stone from him, he's more angry about Ronan disrespecting him than anything.
  • Insistent Terminology: To demean Ronan, he consistently refers to him as "boy" to show who's in charge.
  • Large Ham: Inevitable for a Purple Skinned Overlord but Josh Brolin does enjoy himself a bit much.
  • The Man Behind the Man:
    • He's the master of the Chitauri, who promised Loki Earth in exchange for the Tesseract in The Avengers.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy, he commands Ronan the Accuser to find the Orb in exchange for his help against Xandar, putting Ronan into conflict with the main characters. However, once Ronan turns against him, Thanos is no longer involved with Ronan's actions. The film implies that Thanos has been backing Ronan for some time; after Ronan is killed, Drax considers Thanos the man truly responsible for his family's deaths.
  • Mythology Gag: In the comic books, Thanos is in love with the Personification of Death. His first onscreen appearance immediately plays off this.
    The Other: To challenge them... is to court death.
    Thanos: [smiles]
  • No Name Given: In the end credits of The Avengers, the credits for his actor and makeup artist list him as "Man #1", presumably to avoid spoilers. There is no Man #2.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Thanos has appeared in two movies and shown no trace of any superhuman ability at all. Some call this a case of Informed Ability: but considering what we have seen Loki and Ronan do on-screen, the fact that they hate him - yet kneel before him - suggests that 'Nothing is Scarier' is being invoked.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He's willing to destroy entire planets in return for an Infinity Stone, or just potential recruits like Gomora.
  • Orcus on His Throne: The most that we've seen Thanos personally do in his two film appearances is stand up and smile in The Avengers and threaten Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Doesn't personally intervene against the good guys in The Avengers, even though it loses him both the Tesseract and the staff he gave Loki.
    • Similarly has Ronan the Accuser and Nebula deal with obtaining the Power Gem, even after Peter Quill steals it out from under them in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Overarching Villain: The main villain of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is the true mastermind behind Loki, the Chitauri, and Ronan, and presumably will be the main antagonist of the Avengers: Infinity War films.
  • Perma Stubble: If you look closely, you'll notice he always has a bit of stubble on his face, like his motion capture actor Josh Brolin.
  • Parental Favoritism: He refers to Gamora as his "favorite daughter." ...right in front of his other daughter, Nebula.
  • The Plan: The Avengers started his plan to obtain the Infinity Stones and become omnipotent, and it's since been revealed that the third Avengers film will feature him.
  • Red Baron: As revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy, he has his comic counterpart's epithet "The Mad Titan".
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Upon hearing attacking Earth would be tantamount to a Suicide Mission, he grins.
    • He similarly grins after telling Ronan he will bathe the stars in Ronan's blood if the Kree zealot comes back empty-handed again.
  • Smug Super: The reason he's pretty high and mighty? Because he really is that high and mighty and powerful.
  • The Stoic: He's not too phased by anything. The only time he ever really raises his voice is when Ronan takes the power of the Power Stone into him, and even then he doesn't react too much.
  • The Voiceless: He has no lines during his initial onscreen appearance in The Avengers. This changes as of Guardians of the Galaxy, where Josh Brolin plays him.
  • World's Strongest Man: Ronan's second in command literally calls him "the most powerful being in the Universe". Even the most powerful of "superhuman" races like the Asgardians and Kree are afraid to cross him.


    Howard Stark 

Howard Stark

"Technically, we're not even sure it works, but— well, let's face it, I invented it, so it works."

Portrayed by: Gerard Sanders, John Slattery, Dominic Cooper (pictured)
Appearances: Iron Man (portrayed by Gerard Sanders) | Iron Man 2 (portrayed by John Slattery) | Captain America: The First Avenger | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Marvel One-Shots: Agent Carter | Agent Carter | Ant-Man (portrayed by John Slattery)

The founder and CEO of Stark Industries, and Tony Stark's father. During World War II, he was America's biggest military contractor, and one of the leading scientists behind the Super Soldier project. He occasionally assisted Rogers in several missions during his tenure before returning to Stark Industries.

After the war, he became a founding member of SHIELD.

  • Ace Pilot: The best civilian pilot in the USA during WWII, skills he uses to fly Steve Rogers 30 miles behind enemy lines.
  • Always Someone Better: In the second film, it seems Tony thinks his father was this to him. Quite aside from Howard Stark's apparent lack of parenting skills, he's been "dead for almost twenty years...still takin' [Tony] to school".
  • The Atoner: Eventually he get fed up with all the destruction his inventions cause. It's implied he founded SHIELD as way to make amends.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Some choice lines from Agent Carter point to Howard having it pretty bad for Steve:
    • Howard Stark: "I know how much Steve means to you because I know how much he means to me!"
    • Peggy Carter: "Howard, I know you loved him because I loved him too!"
  • Ambiguously Jewish: In the fourth episode of Agent Carter, Howard relates several details of his background that hint at this.
  • Cursed with Awesome: His technical genius becomes this when he sees the destruction his inventions can cause especially the ones that weren't even suppose to be weapons.
  • Bigger Stick: Working on a Super Soldier project either led to this kind of thinking or is his reason for being there in the first place. In any case, he's the page quote.
  • Brains and Bondage / Casual Kink: In Agent Carter, Peggy finds a closet of female fetish clothes Stark uses to add a "theatrical element" to his private life in his... personal penthouse.
  • Brainy Brunette: He built Stark Industries on technology and arranging military contracts.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Strongly implied - in CA, Howard's cheerful, optimistic, and outgoing, as opposed to the bitter, emotionally-distant drunk he's shown to be in other films. Steve's "death" was likely a Cynicism Catalyst - Tony claims Howard couldn't stop talking about him decades later.
    • Having to confront all the destruction his inventions also helped him along the way
    • The reveal in Winter Soldier that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been taken over from within by HYDRA, and Howard knew about it, may have also had a lot do with his emotional turn later in life.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: An odd example. Even he can't remember every woman he's gone out with.
  • Butt Monkey: To some degree, inventions wise. His hover car appears to work until it falls down to the ground, and when he's studying the Cube, he's Blown Across the Room.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Played with. Jarvis says that he has frequent "private entertaining" sessions but during the war he becomes quite professional while maintains his image on stage.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not quite as snarky as his son, but he's no slouch.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • In Agent Carter it appears Peggy is the only SSR agent who doesn't jump to believing the frame job on him.
    • During WWII he had to contend with officers who thought they knew how to use his inventions better than he did. And many innocent people died because of it.
  • Expy:
    • Of Howard Hughes, specifically Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator, especially apparent in the Agent Carter short.
    • Of his son, Tony (he has a mustache but no beard, like how Tony was drawn for many years until the Heroes Reborn introduced the bearded look)... and Walt Disney. Check out the plan for his expo!
  • For Science!: His main reason for creating his inventions. He's not pleased when his partner Anton Vanko is Only in It for the Money. This is probably why he looks and sounds very hurt when Peggy suggests that he's Only in It for the Money where Steve's blood and all the cures that it could lead to are concerned. He even outright asks her, "What kind of man do you think I am?"
  • Insufferable Genius: Like father, like son. Though with a strange sense of modesty.
    Howard Stark: Speaking modestly, I'm the best mechanical engineer in this country, but I do not know what's inside this [HYDRA submarine] or how it works.
  • It Runs in the Family/Like Father, Like Son: Technological genius and playboy with a streak of showmanship who dresses very well and becomes involved with superheroes.
    • Both Tony and Howard eventually become disillusioned with the weapons business after seeing all the chaos it causes and wish to make amends by doing something good (Tony became Iron Man, Howard founded SHIELD) while still having to deal with politicians and General Ripper characters who keep wanting them to make weapons.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tony may not know about this until after he's dead, but he's very loyal and benevolent to Steve Rogers; not that it helps Tony's case.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Hinted at in Winter Soldier. When Natasha questions why S.H.I.E.L.D. never caught on to HYDRA's infiltration, Zola smugly remarks "Accidents will happen." News clippings of the Starks' deaths then appear onscreen.
  • Mad Scientist: He's got the tendencies, even if he doesn't have the attitude.
    Howard: Seems harmless enough. Hard to see what all the fuss is about.
    (touches energy bit, massive explosion blows him back)
    Howard: (dazed, yet unconcerned) ...Write that down.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: In The Winter Soldier, it's revealed that the car accident that killed him and his wife was in fact an assassination arranged by HYDRA.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not finding Steve after he crashed the Valkyrie into the Arctic. It was how Ivchenko was able to put him under hypnosis.
  • Mr. Alt Disney: Richard Sherman (who with his brother Robert composed and wrote songs for Walt Disney) wrote the Stark Expo Jingle in Iron Man 2. And compare the video footage of Slattery's Howard in Iron Man 2 with episodes of Disneyland, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and The Wonderful World of Disney, particularly ones about "The Florida Project" and "Epcot." The resemblance is deliberate and eerie.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In Agent Carter, his inventions end up causing mass death and destruction once Leviathan finally gets their hands on them. In many cases, his inventions were actually not weapons and were intended to be used as defensive equipment for soldiers, but severely flawed prototypes meant that they could end up accidentally causing mass death. Much more vile characters then make use of these "weapons". Even Jarvis said his inventions as "Mr. Stark's bloody inventions" while losing most of his usual Servile Snarker tone in his voice, indicating even he's horrified with his boss' work.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Doing your patriotic duty to help your home country defeat the Nazis by becoming a military contractor? All well and good until a General Ripper steals one your untested dangerous prototypes and it causes nothing but innocent deaths when it turns out it induces a Hate Plague.
  • Non-Action Guy: He's an excellent pilot and a genius weapon's designer, but no fighter.
  • Parental Favoritism: The fact that Howard, always a distant and hard-to-please dad, "never shut up" about Steve Rogers is a thorny point with Tony by the time The Avengers rolls around, fuelling his initial dislike of Steve.
  • Parental Neglect: Howard was proud of Tony and left him the map to creating a new element, but it sounds like he was as bad at communicating his feelings as Tony.
    Tony: He was cold, calculating, never told me he loved me, didn't even tell me that he liked me, so it's a bit hard for me to digest that he said the whole "future is riding on me" thing. You're talking about a man whose happiest day of his life was shipping me off to boarding school.
    • Possibly Fridge Brilliance: He knew he was in danger, and Tony being far away from him and safe may have been why he was happy about it.
  • Platonic Life Partners: Deconstructed with Peggy. Howard genuinely respects her skills (unlike most men in the tie period) and Peggy is one of the few women he doesn't flirt with (aside from friendly teasing). However, because of his history as a notorious playboy, many people (including Peggy's co-workers) assume that they have a romantic relationship or Peggy is attracted by the playboy's sex appeal.
  • The Pornomancer: Much like his son, Agent Carter shows this is a running trait. And as shown in the episode "A Sin to Err", he appears to be even better at it than Tony.
  • Posthumous Character: Averted in The First Avenger, Agent Carter, and the one-shot he appears in, due to their taking place in the 1940's, but in the modern-day setting of most of the films, Howard has been deceased since December of 1991.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Stark shows shades of believing this in "Agent Carter", believing that setting himself up as bait in a trap is the best way to make up for the damage done by his weapons. "This is the only way to redeem myself!"
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Howard Stark had access to the Tesseract but was unable to do anything with it beyond building the Arc Reactor, which was "never cost-effective." It is implied that this was due to the fact that Stark was limited by the technology of his time (he knew how to make it work but he didn't have the tools and equipment to implement what was necessary to make it work). It is also possible that the Tesseract wasn't putting forth the same power that it was before. note  He also developed an antigravity car in 1942, but was never able to "iron out the kinks" by the modern day, apparently for the same reasons.
    • The weapons stolen from him in Agent Carter have a level of this. He makes a personal massager that paralyzes people and a heat source that blows up. So much for "I invented it, so it works," huh?
    • Apparently he is fully aware that this trope is in effect when it comes to those devices stolen from him as seen in Valediction.
  • Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense: While on the run in Agent Carter, he calls his butler Jarvis for assistance in preparing his favorite drink.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections! And Money: Howard develops weapons for the military, which is why he wasn't punished for helping Steve with his Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right.
  • Self-Made Man: Howard claims his parents were working class people from Manhattan's Lower East Side, so he had to fight his way to the top and his millions.
  • The Smart Guy: In-charge of improving Cap's shield and costume.
  • Stepford Smiler: Underneath is cocky showy persona he harbors deep feelings of guilt for his failure to to find Steve and all the death and destruction his inventions bring.
  • Time-Shifted Actor: Played by a total of three actors corresponding to the different ages at which the character appears: by Dominic Cooper in the 1940s, by John Slattery in the 1960s and 1970s, and by Gerard Sanders in various flashback photos in Iron Man.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Over the years he's becoming this, especially when he started to become a father for Tony. He didn't exhibit any real Jerkass tendencies during World War II; only a very mild dig at Rogers not noticing the radioactivity of a cube fragment.

