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MCU characters who disappeared without explanation

In Avengers: Endgame's climactic final battle, unsnapped heroes from throughout the MCU assemble through portals to aid Captain America and company against the forces of Thanos. Dr. Strange looks to his fellow mystic, Wong, and asks, "Is that everyone?" Wong, exasperated by the question, simply quips, "What, you wanted more?" As it turns out, Strange's inquiry wasn't all that ridiculous. There are actually quite a few characters not in attendance.

When you're playing with a toy box as expansive as that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's inevitable that some pieces will fall through the cracks. All things considered, the MCU honestly does a great job of balancing screen time among the ranks, while often managing to simultaneously inject new faces into the lineup. Still, there are a slew of heroes and villains who've seemingly up and vanished without a trace throughout the franchise's decade of existence. From sidekicks to psychos, here are some of the MCU's characters who've disappeared without explanation. (Spoilers from the entire MCU to follow.)

What happened to Lady Sif?

It may be easy to forget, but the Avengers weren't Thor Odinson's first super posse. Way back in his first MCU film, 2011's Thor, Chris Hemsworth's muscly Asgardian rolled with a crew called Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, which would make for an absolutely smashing name for your rap group, should you need one. Although Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg all perished at the hands of Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, the whereabouts of Jaimie Alexander's Lady Sif are still largely unknown.

Aside from a 2014 cameo on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the sword-swinging warrior has been MIA in the MCU since 2013's Thor: The Dark World. However, it sounds as though her return isn't completely out of the question. In 2017, Kevin Feige suggested that Sif was probably banished by Loki-pretending-to-be-Odin after the events of The Dark World. The Russo brothers later confirmed that she was indeed one of the dusted casualties from Thanos' snap in Avengers: Infinity War, but given that Hulk's snap in Avengers: Endgame brought everyone back, it's entirely possible that the forgotten Lady Sif is still out there somewhere.

While recently interacting with fans on social media, Alexander was asked if she could really ride a horse while wielding a huge sword. Her answer seemingly stoked the fires of a potential Sif return. "Yes, once upon a time I was able to do that. And I might have to do that again in the future. So hopefully I haven't lost that gift."

The Hulk's forgotten lover just straight-up disappeared

Poor Bruce Banner just can't win with the ladies. While his awkward romantic fling with Black Widow was one of the most criticized relationships throughout the entire MCU, what about his first love interest, Liv Tyler's Betty Ross from 2008's The Incredible Hulk? If you completely forgot about her, don't feel too bad — apparently, Marvel has, too!

In a cinematic universe that prides itself on connecting all the dots, the lack of Betty Ross really stands out for two reasons. For one, she was the lover of one of the main Avengers, and establishing their relationship ate up a good portion of Hulk's first movie. However, when you consider that her father is General Thunderbolt Ross, played by William Hurt in four MCU films to date (with his fifth confirmed appearance coming in Black Widow), her complete disregard seems even more head-scratching. Heck, no character has so much as referenced Betty since 2008! It's almost as though she never existed at all.

While rumors are surfacing that Tyler could return to play an important role in Disney+'s upcoming She-Hulk series, don't be too surprised if Betty is yet again left out of the fun. But still, one can hope.

Paging Dr. Selvig

Although he's not a core member of the Avengers' family, Stellan Skarsgård's Dr. Erik Selvig has been a pivotal figure in the MCU ever since his introduction in 2011's Thor. The noted astrophysicist not only played large roles in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World, but he also popped up in both The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you recall, he's actually the (brainwashed) brains behind creating Loki's Tesseract-powered portal during the Battle of New York. But where the heck has he been since 2015?

It would appear as though Marvel has forgotten all about Thor's trusted colleague, at least on the screen. However, in his MCU tie-in novel, Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War: The Cosmic Quest, Vol. 2: Aftermath, writer Brandon T. Snider actually used Selvig and Darcy Lewis as his main protagonists, following their quest to solve what happened after Thanos' snap. With the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder most likely set in the cosmos of the MCU, it's unlikely that Skarsgård returns to the role, but at least his legacy lives on through the page.

