It wouldn't be Earth's Mightiest Week if we didn't stop to talk about the heroes that make up the very universe that we've fallen in love with. Throughout the course of 21 movies, Marvel Studios has introduced dozens of superheroes, with each character becoming near and dear to a group of fans around the world.
Wanting to put out a ranking of the top 10 superheroes, we put our heads together here at ComicBook.com to try coming up with a definitive list. Just so you know how the voting process happened, each writer was asked to give their top 10, and from there, a weighted algorithm was used to rank the character based on where they stood in each writer's individual rankings.
It should be noted that yes, we included the television side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That said, none of the television characters earned enough votes to find their way into rankings. The highest-rated television character was Daredevil, who finished 15th in the voting. Other notable characters that just missed the top 10 include Hawkeye, The Wasp, Scarlet Witch, and Peggy Carter.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 heroes we feel are the best characters Marvel Studios has brought to live-action in the past 10 years.
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Breaking into this list right at #10 is none other than the cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Though one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's newest heroes, Ant-Man found himself ranking on a surprising number of lists. Though he only broke the top five just once, he appeared on the overwhelming majority of ballots.
Now with three appearances under his belt, Ant-Man looks to have a major role come Avengers: Endgame, and it's likely he'll have a major role in the MCU as it pushes into Phase 4.
That's right, Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) made the flarkin' list! Rocket squeezed by Ant-Man thanks to a few high-place finishes throughout the submitted ballots. Everyone's favorite trash panda found himself fourth on two lists, including that of yours truly and ComicBook.com writer Patrick Cavanaugh.
Another character with three on-screen appearances to his name, Rocket's shaping up to have a nice-sized role in Endgame as well. The last remaining member of the Guardians of the Galaxy (not counting Nebula) is stranded on Earth, and when he syncs up characters like War Machine or Tony Stark, the reactions between the characters will likely be worth the price of admission alone.
Coming in at 7th place is one of the supporting characters who has been in the MCU the longest. First appearing in Iron Man 2, Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) is certainly a favorite among our writing staff, appearing on all but three ballots. ComicBook.com's Megan Peters ranked the character highest, coming in second place on the writer's ballot.
Romanoff has a bright future — or past, actually — as a rumored prequel movie is in the works, reportedly set for release next year. We should find out more about that once Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters in July.
The biggest Avenger on the list, the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) is arguably the one character here who's been robbed of a legitimate franchise. Thanks to tricky rights issues with Universal Pictures, the character's been thrust into a supporting role across the MCU despite being one of the most popular characters to ever grace a Marvel comic book.
Edging out Black Widow, the Hulk notched one second-place finish where the majority of ballots placed him in the top five. There were two ballots, however, that placed him towards the bottom of the listings and one that omitted the character completely.
The first dusted character to crack the list, Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) is a box-office star and most certainly a welcome addition to the MCU. He led the one movie to finally earn Marvel Studios an Oscar — three, to be exact — so a spot on this list is well deserved. In fact, it's skirting a little lower on the list than he probably should be, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.
Introducing the world to Wakanda, Ryan Coogler's Black Panther is nothing short of a grand movie ,and thanks to that, the MCU will have Black Panther to lead the way for the foreseeable future. (Assuming he doesn't remain a bunch of dust.)
Working out a deal with Sony may have been the best thing Marvel Studios has ever done. Between his brief, albeit applause-worthy introduction in Captain America: Civil War and then Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is one of the standout stars of the MCU, and he's got plenty of time left to grow.
Even though the web-slinger's "I don't feel so good" line in Avengers: Infinity War destroyed all of our hearts, a top five finish is more than deserved for Peter Parker. When it comes to voting, Spider-Man was left off just one ballot and ranked between third and sixth on most others.
After Captain Marvel zoomed to a massive box office, there's no denying Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) deserves a spot on this list. In balloting, the character was ranked incredibly high, often finding herself in second or third place.
Another character that's set to have a bright future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain Marvel carved out a whole other corner of the on-screen universe that we hadn't seen before and it's more likely than not she'll be another character to get a trilogy of their own.
This is the ranking that surprised me the most. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) was unable to get a single first-place vote and notched just one single second place tally. In fact, there was one ballot that entirely left off the character that started the entire MCU.
While we've talked about a few characters on this list that are set to have big roles in Avengers: Endgame, Tony Stark is likely to be one of those with the most vital story arcs, something well deserved after serving as the MCU foundation for the past decade.
The first person on this list to notch a first-place vote — conveniently enough, which was on my ballot — Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has had one of the biggest story arcs out of any other character in the MCU. From having two solo films that are some of Marvel's worst-reviewed films to the masterpiece that is Thor: Ragnarok, the Asgardian's second-place finish on this list is earned.
A third of the Marvel trinity, Thor's been as integral to the MCU just as much as Iron Man or Captain America. Speaking of which...
Captain America (Chris Evans) was, by and large, the top vote-getter, and it wasn't even any close. Out of the lists submitted, Cap was rated in the top spot in all but two ballots, and even then he finished in second. The glue that's held the Marvel Cinematic Universe together, Steve Rogers continues to serve as the moral compass in a rather grim world.
As ComicBook.com's Connor Casey puts it, Cap is the one hero who's been that way since the very beginning.
"Every other character on this list had to undergo some sort of character moment in order for them to take up the mantle of being a hero," Casey tells me. "But Steve Rogers never needed a change of heart or sudden realization, he always wanted to be a hero from the start. So when he's suddenly thrust into a world that has become laxer with its principles, it's his steadfastness that makes him the perfect leader and the ideal hero."