The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a massive world, and still growing bigger with every single movie or series that is released. It is packed full of both major and minor characters, with powers and without, all of whom are great, or some not so great, in their own special way.
However, with so many awesome characters to choose from, it stands to reason that a few would get lost in the shuffle now and then. Captain America is more important than his flying sidekick.
An alien Warlord trying to gather the Infinity Stones is more important than a synthetic human with one of said stones in the centre of his forehead. The MCU's first female hero is more important than the powerful witch following in her footsteps... which isn't to say things will always be that way.
Everyone loves Cap and Iron Man, but they've had their time to shine. If the MCU is to survive through its next phase, it is time for a few of those seemingly not so important characters to stand up and be counted, to show fans how important they really are.
As we look to the future, let's rustle up some love for the most underrated characters in the MCU.
10. Howard Stark
Howard Stark is much more important to the MCU than just being Tony Stark's Father. Aside from building Captain America's shield, Howard also built the original prototype of the Arc Reactor.
Without the knowledge of Howard's prototype, Tony may never have been able to build the miniature version that helped save his life, and could easily have died in Afghanistan.
If not for Howard's inventions, we would have lost Tony Stark much, much earlier. Everything that Tony accomplished during and after Iron Man would never have happened. No-one to stop Obadiah Stane or Ivan Marko. No-one to fly a missile into space and save New York City from certain destruction. Most importantly, there would have been no-one to crack the secrets of time travel, and no-one to do the snap that saved the universe from Thanos and his army.
The MCU without Iron Man would have been a very different, much darker place. Thanks to Howard Stark, we never have to see it.