It is no secret that the vast majority of characters who appear in the MCU are based on characters from the comics. Sometimes it is their name; sometimes it is their appearance. Sometimes an entire character's personality and backstory are imported; sometimes it is very little, leaning toward a mere Easter egg. A major pastime of Internet fandom is attempting to predict when the comic characters will finally make an appearance and how their traits and backstories will be modified.

What I am interested in is which characters are entirely original creations for the movies (and 2021+ TV shows). This may be a little liable for opining, but I think some objective arguments can be made. For the purpose of this question, the most "major" characters means ones that appear the most or have the most tangible impact on plot.


2 Answers 2


Not going to get a long list from me, but I was able to confirm that Agent Phil Coulson, Nick Fury's right hand man and later Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a character original to the MCU (first appearing in Iron Man, showing up in other stories, then dying in Avengers: Assemble! before being resurrected via "Tahiti" for several seasons of no-longer-canon Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.).

I'd have to call him a major character; he was deeply involved from his first appearance in Iron Man in the events of the MCU -- but never appeared in the comics.

  • Wait. No longer canon?
    – Jontia
    Jun 29, 2021 at 17:48
  • That's what I've read, @Jontia. I could be wrong, but I read that Disney dumped Agents (along with all the others) after they canceled all the Netflix Marvel series.
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jun 29, 2021 at 17:50
  • The practical answer is that you shouldn't rely on the canonicity of any non-Feige produced Marvel TV show details.
    – pboss3010
    Jun 29, 2021 at 18:08
  • Well, in fairness, Agents predates Feige having anything to do with MCU -- doesn't it?
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Jun 29, 2021 at 18:09
  • 2
    Agents of Shield could be considered reasonably canon up to "Age of Ultron". His team provided the info to the Avengers that gave them the location of the HYDRA base they raided at the start of the film, and he was responsible getting the helicarrier and crew functional that came to the rescue at the end of the film. It could still be fitted in without too much trouble until before Infinity War when the show introduced the Chronitons and time travel and ignored The Snap, and after that was clearly in its own separate continuity. Jun 29, 2021 at 20:45
  • Phil Coulson (Iron-Man & Avengers, Fury's right hand man)
  • Senator Stern (Iron-Man 2 & Captain America: Winter Soldier Corrupt senator who works for Hydra)
  • Darcy Lewis (Thor & WandaVision Jane's sidekick)
  • Melinda May (Commando type character in Agents of SHIELD)
  • Trevor Slattery (Mandarin's double in Iron-Man 3)
  • Erik Selvig (Thor & Avengers Scientist who helps Thor and got brainwashed by Loki))
  • Luis (Ant-Man The funny guy)
  • Harley Keener (The kid from Iron-Man 3)
  • William Ginter Riva (Bad guy assistant in Iron-Man and Spider-Man: Far From Home)
  • Raza Hamidmi al-Wazar (The terrorist leader in Iron-Man)
  • Ellen Brandt (Killian's sidekick in Iron-Man 3)
  • Dr. List (The scientist who " created" Wanda and her brother)

Are characters made for the MCU, often filling the role of a buddy or lesser enemy to the main characters. (might have missed a few)

  • 1
    Very few of these meet the definition of a "major" character.
    – Valorum
    Jun 29, 2021 at 19:28
  • 2
    I disagree. The fact that a bit character has a major effect on the main players doesn't make them a main player.
    – Valorum
    Jun 29, 2021 at 20:00
  • 1
    This is a great list. I think Coulson and Darcy Lewis are neck and neck. Coulson also appeared in Loki (in flashabck) and in Agents of Shield which doesn't really count. Lewis appeared in WandaVision and with Natalie Portman coming back in Fthor, I think there's every reason to expect that she will appear again in the future. Jun 29, 2021 at 20:35
  • 1
    Coulson appeared in multiple MCU movies and headlined his own short and had a series where he was resurrected multiple times, as well as being adapted into animation and eventually introduced in the main 616 comics continuity. While Agents of Shield slid out of continuity in the latter years, deciding he's a "minor" character is a bit of a reach considering he had more screen time in total then, well, literally every other "major" character. Jun 29, 2021 at 20:38
  • 1
    You forgot about the rat that walked on the control board, releasing Ant Man and therefore saved the entire universe. Quite an important character I'd say...
    – JK.
    Jun 29, 2021 at 21:00

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