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15 Minor MCU Characters Who Could Join The Avengers

One of the first goals of the MCU when it first began with 2008's "Iron Man" was to unite a number of disparate, lesser known heroes, each from their own unique film franchises, into one big-budget blockbuster event film. Against all odds, Marvel pulled it off, with 2012's "The Avengers" changing the landscape of modern movie storytelling as we knew it. They'd return for "Avengers: Age of Ultron," reuniting to battle an insidious, artificially intelligent, world-conquering robot, an adventure that their ranks with new heroes Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and the Vision (Paul Bettany) when all was said and done.

In 2018, "Avengers: Infinity War" went balls-to-the-wall, with interstellar tyrant Thanos (Josh Brolin) coming to Earth searching for the Infinity Stones. Every hero on the planet united to stop him, tragically failing with a shocking ending that left audiences in disbelief. Its sequel, "Endgame," however, saw the villain finally toppled, but not without great cost. In its aftermath, the Avengers team was in tatters: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Vision, and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) were dead, Captain America (Chris Evans) had passed the mantle to Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), while Scarlet Witch turned villainous.

With the team in dire need of new recruits, who might step up to join Sam Wilson's new Captain America in the next Avengers? As the bigger heroes are gone, it may mean enlisting some of the MCU's more minor characters, and we think we've found some who could be next in line.

1. She-Hulk

We still don't know exactly how the first appearance of Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) is going to go down in the Disney+ series, and even less about where the end of her first season might leave her, so it's tough to say exactly how she might fit into a new Avengers lineup. Still, there are a few obvious routes that could work, and the character has a close association with Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the comics.

Walters came to join the Avengers in the comics after the team suffered some serious losses and was looking to fill out its roster. In the MCU, the team of heroes has recently been dealing with its own membership crisis following the events of "Avengers: Endgame," so a simple recruitment could see Sam Wilson, the new Captain America, making a plea for Walters to join the team. Likewise, her cousin, Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), could enlist her as well and might be a deciding factor. But as She-Hulk is also the MCU's resident superpowered lawyer (well, besides Charlie Cox's Daredevil), she could also become the team's official legal representation or assist them on missions between untangling their legal issues.

Of course, She-Hulk has also been a longtime ally of the Fantastic Four in the comics, becoming a member of the team for an extended period as a replacement for the Thing, so she could also wind up helping out Marvel's First Family in their MCU adventures as well.

2. Harley Keener

Okay, let's get our longshot pick out of the way now. Introduced in "Iron Man 3," the pre-teen Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins), helped Tony Stark when he was down and out and needed a place to lie low. But the young Keener was more than just a simple bystander and spent quite a bit of time with the struggling Stark. Eventually, the two became close — close enough that when Stark was killed in the Battle of Earth at the end of "Avengers: Endgame," he found himself invited by Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) to Stark's memorial service alongside the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and other MCU heroes.

But how would Keener join the Avengers? At the conclusion of "Iron Man 3," Stark gifted the youngster with a whole stash of Iron Man tech. Fan speculation for years has been that Keener might one day suit up as a new Iron Man himself (via ScreenRant), and if he's got some hardware lying around and the Avengers need a new armored hero, he may just qualify. Of course, if he does still have that tech, Keener could find himself at the center of the upcoming "Armor Wars" series on Disney+. We also know that Simpkins had signed a three-picture deal (via Comicbook) with Marvel ahead of his first film appearance, so it sounds like they had some plans for him to stay involved with the MCU. Joining the Avengers as Iron Man Jr. could be just the ticket.

3. Valkyrie

Former Asgardian protector and current King of New Asgard, the hero Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) was found by Thor serving the Grandmaster on Sakaar in "Thor: Ragnarok." Eventually, the God of Thunder coaxed her back to their homeland to protect its people against Hela, the goddess of death, who had an eye on its destruction. As of "Thor: Love and Thunder," Valkyrie has served as the ruler of its people, now located on Earth. Though she has typically been more closely connected with Doctor Strange's superteam, the Defenders, in the comics, she's been an Avenger too, and her presence on a new and improved team in the MCU makes too much sense to ignore.

For starters, Valkyrie is already on Earth and has fought alongside the MCU's Avengers in the war to save Earth in the climax of "Avengers: Endgame." If Thor (Chris Hemsworth), too, returns to Earth to fight alongside Sam Wilson's Captain America and his new team of do-gooders, Valkyrie would be an easy recruit, and a powerful one, too. Considering the most powerful Avengers are gone, they may need all the help they can get. Alternatively, perhaps her friendship with Bruce Banner would convince her to join the team. 

But the biggest reason to think Valkyrie could join the Avengers is simply that Thompson seems to relish playing the role, and another "Avengers" movie seems like a no-brainer for her next appearance.

4. Flash Thompson

While Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) may just be the goofy high school friend of Peter Parker in the MCU — or was, before Parker was wiped from everyone's memory — in the comics, he's been much more, including an honorary Avenger in "Superior Spider-Man" #25 in 2014. In the events leading up to this, Flash becomes seriously injured in combat as an officer in the U.S. Army and loses the use of his legs. All that changes when he's selected for a special program called Project Rebirth 2.0 in 2011's "Amazing Spider-Man" #654.

The highly classified program sees Flash bonded to the Venom symbiote after it had come into the possession of the U.S. government following the capture of Mac Gargan — the Scorpion — who'd been its owner for a time previously. With the symbiote, Flash was gifted with new legs and new powers, and after a series of adventures, was recruited by Steve Rogers into the Avengers.

In the MCU, Flash's journey to becoming Venom and subsequently an Avenger might not be so simple, as he's not the military type. But we have already seen that Tom Hardy's Venom is on the hunt for the MCU's Spider-Man, so a meeting between Flash and the symbiote could be in the cards. Of course, rights issues would have to be ironed out with Sony, but if there's anything that would help them market a new series of Venom films, it would be having the character join the Avengers.

5. Moon Knight

Debuting in the MCU in his own Disney+ series "Moon Knight," the hero played by Oscar Isaac may feel like an easy choice to join the next iteration of the Avengers, but there are a few things working against him. As a lone wolf street-level hero, Moon Knight was rarely a part of the bigger goings-on in the comics, sticking more to the shadows and allying himself with others like him, including Jessica Jones, She-Hulk, and the Punisher.

But following the enacting of the Superhuman Registration Act, Steve Rogers recruits Moon Knight to become part of his underground Secret Avengers team. His brooding, secretive nature fit the newly formed clandestine team, but in the MCU the opportunity to join a secret team of heroes has likely passed following the events of "Endgame." Outside of the MCU, of course, we don't know what level of interest Isaac would have in playing the character as part of a bigger blockbuster, as he's been open about being attracted to the more intimate story of the Disney+ series, including its isolation from the wider MCU (via IGN).

Likewise, we're not sure which Moon Knight persona, if any, would fit the team, but even with all that considered, the prospect of Moon Knight fighting as a member of the MCU's premier superhero team may be too tempting to pass up. Put this one in the "unlikely but intriguing" pile.

6. Jacques Duquesne

Though he is a thief with a hidden agenda and a shadowy past, the sword-wielding Jacques Duquesne might be someone to keep an eye on. For starters, it would be a waste of such the talented Tony Dalton to only see him once, albeit as a major player in the "Hawkeye" limited series on Disney+. Though he could turn up in a second season, there's been neither talk of a follow-up nor word from Marvel on where the show's characters might appear next. An "Avengers" sequel — in theaters or on streaming — is as good a place as any.

Duquesne of course is the Swordsman in the comics, a longtime Avenger. In the MCU, he was initially suspected of murdering his father and seemed to be set up as a future villain, until the final episode, when he was discovered to have been framed by Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga). At the conclusion of the series, he even teamed up with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) to fight the Tracksuit Mafia, so he clearly has some heroic blood in him. Could Hawkeye somehow recruit the dubious Duquesne to join his Avenger friends? Given his history on the page and the direction he seems headed on screen, it's possible.

All that said, given the fact that Duquesne was originally a villain who posed as a hero in the comics in his early appearances, it might be just as possible that he could wind up as a member of the upcoming "Thunderbolts."

7. Cassie Lang

She may have been just a little girl in 2015's "Ant-Man," but Cassie Lang is now all grown up, thanks to the seven years that have elapsed since that film's release and a five-year time jump in "Avengers: Endgame." We haven't seen her yet, but actress Kathryn Newton was cast to take over the role of an older Cassie in the upcoming threequel, "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," which could suggest that Kevin Feige and co. have bigger plans for the character. And we mean that literally.

In the comics, Cassie Lang is more than just Scott Lang's daughter — she's a hero in her own right, a giant-sized crime-fighter called Stature. With some of the Avenger's most powerful heroes now off the board, the team may be looking for someone who can pick up the slack, and a "Giant-Woman" — even if she is inexperienced — could be a good replacement for the raw strength of Thor or Hulk. And with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) as her father, she has a pretty easy in to the team, too.

There may be a giant-sized twist to this one, though. In the comics, before she was a member of the Avengers proper, she was part of the so-called Young Avengers, alongside Kate Bishop, Wiccan, and Eli Bradley, all of whom have recently made their MCU debuts. Many have speculated that these heroes could join up on-screen with a future "Young Avengers" project.

8. Baron Mordo

To the disappointment of many fans, the story of Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was never followed up on in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." While we did get to see Mordo, it was a version of him from another reality, leaving the MCU's Baron Mordo and his quest to rid the world of sorcerers unfulfilled. While he was seemingly being set up as the next magical villain, we posit that he may become a hero again, perhaps even joining the next team of Avengers in the MCU should they be reassembled by Sam Wilson's Captain America.

After all, at the end of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," it's Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) who seems to have gone rogue, perhaps even turned quasi-villain with the emergence of his third eye. Off to adventure with Clea (Charlize Theron), Earth will need all the sorcerers it can get, and Mordo may have had a change of heart since attacking Jonathan Pangborn (Benjamin Bratt) in the post-credits scene of "Doctor Strange." In the comics, Mordo has almost always been a villain, so a return to good may seem unlikely. But Mordo could take the place of another major sorcerer, someone who was a long-time Avenger in the 616 universe: Jericho Drumm aka Brother Voodoo, who was once the Sorcerer Supreme. While it's unlikely to happen soon, a redemption arc in a "Doctor Strange" threequel could set Baron Mordo on the path to being one of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

9. Dane Whitman aka Black Knight

He might not have played a major role in "The Eternals," but there's no doubt that Kit Harrington has a big future in the MCU as Dane Whitman. In the comics, Whitman is Black Knight, a longtime Avenger who made his earliest appearance way back in "Avengers" #47 in 1967. Wielder of the mystical Ebony Blade, he's taken on the mantle of hero from his ancestors and fought alongside the Avengers for decades. In "The Eternals," we last saw him receiving the fabled Ebony Blade itself in a post-credits scene, hinting that the path of superhero is directly in front of him.

It was confirmed that it was Marvel's half-human vampire hunter Blade, as voiced by Mahershala Ali, who was there when he finally took his famous sword (as he said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert), so it's not hard to envision Whitman showing up first in the upcoming "Blade" reboot. But we don't think it will be long before Whitman suits up as the Black Knight and rides into battle as a full-fledged Avenger, mostly because of the Ebony Blade's most incredible powers, namely immunity to magic and invulnerability for its wielder.

In the comics, Black Knight saves the Avengers from Kang the Conqueror, earning himself a place on the team. With Kang (Jonathan Majors) now playing an ever more important role in the MCU and Whitman emerging as a new hero, their paths may yet collide.

10. Pepper Potts

One of the first big names to be cast in the MCU, Gwyneth Paltrow remains one of the few actors who's remained since the franchise's inception some 15 years ago. Though originally introduced as Tony Stark's dutiful assistant and then lover, she quickly became a powerful business magnate, and by the events of the climactic "Avengers: Endgame," she was both Stark Industries' CEO and a superhero herself. Suited up in specially designed Iron Man armor, she fought side-by-side with her husband against Thanos' forces. 

Following Stark's death, there's no one better in the MCU to inherit his mantle as the next Iron Man who isn't already an Avenger. She could take her husband's place and help bankroll the team, too, funding their entire operation while serving as an iron-armored Avenger herself. Who knows — Potts may even retain residual powers leftover from her time as a test subject for the Extremis program in "Iron Man 3," giving her the potential to be even more powerful than Iron Man was with just his armor.

The good news is, Paltrow has never seemed averse to returning to the role of Pepper Potts, so it seems a shoo-in that we'll see her again. Whether that means as a new Iron Man or her own hero Rescue like in the comics is anyone's guess. But we'd wager house money that she'll be playing a more active role in the next version of the team in some capacity.

11. Jimmy Woo

Serving mostly as mere comic relief in the "Ant-Man" sequel, Jimmy Woo (Randall Park) came into the MCU as a run-of-the-mill FBI agent. But because he was based on a fairly significant character from the comics, Marvel diehards knew he had some serious potential. Returning in 2021 for the Disney+ series "WandaVision," Woo has proven himself a capable hero in his own right, even though he lacks any superpowers — or even any kind of remarkable skill, assuming you don't include card tricks.

But we're not suggesting Woo suit up as a costumed hero. Instead, we're hoping Woo steps up in the absence of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who is currently in space on a top-secret mission, and becomes the superteam's next administrator. Woo is a qualified intelligence agent who can organize and oversee the team while acting as a government liaison as well. After the Sokovia Accords and the Battle for Earth, such a role may be needed if the team is to reform and retain both its respectability and its independence. If they want a new Nick Fury, then Jimmy Woo — who is already connected to the likes of Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Ant-Man — may be just the man for the job. He's an expert investigator, a brilliant tactical mind, and a skilled hand-to-hand combatant. Plus, as a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent himself before its decimation in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier," he's got the resume to back it up.

