Now that Spider-Man: Far From Home is in theaters, the third phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially come to an epic conclusion and fans are already speculating about the franchise's Phase 4.
Avengers: Endgame forced us to say a final farewell to beloved heroes like Iron Man and Captain America, and the futures of several other iconic characters are still up in the air. With Tony Stark and Steve Rogers out of the picture, the remaining heroes are going to have to step up their game in order to continue protecting the galaxy from the villains who constantly threaten it. Meanwhile, old antagonists may see the absence of the Avengers' former leaders as an opportunity to come back and strike while Earth's Mightiest Heroes are rebuilding and settling into their new roles.
If these characters want to succeed and finally reach their potential in the next wave of films, they're going to have to make some serious changes. Here are 20 Useless MCU Characters Who Really Need To Step Up Their Game In Phase 4.
20 SCARLET WITCH
Scarlet Witch is one of the most formidable Avengers in the MCU, but she's actually not even close to being as powerful as she can be in the comics. She's proven capable of nearly eliminating the entire mutant race with a mere spell, and once rewrote all of existence to help her father Magneto rule the world in the popular House of M storyline.
If Earth's Mightiest Heroes are going to take on villains like Galactus and Doctor Doom, whom Disney now has the rights to, they're going to need Wanda to finally tap into her full potential.
19 DRAX THE DESTROYER
In Guardians of the Galaxy, Drax said he was going to take down Thanos to get justice for his family. He had his chance in Infinity War, but he failed to really do anything in the fight against the Mad Titan.
He's basically the Guardians' muscle, but he's nowhere near as strong as heroes like the Hulk or even Captain America. If Drax wants to prove that he's more than just a mindless brute with questionable usefulness, he's going to have to make some real improvements. Especially now that the Guardians have a superior powerhouse in Thor.
Fans rejoiced when the time-displaced Gamora kicked Star-Lord in the privates in Avengers: Endgame, because we still haven't forgiven Peter Quill for his catastrophic blunder in Infinity War. His inability to keep his cool with Thanos prevented Spider-Man from removing the Infinity Gauntlet from the Mad Titan's hand, making Quill largely responsible for the snap a few minutes later.
If Star-Lord doesn't want his legacy to be forever tarnished by that moment of stupidity, he's going to have to save the galaxy again. Even then, we still may not forgive him.
17 SAM WILSON
For a guy without any real superpowers, Falcon has actually been reasonably useful to the Avengers thus far. He's helped Steve Rogers on several occasions, and most importantly, he helped recruit Ant-Man to the team.
Now that he's got Steve's iconic shield and the mantle of Captain America, however, Sam is going to have to be more than "reasonably useful." He has to be one of the country's greatest heroes. And we're not quite sure he's ready for that.
16 CAPTAIN MARVEL
Okay, Captain Marvel definitely isn't "useless" considering the fact that she's probably the most powerful hero in the entire MCU right now... but she definitely didn't do enough in Endgame. She was absent for most of the film, and arrived late to the Avengers' battle against Thanos and his army. Worst of all, she had the new Infinity Gauntlet in her hands and likely would have survived snapping the Mad Titan's forces out of existence, but she allowed Tony Stark to do that for her at the cost of his life.
Fans are speculating that she'll be the Avengers' new leader, but she hasn't proven herself worthy or capable of fulfilling that role just yet.
15 DOCTOR STRANGE
Doctor Strange believed that the Avengers only had one path that'd lead to their success against Thanos, but that doesn't stop us from thinking that the Sorcerer Supreme didn't do nearly enough in the battle against him on Titan. Stephen bizarrely chose not to use the Time Stone, even though he proved in his solo film that he can trap enemies in an infinite time loop with it!
If he wants to remain one of Earth's Mightiest, Strange is going to have to up his spell-casting skills.... especially now that the Eye of Agamotto is gone.
14 NICK FURY
Nick Fury is one of the world's greatest super spies and he's responsible for the founding of the Avengers, but he hasn't really done anything useful in nearly a decade. Since assembling Earth's Mightiest Heroes, he hasn't helped them fight any of their great battles, hasn't done any further recruiting, and is currently off in space on a ship full of Skrulls.
It's time for Fury to finally put himself in the line of fire and do something.
13 RED SKULL
Johann Schmidt is one of the most dangerous and iconic villains in all of Marvel Comics, but he's been entirely useless in the MCU thus far. Since touching the Tesseract in Captain America: The First Avenger, he's been stranded on Vormir and forced to act as the guardian of the Soul Stone.
The Red Skull is now free to leave Vormir and return to Earth, and it's definitely time for him to prove himself as formidable on the big screen as he always has been in his source material.
12 THUNDERBOLT ROSS
Since his turn as a villain in The Incredible Hulk, General Ross has become a minor and entirely forgettable character in the MCU. In the comics, he founds the Thunderbolts—a fan-favorite team of reformed supervillains—and becomes the Red Hulk, but on the big screen, Ross is just a government employee tasked with ensuring the Avengers are following the Sokovia Accords.
