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14 Of The Best Supporting Characters In The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Because you don't have to be super to be a hero.

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Marvel superheroes are now pretty much household names. Heck, I bet even your grandmother has heard of Groot. But one of the best parts about Marvel movies is that even their supporting characters kickass. Here's just a few of those kickass characters.

1. Nick Fury


"I'm here to talk to you about the Avengers Initiative." Probably the most badass introduction for any character in the entire MCU. The (former) director of SHIELD has kept audiences on the edge of their seats since that brief after-credits scene, and we've certainly enjoyed his missions of secret government espionage too. In the hero business you have to keep BOTH eyes open, and Nick Fury always does.

2. J.A.R.V.I.S.


Tony Stark's artificially intelligent home computer and personal butler J.A.R.V.I.S. (Just A Rather Very Intelligent System) never seems to get the credit he deserves. The guy (robot?) gives Stark advice on enemy weak points, flies spare suits when Stark's in a bind, and even keeps the houses thermostat at a comfortable temperature 24/7! J.A.R.V.I.S. Paul Bettany, the voice of J.A.R.V.I.S., has also been cast as the voice of Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron so maybe that means J.A.R.V.I.S. is getting a bigger role? Only time will tell...

3. Erik Selvig


The man is a genius. Plan and simply. He literally used the Tesseract to open up a portal to another dimension where hundreds of aliens came swarming in to take over New York! Right... Maybe not the most heroic example. He did put in a fail safe to close said portal. So the guy's not only a puppet!

4. Virginia “Pepper” Potts


Starting out as Stark's personal assistant in the first Iron Man, then going on to be CEO of Stark Enterprises in Iron Man 2, to kicking ass and killing the main villain in Iron Man 3, Pepper Potts has shown the world that not all heroes wear bulletproof armor; some wear bras.

5. Harold "Happy" Hogan


Iron Man may not need a bodyguard, but Happy sure as hell assumed that position with seriousness, alacrity, and professionalism. Happy does everything he can to protect the people close to him. To put it simply, Happy makes everyone happy.

6. James Rhodes


Sure, he's also War Machine and Iron Patriot but he kicks just as much ass as James Rhodes! Holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Armed Forces "Rhodey" has been Tony Starks best friend for years and his heroics have saved Iron Man's ass a number of times. James Rhodes is definitely worthy of the title hero even if he can't lift Mjølnir.

7. Maria Hill


One of the most trustworthy, pragmatic, and by-the-book secret agents ever, but she knows how to bust some heads, too. She's absolutely the type of person you want to have around if you ever need to escape from a collapsing base, fake your own death, or rally a group of superheroes into joining together to fighting a group of alien invaders. Whatever it is, she'll get it done.

8. Loki


Okay, so technically he's not a hero. Fine! So technically he's actually a villain bent on conquering earth. Whatever! He's still one of the most captivating characters in the MCU. He may want to enslave humanity, but he's just so damn charming! How could we not love Loki?! Plus he (sort of) sacrificed his life to save Thor in Thor: The Dark World.

9. James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes


We all have a best friend, but Bucky Barnes has been Steve Roger's best friend since the early 1920's. Bucky has the Cap's back till the end of the line. Sure, later in life he was brainwashed into becoming the infamous Winter Soldier and attempted to kill his best friend on several occasions. But attempted murder can't stop true friendship.

10. Sam Wilson


Also known as Falcon, Sam Wilson is an ally of Captain America and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Even more awesome than his already awesome winged jetpack, Wilson works with the Department of Veteran Affairs to help other veterans suffering from PTSD. Seriously, what's more heroic than that?

11. Peggy Carter


Far more than just the 1940's love interest to Captain America, Agent Carter has been kicking ass and taking names since World War II. After clearing the name Howard Stark after he was accused of treason, she became one of the founding members of the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division. Which is better known by its acronym: SHIELD.

12. Heimdall


The all-seeing, all-hearing, all-badass Gatekeeper of Asgard is not to be trifled with. He is a man (or God) of immense honor and respect, to the point that after the Chitauri invasion on New York he was placed in charge of guarding the Tesseract from evil. Plus, he wields a GIANT sword.

13. Howard Stark


Tony Stark's immense swagger had to come from somewhere! Howard is a self made man whose genius lead to the creation of the Super Soldier Serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. He also made Captain America's vibranium shield. Basically, there is no Captain America without Howard Stark. Also, there is no Tony Stark without Howard Stark. He's pretty much the father of all superheroes.

14. Phil Coulson


Super spy Phil Coulson is far and away everyones favorite agent of SHIELD. The character, who originated as a supporting character in the original Ironman, has become so popular that Marvel Comics has adopted him into the comicbook canon. He may not always be on screen, but as actor Clark Gregg has said, "He's a guy with a full life. He's always somewhere doing something. I just don't always know what that is."

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