12. Joaquin Torres

A relatively recent addition to the Marvel comics, many fans may not have realized the importance of Joaquín Torres (Danny Ramirez) when he first appeared as a supporting character in "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier." Ramirez has since appeared in the billion-dollar blockbuster "Top Gun: Maverick," and will next be seen in "Tales of the Walking Dead," and his storyline hints that he may have the role of superhero in his future.

In the limited Disney+ series, Torres is a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and a trained intelligence officer who works with Sam Wilson on military rescue missions, and later in tracking a rogue criminal organization. But in the comics, Torres is much more: After Sam Wilson inherits the mantle of Captain America, Torres becomes the second Falcon as his partner in crime-fighting. In "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier," it seems they're already setting up this plotline, as Wilson accepted his role as Captain America, and the series left Torres in possession of the remnants of the Falcon wingsuit.

Whatever Marvel has planned for Torres — as Sam's sidekick or perhaps his own Disney+ series as a solo hero — there's no doubt in our minds that he's destined to one day be an Avenger.

13. Trish Walker

Our first pick to come from the Marvel Netflix universe of shows, it's tough to know how possible the return of Trish Walker aka Hellcat (Rachael Taylor) actually is. So far, we've seen the MCU pull only a few characters from the Netflix universe's confines, most notably Charlie Cox as Daredevil for a scene in "Spider-Man: No Way Home" and Vincent D'Onofrio as Wilson Fisk for "Hawkeye." But it sounds like Marvel may have plans to bring more over, as rumors have swirled that a full-fledged "Daredevil" film or series may be on its way. If Marvel is open to reintroducing characters from the Netflix shows, Trish would surely fit the bill as a return that could make her way onto a new Avengers roster.

Trish is a troubled soul, introduced in the first season of "Jessica Jones" but becoming Hellcat at the end of the second. Enhanced strength, durability, agility, and razor-sharp claws make her a formidable fighter worthy of a spot on Marvel's greatest superteam. But her obsession with bringing criminals to justice landed her in The Raft, the MCU's superhuman prison. Still, Hellcat has long been a close ally of the Avengers in the comics, and there's more than enough room in the story to see her reform and suit up as a proper version of the character and join the team. A good place to start might be seeing her represented by super-lawyer Jennifer Walters and being freed from The Raft.

14. Okoye

In 2015, after a decades-long wait, Marvel introduced one of its biggest and best characters into the MCU in "Captain America: Civil War": Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman). He returned in two "Avengers" films as an ally of the team in their battle against Thanos, but it seemed inevitable that T'Challa would one day join the team officially.

Tragically, Boseman passed away in 2020, and Marvel Vice President Nate Moore told "Ringer-Verse" the role would not be recast (per The Gamer), putting the kibosh on any dreams of T'Challa joining the ranks of the Avengers. With a new Black Panther likely to be crowned in the follow-up, "Wakanda Forever," it's still possible someone could take the mantle and be enlisted by Sam Wilson as a member of the team. The Avengers sorely need a representative from Wakanda, given the nation's cutting-edge technology and fierce soldiers, and despite the role going to T'Challa's sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) in the comics, our pick for the next Panther is Okoye (Danai Gurira).

But even if the MCU opts to put T'Challa's young sister into the role of Wakanda's costumed protector, we still think Okoye would make more sense as an Avenger. She is a more skilled and seasoned warrior who speaks with just as much authority as any major hero in the MCU, and she would fit in nicely alongside Sam Wilson, Hawkeye, and whoever else might join their ranks.

15. The Wasp

We feel silly even suggesting this one because it might be the biggest no-brainer of them all. Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) may not have been the first Winsome Wasp, but she's the most important in the here and now in the MCU, suiting up for the first time in "Ant-Man and the Wasp" in 2018 alongside her boyfriend Scott Lang, the Astonishing Ant-Man. She was snapped out of existence by Thanos alongside her parents, and when she came back, she found Lang an Avenger, fighting to restore the universe to its proper order, and fought alongside him with the team in the Battle of Earth.

In the comics, of course, Wasp was one of the original Avengers — even coining the team's name in "Avengers" #1 in 1963 — though it was Janet Van Dyne on the team, who in the MCU is Hope's mother (Michelle Pfeiffer). But Hope will return as the Wasp in "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania," where she'll be facing down with the franchise's newest big bad, Kang the Conqueror. If the multiversal time-traveling villain is indeed intended to draw the Avengers back together, as has been speculated (via MovieWeb), it would only make sense that the Wasp would join their ranks to do battle with him. Plus, after a decade of the superteam on screen, it's long past time that the last of its founding members finally gets her due on the big screen as a member of the Avengers.