Sure, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man each have their names on a trilogy of movies, but those characters would often be lost without a massive support group. Better yet, there are some instances where the main characters would be dead and gravely hurt without a supporting character or two coming to save the day.
At the very least, supporting characters are often the source of comedic relief, a critical part of any movie if not done in excess. As we celebrate Earth's Mightiest Week this week, we wanted to shine a light on those characters who may not be fortunate enough to get their own franchise, but continue to kick butt in their own right.
It should be noted right out of the gates that there are several characters on this list that had outside shots at making our main "Top 10 Heroes" list, but slightly got edged out.
Here are the characters we feel are the top supporting characters of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Welcome to Earth's Mightiest Week! From April 22nd to April 26th, ComicBook.com is celebrating the culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far with a series of exclusive articles, lists, arguments, and more. If you'd like to check out some of our other offerings from this week, you can click the image above.
Yondu Udonta (Michael Rooker), the hardass turned heartbreaker. James Gunn's take on the original Guardians of the Galaxy character was a massive shake up from the comics mythos, and somehow, it all managed to work. Instead of being a tribal hunter, Yondu suddenly found himself as the leader of the space pirates known as the Ravagers.
With Rooker's gruff, bad-boy personality it just managed to land correctly. But under that rough exterior was a heart of gold, something we saw by the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which leads to one of the most poignant moments into the entirety of the MCU.
If you're an aspiring filmmaker and want a lesson on worldbuilding, tune in to Black Panther. The vast world Ryan Coogler and company introduced in the span of a few hours is unmatched, and helping lead the way is the Jabari tribesman M'Baku (Winston Duke).
Straddling the line of being a villain initially, M'Baku has suddenly found himself a part of several of the MCU's most integral moments, and he's only been a member for two movies. As the MCU progresses into Phase 4 and beyond, Duke's Wakandan warrior is set to bloom into a foundational piece of Wakandan lore.
Without Wong (Benedict Wong), it's very likely there wouldn't be a Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), or at the very least, the version we got. His introduction helped pave the way for the budding Sorcerer Supreme. The character helped save the world from the dread Dormammu, and for that, he receives a spot on the list.
The user of magic might have ended up higher on the list, but because of his sudden disappearance during Avengers: Infinity War, we felt this ranking would be more reasonable. Perhaps he can redeem himself during Endgame.
Seventh is probably too low for this one, to be honest. Luis (Michael Pena) is one of the funniest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it's nearly a guarantee he'll steal the scene every time he shows up on the screen. Bring back the one-shots and give us one where he recaps the MCU to date already.
The Keeper of the Bifrost, Heimdall (Idris Elba) is one of the most reliable supporting characters on this list. He's always been an agent for good, and even in the wake of annihilation, the character found himself risking his life for Thor and company.
With someone like Elba in this role, it's surprising Heimdall got as little screentime as he did, but the good thing is, there's been enough groundwork in the MCU for a gnarly trip to Valhalla.
The one character that's been there since the very beginning, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) is an MCU stalwart. With more appearances than anyone else on this list, Potts is looking at an expanded role come Avengers: Endgame, with previous marketing efforts revealing the character likely picking up the Rescue moniker from the comics.
While the character's name can be seen on a check in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, Paltrow herself has admitted her time in the MCU is coming to a close.
Building off of the Wakanda talk of earlier, Shuri (Letitia Wright) is one of the best parts of the film, introducing fans to all kinds of new technology. Identifying with many of the MCU's younger fans, Wright's an actor with a bright future ahead -- especially if Marvel Studios decides to adapt the storyline where she picks up the Black Panther mantle at one point or another.
You know how I mentioned before that some of the characters on this list had a shot at being on our main heroes list? Okoye (Danai Gurira) is one of those characters. The fierce leader of the Dora Milaje is always willing to jump right into the action and is afraid of no challenge, big or small.
One of the few remaining named Wakandans that didn't get dusted, it will be interesting to see how the character helps run Wakanda in the wake of both T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Shuri's disappearance.
I know what you're probably thinking, probably something along the lines of "how is Korg not #1?!" Well, there's a good reason which we'll explain in a moment, but for now, the second spot on the list is certainly a decent consolation prize.
The thing with Korg (Taika Waititi) is that he surprised most, if not all, theatergoers. For being such a minor character, Korg provided many laughs and all-around good moments in Thor: Ragnarok, and many fans -- myself included -- can't wait to see where he ends up next.
The other character on this list that could make the top heroes list, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) might be the one character on this list that could seriously have her own franchise someday. The Asgardian's introduction in Thor: Ragnarok was incredible, and the character is one of the most welcome additions to the MCU.
Outside of the movies, the character already has a vast mythos they could explore on-screen. And Thompson is one of the most talented actors the studio has on hand. Give us a Valkyrie trilogy already!