The Marvel Cinematic Universe has put characters like Thor, Doctor Strange and Star-Lord on the Hollywood map, introducing them to a growing legion of new fans around the world in the process.
Since its inception with Iron Man in 2008, the franchise has brought a staggering number of heroes and villains to cinema, from super soldiers to alien warlords, and many of them will share the screen in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War.
The way Marvel Studios has adapted these iconic creations for a new medium has been grabbing headlines from day one, but the characters in the foreground of the MCU are merely the tip of the iceberg. Over the years, the House of Ideas has subtly confirmed that many more are at large in the ongoing franchise.
Through Easter eggs, in-jokes and nuanced references, Marvel has hinted that there are dozens of other characters from the comic books operating on the periphery of its cinematic universe, and some of them may even come to the fore in future films.
So here are the lesser-known heroes and villains that the MCU has quietly sneaked under the radar over the years…