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Unpopular Opinions About The MCU That Raise Good Points

The Marvel Cinematic Universe rules the multiplex with an iron fist. Though its cast of characters has exploded, its world has grown from "New York City and sometimes Asgard" to "literally the entire multiverse," and its ruling powers have fluctuated wildly, the public remains devoted to all things Marvel. Avengers: Endgame made $2.7 billion, kids born today will never know a world in which Groot is not a headlining character, and Hollywood has scrambled to make everything it can into a "cinematic universe." 

However, this overwhelming popularity doesn't mean every single aspect of the MCU is beloved. In fact, there are certain movies, characters, and storylines fans outright dislike. Debate rages over which MCU movie is the worst, what characters should've done differently in crucial scenes, and whether or not Thanos had a point. Having explored various hotspots of online debate, we've discovered opinions of every stripe. And the most interesting of all are those MCU opinions that go decidedly against the grain ... and make some truly decent points in doing so. We're here to give those points of view their due — even if we balk at them at first glance. These are the unpopular MCU opinions that make some excellent points.

Hulk is portrayed as underpowered in the MCU

The Hulk's powers are ludicrously cool, especially their exponential nature. Historically, the Hulk's degree of strength is proportional with his anger. There are more than a few comic storylines in which fighting makes him angrier, which makes him stronger, which makes his opponent escalate, which makes him even angrier, and ... well, you get the idea. He's a perpetual motion machine of brute force, with no apparent upper limit of ability.

So why does he feel like such a secondary fighter in the MCU? Well, one Reddit user makes a great point — in the wake of Endgame, one thinks of Thor before they think of Hulk when it comes to the best brawlers. It's not just that Hulk's full strength hasn't been unleashed in a while, though. Instead, it's that he hasn't gotten a major set piece since Thor: Ragnarok. Hulk needs his own "Immigrant Song" scene, his own "Cap wields Mjolnir" moment. Heck, even just a "Scarlet Witch faces Thanos" mini-sequence would be enough. Becoming Professor Hulk doesn't have to mean he's retired from being an unstoppable golem of blinding fury. In fact, it might even drive that point home a little better! Banner put his brain in "the other guy," and yet he's still capable of being absolutely overwhelmed with rage? That's how strong the Hulk's powers are! Get to it, Marvel. As it stands, the Hulk ain't feeling all that incredible.

Staying true to the comics doesn't really matter

Many of the MCU's greatest installments, moments, and designs come straight from the comics. Thor: Ragnarok used Jack Kirby's bold, tech-fantasy aesthetic to make the Grandmaster's world look unlike any other. Captain America: The Winter Soldier drew from the comic arc of the same name, keeping writer Ed Brubaker's noir sensibilities intact to great effect. Casting Samuel L. Jackson, the inspiration for the 2002 Ultimate Nick Fury design, as live-action Fury turned out to be one of the most brilliant first steps the MCU took.

Yet for every element the MCU successfully brings up from the comics, there's another it correctly leaves behind. Capable, passionate Nakia is, in the comics, a homicidal fangirl. Spider-Man once sold his marriage to the devil. Captain America turned into a werewolf. The comics are a different medium, with a different history, created across decades by literally thousands of people. Staying "true" to them should not be a priority of the MCU, as one Reddit user correctly points out. They're a wonderful origin point, but knowing what to leave on the page is just as important as knowing what to retain. Comics have been doing this themselves for decades. Action Comics #1 deposits the infant Superman in an orphanage instead of the Kents' farm house. Superheroes have always been subject to change. In fact, that's exactly what's kept them vital for so long.

Scarlet Witch is the strongest Avenger

What comes to mind when you think of Scarlet Witch's powers? Red special effects, telekinesis, illusions? This vagueness is actually pretty in line with her powers as they've historically been depicted. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby kept her abilities notoriously ill-defined to allow for creative interpretation. This was a smart storytelling move ... that also made Scarlet Witch insanely powerful. What can she do exactly? Well, she's plugged into "chaos magic," which often amounts to "potentially unlimited power, given enough time and concentration." She's created entirely new realities, erased thousands of mutants' powers, and resurrected a handful of dead people over the years. At this point, she's really more of a Scarlet Goddess than a Scarlet Witch.

Do her powers stretch this far in the MCU? There's not much reason to believe they don't, so it's not too far-fetched when you see Twitter users comparing her to the likes of Dr. Strange, Thor, and Vision. After all, we've seen her toss massive machinery through the air, immerse the Avengers in illusory realities, and shatter the Mind Stone, which, if you recall, survived literally everything else it ever came across in all of existence, from the Big Bang up until the modern day. She was a sloppier fighter in Age of Ultron, true, but that almost makes her even more impressive. If it only took a few years for her to go from novice to Thanos-thrasher, where will she be in a few more?

