This article was originally published at ComicBook.Com on May 3, 2018.
Now that we’ve all had time for multiple screenings of Avengers: Infinity War and to digest its many details and special moments, it’s time to do what the internet does best: Rank things.
That’s right, we’re ranking every significant character to appear in Avengers: Infinity War from worst to best. Looking at each person’s role in the film, focusing on their performance, heroics, growth, and overall importance, we’ve established a definitive list with 30 spots. It’s definitive, but feel free to discuss in the comments and make your case for who should go where.
SPOILERS AHEAD! If it’s not already apparent, this article will spoil important details from Avengers: Infinity War. If you do not want to be spoiled, please stop reading now. You have been warned.
Portrayed by Chris Pratt
This one entry is the entire bottom half of the list. No matter where your favorite hero may be ranked in the top 29, just know that they were excellent in some way because Peter Quill really was not. Not only did Star-Lord fail to effectively lead his team, he was actively unhelpful during the formation and execution of plans. His final mistake is actually a reasonable reaction to the loss of a loved one, but it follows an entire film of simply being the worst. Star-Lord is the definitive loser in this list.
- Nick Fury and Maria Hill
Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders
This is a tie because neither character is really in the film. However, it was nice to see them in the post-credits sequence and pushing one button still makes this pair vastly more helpful than Star-Lord.
Portrayed by Paul Bettany
Vision is actually great, but he was not very helpful in the course of Avengers: Infinity War. Corvus Glaive circumvents his interesting powers and leaves him unhelpful in battle. Vision’s most noble contribution is an offer to lay down and die, which is all you really need to know.
Portrayed by Benedict Wong
Wong doesn’t get much screen time, but he makes it work. Standing besides Doctor Strange and Iron Man as a peer has us hopeful for a larger role in future MCU films. That just isn’t the case here.
Portrayed by Vin Diesel
The adolescent Groot delivers some great gags as a vulgar, video game-obsessed young person (er… or tree). However, he’s primarily a tagalong until delivering the handle for Stormbreaker. Groot primarily exists to serve the much more impactful characters of Rocket and Thor throughout the movie.
- The Falcon
Portrayed by Anthony Mackie
Falcon’s ranking applies to much of Captain America’s gang. He shows up, fights well, and presents a lot of heroic qualities (courage, nobility, loyalty, etc.). However, he isn’t a major character in the movie, which settles him further down the list.
- Black Widow
Portrayed by Scarlett Johansson
Black Widow kicks the same amount of butt that she has since being introduced in Iron Man 2. Unfortunately, that has become a very familiar narrative at this point and there isn’t much new for her to offer throughout the course of Avengers: Infinity War.
- Winter Soldier
Portrayed by Sebastian Stan
Like the rest of Captain America’s gang, Bucky is mostly useful in doing what he is told. However, his part in the final battle (especially wielding Rocket) makes him stand out all the more. That combined with being separated from his best pal again after so many years gives him a leg up.
- War Machine
Portrayed by Don Cheadle
The last of Captain America’s group to fall into this section of the list, War Machine gets the top spot purely because of Don Cheadle’s attitude. His sense of humor and prowess through the final battle make him a versatile and dearly missed member of this team.
Portrayed by Karen Gillan
Nebula’s growth from secondary bad guy to hero makes her a notable presence in the film. While she is primarily used to motivate Gamora, her work with the Avengers on Titan makes it clear that she will become an integral character in whatever comes next and one of the most surprising elements of this climactic duology.
Portrayed by Dave Bautista
Drax does the important work of humanizing the struggle against Thanos. He is a victim who has taken control of his own life and decisions, even if they don’t amount to much impact confronting the villain. His tragic tale definitely pulled some tears out in theaters.
Portrayed by Tom Holland
It is a delight to watch Spider-Man be Spider-Man. While Peter wasn’t a leader in the space-faring battles, he did have some great ideas and gave each new fight everything he had. He also had the saddest departure at the end of the film.
Portrayed by Pom Klementieff
Mantis really earns her spot on the Guardians in this film. Not only does she agree to go up against Thanos, but she is an integral part of the near-successful plan to stop him. Jumping on an almost omnipotent being’s shoulders takes a lot of gumption, but succeeding in putting that person to sleep reveals some mad skills as well.
Portrayed by Peter Dinklage
Seeing Peter Dinklage make such a well-planned cameo might have been enough, but Avengers: Infinity War also builds a great mini-arc for him as he overcomes the loss of his hands to discover that he still possessed his real power all along. It’s a nice moment of recovery and why we hope to see him return next year.
- General Okoye
Portrayed by Danai Gurira
When you consider that Okoye does not possess any superpowers, but still stands alongside some of the most powerful heroes in the universe to lead a charge against annihilation, it’s clear just how incredible she is. She is undoubtedly one of humanity’s best warriors.
Portrayed by Winston Duke
This is the vegetarian hero we deserve. M’Baku, lacking any powers or previous experience with Marvel heroes, shows up to support his king and entire nation in spite of decades of tension. Hearing the chant of the Jabari Tribe was a definite highlight simply for heralding M’Baku’s return.
Portrayed by Letitia Wright
Shuri gets credit for the same reasons as Okoye and M’Baku, as a human able to fight alongside super soldiers and gods, but she also shows up the smartest people in the MCU. Pointing out flaws in the work of Stark and Banner is an incredible moment and makes us want more of Shuri right now.
- The Black Order
Portrayed by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Carrie Coon, Michael Shaw, and Terry Notary
In a ranking of every MCU villain, each of these new baddies could fit in the middle of the list. They carry as much personality and power as the vast majority of past villains, capably acquiting themselves in battle and delivering plenty of solid lines. While they all play second fiddle to Thanos, that’s still a powerful place to occupy.
- Black Panther
Portrayed by Chadwick Boseman
Black Panther holds true to his commitment in helping the entire world by providing the awesome people and resources of Wakanda for a universal battle at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. He is incredible to witness in battle and a true leader for the greatest army in the entire MCU.
- Iron Man
Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.
Iron Man commits to the cause of humanity again with his second flight into space, this one much longer than the first. The start of Avengers: Infinity War establishes how great a sacrifice Tony is making and, even if he’s far from perfect, he works hard to lead an oddball team impossibly close to victory.
- Captain America
Portrayed by Chris Evans
Avengers: Infinity War reminds us that Captain America is the best leader in the entire MCU. Watching his assembly of heroes with so many different motives and concerns into a cohesive army at the end of the film is nothing short of stunning. There can be no doubt that Cap will lead the charge in round two and be the driving force behind Thanos’ defeat.
Portrayed by Idris Elba
This movie certainly didn’t worry about breaking hearts from the very start. Heimdall has been a fan favorite supporting character from the first phase of the MCU and his loss stung. He goes out like an absolute champ though, doing the impossible in summoning the Rainbow Bridge with his bare hands. He will be missed.
Portrayed by Tom Hiddleston
Loki barely edges out Heimdall, if only because he finally managed to turn the corner and commit to a redeeming death. Given impossible circumstances and a real possibility of saving himself, he tries to stop Thanos when Thanos was still stoppable. Loki came as close as anyone and deserves recognition for it.
- Doctor Strange
Portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch
Of the “away team” on Titan, Doctor Strange is the absolute MVP. Throughout the course of increasingly harrowing events, he is the most level-headed actor and the person who manages to provide a spark of hope at the end of the film. There’s no doubt that Strange’s efforts to save Iron Man will ultimately lead to victory.
- Scarlet Witch
Portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen
Scarlet Witch has one of the most gripping character arcs in this film, going from a place of (relative) stability and love to making an unimaginable sacrifice for the fate of the universe. Her attitude mark her as a rare introvert in the team, making for one of the most interesting performances in the entire film as well.
Portrayed by Zoe Saldana
Gamora is the Rosetta Stone of Avengers: Infinity War. Her experiences reveal who Thanos is and why he is motivated. She is also one of the most heroic characters, instantly prepared to do whatever is necessary to stop a genocidal madman. All of her planning and work is for naught, but her efforts mark her as one of the film’s greatest heroes.
- Bruce Banner
Portrayed by Mark Ruffalo
It’s rare to spend as much time with Bruce Banner as you do with the Hulk, which makes the removal of the latter in Avengers: Infinity War so notable. In spite of losing the “big, green guy”, Bruce proves himself to be a consummate hero by showing up for battles he shouldn’t even consider fighting. This movie tested the mettle of Bruce as much as anyone and he proved himself an Avenger in every form of being.
- Rocket Raccoon
Portrayed by Bradley Cooper
In spite of his seemingly silly nature, Rocket continues to be one of the most compelling characters everywhere he goes. He serves a sidekick and comedic relief to Thor and a great action hero in the final battle. Most importantly, he continues to develop as a parent and friend to Groot, pushing himself further into unwanted responsibility because of a heart he won’t admit exists.
Portrayed by Chris Hemsworth
If any hero owns Avengers: Infinity War, it is Thor. He has come further and lost more to reach this moment than anyone else. Comparing his presence her to his very first appearance reveals an incredible amount of growth. Thor exudes bravery in every step he takes as he attempts to save what is left in spite of having lost everything he calls his own. Of all the Avengers, none is mightier than Thor in this film.
Portrayed by Josh Brolin
When you reflect on Avengers: Infinity War, it is ultimately Thanos’ film. The heroes primarily respond to his motives and actions. The film also does an excellent job of building both those elements and delivering one of the absolute best MCU villains to date. While his Malthusian philosophy is fundamentally flawed, his ego and perspective make him a simultaneously sympathetic and horrifying character. This is a movie that succeeds on the quality of its antagonist, and that speaks very highly of Thanos’ role.