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Marvel Characters Who Appear In The Most MCU Movies

When it comes to complex crossovers and interwoven storylines, there's nothing that can compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU is perpetually laced with small yet important cameos and entertaining alliances that have kept audiences glued to their screens ever since Nick Fury dropped into that first post-credit scene, talking about other supers and a "bigger universe."

With so many guest appearances and team-ups going on, it got us wondering who's gotten the most screen time through it all. Of course, you can approach the question in a few different ways. There are literal MCU minutes on screen, a competition that Tony Stark wins handily, with Steve Rogers coming in at a distant second. You could also consider which actors have had the most appearances — a competition that the late, great Stan Lee would win in spades.

What we're interested in here, though, is the number of appearances by a character. Specifically, how many times each character has appeared in different films. In order to keep things fair, we've decided to ax any photographs, mentions, or reused film, instead focusing on appearances that involve new, on-screen footage. So, without further ado, from leading roles right down to clever cameos, here are the characters who've appeared in the most MCU movies, ranked in order from least to most appearances.

Spider-Man shows up in six MCU movies

We'll start things off with a character who will likely climb the ranks quite a bit as the future of the MCU unfolds. Within the Infinity Saga, though, Spider-Man managed to nab a not-too-shabby half-dozen appearances.

Parker has two titular films to his name and has been a regular in the Avengers lineup ever since he swung onto the scene back in the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War. For those of you counting at home, that puts the crime-stopper from Queens at five intensely entertaining on-screen adventures, with Infinity War and Endgame.

Where's the sixth, you ask? Well, you have to go all the way back to Iron Man 2 for that one. For years, it was rumored that it was none other than kid Peter Parker who donned an Iron Man mask and faced down the Hammer Drone during the Stark Expo in the Iron Man sequel. While fan theories are nice and all, though, Spidey actor Tom Holland himself finally all-but-confirmed the guess in an interview back in 2017. Taking his word for it, we're going to round Parker's number up to six, allowing him to just make the cut.

Falcon has a respectable six appearances

There are few supporting characters in the MCU poised to have a more promising future than Sam Wilson. The airborne Avenger has faithfully served by Steve Rogers' side ever since Cap zipped passed him on his 13 miles-in-30 minutes morning jog in the opening scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

From there, the lovable veteran quickly grew into his role as the Falcon. In his first appearance, he's instrumental in taking down a Hydra-infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually, he's made a member of the Avengers in Age of Ultron. Soon after that, he finds himself on the wrong end of a tussle with Ant-Man in the little guy's solo flick before he joins in the divisive action of Civil War.

Wilson then takes part in the all-inclusive, dual superhero romp of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, coming out of the fray as the newly appointed, freshly anointed Captain America. Filling Steve Roger's super soldier-sized shoes is a task that will keep Wilson returning to action on more than one occasion in the future, starting with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Disney+ series.

Happy Hogan has popped up in six MCU movies

The prize for the dark horse candidate on this list should probably go to Happy Hogan. Happy has always been a faithful alumnus of the Iron Man franchise, and in spite of his relatively minor role in the MCU, the "forehead of security" managed to find his way into a surprisingly robust six different movies across the universe.

He first appears on the scene right at the genesis of the MCU, serving as Tony Stark's faithful bodyguard and best friend. Hap proceeds to play significant roles in all three of Stark's films before he franchise-hops over to Peter Parker's narrative with Spider-Man: Homecoming, and he nabs a little more screen time in Endgame.

At this point in the narrative, with Stark's story wrapped up, it feels as if Happy's tale is also about to come to a well-earned end. Except, it doesn't. He ends up making a raging comeback in Spider-Man: Far From Home where he shows up repeatedly, dating the superhero's aunt, orchestrating Stark's inheritance, and ultimately giving Parker the pep talk he needs when he's at his lowest.

Loki charmed us all in six films

Loki has six MCU appearances throughout the Infinity Saga. That puts the god of mischief in a four-way tie with Hogan, Wilson, and Parker. Pretty impressive for an MCU villain — the only genuine bad guy to make the list, we might add.

Loki's illustrious career begins way back in Thor, where he figures prominently against his brother. He takes his villainous pursuits to all-new levels when he shows up again in The Avengers, working for Thanos, wielding the Mind Stone, stealing the Tesseract, and eventually leading the Chitauri invasion of New York.

From there, the prince of lies begins to temper his wicked side, substituting it for a mischievous antihero vibe that he sports throughout the following two Thor films and right on into Infinity War. Here, he tragically meets his end at the powerful purple hand of his past employer. Of course, the son of Laufey isn't quite finished yet, as he pops up in another timeline and steals the Tesseract — again — in Endgame

To top it all off, the sneaky fellow is set to make his multi-verse debut in his own Disney+ show. Whether he'll make it into another movie, though, is an open question. However, Kevin Feige himself claimed that Loki's show, at least, will directly tie into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, implying that Loki indeed may have a chance to drop in for some twisted, multi-dimensional fun.

