There are many reasons why Black Panther: Wakanda Forever has become one of the most beloved films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but one of the most important is that it gives a proper send-off to the superhero of Chadwick Boseman. In that sense, the franchise has done the right thing with one of its most important and beloved characters. Unfortunately, the flip side is that the MCU hasn’t always been this consistent with its characters. In fact, there are several ill-advised changes to some characters, many of which significantly impact how their stories play out as the franchise continues.
Here are 10 changes that have made some characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe worse
1. Tony stopping growing as a person is among the worst character-related changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
There is no doubt that Tony Stark / Iron Man is, in some ways, the heart and soul of the early stages of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite that, it has to be admitted that, in terms of character growth, he leaves a bit to be desired. Beyond his final sacrifice in Avengers: EndgameWhat’s most amazing about Tony Stark is that he’s stopped growing as a character. He realizes that his self-centered behavior is a problem, and this self-awareness leads him to change Stark Industries for the better and become a superhero.
On a more personal level, however, he never really changes from the arrogant jerk he’s always been: he’s almost always convinced that his path is the right one. This is unfortunate, as it means that the viewer has to spend too much time with an individual who seems to have no desire to radically change his ways, no matter how destructive they may be.
2. Black Widow becomes more passive
Black Widow is another one of those characters who has often been considered among the best in the franchise. This is exactly what makes it so frustrating that as the saga progresses, she becomes more and more passive. Of particular note is the fact that she is the one who must sacrifice herself for efforts to defeat Thanos to bear fruit. She went from being a character who defeated an entire gang of Vanko’s henchmen to Iron Man 2 to someone who seemed to be predominantly there to give prominence to more powerful characters.
When his story ends in Avengers: Endgame, sacrifices himself, and in the end, this is how Hawkeye can get his family back. Even though he thinks he has a lot to atone for, it’s still frustrating to see this very powerful female character finally decide that her life is worth giving up.
3. Making Loki more human and the almost romantic story is among the worst character changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
Loki is a fascinating character and there is no doubt that it is one of Tom Hiddleston’s best roles. Given the number of elements of the MCU that he’s appeared in, it was inevitable that he’d have some changes, not all of them to his advantage.
In particular, his self-titled series made some unfortunate choices. It should be noted that there is something a little disenchanted about seeing this enigmatic, and sometimes even psychopathic, character made more human. Adding an almost romantic storyline with one of the other Lokis only adds insult to injury.
4. Thor’s comic turn
For a while, Thor was one of the better Avengers. In part, this is because Chris Hemsworth is incredibly charming and charismatic, but also because he has an arc as a character who endures some self-doubt before fully embracing his true personality.
Unfortunately, this starts to change to Avengers: Infinity War and there are even traces of it in Thor: Love and Thunder. In essence, he’s had a comedic turn, a choice that robs this particularly important character of what made him an interesting and indispensable part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
5. The humanization of Bucky Barnes is among the worst character changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
For most of the early stages of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bucky Barnes was the Winter Soldier, a brainwashed assassin used by HYDRA. Ultimately, of course, he was saved from that fate and the series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier followed his attempts to make amends for his past misdeeds.
Unfortunately, the whole storyline feels a bit flimsy, especially since Bucky is far less intimidating than the Winter Soldier was; as Bucky’s best friend Cap shows, being a good guy doesn’t mean you can’t still be a terrifying force when you need to be. Plus, he seems to be in real pain, and it seems almost unfair to subject this particular character to needless torment on his path to finding himself.
6. Peter Quill becomes a more traditional hero
When was the first movie released? Guardians of the galaxy, many were surprised at how funny it was and how it brought a breath of fresh air to the formula of the MCU. Key to all of this was the character of Peter Quill, which made a change because he wasn’t the usual type of hero that the franchise tends to favor.
Unfortunately, this has been largely changed, particularly after the Guardians have been inserted into the larger storyline of Infinity War. Quill has stopped making rash decisions and abandoned his cheek (characteristics that set him apart), becoming just another costumed boy with powers. In essence, Peter Quill became just like every other hero in the franchise, complete with a romance that felt more than forced.
7. Doctor Strange’s liability issues among the worst character-related changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
As one of the MCU’s most powerful characters, Strange has a lot on his shoulders. Also, he’s one of those people who seems to be aware of how important it is. However, his changes pose some significant problems. In particular, he seems to be having real trouble taking responsibility for his powers over him.
In his first standalone film, he learned the lesson that his powers have consequences, yet in Spider-Man: No Way Home he decides to help Peter, knowing the dangers involved. Even though there are moments where it seems like he’s finally going to be the kind of character who will do what it takes to embrace this part of being a superhero, he always tends to back away. With Strange, it always feels like you’re one step ahead and two steps back.
8. Wanda the killer
For many, Wanda is one of the best female characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s easy to see why, since she has a fascinating and deeply tragic history in the classical sense. However, the transformation of the character, especially in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, is something the franchise will likely regret. It’s really disheartening to watch her go from being someone who has learned so much about pain and herself into Wanda Vision to someone willing to commit mass murder in order to exist in a universe with his children.
9. Ulysses Klaue becomes nothing more than a cipher among the worst character changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
While the MCU tends to make a lot of great villains, it has to be said that Ulysses Klaue is a bit of a waste and his change is one of the most disappointing in the MCU. There’s a lot of potential for it in there Avengers: Age of Ultronbut much of that gets set aside.
Since it appears in Black Panther, becomes little more than a malicious racist. He’s also summarily killed off by Killmonger which, satisfying as it is, shows how frustrating his change was and how sometimes a character can get even worse as the franchise goes on.
10. Agatha becomes a prisoner of her own schemes
Agatha Harkness has quickly become something of a cultural phenomenon. In part, this was due to the fact that she was played by Kathryn Hahn, who brought a fierce energy to her role, making her an even more compelling villain than the series’ lead hero.
Unfortunately, she ended up becoming a prisoner of her own schemes, and had to passively accept the punishment that Wanda decided to inflict on her. This was quite the letdown for one of the best villains the MCU has yet to produce, and it’s in keeping with the franchise’s general uncertainty about how to handle female characters more powerful than her.
The 10 Worst Character Changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe