The second and final Marvel movie of the year, Ant-Man, comes out tomorrow. Yes, you’ll have to wait a while before you see another movie taking place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The next scheduled movie is Captain America: Civil War which will come out in May of 2016 followed by Doctor Strange in the fall. Don’t be too sad though. While there won’t be any more movies this year, the Netflix series Jessica Jones is set to be released sometime before the end of the year.
While the MCU might mainly be known for it’s powerful heroes and it’s menacing villains, there are a number of important supporting characters who we all enjoyed seeing. These guys don’t have any powers and they’re not leading an army of bad guys. They’re just regular people living in the shadow of legends. That doesn’t mean they can’t be cool.
Ant-Man features Paul Rudd in the titular role, Michael Douglas as the former Ant-Man and current Ant-Man mentor, Evangeline Lilly as the female lead and possible future sidekick, and Corey Stoll as the main villain. So who qualifies as the supporting characters of this movie? Bobby Cannavale and Michael Pena, two of the best supporting actors today, have smaller roles. I expect they will be strong contenders for the following list:
John C. Reilly as John C. Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy)
John C. Reilly technically played Rhomann Dey, a member of the Nova Corps. I like to imagine he’s actually playing himself though. The real John C. Reilly was abducted and taken into space just like Star-Lord. After a while he got a job as a space cop. He found love and married a pink alien and then had a pink alien daughter too. Yes, that’s exactly how it happened.
Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill (The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
This agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is everywhere in the MCU. She’s definitely the most bad-ass member of S.H.I.EL.D. as well. She has no super powers yet seems to always be involved in the action. She’s also incredibly attractive. Maybe that’s her power. Would you shoot her if you were a bad guy? You might want the world to end but you would be alright if she stayed.
Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson (Daredevil)
I’m sure many of you haven’t taken the time to watch Netflix’s Daredevil series. It’s really good and part of that is Elden Henson’s Foggy Nelson. Nelson is Matt Murdock’s (Daredevil) best friend and law partner. He starts out as the comic relief that humanizes Murdock but eventually the criminal element that Daredevil fights, finds him. He doesn’t shy away from the conflict and shows us he is a character to respect, not just a joke.
As a child, Henson played for the Might Ducks under legendary coach Gordon Bombay. I think Henson really used some of those lessons he learned from Bombay to develop his take on the Daredevil supporting character of Foggy Nelson.
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis (Thor, Thor: The Dark World)
I’m not exactly sure what she does or if she’s competent at her job. That’s irrelevant though. Her role is comic relief sidekick to the female lead and she fills the role well. She completely outshines her co-star Natalie Portman. The Thor movies have not been great but they’re better with her.
Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3)
The man behind the camera for the first two Iron Man movies spent some time in front of the camera as well. He even came back to play the role of Happy Hogan, Tony Stark’s bodyguard, in Iron Man 3, which he did not direct. His role may have been small but he had a lasting impact in his small amount of screen time. Check out the highlight sequence for Favreau’s Happy Hogan:
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury (All of Them)
If we’re talking about the comics, Nick Fury counts as a hero. However, in the MCU he’s merely a supporting character. He’s one of the best supporting character and he’s been in almost all of the movies though. I mean no disrespect to the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jackson’s been in seven MCU movies so far and he’s contracted for nine. I hope he stays for more than his two remaining movies.
Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig (Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, The Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Stellan Skarsgård’s Erik Selvig is the best supporting character in the entire MCU. He does everything you could ask for. He’s incredibly smart, he’s not afraid to take on the enemies, he knows his place and only helps when needed, he’s funny at the right moments, and even spent some time under the control of a villain.
What’s great about the character is that he is completely original. He does not appear in the comics, he was created for the Thor movie. The casting of Skarsgård was absolutely perfect as well. Let’s hope he continues to appear in other movies throughout the MCU.