Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!
For two years now, we've witnessed the power Disney+ has to expand fictional universes, first with Star Wars and now with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Beginning with WandaVision and continuing through The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, What If...?, and now Hawkeye, the streaming side of the Disney empire has given the MCU plentiful ground to expand and complicate existing supporting characters, and introduce new ones along the way.
In the coming year alone, we're expecting the first MCU appearances of Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and many other characters on the platform, while other key players like Nick Fury and Rhodey Rhodes will get a greater spotlight through their roles in various upcoming series. Now that Disney+ has proven its worth as fertile new storytelling soil, the number of seeds it could plant in the MCU feels endless.
So, in that spirit, we're here to talk about some of our favorite MCU characters (so far) who are ripe for exploration in a Disney+ show of their very own. Let's take a look at five of our favorites.
Note: For purposes of brevity, we've chosen to focus this list rather specifically on characters who don't have clear sequel trajectories at the moment, and just sort of exist in the universe. So, for example, if you're looking for Yelena Belova, she's not here, because it feels like we already know exactly where she's headed next.
Wong made his debut as little more than Doctor Stephen Strange's manservant in 2016's Doctor Strange, but time has been kind to him in terms of adding color and depth to his personality, and the MCU is a clear example of that. On the big screen, Wong is a fellow sorcerer, proven to be almost as capable as the Sorcerer Supreme, and his various appearances in everything from Avengers: Infinity War to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings have proven that he has a rich life outside of his work assistant Strange in his adventures.
What does he do on his days off, and why is it apparently fixing underground fights against Abomination? A Disney+ show that gives Wong and his time in the Sanctum Sanctorum the spotlight would be the perfect opportunity to explore the more practical side of the MCU's magical characters.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduced a whole new corner of the MCU for its title character to have an adventure in, and like many key Marvel films, it ended by connecting that corner of the universe to the larger landscape. Shang-Chi's got a very clear trajectory now, thanks to his post-credits scene in the film, but what's slightly less clear is what's about to happen to his sister Xialing. Shang-Chi gets the Ten Rings themselves, but Xialing fulfills her own desire for an empire and gets the Ten Rings organization from her father, setting herself up effectively as the MCU's new Mandarin (if anyone wants to still use that name, that is).
But what's her goal after seizing power? Where will she make her move next, and what will her brother and other Marvel heroes have to say about it?
Crime in the MCU has been explored on some level, but it hasn't gotten a massive spotlight yet. Xialing and the Ten Rings could be a great way to dig deeper into that world, especially with the benefits that long-form television provides.
We know a fair bit about the Russian super soldier known as Red Guardian, thanks to his time in 2021's Black Widow. We know he was a sleeper agent operating in America during the 1990s, for example, and that he went to prison sometime after that, and that he decided, by the end of Widow, to aid Red Room refugees. But we know far less about his career as Red Guardian outside of his sleeper ops in the U.S.
There's a fascinating, but brief, moment in the film where he refers to fighting Captain America, who we know was in the ice while Red Guardian was at his physical peak. So, who did he really fight, and why? Who else did he face? Did any other key members of the Winter Guard play a role?
A Red Guardian series could give us a closer look at Russia's own side of the superhero arms race, and could introduce other key super-powered players like Ursa Major in the process.
The Warriors Three
I love Thor: Ragnarok. It might be my favorite MCU film, and yet it commits an unforgivable sin by simply wiping the Warriors Three out of the picture with a few quick swipes of Hela's blades.
That's a shame, but the good news is that it doesn't have to be that way for long.
Whether you take the view that Asgardians are simply more resilient than they appear, or you just look backwards through thousands of years of history, the three legends known as Volstagg, Hogun, and Fandral could still have plenty of MCU adventures in their own show. It's an opportunity for a superhero buddy comedy on a level that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier never dreamed of, traversing all Nine Realms and, of course, dropping in some cameos from Sif and Balder the Brave would only be a welcomed feature to a potential series. Just let Volstagg be fatter this time around. Remember, he's the Asgardian of both mirth and girth.
When trailers for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings made their way out into the world, MCU fans were thrilled to see a familiar face in the footage, and I'm not talking about Abomination.
In the show-stopping bus fight scene that became a centerpiece of the film's marketing campaign, fans spotted actor and comedian Zach Cherry among the bystanders. Cherry had previously appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming, as a character simply named "Street Vendor," where he encouraged Spidey to do a flip. In Ten Rings, he appeared again, this time on the other side of the U.S., riding a bus as a character named "Klev." And he was there livestreaming the inventive brawl that ensues. The great thing about the Marvel Universe is that not every story has to follow the heroes. Sometimes you can take the POV of a guy who just has to find a way to live in this crazy world. Klev: The Series, starring Zach Cherry, could be a novel and hilarious way to do just that.
One week, he's on vacation in London and Thor blows through and he days of playing tourist get interrupted with some street-level conflicts Klev has to deal with. Another week, Klev could visit the former Stark Tower and bump into Hawkeye in the middle of the former Ronin's adventure. Hell, Klev could even head out to Africa for a safari and hook up with the Dora Milaje. There's really no limit with this character's potential, and Cherry is the kind of performer who could make it all work.