While the MCU helped define an entire era of entertainment, it was only a matter of time before the original stars had to go to pave the way for newer, younger heroes. That’s why Avengers: Endgame killed Iron Man and sidelined Captain America in the past (well, that and contract negotiations, of course). As Marvel adds more characters in the coming years, some of our existing characters will need to make their final exit, and just in case Kevin Feige is reading this, here’s our definitive list of characters that the MCU needs to go ahead and kill off.
We get it: your first instinct right now is to shoot us with that crappy silly string in a Spider-Man bottle that the store labeled “web fluid.” It seems crazy for Marvel to kill off their most popular character, especially when he is played by someone as young as Tom Holland. Why, then, should Marvel say “Spider-Man no more” to his character on the big screen?
The main reason is that this would pave the way for Miles Morales to replace him in the MCU. As longtime comics nerds already know, much of the MCU is based on Marvel’s original Ultimates line of comics, and it was in those comics that Peter Parker definitively died, leading to the introduction of fan-favorite character Miles Morales.
While we love having him in the Spiderverse films, we’d still kill to have Miles in the MCU leading a younger generation of characters like Ms. Marvel into battle against Kang or whatever other threats are on the horizon.
Once upon a time, Samuel L. Jackon’s Nick Fury was the secret sauce of the MCU. His appearance after the Iron Man credits was meant to be a one-time Easter egg for comic geeks, but the character proved popular enough for Marvel to keep bringing him back for more appearances. Now, though, we think those appearances need to finally end.
The main reason that Nick Fury needs to die is that the MCU has forgotten what to do with him. In a post-S.H.I.E.L.D. world, he’s more or less an elderly James Bond…something that would be sad enough on its own (just ask Roger Moore fans) even if he wasn’t surrounded by young superheroes and supervillains with impressive powers and abilities.
Plus, Secret Invasion was just downright bad, proving once and for all that this character is well past his sell-by date to headline any exciting shows or films of his own.
Every now and then, we think the Scarlet Witch’s reality-warping powers have seeped into the real world. Wanda herself seems warped: the character has changed accents and even gone from villain to hero and back again, making her seem like a different character every time she’s on screen. And that’s part of why the MCU higher-ups like Kevin Feige need to say “no more witches” when it comes to this character’s future appearances.
In short, Scarlet Witch stories are unlikely to ever reach the heights that we got with Wandavision: movies like Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness have now reduced the character to a one-note supervillain that is hard to hate and even harder to root for.
She seems to now just be a plot stand-in for whenever a lazy screenwriter puts “insert powerful magical villain” into his script. If the MCU can no longer write this compelling character in a compelling way, they should just go ahead and kill her off.
Pop quiz: when is a character’s greatest strength also his greatest weakness? In the MCU, that question is likely something that Ant-Man actor Paul Rudd has pondered from time to time. That’s because his character’s entire appeal boils down to the fact that he’s barely above street-level hero status, but he keeps getting caught in battles that decide the fate of the planet. But that juxtaposition has now rendered him completely superfluous.
To his credit, Rudd is perfectly cast to play an affable everyman like Scott Lang, but now that he’s constantly palling around with the Avengers, he rarely has anything interesting to do. We’ve blocked out most of Quantumania by now (it’s not just us, right?), and the last interesting thing we can really remember Ant-Man doing was getting tacos from the Hulk.
If the character is just a punchline and his movies suck harder than Doc Ock’s vacuum attachment, why not just kill him off altogether and be done with it?
Jeremy Renner has been having one hell of a year (and not in a good way), so we feel bad about rooting for his character to get killed in the MCU. However, he has all of Ant-Man’s problems and then some: if Ant-Man is an affable everyman, Renner’s Hawkeye is an everyman with no affability or any real personality. He was mind-controlled by Loki in that first Avengers film, but honestly, his character has mostly felt like a mindless zombie ever since.
While we can make our peace with the campy conceit that Hawkeye’s array of strange trick arrows is enough to help him fight various gods and monsters, we can’t ignore that the MCU has already lined up this character’s replacement.
On the Hawkeye show, Hailee Steinfeld perfectly plays Kate Bishop (also called Hawkeye), and she brings to the table heart, humor, and energy…all the things her older mentor has been lacking. The MCU already has his better, younger replacement ready for the spotlight, and it’s time for her to take center stage, even if it’s over the other Hawkeye’s dead body.