• The integration of Fox’s X-Men Universe and mature TV-MA shows from Netflix’s
    Defenders Saga
    has brought even more violent heroes into the MCU.
  • Characters including Echo, Ronin, the Punisher, Daredevil and Deadpool have demonstrated extreme levels of violence in their superhero careers.
  • Future MCU projects such as
    Marvel Zombies
    , and
    Deadpool 3
    will continue to feature violent superheroes.



There are many superheroes and antiheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that use extreme levels of violence to bring down their enemies. Most of the superheroes introduced to the MCU since the franchise kicked off with 2008’s Iron Man have used their good natures, strong hearts and indomitable wills to defeat their villains. However, there are many superheroes that push their methods to the extreme, using aggression, brutality and violence to get the job done. Often, these heroes’ violent outbursts have stayed within the bounds of Marvel Studios’ family-friendly nature, but with more mature stories being developed, this is changing.

While the official MCU’s roster doesn’t include many overtly violent superheroes, the integration of Fox’s X-Men Universe and the mature TV-MA shows of Marvel Television’s Defenders Saga into the MCU’s timeline has come with a massive increase in the number of heroes with violent tendencies. While projects such as Logan, Deadpool, Daredevil and The Punisher have previously brought violent heroes into live-action, Marvel Studios’ first TV-MA project, Marvel Spotlight’s Echo, established one such hero in the MCU’s official continuity. This is only set to continue with further adult-oriented projects such as Blade, Marvel Zombies and Phase 5’s upcoming Deadpool 3.


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10 Maya Lopez, A.K.A. Echo, Used To Work For Kingpin

Maya Lopez Became A New MCU Hero In Echo

Maya Lopez boxing in Hawkeye and Echo

First introduced in Phase 4’s Hawkeye on Disney+, Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez debuted as the leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, working under Wilson Fisk’s Kingpin. In a diversion from Fisk’s Daredevil storyline, the crime lord was revealed to have raised Maya from her childhood, as her father worked for him following their relocation to New York. Maya is an incredibly violent presence in the MCU, despite her evolution into a bona fide superhero being explored in her solo Marvel Spotlight series, Echo. Her fighting skill and penchant for using guns makes her a very dangerous adversary for many MCU villains.

9 Clint Barton, A.K.A. Hawkeye, Targeted Criminal Groups As Ronin

Clint Barton Operated As Ronin During Avengers: Endgame’s Blip

Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton didn’t always tap into his violent tendencies during his career as Hawkeye, a founding member of the Avengers, but 2019’s Avengers: Endgame saw him embrace his darker side. After losing his family to Thanos’ snap in Infinity War, Barton became the vigilante Ronin, and set out across the globe to brutally murder members of criminal gangs and syndicates, believing they should’ve been taken by Thanos instead. He eventually renounced his role of the Ronin, but it came back to haunt him in Hawkeye, especially since he had killed Maya Lopez’s father as Ronin during the Blip.

8 Bruce Banner, A.K.A. The Hulk, Can’t Control His Violence

The Hulk Hasn’t Been Truly Violent Since Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Hulk shouting in Harlem in The Incredible Hulk

In his human form, Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner is a gentle soul, preferring to use his supreme intelligence rather than utilizing his Hulk persona. Conversely, the Hulk – at least in his early appearances – is uncontrollable and very violent. Despite targeting villains, the Hulk doesn’t care much about innocent lives getting in the way of his rampages, demonstrated during his brawl with the Abomination in Harlem, and his attacks on the Chitauri in The Avengers. In more recent years, the Hulk has mellowed, having been transformed into the Smart Hulk, but there’s speculation his more savage persona will return.


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7 Bucky Barnes, A.K.A. The Winter Soldier, Regularly Uses Weapons

Bucky Barnes Was Under HYDRA’s Control For Decades

Bucky Barnes aiming a gun in Captain America The Winter Soldier

Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes has only become a superhero in the MCU quite recently, as he broke free of his HYDRA conditioning following 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Most of Barnes’ violent tendencies presented themselves during his career as the Winter Soldier, where he was certainly regarded as a villain, and this role saw him carry out some heinous acts. After killing Tony Stark’s parents with his bare hands, eliminating many threats to HYDRA and making attempts on Nick Fury and Steve Rogers’ lives, the Winter Soldier has cemented himself as one of the MCU’s most violent characters.

Sebastian Stan will be returning as Bucky Barnes’ Winter Soldier in Marvel Studios’ upcoming Thunderbolts project, where he will be the de facto leader of the team, though it seems the team will be brought together by the CIA and United States government.

