Look, it’s no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is jam packed with characters. There are so many, in fact, that half the cast of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War can’t fit all of them on its poster (or the actors’ names for that matter). This sort of over-stuffed existence it to be expected over the course of a decade filled with 18 films, over a dozen seasons of television, and several short films. New fans who are unfamiliar with the source material have gotten to know characters that have been around for decades, but have never graced the screens of televisions or theaters. And old fans have gotten to see the adventures of superheroes and their battles with villains come to life (it truly is an amazing time to be geek).
But among all the well-known and over-exposed characters of the MCU, there are lesser seen heroes and villains hiding in their ranks. Characters who may not fully represent their comic book counterparts are wedged in the nooks and crannies everywhere. From in name only adaptations to wildly different backgrounds, there are Marvel characters that even the most ardent comic fans may have easily let slip by their geek radar.
15. RED HULK
General Thaddeus E. “Thunderbolt” Ross is one of The Incredible Hulk’s primary villains in comic books. He’s a brilliant military tactician and all around tough guy (not to mention the father of Bruce Banner’s love interest, Betty Ross). Thunderbolt was eventually reintroduced to the Marvel Universe as Red Hulk in Hulk Vol. 2 #1. And just as his moniker would imply, he’s even angrier than the big, green guy we all know and love.
Thunderbolt is no stranger to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he is often over looked despite being portrayed by the brilliant actor, William Hurt in The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: Civil War. The fact that Hurt’s Thunderbolt has the longest absence of any MCU character between films (he was missing in action from the franchise for eight years) doesn’t exactly make him a constant presence, so it’s easy to forget he’s a key player.