The culmination of the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) will see Earth’s mightiest heroes finally do battle with a purple lunatic. And while these heroes deserve tons of praise, it’s worth remembering that they’ve had a lot of help along the way. Where would Iron Man be without Rhody? And Spider-Man wouldn’t be so grounded if not for Ned.
As we near the release of Avengers: Infinity War, we thought it’d be fun to recognize some of the MCU’s best sidekicks, the unsung heroes who not only ensure our heroes do their jobs, but keep audiences entertained. Sorry, Natalie Portman fans, but Jane Foster didn’t make the list.
Luis (Michael Peña) in Ant-Man
Luis is an easy pick for fans of the MCU. As a member of Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) crew, Luis provides much of Ant-Man’s best comic relief, which is saying a lot considering Paul Rudd plays the titular role. It’s not just Luis’ memorable one-liners, but his infectious enthusiasm, proving you can have a positive outlook in any situation. I wish I had a friend as loyal and excitable as Luis.
Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) in Thor and Thor: The Dark World
The first two Thor movies were a little dull, which makes Darcy so important. She injected some much-needed fun into the films, which were Shakespearean to the point of nausea. What’s funny is Darcy’s characteristics act as a kind of blueprint for who Thor eventually becomes. That is: an adorable puppy who is always several steps behind. In a world where a Norse god gets kicked out of Asgard for misbehaving, Darcy is fun and relatable, and a little bit mischievous.
Wong (Benedict Wong) in Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange could probably be dead if not for Wong, who in the movie is tasked with protecting some of Kamar-Taj’s most valuable relics. As a Master of the Mystic Arts, Wong is a strong, stern character who subverts the stereotypical manservant role Wong played in the comics. Unlike Luis and Darcy, Wong is going to have an expanded role in the future of the MCU. I mean, he is on the Infinity War poster, unlike Hawkeye.
Korg (Taika Waiti) in Thor: Ragnarok
We’ve already written a lot about Korg, Thor: Ragnarok’s lovable rock monster, so it would be criminal not to include him on this list. Similar to Groot, Korg brings a child-like sincerity to the MCU, offering up hilarious observations and a likable can-do attitude. In a movie with Jeff Goldblum in gaudy gold outfits, Korg stands out, instantly becoming one of the MCU’s most memorable characters. It would be a shame for him not to show up in a future film.
Shuri (Letitia Wright) in Black Panther
There were a lot of really great characters in Black Panther, including M’Baku (Winston Duke) and Okoye (Danai Gurira). But it was Shuri who we loved most. She’s whip smart, funny, and has a innovative spirit, which not only makes for a strong character, but a terrific role model. For so long the MCU has relied on Tony Stark as its sole innovator. Now, there’s a new face in town, and she’s fun as hell.
There are several other good sidekicks in the MCU, including Sharon Carter, JARVIS, and Bucky Barnes. Without them, the Avengers wouldn’t be where they are. More importantly, these movies wouldn’t be as good without them. Name one good sidekick in the DCEU. There are none!
Before you check out Avengers: Infinity War, get up to speed with our Infinity Stones guide.