The Guardians have some of the best character development in the MCU

When you think about character development in the MCU, you think about the headliners, such as Tony Stark, T'Challa, and Bruce Banner. The Guardians of the Galaxy don't really come to mind here. Sure, we love them, but you know, for what they are — the goofballs of the MCU. One of them is a pyromaniac raccoon, after all, and his best friend is a tree. Not exactly the stuff of pathos.

But as this Twitter user points out, their clownish nature obscures some genuinely strong character arcs. None of the Guardians are currently anywhere near the place they started. Star-Lord is still a bit of a fool, but he's proven he can shoulder the responsibility of caring for others, he's refused unlimited power when it crossed a moral line, and he learned to reach out to those in need. Gamora and Nebula overcame the iciness Thanos instilled in them and found real sisterhood. Rocket, with Yondu's help, confronted his own tendency to lash out when he's feeling vulnerable. Even Drax has learned to care for others, even if he's still not great at it. The Guardians don't clash in the same old ways with every new installment. They face new challenges because they're new people. It's some of the best writing the MCU has to offer, and it's poised to get even better, deeper, and stranger from here.

Iron Man 3 is the best Iron Man movie

What do you remember about Iron Man 3? Probably just one or two things, like the Mandarin twist or the kid Tony spoils with hyper-advanced tech. It's fallen through the cracks of the MCU, as much as any Marvel movie can. It's not Iron Man 2, which was the go-to choice for the "lesser MCU entry" until Thor: The Dark World came along, and it's not Iron Man, which has the honor of having started the MCU in the first place. It's ... just there. Some dislike the Mandarin twist, some think the actual villain is forgettable, most everyone else hasn't thought about it in years.

And that's a real shame because, as this Reddit user points out, Iron Man 3 is a weird little gem. Somehow, this movie combines corporate warfare, Tony Stark's chronic panic attacks, a massive twist on a classic Marvel villain, and the destruction of nearly every Iron Man suit, and makes it look easy. We get some lo-fi antics with Tony stranded in rural Tennessee and an action-packed climax in which Pepper Potts gets to deliver the final blow, to say nothing of the genuinely affecting emotional drama between the two, which hits new heights here. It's unlike any other Marvel movie, and it's likely that no one out there loves every single thing about it. However, it's probably a whole lot better than you remember and well worth revisiting.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is good

Age of Ultron is the other Avengers movie. You know, there's the first one, then Infinity War, then Endgame, and heck, you could make a real argument for Captain America: Civil War as essentially an Avengers movie, as well. But Age of Ultron ... well, Age of Ultron is the other one, with Vision, an evil AI, and something about Quicksilver but not the cool one from the X-Men movies. It's not forgotten — no MCU movie could be — but it's not beloved. And yet this Reddit user makes an excellent point: It has its strengths, and they go tragically unsung.

Remember the party scenes? Remember how fun it was to watch the Avengers hang out? That sort of genuine camaraderie gave weight to later relationships — something increasingly difficult to do in the overstuffed MCU. Sure, the razzle-dazzle heroics are fantastic, but we wouldn't care without moments of true connection underlying every action scene. Moreover, the ideas that Ultron introduces — the responsibilities of power, whether the Avengers should play offense or defense, nonhuman intelligence — have ended up forming the foundation of the last few years of MCU movies. No, you're not going to revisit it as often as the other Avengers movies. But without it, you wouldn't have some of your favorite moments, movies, and relationships.

Comics Hawkeye is a lot more interesting than MCU Hawkeye

The Hawkeye of the MCU is many things. He's a dad, a loner, a top-tier archer, and occasionally a tattooed renegade in the Tokyo underworld. Somehow, this never quite adds up to much. This isn't to say he doesn't have his fans ... but how many people are out there buying posters of Clint Barton specifically? Do kids dress up as him in any major way? If he'd been the one to die on Vormir, would there be scores of fans on social media decrying the death of their fave? Signs point to no.

The Clint Barton of the comics, however, is a different character entirely, as a few Reddit users have pointed out. Some runs make him smarmy, some lean into his anti-authoritarian streak, and some take a uniquely low-key approach to the character. Matt Fraction and David Aja's celebrated 2012 Hawkeye series blew fans' minds by simply telling stories about what Hawkeye does on his days off. While the MCU character feels so flexible that he ends up shapeless, Hawkeye of the comics' flexibility allows his essential traits to rise to the top. Whether he's in Brooklyn, in a S.H.I.E.L.D. office, or on a speeding asteroid, he's scrappy, wry, and optimistic, if cynical. That character has never quite shown up on the big screen, though perhaps the fact that the Disney+ series is using the 2012 run's iconography is a good sign for the future.

