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Top 5 Best Performances in an MCU Show

5. Wyatt Russell (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier): I really think that The Falcon and the Winter Soldier does not get enough credit as a show. In my opinion, it was the most well written of the Disney+ MCU shows. One of the aspects that I think really elevates the show the most is the performance of Wyatt Russell as John Walker/US Agent. Introduced as Steve Rogers’ replacement as Captain America after Sam Wilson initially turns it down, John Walker is a highly respected soldier who desires to be a symbol of heroism. Unfortunately, his short temper and slight arrogance often gets the better of him, which turns many people against him, most notably Sam and Bucky, who see him as a jerk who only cares about his image. Despite initially seeming like he would be an antagonist to our heroes, Walker is really a good man deep down. He wants to do the right thing and even outright says that he is not trying to replace Steve Rogers. However, he lashes out when people continue to disrespect him. This flaw becomes heightened when he takes the super soldier serum. After murdering a Flag Smasher in public after their leader Karli Morgenthau kills his best friend, Walker loses all of his titles, including that of Captain America. He then decides to take justice into his own hands by hunting down and killing Karli. However, when faced with a test to his morality of killing Karli or saving a truck full of hostages, Walker does the right thing and attempts to save them. While he fails to do so, it shows that Walker really is a hero despite what Sam and Bucky initially thought of him. Russell absolutely shines as the character and really makes an impact with this character, presenting him in a macho yet vulnerable light. I sincerely hope that he gets to play Walker again. Perhaps the upcoming Thunderbolts project will be the perfect opportunity to do so.

4. Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision ): WandaVision is a show that I have mixed feelings on. While I love the writers trying to branch out and make it feel different from the normal MCU, I really don’t think it paid off at all. The pacing was slow, the sitcoms were not that clever and as a massive fan of the X-Men movies, the Evan Peters Ralph Boner reveal is one of the most desperate and unfunny jokes that I have seen in literally any tv show. The more I come back to this series, the worse it gets for me. That being said, Elizabeth Olsen really did an amazing job as Wanda Maximoff. While the writing for her was very inconsistent, troublesome and just all around poor, Olsen’s acting elevated the character far more than the writing ever could. She really did carry this show and you can tell. Wanda’s grief is perfectly shown through Olsen’s heartbreaking performance. After taking over the town of Westview with her abilities, Wanda uses the opportunity to live in a fantasy where Vision is alive and she now has two sons. Despite the urging of nearly everyone around her that what she is doing is wrong, Wanda is too grief stricken to listen and continues to live in her made up world. It is only when Agatha Harkness attempts to steal her powers that she realizes the horror that she has brought to the town of Westview. After a heartbreaking “final” goodbye to Vision and her kids, Wanda accepts that she can never get back what she lost and moves on (at least until Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). As stated before, while I have my problems with WandaVision, Elizabeth Olsen has really won me over as the character, even when the writing for her hasn’t.

3. Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones): Unlike nearly all of the MCU movies and shows, I initially had no idea who Jessica Jones was before watching her titular show. She resembled almost nothing about her comic book counterpart and I wasn’t very familiar with Krysten Ritter as an actress aside from a supporting role as Jane in Breaking Bad. However, after seeing the Netflix show, I was absolutely blown away by Ritter as the character. A private investigator with super strength, Jessica Jones is a very bitter and sarcastic individual due to several traumatic experiences including losing her family at a young age, being adopted by a narcissistic woman who only did so as a publicity stunt for her celebrity daughter and most infamously having her superhero career cut short when she is mind controlled by the sadistic villain Kilgrave into being his lover and slave. In addition to having a jaded personality, Jessica is a massive alcoholic who struggles with her private investigation business. Once Kilgrave returns to try and take control of Jessica once more, she is forced to be the hero she now tries to avoid being seen as and take him down. After finally taking down Kilgrave at the end of season 1, Jessica is shocked to find herself even more broken and left without a purpose. She spends the majority of seasons 2 and 3 turning into the hero role that she originally tried to run away from. Ritter is absolutely fantastic as Jessica. If you’ve seen her behind the scenes, it’s incredible to see this fun and very upbeat actress play this jaded and unfriendly superhero so well on camera. The MCU better bring Ritter back as the character. She is absolutely phenomenal in the role and deserves to play her more often.

2. Charlie Cox (Daredevil): Charlie Cox really was just born to play Daredevil. I often say that a lot about actors who are amazing in the roles they play, but it’s true. No one has ever matched Cox as the character, not in animation and certainly not in live action. As the iconic title character, Cox is absolutely flawless. He captures the cool and collected nature of Matt Murdock while also capturing the brutal and mysterious nature of the titular Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Throughout the entire show, Matt is put through the wringer, both physically and emotionally. In season 1, he is nearly killed by the Kingpin while his relationship with his best friend Foggy Nelson is nearly ruined after his secret comes out. Then in season 2, he becomes distracted by his former lover Elektra and her conflict with the evil group the Hand while his relationship with Foggy becomes ruined once more, this time permanently because of his unwillingness to give up being a vigilante. In season 3, Matt goes through quite possibly his greatest challenge as he is forced to deal with the Kingpin returning and whether or not he might have to kill him as well as the fact that an unstable FBI agent has stolen his suit and is murdering innocents for the Kingpin in order to frame him. On top of that, Matt finds out that his mother is still alive and is working as a nun. Throughout the entire show you feel Matt’s struggle thanks to the brilliant writing as well as Charlie Cox’s masterful performance. I recommend watching Daredevil just for Cox’s acting alone. It is that good.

1. Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil): The more I watch Vincent D’Onofrio play Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin, the more I realize that he might be the best casting choice that I have ever seen. I don’t think I have ever seen an actor make a villain so layered and sympathetic yet completely despicable and terrifying. A powerful crime lord, Wilson Fisk attempts to destroy Hell’s Kitchen in order to rebuild it and make it into what he believes to be a better place. After Matt defeats him at the end of season 1, Wilson is sent to prison. However, this proves to be a minor setback at worst as he returns with a vengeance in season 3, taking control of the FBI and framing Matt by having the unstable FBI agent Benjamin Poindexter dress up as Daredevil to commit murders. It is only when Matt is able to get dirt on Fisk’s one true love Vanessa that he is able to finally take him down. If the Netflix Daredevil series wasn’t canceled, I guarantee that D’Onofrio would have returned as Fisk to be the villain for yet another season. Within every scene, you could see Fisk’s internal struggle underneath his calm and collected exterior. Whenever he did lose his temper, you could still see the sad and broken side of him even when he was brutally killing someone. If D’Onforio wasn’t so good in the role, I am not even sure that the writers would even have brought him back after the end of season 1. It seemed with each season he got better and better in the role. It is obvious that Kevin Feige thought so as well seeing how he finally made his return in the Disney+ show Hawkeye. Nobody can replace this actor in the role. Wilson Fisk isn’t just the Kingpin. Vincent D’Onofrio is too.

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Adam Grunther

Adam is a freelance writer who is an avid fan of comic book movies and television shows, especially that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Doom Patrol. He joins the team with a deep understanding for all of the content from both Marvel and DC Comics, and will use this information in future rankings and reviews. He looks forward to sharing posts that will bring a mix of entertainment and his passion for superhero related content to Comic Universe.

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