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The MCU Villain That Fans Thought Was Totally Useless

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a lot of characters. Like, a lot. At this point, keeping track of the heroes alone is challenging. Who's a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy? What's the current Avenger lineup? How many characters are having their past or present retconned thanks to the Multiverse that is laying waste to the storyline so carefully built up during the previous three phases?

And the heroes are just the tip of the iceberg too. There is no end to the number of support personnel who have paraded past us over the years, most of whom fade into anonymity as dozens of "more important" characters fight for screen time.

And then there are the villains. Dozens of baddies have flashed across the silver and streaming screens by now. Some of these, like Thanos (Josh Brolin) or Thunderbolt Ross (played by the late William Hurt) show up fairly often. Others, like Loki (Tom Hiddleston), have evolved into a heroic role that just keeps them showing up like they're on repeat.

And then there are the villains who pop up here and there or are quickly snuffed out, never to be seen, spoken of, or even thought of again. We're talking about meaningless (at least in the MCU) characters like Crossbones (Frank Grillo), Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), and Malekith (Christopher Eccleston).

Baron Strucker's useless MCU career

In the midst of a discussion about the most pointless storylines in the MCU, Redditor u/silvershadow881 pointed out a quiet, overlooked plot that went precisely nowhere before it died. The user succinctly summarized the pointless storyline by saying, "Baron [v]on Strucker being teased in a post[-]credit [sic] scene, surrendering within 5 minutes of ['Age of Ultron'], and then getting killed by the first 20 minutes."

While Strucker's (Thomas Kretschmann) involvement in the on-screen story is a little bit bigger than that, when you boil it down, it really is just about as pointless as they come. At the end of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," we get a mid-credits scene where we see that the villain has the Scepter and has used it to experiment on Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) and Pietro Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), setting up a serious showdown with the Hydra boss in "Avengers: Age of Ultron."

This was exciting, at least until the movie was released. At that point, it became clear that Strucker was little more than a connection point to bridge the gap between the two movies. Sure, he sets up the situation for Wanda and Pietro to, you know, exist, but apart from that, the villain's ominous presence is quickly snuffed out, literally, when Ultron finds him in his cell not far into the movie.