Vision has seven appearances ... sort of

The next member on our list is a little bit of a cheat. Strictly speaking, the Vision has only made appearances in three MCU films: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, and Avengers: Infinity War. However, a significant portion of the Avenger's identity is rooted in Tony Stark's old A.I. assistant, J.A.R.V.I.S. If you count the beloved virtual gofer — which, to be fair, was even voiced by the same actor, Paul Bettany — then the character ends up clocking in at a respectable seven appearances.

J.A.R.V.I.S. makes his audible presence known in all three Iron Man films, as well as The Avengers, where he faithfully aids Iron Man in a plethora of different ways. In fact, if it weren't for the A.I. system, there's little doubt that Stark would've bitten the dust long before Endgame.

Of course, once J.A.R.V.I.S. becomes Vision in Age of Ultron, the character takes on an entirely new personality. His childlike wonder is awesomely contrasted against his sharp analytical wisdom and his various overpowered abilities. While Thanos brings an untimely end to the Infinity Stone-infused android at the end of Avengers 3, the character's story will continue on in one fashion or another through a resurrected appearance in WandaVision in Phase 4.

Pepper Potts appeared in the MCU seven times

If anyone has a right to beat out Happy Hogan in the Tony Stark allegiance game, it's Pepper Potts. Pepper has faithfully stuck by Stark's side through thick and thin — with the one exception of that minor break up during Civil War.

Seriously though, folks, Pepper has been through hell and back again for her Avenging husband, and throughout that time, she's managed to pop up a whopping seven times. Her appearances have been so frequent that even Potts actress Gwyneth Paltrow can't keep track of them all.

Not surprisingly, she has hefty roles throughout all of the Iron Man trilogy, and she takes part in every Avengers film with the exception of Age of Ultron (which was close to the breakup, so we don't blame her). She also appears at the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, bringing her total to seven.

While most of her appearances have revolved around her role as Tony Stark's romantic interest, as well as her duties as head of Stark Industries, it was fun to see Potts finally don that Rescue armor in Avengers: Endgame and join in on the action. With Stark out of the picture for the foreseeable future, it's unlikely that Potts will add to her tally, although her ongoing role with Stark Industries means anything is possible.

Bucky soldiers on with eight appearances

Sergeant James Buchanan Barnes, better known to fans of the MCU as Bucky, has had a major supporting role throughout both Steve Rogers' and the Avengers' storylines. In fact, when you boil it down, Bucky could be considered one of the major catalysts that led to the entire Infinity Saga playing out the way it did.

Barnes first appears in Cap's first film, where he plays the part of the loyal friend before apparently falling to his death. He reappears in Cap's sequel film, this time as the brainwashed Winter Soldier. From there, Bucky's involvement goes from interesting to essential. He reappears in the post-credit scene for Ant-Man, setting the stage for his involvement in the catastrophic events of Civil War.

He also makes a brief appearance in the post-credit scene for Black Panther, serving as an early premonition for Infinity War — a film that he also participates in, along with its sequel. While Barnes has never been more than a supporting character, and more than one of his appearances were in small roles or end-credit scenes, he's still managed to maintain a dynamic presence throughout his MCU career.

War Machine flew onto the screen eight times

It should come as no surprise that three of the people on this list are attached at the hip to Tony Stark. We already ranked Happy Hogan and Pepper Potts with six and seven movies each, respectively. The one character who edges both out, though, is Rhodey. Colonel James Rupert Rhodes, also known as War Machine, has been with the MCU since its inception, showing up a total of eight times since those early days — even if he does so as one of the few characters to be played by more than one actor.

Rhodey books time in all three Iron Man films, Captain America: Civil War, and a mid-credit scene in Captain Marvel. While he failed to make the original Avengers roster, he does eventually join the squad, consequentially showing up in the second, third, and fourth Avengers films.

From his early days spent reigning in an out-of-control Tony Stark to his later career consistently spent helping to save the universe, the Iron Patriot has shown himself to be a loyal friend, a fearsome warrior, and a character with incredible resilience in the face of hardship and difficulty.

Bruce Banner hulked out in eight films

Once again, we come to a character who's a bit challenging to count. Hulk and Bruce Banner have grudgingly shared the silver screen for over a decade until they finally made up and chose to collaborate as Professor Hulk in Avengers: Endgame. If you count the two characters as one — we know, it's a decision that's dicey at best — you end up with a character who's shown up in the MCU a whopping eight different times.

