The MCU is full of superheroes and villains. MCU has two common habits. Firstly, it keeps certain plots and storylines open so that people go to watch their upcoming movies. Secondly, it resurrects the characters. Talking about the latter one, there have been many instances where it has been shown that certain characters were killed on screen. But they were later brought back through some process. Eventually, they were fake deaths. This thing has not received any backlash since audiences feel happy when their favorite character comes back. But still, it has happened quite often. Let’s look at every time the MCU has faked character deaths till now.
1. Captain America
Practically speaking, Captain America was the first Avenger. But MCU’s debut film was based on Tony Stark. Still, the former thing was given justice by naming the film Captain America: The First Avenger. Towards the end of the film, we saw Captain America flying a HYDRA craft into the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean. Of Course, he sacrificed himself to save the others from a big threat and it proved that the superhero is kind-hearted. But surprisingly he survived since he became frozen on ice. He was found and saved almost a few decades later. The family and friends he knew were gone till the time he woke up. He got back his shield, started working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and eventually became a fan-favorite Avenger. The character retired from the superhero business in Avengers: Endgame.
2. Pepper Potts
Iron Man 3 was a huge success at the box office. One person that accompanied Tony Stark since the first movie was Pepper Potts. Despite being arrogant, Tony Stark always cared about those who were close to him. In every film, we have seen Tony arriving in time to save Pepper. In Iron Man 3, Tony’s House was blown up by the Mandarin and the world presumed him to be dead. Only Pepper knew that he was alive. To make Tony repair the flaws of Extremis, Aldrich Killian kidnapped Pepper and exposed her to Extremis. In the climax, we saw that Pepper fell down to her death. But she came back as she survived the Extremis procedure and killed Aldrich Killian.
JARVIS was Tony Stark’s UI. He was also a kind of friend for Stark. Stark carried out all his work by giving instructions to JARVIS. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner tried to create Ultron with the scepter but they failed. At last, when the process was successful, Ultron hacked and destroyed JARVIS by considering himself as the strongest. Now later in the film, JARVIS was brought back when he was uploaded into Vision and reborn. Vision came to be known as one of MCU’s most powerful beings.
Loki is popularly known as the God of Mischief. It is evident that he can fake his death. This started in the first film of the Thor franchise where Loki lets himself fall into oblivion after the destruction of Bifrost. But he survives and causes a lot of damage in The Avengers. He was seemingly killed by Kurse towards the end of Thor: The Dark World but he survived and assumed the identity of Odin. Loki was killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War but he again escaped in Avengers: Endgame time heist. Now, this is the version we are getting to see in Disney+’s Loki.
5. Bucky Barnes
Bucky Barnes was the best friend of Steve Rogers. The character made his MCU debut in Captain America: The First Avenger. During a World War II mission, Bucky fell down a train and was presumed to be dead. The character then came back as the assassin Winter Soldier in the sequel. He was brainwashed and could not recognize Steve Rogers. Bucky survived the fall and was found by Arnim Zola and HYDRA. They conducted experiments on him and replaced his lost limb with a cybernetic arm, making him one of the strongest villains of the MCU.
6. Janet Van Dyne
In Ant-Man, Hank Pym tells a story about how he lost his wife in the Quantum Realm. We as the audience believe that Janet Van Dyne is dead. But even here MCU continued its trend of resurrecting characters. The sequel, Ant-Man, and the Wasp revolved around the rescue of Janet Van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. The rescue operation was successful. Now the character is all set to come back in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania scheduled to release in 2023.
7. Nick Fury
Nick Fury is another popular MCU character. He can be somewhere called the leader of the Avengers who gives the orders and the Avengers need to follow it. When he realized that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised, he asks Alexander Pierce to delay Project Insight. But he was later ambushed on the street by HYDRA’s people disguised as cops and shot at Steve Rogers’ apartment by the Winter Soldier. He was shown to have died. But he later came back in the end as it was revealed to be a fake death and expose the plans of HYDRA.
There is no doubt that Vision was one of the strongest beings in the MCU. But still, no one is a match in front of the Mad Titan Thanos. The Mind Stone was ripped out of his head. His death was considered to be permanent and even the Avengers could not stop it in the time heist. But Scarlet Witch resurrected his living memory with her Chaos Magic in WandaVision. That version of Vision is dead. But he lives in the form of White Vision and is made of Vision’s original body and restored memories. Also, White Vision’s story is not yet over in the MCU.
MCU’s most emotional fake death was in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. In the climactic crash of Ronan’s ship, Groot extends his tree-like limbs to save his friends from the coming impact. This works and the remaining Guardians are able to walk away from the crash and save themselves. But Groot dies here. It seems like Groot’s heroic act was his final contribution to the team. But Rocket discovers that one of Groot’s single twig starts to regenerate into a juvenile version of himself.
10. Phil Coulson
S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Phil Coulson died in The Avengers. His death worked as a motivation for Nick Fury to encourage the superheroes to put aside their differences and fight to save the world. Coulson has been dead for most of the films and has lived within the realm of the small screen. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson was brought back to life with Kree blood. Since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, his death counts at six. His most recent sacrifice in the seventh season looks to be more permanent and it’s wise to not underestimate the unkillable Phil Coulson.
11. The Snap
Oh and yes, Marvel faked several deaths for a year as half of the universe was snapped out of existence.
So this is every time MCU has faked character deaths. But I believe that they’ve also faked the deaths of Hela and Ultron. Let’s see if they’ll return and prove me right.