At their best, women in the Marvel Cinematic Universe can fight toe-to-toe with their male counterparts and help rein in their more idiotic instincts (looking at you here, Ant-Man and Star-Lord), not to mention serve as admirable role models for an entire generation of young women.
Though the MCU, Hollywood and indeed society have a long way to go in terms of giving females total equality, at least the highest-grossing franchise in cinema history is populated with a litany of strong, independent women.
Of course, they can't all be great, and the MCU is certainly guilty of harbouring a few ladies who serve largely as romantic fodder and/or eye candy. Hopefully the MCU's first female-led superhero movie, 2019's Captain Marvel, will convince Marvel to invest even more in potent female superheroes of real substance. Get that Black Widow movie made already!
Here is every major female MCU character ranked from worst to best...
16. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings)
The quintessential "love her or hate her" character of the MCU, Darcy serves as comic relief and not much else, unsurprising considering that she doesn't exist in the comics and was invented solely for the movies.
She's pretty much a tourist character throughout both Thor movies, remembered largely for calling Mjolnir "mew mew" and, well, that's basically it.
Darcy pretty much takes default last place because she could be removed from the two Thor movies with almost zero consequence, and there's an undeniable feeling that she's thrown into the mix largely to appease the teenage geek fanboys.
To Marvel's credit, they clearly know she's a highly limited character, as evidenced by her appearing in neither of the Avengers movies nor the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok