From Black Panther to Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez, Claire Temple, Captain America and more, 2016 was filled with some truly fantastic adaptations of characters from comics. Here’s a look back at some of The Marvel Report’s choices of Best TV & Movie Heroes of 2016.
Brittany Rivera (Senior Staff Writer/Events)
For me, 2016 was all about seeing an old heroes in new ways. While I have watched Claire Temple in two seasons of Daredevil AND Jessica Jones, Luke Cage was really where she had her chance to shine (Just look at her first appearance in the show where she chases down her mugger and gets her purse back like the badass that she is).
Claire is an intelligent, resourceful character who doesn’t need no man. More than once she saves the superheroes around her (Just this year alone she saved Luke, Misty, and Daredevil). Her superpower is her compassion and brain. I love that she is the thread that ties the Netflix Marvel Universe together and that she is a nurse, a position that does not get the recognition it deserves.
Also, I can’t talk about heroes in 2016 without mentioning Captain America. I spent half of the year getting hyped up for Civil War. The film did not disappoint. We got to see our favorite heroes come together and fight all while making tough choices. I loved the way the film ends, with Cap dropping his shield and realizing he has to take a step away from the spotlight to assess what he wants to do next. Plus off screen Chris Evans was a real life hero, tweeting to raise awareness about real life injustices happening in our country.
Breeze Riley (Reviews)
Black Panther (T’Challa) stole Captain America: Civil War for me, which is saying a lot given the many strong performances in that film. Chadwick Boseman brought real emotional gravity to the role of a son mourning his father and seeking vengeance. I know I and other Marvel fans can’t wait to see this character shine in his own stand-alone film.
Lauren Gallaway (Editor in Charge/Director Of Operations)
My favorite movie heroes this year include Scarlet Witch, the Ancient One, and Jean Grey. Scarlet Witch really got to shine in Civil War. Her powers were amazing, especially her team-up throw with Cap. Even though she was one of the newest Avengers, she wasn’t afraid to chose Cap’s side. The Ancient One reminded me so much of Morpheus from The Matrix. Her skills as a fighter were unmatched and her last scene with Doctor Strange was profound and heartbreaking. Jean Grey gets an honorable mention because she dominated in Apocalypse. While the save could have gone to any member of the team, it went to Jean. She used her powers in an incredible way and blew me away in the final moments of the film.
For TV heroes, I think Matt Murdock and Misty Knight. all shine for me. Matt was challenged in so many ways during this season of Daredevil, but he continued to chose to good, to pursue good, even against crazy odds. His purity of heart always astounds me. Misty Knight arguably stole the show during Luke Cage season one. She was a woman of integrity who, despite losing her partner and watching Harlem crumble around her, continued to have faith and fight the good fight.
Tatiana Hullender – Associate Comic Editor
Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez has been a wonderful addition to Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, giving us the first live-action Latina heroine in the Marvel universe. I love how specific her backstory is and how it informs her drive for justice without consuming her character altogether. It’s also a real treat to watch her struggle between her justified need of independence and her desire for a family to which she can belong. Her friendship with Daisy is heartwarming too, and the special effects for her cool speed powers are nothing to scoff at!
Carolyn Poddig (Senior Staff Writer/Ast. Events Manager)
Bucky Barnes is one of my favorite characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While he’s nothing to sneeze at physically, his story is particularly compelling. He’s a figure from Captain America’s past who helped inspire him to be the man he became, he’s a devoted and loyal companion who fell from grace through no fault of his own and still accepts responsibility for his actions. James Barnes didn’t ask to become a part of HYDRA but he served them loyally and willingly even if under duress.
His transformation from plucky side kick in the comics to dark anti-hero mimics America’s own transformation during the cold war. The two are on duel sides of history. It’s important to include him in the heroes post however because as of Captain America Bucky is a Hero – not in terms of actually saving lives (though he does try) but in terms of making the choices at the end to work with the Wakandans to try and remove the programming that makes him dangerous.
He’s lost the arm HYDRA made for him and he’s taking responsibility for his actions. Carte blanche forgiveness does not equal healing, a person must accept their actions to change it. Bucky does exactly that and that’s why he’s my hero and a major hero in the MCU – one who we hope we’ll see more of in the years to come.
Shawn Richter (Events/Staff Writer)
Captain America: Civil War was a movie of epic proportions. Remember when people wondered how Joss Whedon could possibly fit all six Avengers into one movie? Civil War had more than twice as many characters, and did it with ease. But one word signaled the homecoming of one particular hero to the MCU: QUEENS.
When that word appeared on screen, everyone knew what it meant – Spidey was home! The internet had blown up after just seeing a few seconds of Spidey stealing Cap’s shield and although he wasn’t in Civil War all that long, everyone agreed that Marvel and Tom Holland had finally nailed the character on the big screen.
Andy Behbakht (Founder)
While I’m not entirely family with these characters from the comics: for me, in TV, it is a tie between Robbie Reyes’/Ghost Rider and Luke Cage. Not only are we getting to see a big focus on these unique heroes, but we are expanding the representation of ethnicity and diversity. Both these actors are phenomenal in the roles they both play and I think their stories have been able to stand out a bit better than other heroes in the MCU this year.
If I am choosing someone from the films? It is a tie between Black Panther and Spider-Man. Spidey is my boy, and Tom Holland is finally giving us everything that we love about Peter Parker. Black Panther is someone that I am not as familiar with, but he is bringing something very different to the MCU table, both culturally, but also as a hero in general. I am dying to see Chadwick Boseman suit up again ASAP!
Jonathan Hernandez (TV/Film Reviews + Coverage Contributor)
It’s no secret that Black Widow is one of my favorite characters in the MCU, but I feel like she really shined Civil War. I feel like she’s one of the most well-rounded MCU veterans at the moment, and I truly feel as if the Russos care about her and her journey, giving her complete agency to make her own decisions in joining Team Iron Man, yet still remaining a fiercely loyal friend and teammate of Cap. I was worried that the “double agent” trope would follow her into Civil War, but her choices made complete sense to the audience that knows her character well. I look forward to seeing the journey this Avenger takes going into Infinity War.