10 Biggest Missed Opportunities In MCU History

Not a single damn Avenger died in Captain America: Civil War.

Captain America Civil War
Marvel Studios

There's no denying that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a stratospheric success beyond anyone's wildest expectations.

Back in 2008 when the franchise launched with Iron Man, who could've ever anticipated the mammoth, all-encompassing pop-culture monolith it would expand into?

And while Kevin Feige and company have done a generally stellar job of steering the ship, of creating a world that feels consistent across literally dozens of movies and different filmmakers, the MCU isn't without its fair share of missed opportunities also.

It's basically unavoidable when you're dealing with such a massive cast of characters and storylines, admittedly, but that didn't stop fans feeling rather disappointed at how these various characters, arcs, and payoffs were ultimately handled.

From a certain Avenger's final farewell to the depiction of a classic Marvel villain, a character-defining moment, and even planned movies that sadly never came to pass, these "what if?" moments will agonise MCU fans forever more.

While there's of course no guarantee that these moments would've ever lived up to fan expectations, the fact that they either screwed them up or didn't even bother at all remains an ongoing source of frustration...

10. Black Widow's Limp Farewell

Captain America Civil War
Marvel Studios

One of the more genuinely surprising MCU deaths in recent years was that of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers: Endgame. Given that her solo movie began shooting mere weeks after Endgame's release, she seemed like a sure-fire bet to survive it in one piece.

But Natasha Romanoff ended up sacrificing herself in order to acquire the Soul Stone from Vormir, and given that Endgame's finale barely paid any attention at all to her demise, it fell to her prequel solo movie to give the character a satisfying farewell.

Yet Black Widow's exit from the MCU ultimately fell rather flat, as Natasha's final scene in her solo movie simply saw her receiving a Quinjet from Rick Mason (O-T Fagbenle) and flying off to free the incarcerated Avengers, leading into the events of Infinity War.

There's little in the way of catharsis here, and it feels like the character deserved a more emotionally gratifying send-off, especially given the trail she blazed for female superheroes on the big screen.

It's even more frustrating as a far superior ending for Natasha was filmed but discarded, where she returns to her Ohio childhood home and sees a number of kids pretending to be the Avengers, including a young girl playing Black Widow herself.

It would've been a far more impactful ending, yet is ultimately relegated to being a supplementary hypothetical curious fans have to check out on Disney+.

Nat deserved better than a shoulder shrug of a farewell.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.