Being a friend or side-kick of a superhero doesn’t mean these characters don’t have their own lives. MCU movies have mostly revolved around the superheroes fight their nemesis or saving the world. While the crossovers are about saving the world, the standalone focus on the lead hero’s story, origin, and character arc. Their spotlight naturally overshadows the side heroes but these characters also have interesting stories. They may not be the focal point of these films but they too have fought challenges and suffered losses. Sadly, Marvel movies haven’t dived into that. We have gathered some supporting characters in the MCU who are heroes of their own stories.
Valkyrie is over 5000 years old with a rich past. She was a member of the brave Valkyrie warriors who fought the powerful Hela. As the only survivor of the war, Valkyrie went to Saakar as a “scrapper”. After Thor met her on Saakar, he understood her potentials as a true warrior and convinced her to join him in his battle on Asgard. Valkyrie avenged her fellow mates by defeating Hela and helped Asgard settle in its new home on Earth. After millennia of struggle, Valkyrie finally became the new Queen of Asgard.
Yondu may have adopted Peter Quill, but his love was way purer than Peter’s biological father. While Ego produced Quill only for his diabolical plans to expand his reach, Yondu sacrificed his life to save the young man. He was tasked by Ego to pick all his children but meeting Peter had changed in heart. Even though the two shared a love and hate relationship, Yondu always saved Peter at the end of the day, even if it cost him his crew.
3. Maya Hansen
Maya was a genius scientist who was also pushed towards the dark path like Aldrich Killian after being rejected by Tony Stark. Not all brilliant minds like Tony Star become a superhero, some use their intelligence for evil plans. Maya and Aldrich were some of the sinister scientists who worked on building the Extremis formula, an attempt to make Super Soldier Serum. She helped Killian in kidnapping Pepper Potts who saved her from the attack at the Stark mansion. But after Tony succeeded in explaining to Maya the repercussions of their formula, she protested Killian and sacrificed her life in the process.
4. Helen Cho
Helen Cho isn’t here for her incredible skills as a doctor and scientist but for her bravery and willingness to fight for the right cause. After curing Hawkeye with her technology that regenerates cells, Cho was taken into captivity by Ultron to create Vision’s body for him as an upgrade. Despite her reluctance, she had to build it after being mind-controlled with the scepter. But when Wanda brought her out of the trance, Cho impeded Ultron’s plans without fearing his wrath. The Avengers couldn’t have defeated the evil android without Cho.
5. Happy Hogan
After Tony Stark’s death in Avengers: Endgame, his best friend, Happy Hogan became everyone’s pillar who depended on Tony. Surely, Happy himself was in a devastating state after losing his best pal but he chose to be there for Morgan and Peter Parker. Happy could have moved on with his own life but he stayed and guided Peter through his tough phase. Spider-Man couldn’t have gotten through his personal battles and the one against Mysterio without Happy’s guidance and support.
Korg became a fan-favorite character in the MCU just after one movie. We loved his polite accent which contrasted his large physique, thanks to Taika Waititi. Even though he brought laughter in Thor: Ragnarok, Korg was also a hero. He was captured as a gladiator after failing to start a revolution. But after Thor landed in Saakar, Korg joined the God of Thunder in breaking free from their captivity. He bravely fought everyone on Saakar and also participated in the Ragnarok battle against Hela on Asgard.
7. Cassie Lang
Cassie may finally get the impending spotlight on her in MCU phase – 4 and 5 as part of the Young Avengers. But up till now, her story and struggles have been overshadowed by Ant-Man’s goofs and adventures. Cassie was a young girl when her parents went through a divorce and her father was imprisoned for theft. After her father was finally released from prison, she gave her full support to Lang for becoming Ant-Man and fighting dangerous villains and powerful Avengers. She never let her own demands and worries as a kid get in the way of Lang’s mission. After all this, Cassie spent five years assuming that her father was dead.
Nicodemus West spent most of his professional life as a doctor under the shadow of Doctor Stephen Strange. To make it worse, Stephen was never humble towards Dr. West. When West had prematurely declared a patient dead, Stephen ridiculed him verbally for his mistake while operating the patient himself. But when Strange was battling between life and death, it was Nicodemus who operated him and saved his life. He kept his wounded ego aside and gave his 200% to save Strange. Instead of thanking him, Dr. Strange rebuked Nicodemus for failing to fix his arms. No wonder, West becomes a villain in the comic books.
Heimdall is one of the unsung warriors of Asgard who has saved his people on numerous occasions. Apart from using his sight to protect Asgard and the Bifrost from any threat, Heimdall went against the God of Mischief, Loki, and the God of Death, Hela on two different occasions at the risk of his own life. Even in Thor: Ragnarok when Thor was fighting his personal battles and Asgard was in danger at the hands of Hela, Heimdall went beyond his abilities to keep the Asgardians safe and hidden.
Kraglin was one of Yondu’s adventure buddies and protégés for years. But bitterness was brewing inside him as Yondu always preferred and sided with the human, Peter Quill. He was finally overpowered by his resentment when the Ravagers decided to lock up Yondu and make Taserface the new leader. It didn’t Kraglan long to come back to his senses and rescue Yondu out of loyalty. He went against the whole crew to save his true leader, Yondu.