6 Matt Murdock, A.K.A. Daredevil, Rarely Pulls His Punches

Daredevil Joined The MCU Officially In Spider-Man: No Way Home

Daredevil during fight with Maya Lopez in Echo

Charlie Cox debuted as Matt Murdock’s Daredevil in Marvel Television’s self-titled Daredevil series, but joined the MCU proper with brief appearances in Spider-Man: No Way Home, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law and Echo. Daredevil’s mature tone meant that Matt Murdock could fully display his brutal nature, often bringing down his adversaries by using his boxing experience, which can be a very bloody affair. This hasn’t fully been seen in the MCU yet, though some of this violence was seen in 2024’s Echo. It’s possible that Matt Murdock’s Daredevil will continue to show his more violent tendencies in his future MCU appearances.

Charlie Cox is set to return as Matt Murdock in his upcoming Disney+ series, Daredevil: Born Again, which will reunite him with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, and potentially even Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page and Elden Henson’s Foggy Nelson.

5 Marc Spector, A.K.A. Moon Knight, Has A Very Violent Alter

Jake Lockley Hasn’t Been Properly Introduced To The MCU Yet

Released as part of the MCU’s Phase 4, Moon Knight was the first Marvel Studios project to border on a mature rating, as it saw Oscar Isaac’s titular antihero commit some brutal acts. However, most of Moon Knight’s most violent moments weren’t seen on screen, performed instead by Marc Spector’s hidden third alter, Jake Lockley. Lockley made his first official appearance in Moon Knight’s finale, which saw him murder Arthur Harrow without hesitation, but he had massacred several other individuals throughout the series. Moon Knight would perhaps benefit from a TV-MA or R-rating if he returns in the MCU’s future.

4 Wolverine Uses His Animalistic Features To Bring Down His Enemies

Hugh Jackman Is Returning As Wolverine In Deadpool 3

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine fighting in The Wolverine

Wolverine hasn’t yet joined the MCU officially, but 2024’s Deadpool 3 will mark the return of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine from Fox’s X-Men Universe. While the casting for the MCU’s new Wolverine is yet to be announced, Jackman has delivered some of the most violent moments of superhero action during his career as the clawed mutant. Most notably, 2017’s Logan, which was initially Jackman’s final project as Wolverine, utilized its R-rating to allow Wolverine to show off his brutality. Wolverine certainly put his claws to good use in Logan, and the same is set to occur in the R-rated Deadpool 3.

3 Frank Castle, A.K.A. The Punisher, Is An Outright Antihero

The Punisher’s Crusade On Crime Will Continue In Daredevil: Born Again

Frank Castle covered in blood in The Punisher

While Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock is a very violent addition to the MCU, he’s got nothing on Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher. Castle uses extreme violence to eliminate criminals in New York City, and his gruesome antihero career was seen in full in Marvel Television’s Daredevil season 2 and The Punisher. Bernthal is set to return as the Punisher in Daredevil: Born Again, so the upcoming series would benefit from an R-rating, and since Castle could have a bright future in projects such as Thunderbolts and Armor Wars, more mature MCU projects will likely be in the works.


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2 Wanda Maximoff, A.K.A. The Scarlet Witch, Murdered Earth-838’s Illuminati

The Scarlet Witch Was Corrupted By The Darkhold In Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

Scarlet Witch attacking Kamar-Taj in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness-1

Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff didn’t embrace her violent nature until she embraced her role of the Scarlet Witch in WandaVision and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Arguably, Maximoff became a villain in Phase 4, but her prior career as a superhero means she could return to the MCU as a steadfast Avenger. Even so, during Multiverse of Madness, the Scarlet Witch brutally murdered almost every member of Earth-838’s Illuminati, not only turning Reed Richards into spaghetti, but also crushing Maria Rambeau’s Captain Marvel and bisecting Captain Carter, proving that she is one of the MCU’s most violent heroes.

1 Wade Wilson, A.K.A. Deadpool, Has Committed Horrible Crimes

Deadpool Is Joining The MCU Permanently In Phase 5

While some superheroes in the MCU use moderate violence to beat or injure their adversaries, Wade Wilson’s Deadpool goes one step further, showing no qualms about simply murdering his foes. Ryan Reynolds brought Deadpool to life in his self-titled franchise in Fox’s X-Men Universe, and will bring his overt violence and hilarious comedy into the MCU’s Phase 5, with Deadpool 3 set to be the only MCU feature film released in 2024. Luckily, Deadpool 3 has been given an R-rating, which will allow Deadpool to bring his full brutality into the Marvel Cinematic Universe​​​​​​​ to the delight of audiences everywhere.

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