    Stan Lee 

Stan Lee

Portrayed by: Stan Lee

A pioneer of the comic industry, and the creator or co-creator of most of the characters so far featured in not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also the X-Men, Spider-Man and other non-Disney film and franchises. Much like Alfred Hitchcock, it has become a tradition for Stan Lee to make cameo appearances in most movies or TV series based on Marvel Comics, MCU and otherwise.

    Spoiler Character (Marvel One Shots

The Mandarin

Portrayed By: N/A
Appearances: Marvel One-Shots (mentioned)

The Mandarin is the mysterious leader of the Ten Rings terrorist organization that menaced Tony Stark in Iron Man. Though Aldrich Killian's scheme to use the Mandarin's image in Iron Man 3 made it seem that he was a mere fabrication, the Marvel short All Hail the King reveals that he is indeed real. Jackson Norris claims he was ordered by the Mandarin to break Trevor Slattery, the fake Mandarin, out of prison, evidently so the Diabolical Mastermind can punish his impostor personally.
  • Bigger Bad: He's behind the Ten Rings, but hasn't yet stepped into the spotlight with any evil plans.
  • The Ghost: So far, he's only been referenced by name in Iron Man 3 and All Hail the King, without appearing personally.
  • Meaningful Name: The word "Mandarin" comes from an ancient Chinese name for an "advisor to the King". Indeed, he's said to have advised powerful figures throughout human history.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Apparently, he's been around since before the Middle Ages. Though he could just be a Legacy Character, like some other versions.
  • Walking Spoiler: Revealing his existence gives away The Reveal from Iron Man 3 that the Mandarin appearing in that film is nothing but a Red Herring for Aldrich Killian, not to mention that Killian was lying about being the Mandarin all along.
  • Warrior Prince: He's described as a warrior king who's "inspired generations of men".
  • We Wait: Jackson Norris notes that his organization has been dormant for some time.

Alternative Title(s):

MCU Heroes, Marvel One Shots, Avengers Infinity War