The Prowler hasn't returned to the MCU since Spider-Man: Homecoming

After Sony's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse cleaned up at both the Oscar's and the box office, you'd think that Marvel would look to replicate that success by introducing Miles Morales in the MCU. They'd actually already kind of planted those seeds by including Miles' uncle Aaron Davis (played by Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino) in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming. Aaron even goes as far to mention his nephew when being Spidey interrogates him in a parking garage. 

It seemed as though Gambino's future in the MCU was destined for big things, especially considering that his character becomes the Spider-Man villain known as the Prowler in the comics. However, things have not panned out as some fans hoped it would. Spidey's post-Endgame sequel took him far from home, and neither Aaron Davis nor his nephew have been so much as mentioned since 2017. Maybe Miles and Prowler will get a chance to shine in the eventual third Spider-Man film, but as of right now, Aaron Davis seems to have disappeared.

What happened to Hank Pym's old nemesis?

Remember the guy who Hank Pym punched in Ant-Man's opening flashback scene? Who the heck was he anyways? As it turns out, Mitchell Carson, played by Weeds' Martin Donovan, was actually kind of a big deal in the MCU. He was once the head of defense at S.H.I.E.L.D., which of course meant that he was secretly a HYDRA operative. In the events of Ant-Man, Carson tries and fails to purchase the Yellowjacket armor from Darren Cross, but he at least makes it out of the building alive. In fact, he even manages to escape with a briefcase full of Cross' Pym Particles.

So where has he been since? You'd think that someone who stole tech as significant as Pym Particles would need to be dealt with, right? Surprisingly, Carson hasn't been heard from or even mentioned since he escaped Pym Technologies. Such a plot hole hasn't gone unnoticed by fans, so maybe we'll find out what happened to Carson and his stolen briefcase in the third Ant-Man movie, but as of right now, Carson's disappearance remains a head-scratcher. 

Dr. Cho survived Ultron, but she hasn't been seen in the MCU since

The Marvel universe has no shortage of useful scientists. Claudia Kim's well-renowned geneticist, Dr. Helen Cho — who played a semi-significant role in Avengers: Age of Ultron — was arguably one of the top minds on the list. Her vast knowledge of nano-molecular physics proved invaluable to the Avengers, as evidenced by how quickly she was able to heal Hawkeye after he was injured early on in the film. Ultimately, it was also her Regeneration Cradle that inadvertently created Vision, one of the most powerful heroes in the Avengers' lineup to date.

As Age of Ultron wrapped up, Cho is glimpsed alongside Maria Hill in the new Avengers facility, presumably a permanent member of the team's staff. However, that's apparently the last image fans will ever get of Dr. Cho, as she hasn't been heard from since. You would think that she would've popped up at some point, perhaps to study Vision or to assist Tony with some kind of project, but it seems as though Marvel has forgotten about the brilliant scientist altogether.

Samuel Sterns simply disappeared

It's no secret that in the MCU, crime doesn't pay. Some antagonists, like Justin Hammer and Adrian Toomes, wound up behind bars as a result of their villainy. Others, like Aldrich Killian and Malekith, paid the ultimate price and died fighting Avengers. Some were defeated but could still potentially return at some point, like Abomination and Mordo. And then there's Samuel Sterns.

Sterns, played by Watchmen's Tim Blake Nelson, made his MCU debut way back in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. In the movie, he was actually Bruce Banner's ally, helping him try and cure his Hulkness. However, fans of the comics know that Sterns is actually destined to become a big-headed mega-villain, the Leader, one of Hulk's mortal enemies. Incredible Hulk planted the seeds of the character's evil transformation by showing him come into contact with corrupted Banner blood, but since then, Sterns has seemingly disappeared. What happened to this gamma-powered potential baddie? Well, in the comics, he was apprehended by Black Widow and turned over to S.H.I.E.L.D., which is all MCU canon. So yes, this Marvel villain is still alive, but will he ever escape his S.H.I.E.L.D. prison and return to the big screen? We may never find out.

