While the MCU has been growing at a rapid rate, there's still plenty of Marvel heroes that aren't included yet. These non-MCU Marvel heroes have serious silver screen potential so it's surely just a matter of time before they join the fray, including the fan-favorite Squirrel Girl. Here's the full list of Marvel heroes that need to join the MCU... are you listening Kevin Feige?
For the upcoming movies and heroes confirmed to star in upcoming MCU movies, check out everything confirmed for Marvel Phase 4 (opens in new tab). Or if you need a refresher on the MCU so far, have a read of our MCU recap (opens in new tab) and MCU timeline (opens in new tab).
Before we get to the Top 10, it's important to note the characters we were forced to disqualify.
Those include the characters whose rights are still actively held by other studios (like Venom and Morbius), and those characters who we already know are on the way to the MCU proper like Red Guardian, Yelena Belova, Blade, Kate Bishop, Monica Rambeau, Shang-Chi and the collective Eternals, as well as newly-announced additions like John Walker, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and Black Knight. And we’re also including all characters that fit under the Fantastic Four and X-Men umbrellas, since that’s just a matter of time.
A new subtraction is also Spider-Woman, just because of the Disney-Sony trial separation we don't know what the hell is up with her rights.
And while we think there is a legitimate question as to whether Kevin Feige considers all of these shows and characters as part the MCU, we’re presuming for the purposes of this exercise all characters that have debuted in ABC, Netflix, Freeform and Hulu shows are off the table - which includes everyone from Deathlok to Hellcat to Damian Hellstrom.
With that out of the way, onto the top 10...
The Savage Land-dwelling Ka-Zar may have you saying "who?", and we really can't blame you. This lesser-known Marvel hero, his lover and adventuring partner Sheena, and his tiger Zabu had a moment in the spotlight in the 1990s with a well-received series, but Ka-Zar has largely gone under the radar since then.
But with Marvel constantly working to explore new genres in the framework of superhero films, Ka-Zar might be a perfect choice. With a story sorta like Tarzan's (minus some of the problematic elements and with a sci-fi veneer on top), Ka-Zar could be a high-flying adventure film that also introduces the Savage Land to the MCU... and with that, dinosaurs.
(Devil Dinosaur... is that you peeking out in that underbrush?)
And hey, Marvel Studios has made mountains out of molehills before - look at the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Just a decade ago, Nova would have been considered a very long shot for movie stardom. Then a couple of things happened: The Guardians of the Galaxy movie of course, and a new Nova named Sam Alexander was introduced in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, and has been a core member of the teen superhero team the Champions.
Considering that the stars of Guardians are arguably lesser-known characters than Nova himself, it may very well be less of a "why hasn't Nova been in a movie yet?" situation and more of a "how long until the Nova movie comes out?" situation. (And if not a Nova solo film, another cosmic feature with Nova as part of an ensemble certainly sounds like a thing that could happen.)
Of course, the Nova Corps appeared in a somewhat different form in Guardians, and though Nova wasn't in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, there are still plenty of places that Sam Alexander, or even original Nova Richard Rider, could find their way into the MCU - even though Thanos did apparently blow up Xandar in Avengers: Infinity War.
In comic books, the ultra-powerful Superman-esue Sentry is a bit of a head-scratcher. Billed initially as a "secret lost character" from Marvel's Silver Age, he was in fact a gimmick character whose story was that he retroactively existed in Marvel continuity, but had been forgotten by both other Marvel characters and readers.
Sentry's disappearance was the result of his own imprisonment - a necessity to defeat his arch-enemy the Void, who was revealed as a villainous aspect of Sentry's own fractured personality.
In the years since Sentry's complex retcon origin tale, the character has become an off-and-on part of Marvel continuity, almost as often appearing as a straight up villain (usually under the manipulation of a bigger menace) as he has a hero.
While Sentry's comic book history is spotty, the fact that he could be a hero just as easily as villain is intriguing - and his power level is intense to say the least.
While his forgotten-hero-who-changes-everything story rings close to Carol Danvers' MCU origins, the Sentry has some interesting and unique aspects (like being his own arch-nemesis) that could make him a wild addition.
Jocasta is the most 'left-field' of our picks to join the MCU - she's the only character on our list who hasn't headlined her own comic book series - but there's a line of thought behind the choice.
See, Jocasta has big ties to some important MCU characters. In comic books, she was created by Ultron as a kind of 'Bride of Frankenstein' like companion to the killer android, with brain patterns partially based on Janet Van Dyne/The Wasp (who was married to Ultron's creator Hank Pym at the time).
But she, like her predecessor the Vision (conveniently one of the stars of the upcoming WandaVision) betrayed Ultron and joined the Avengers.
She's got a typically complicated and somewhat obscure history since - but she's currently co-starring in Tony Stark: Iron Man.
In fact, Tony Stark may be her biggest MCU connection - Jocasta's name was seen as an Easter egg in a list of new AI programs for Tony's suit in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and she's been a core part of his supporting cast in current comic books.
With Marvel going back to a dormant villain with Zemo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, could Jocasta be the MCU's way back to Ultron in some capacity?
Setting aside Angela's potentially complicated film rights (she was once part of Image Comics' Spawn universe but is now owned by Marvel Comics - long legal story), she's one of the biggest characters with ties to Asgard not yet in the MCU.
In Marvel continuity, Angela is Thor and Loki's sister who was exiled to the secret 10th Asgardian realm of Heven before escaping, hanging out with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and temporarily becoming Queen of Hel.
Yeah, Thor: Ragnarok borrowed some of that for its version of Hela - but that's just proof Marvel Studios can take a concept and run with it in a new direction.
In Angela's case, there's an obvious doorway to the MCU. As it turns out, the current king of Asgard, Valkyrie, needs a queen. Who better than the canonically-queer-in-comic-books Angela, whose origin needs only to be slightly simplified to work just fine in established continuity.
5. Squirrel Girl
This is a no-brainer. Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl is a fan-favorite character and one of Marvel Comics' best-sellers in bookstore markets. Her popularity extends into cartoons and other media already - so just bring her to the MCU, finally.
Yeah she's quirky, but Marvel Studios always makes it work. Hey, they even already cast Milana Vayntrub as Doreen Green for the now in-stasis New Warriors TV series.
Let's make good on that, and bring a character who would be totally unique to the MCU.
Bonus - Squirrel Girl was born with the ingrained ability to communicate with squirrels. And that makes here a - what? - mutant. And, a perfect character for Marvel Studios to use as a bridge to that corner of the Marvel Universe.
4. Captain Britain
Technically, a version of Captain Britain is coming to Disney+'s What If...? animated series which, if not MCU canon per se, is based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe films and features alt-versions of the same characters.
But that's a very different character than we're talking about (the What If...? version is a Super-Soldier Peggy Carter, similar to Captain America in, well, Britain).
But we're talking about Brian Braddock - the classic Captain Britain whose power is tied to the mystical forces of his native England, and who is one of the guardians of Marvel Comics' multiverse.
So even though the What If...? Captain Britain isn't the same by a long stretch, the multiversal nature of that show semi-suggests that a full-on mystical Universe-hopping Captain Britain is possible in the MCU.
Captain Britain might be a perfect candidate for a character in the recently-announced Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.
His classic X-Men ties through his superteam Excalibur (now led in a new incarnation by his sister Betsy, who has also inherited the Captain Britain mantle) don't hurt his MCU chances either ... Or hers, for that matter.
While not an original Marvel superhero, of course, (hey, neither is Thor), the Marvel version of the Greek-Roman god is one of the publisher's oldest characters, a longtime, well-regarded Avenger and a fan favorite.
The ‘Prince of Power’ is kind of like Avengers: Endgame's 'Bro Thor' without the self-doubt, and even though Odinson seemed to get his mojo back at the end of the film, the MCU has room for another hard-partying, powerhouse hero that revels in being a powerhouse hero, particularly with the God of Thunder seemingly preferring outer space to Earth these days.
Though once erroneously rumored as a cast member of the upcoming Eternals, that doesn't seem to be the case - leaving Herc the last 60s-era Avenger left offscreen.
But there's always room in the MCU for a mythical hero.
2. Wonder Man
Yeah, Nathan Fillion was technically cast (and had a sorta cameo) as Simon Williams in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but the fake movie posters he appeared in for the film were ultimately cut - meaning the character is technically fair game.
And you know what - we'd love to see Nathan Fillion see it through.
Give him a supporting role in something unexpected - maybe even WandaVision? - and let Fillion play the reluctant comic relief/superhero he's always been born to portray.
Either way, Simon is arguably Marvel's longest-tenured, most prominent superhero who's never been on screen in the MCU, besides this guy...
Namor the Sub-Mariner is not only one of Marvel's most important characters, he's also one of the oldest, literally — his first appearance was 80 years ago in 1939's Marvel Comics #1.
The film rights to Namor appear to be a little bit complicated. Back in 2006, it was reported that Universal had a Namor movie in development, but that film wound up *ahem* dead in the water.
But it seems as though Marvel Studios may have found a way to secure the rights to one of Marvel Comics' first characters, with Kevin Feige saying the studio is searching for a place to use the Sub-Mariner.
Dare we suggest going all the way back to the timeline of Captain America: The First Avenger to team him up with Jim Hammond as the Invaders?
With Marvel Comics giving Namor a new spotlight with a revived version of Atlantis Attacks this year, Namor is the perfect character to bring into the MCU.