These appearances are as different as the two characters, varying from their moody solo film to Hulk's glory days as the Grandmaster's champion in Thor: Ragnarok. As Avengers alumni, the pair also faithfully show up during all four Avengers films. To top things off, Banner also drops in for a pair of post-credit scenes in both Iron Man 3 and Captain Marvel. With such a checkered history, it was relieving to see Professor Hulk finally bring some stability to the big green guy's story. Although, with the rage brought down to a low simmer, it begs the question of if and how the pair will ever find their way back into anything more than a Disney+ series.

Thor brought the thunder with eight MCU movies

The god of thunder has been busy over the years. From his early period (relatively speaking) of self-discovery to his later involvement in Asgardian politics and his ties to the Avengers, Thor has managed to rack up eight different MCU appearances, with a fourth solo film already in the pipeline and a rumored guest appearance in Guardians 3 a possibility.

Three of his eight appearances come via his own trilogy. He's also participated in all four Avengers films and even has a quick cameo in Doctor Strange. The character has gone through an incredible amount of rebooting and refining over the years. His own franchise atrophied heading into the second film, only to be revitalized in the third installment by Taika Waititi's quirky energy. The about-face in the character's narrative gave Thor new MCU life and allowed him to bring a new dimension to the Avengers storyline as well. With so much already in the rearview mirror, it's impressive that Thor's MCU career still seems to have so much more to give.

Black Widow wiped the red from her ledger with eight appearances

Of the original six Avengers, only Hawkeye and Black Widow failed to get their own movies during the Infinity Saga. While Clint Barton's character is sidelined to the point of not even making this list, Natasha Romanoff has made several appearances in spite of a lack of a solo film.

Black Widow first appears way back in Iron Man 2, where her apparent innocence very quickly gives way to her superhero skillset. From there, she bounces over to the Captain America franchise, where she helps Steve Rogers and Falcon topple the Hydra-infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. and takes part in Civil War. She also sneaks in a quick end-credit appearance in Captain Marvel. The other half of her onscreen moments come via the quartet of Avengers films, bringing the number to eight.

Out of everyone on this list without a film to their name, Nat's resume is the most impressive, and fortunately, the whole "without a film to their name" bit will be remedied in the not too distant future when her first solo film officially opens up the Phase 4 fun.

Iron Man saved the world in ten movies

At this point, we've reached some pretty rare air. Only a handful of characters can claim to have appeared in the MCU ten times or more — only three, to be precise. First off, we have Tony Stark. Brought to life through Robert Downey Jr.'s all-encompassing performance, Tony Stark faithfully shepherds the entire first three phases of the MCU from start to finish.

Along with his own trilogy and hefty appearances in all four Avengers films, Stark plays a pivotal role in both Captain America: Civil War and Spider-Man: Homecoming. He also shows up in a short end-credit scene in The Incredible Hulk, bringing his count up to a robust ten different appearances.

Stark plays a crucial role in setting up the MCU, assembling the Avengers, and finally saving the universe itself from Thanos' iron grip. And while the chances of his appearing again — outside of unused footage, of course — remain low, the man has left an indelible mark on both the franchise and superhero movies as a whole. 

Captain America assembled audiences 11 times

Steve Rogers has been an MCU faithful right from the early days of Phase 1, steadily embodying the heart and soul of the universe throughout all of its many twists and turns. Along with Thor and Stark, Cap is one of the few characters that can claim to have an entire solo trilogy and an appearance in all four Avengers films. On top of that, Rogers has popped into end-credit scenes in Captain Marvel and Ant-Man, and he can be seen rattling off PSA messages throughout Spider-Man: Homecoming.

This puts him in a dead tie with Stark ... but there's a tie-breaker, however fragile it might be. Cap also indirectly makes an appearance in Thor: The Dark World via one of Loki's illusions. While this is definitely shaky to count as an "appearance" by the character, considering the fact that it isn't really him, the clip doesn't consist of reused or unused footage. Nor is it a photo or a video ... so we're going to count it, allowing Rogers to just nudge out Stark on the list.

With 11 legit appearances, Nick Fury has appeared in the most MCU movies

Firmly in first place, we have Nick Fury. Super spy, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the true assembler of the Avengers, Fury manages to beat out everyone when it comes to his sheer number of MCU appearances — and no wonder, too. The "100 percent red-blooded Earth man" has had his hand in practically every Earth-bound MCU tale to date.

He's there to recruit Iron Man, Hulk, and Captain America right from the get-go. He helps fuse the Avengers together in order to stave off disaster on multiple occasions. Heck, the guy is busy hob-nobbing with Carol Danvers decades before the current MCU ever gets into motion, and he's immediately back in action recruiting Peter Parker once Endgame wraps up. Well, sort of. At the very least, he's enjoying a little space vacation during Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Even with the Infinity Saga in the rearview mirror, Fury is still actively at the helm, prepping for the future and making sure that he shows up wherever he's needed — which means he likely won't lose his place at the top of this list any time soon.