Where in the world is Trevor Slattery?

Oh, Trevor. What have you gotten yourself into now? After posing as the intimidating terrorist leader Mandarin in Iron Man 3, Trevor Slattery, played by Sir Ben Kingsley, is locked up in Seagate Prison. That would've been the last we saw of the goofy English actor had it not been for 2014's Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King, wherein a documentary-gone-wrong shows Slattery being captured, broken out of jail, and taken to meet the real Mandarin, which presumably would not be a nice conversation.

The fact that there is indeed a real Mandarin in the MCU was headline news to fans of Marvel comics, who recognize the Mandarin as Iron Man's powerful archenemy, not some quibbling stage actor. It seemed as though the real Mandarin would finally be introduced when he met Trevor, but unfortunately, it's a meeting we might never get to see. Sadly, Trevor hasn't been referenced since 2014, seemingly lost in the chaos of the Infinity Saga. While it sounds like fans will finally get to meet the real Mandarin in Marvel's upcoming Shang-Chi, chances are that we've heard the last of Trevor Slattery ... in the films, anyway. The character has been referenced in the web series WHIH Newsfront, where it was revealed that in the world of the MCU, Hollywood studios were turning Trevor's story into two separate, competing TV movies.

What happened to the Nova Corps?

It's impossible to deny that 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy packed a star-studded cast. Even the smaller roles in James Gunn's zany space epic were played by top-notch actors, such as the Oscar-winning Benicio Del Toro and the Oscar-nominated Djimon Hounsou. There are actually two more Oscar-nominated performers who it's easy to forget also popped up in Guardians — Glenn Close and John C. Reilly. Close played Nova Prime, while Reilly played her right-hand man, Rhomann Dey.

While most of the characters introduced in Guardians went on to pop up in future MCU installments (even Lee Pace's villainous Ronan, who died in the movie, cameos in 2019's Captain Marvel), both Nova Prime and Rhomann Dey are never heard from again. It seems rather odd that these seemingly significant characters are left on the bench, especially considering the buddy-buddy relationship that Peter Quill and Dey had started to form.

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos reveals that he destroyed Xandar in order to retrieve the power stone from the Nova Corps, so it can be assumed that both Nova Prime and Dey died during that event. Don't hold your breath for another appearance from either one of them, unless a flashback reveals something unpredictable in Guardians 4.

Darcy and her sidekick vanished without explanation

As it turns out, Lady Sif wasn't the only character to disappear after Thor: The Dark World. Darcy Lewis, who was played by 2 Broke Girls' Kat Dennings, has been notably missing in the MCU since 2013, as well. So too has her personal intern/love-interest Ian Boothby. To some fans, Darcy's disappearance is for the best, arguing that she was really only used as a source of comedic relief and offered little to the plot as a whole. Thus, she's unsurprisingly one of the unanimous least-favorite MCU characters to date.

However, Dennings is reprising her role for WandaVision, but at this moment, who knows if we'll be seeing the real Darcy? After all, the trailers for WandaVision promise a pretty trippy time, and if we know anything about Scarlet Witch's penchant for creating alternate worlds, then perhaps this Darcy will be a projection of Wanda Maximoff's reality-altering abilities. But if it is the real Darcy and not some Age of Ultron-style vision, hopefully we'll figure out why she disappeared for so long and where she's been.

As for the cinematic side of the MCU, it's unlikely Darcy or Ian will ever return to the Marvel movies, despite the fact that their boss, Jane Foster, will be a central figure in the upcoming Thor: Love & Thunder. However, it's often impossible to predict such things, so who knows? All that is certain is that Dennings would be more than down to work with Love & Thunder's director, Taika Waititi. "Oh my God, I am such a huge fan of his," she told ComicBook.com, adding, "So it would be an honor to work with him."