He's got great potential if Marvel stays closer to the source material with his character, but so far, we're not quite loving him.
11 WAR MACHINE
Even though War Machine has been helping Iron Man save the world for several years now, he's never really felt like an Avenger. Rhodey has always been more of a sidekick than an actual member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but now that Tony Stark is gone, that's going to have to change.
Everyone's been asking who will replace Tony, and War Machine would be the most logical answer since their suits and powersets are practically the same. If he wants to be the new Iron Man, though, he's going to have to step up his game.
10 BUCKY BARNES
It's hard to deny that Bucky Barnes has been more of a hindrance to Earth's Mightiest than a help over the past decade. He incidentally caused the Civil War that tore apart the Avengers, and it's entirely possible that split was the reason the heroes failed to provide a united enough front to stop Thanos in Infinity War.
If he wants to make up for all the wrongs he committed while mind-controlled as the Winter Soldier and help the Avengers continue to thrive now that his best friend Steve is gone, Bucky has to be better.
Michelle is seemingly the MCU's version of Spider-Man's love interest Mary Jane Watson, and Spidey fans still aren't sure how to feel about that. Her dry, dark sense of humor can be fun to watch, but she's simply not as likable as the "MJ" of the comics.
If Marvel wants to appease Spidey fans, they have to make their new MJ better. Peter's secret identity was revealed to the world in Phase 3, and as his girlfriend, MJ is going to have to provide Peter with some serious support and evolve past being a mere damsel in distress.
Okay, we admit that it's a stretch to call Thor "useless" when he's been instrumental in helping save the world on several occasions. But he was a bit of a disappointment in Endgame, and needs to undergo some major changes in Phase 4 if he wants to get back to being his chiseled, godly self. Hopefully his adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy will help the God of Thunder lose his beer belly and fill him with purpose again.
Vision supposedly wiped the last trace of Ultron from the Internet in Age of Ultron, but in the comics, the villainous robot always seems to pop back up whenever Marvel's heroes "eliminate" him. A fan theory has circulated for years that he may have uploaded a secret, small fragment of himself into the Quinjet while flying the ship, enabling him to return in Phase 4.
Now that Vision, Iron Man and Cap are gone, Earth is at its most vulnerable. If Ultron steps up his game, he might be able to take advantage and give global domination another shot.
Shuri has been an MCU fan-favorite ever since she first appeared in Black Panther, but she didn't contribute as much in Infinity War or Endgame as viewers expected. She didn't fight in the Wakandan war against Thanos' army, and failed to remove the Infinity Stone from Vision's forehead in time to save him.
With Tony Stark gone, the Avengers need a new tech genius, and Shuri seems to be just as intelligent in that field as Iron Man was. It's time for Shuri to take her talents outside of her brother's kingdom and help Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Iron Man, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and some of the Guardians of the Galaxy were incredibly close to defeating Thanos and removing his Infinity Gauntlet on Titan. They probably could have pulled it off and saved billions of lives if they had just the tiniest bit more help, but Wong chose to stay in NYC rather than follow the Sorcerer Supreme into space.
Now that Doctor Strange is without the Time Stone, he'll need Wong's help more than ever. Will Wong step up and do everything he can to provide it?
4 HARLEY KEENER
Without young Harley Keener's help in Iron Man 3, it's possible we would have lost Tony Stark long before the events of Avengers: Endgame.
When Harley showed up at Tony's funeral, eagle-eyed fans suspected that he might appear in Phase 4 as the comic hero Iron Lad and try to continue his old friend and mentor's legacy. If he wants to do that, however, Harley is going to have to get out of his parents' garage and put some serious effort into either mastering Stark Tech or developing his own suit.
After Yondu sacrificed his own life to save Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, Peter Quill gave his incredibly powerful Yaka Arrow to Yondu's first mate Kraglin. Kraglin initially struggled to master the weapon, but years later, he was seen using it lead the Ravagers into battle in Endgame's fight against Thanos for the fate of all existence.
If the Guardians fight cosmic entities like the Beyonder, Galactus or Adam Warlock in their next film, they're going to need Kraglin's help. Hopefully by then, he'll be as skilled with the Yaka Arrow as Yondu was.
When Thor decided he'd rather help save the universe with the Guardians than rule over his people on New Asgard, he turned over the crown to Valkyrie. Being in charge of a town filled with near-immortals is no easy job, and to do the role justice, Valkyrie is going to have to step up and prove that she's the leader Thor trusted her to be.
1 NOVA CORPS
At the start of Infinity War, fans learned that Thanos was able to procure the Power Stone from the Nova Corps without any real difficulty.
It's disappointing that the renowned intergalactic police force failed to put up a stronger front against the Mad Titan, when he didn't even have any Infinity Stones at his disposal yet. If they want to be trusted to enforce justice throughout space, they have to make some significant improvements. Perhaps it's time to recruit Richard Rider, the Corps' most powerful member, who goes on to become the superhero Nova.