Doctor Strange tries to do too much

All things considered, Doctor Strange is a solid movie. It introduces an intriguing new character, showcases his dizzyingly cool corner of the MCU, and culminates in an innovative showdown with the big baddie. And yet ComicBook.com has a point when it says that Doctor Strange "plays like several concepts of a movie at odds with one another."

Listen, we all like the part where he's humbled by a hallucinatory trip through time and space. We've all quoted, "Dormammu, I've come to bargain." We all laugh at Wong's burgeoning Beyonce fandom. But when's the last time you reflected upon the central romance? How about the character of Kaecilius? And frankly, doesn't the magical martial arts journey feel a little rushed? The parts of Doctor Strange that are strong are so strong, but even they can't eclipse the weaker and more disparate elements of the film. It wants to introduce eons-old lore, tell a story about a smug jerk learning to do better, shove in a romance, and convince us that Strange masters enough magic to go up against longtime users in, what, a few months? Maybe a year or two, at the most? Superheroes encompass many genres and require a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but come on. Even if you love Doctor Strange, you've got to admit it's a bit much.

Loki is whiny and unsympathetic

Could anyone have predicted the waves Loki would make in the MCU? Fans fell in love with the trickster god en masse following his appearances in Thor and The Avengers. In retrospect, it's not hard to understand how this happened. Loki is a fascinating character, torn between no fewer than three opposing factions at any given time. He's a prince, an outcast, a god, a beloved brother, and an inveterate liar. Plus, he's played by Tom Hiddleston, who musters some truly Shakespearean thunder in every sly scene.

At least, that's the party line. But not everyone agrees, as this Reddit user makes a solid point. Take a second to think about Loki's actions in the MCU. He betrays Thor. He works with aliens to destroy Earth. He betrays Thor again. He hides his dad away in a nursing home and takes the throne for himself. Yes, he also fights alongside his brother to take down Hela, and he dies trying to save the Asgardians from Thanos. But that betrayal-to-heroism ratio ain't pretty. Moreover, it's easy to think of him as tragic ... but really, is he? Okay, Odin and Frigga never told him he was a Frost Giant. Okay, he's been raised in Thor's shadow. That's tough stuff. It is, however, majorly ameliorated by the fact that he always had his family's love. Loki is a lot of fun to watch, but he's also pretty darn whiny. Plus, he took advantage of Thor's love of snakes!

Black Widow is the bravest character in the MCU

So, you're a superhero. You work with a literal god, a man so strong he can keep a helicopter from taking off with his bare hands, and a billionaire literally encased in the most cutting-edge protection that money can buy. You are ... a person. A person molded into a perfect assassin by Perfect Assassin School, granted, but still a person. No Super Soldier Serum, no suit of armor, no godhood. You face down extraterrestrial monsters the size of whales with pistols, taser bracelets, and your own two fists.

The person who does that is about as courageous as it gets. That person is Natasha Romanoff, and this Twitter user makes a strong case for her as the bravest Avenger of all. It's not just the fact that Natasha does these things, however — it's that she doesn't have to. The country that trained her is gone. She's almost certainly made up for the "red in her ledger." With her skills and after all the hero work she's done, she could retire to a beach somewhere (or at least at a cushy government desk job). But no, Natasha chooses, over and over again, to do the hard thing. She's not bound by ancient family ties, time displacement, or public scrutiny. She does it because she knows she can be of use and because she knows that her own fear doesn't outweigh the good she could do if she conquers it. That's not just brave — it's outright noble.

Captain America was wrong in Civil War

Should the public trust superheroes? It's a quandary Marvel characters have been tackling for decades. The MCU took a hard look at it in Captain America: Civil War, which pits Tony Stark against Steve Rogers in an ideological battle for the fate of the Avengers. Tony, scarred by Ultron's rampage, supports UN oversight of the team, while Steve is skeptical. It's a fascinating conflict and a believable one for Steve to be mired within. After all, he knows what it's like to be allied with those in power. Naturally, he's more acquainted with its downsides.

It's his movie, so it takes his side. And yeah, he's got a point. As John Boyega memorably noted, you don't want to wait for Cap to produce his permit before saving you from a burning building. But the 117 countries who signed the Sokovia Accords aren't to be dismissed, as fans who think Cap is on the wrong side of Civil War argue. What if Thor is in a forgiving mood towards Loki on the wrong day? What if Nebula is brought in as auxiliary help and bloodily demonstrates her total lack of interest in preserving bystanders' lives? Some degree of oversight isn't a bad idea. Where you come to rest on the issue is something you've got to work out for yourself, but it's a topic worth tackling regardless.