Phil Coulson provided the blueprint for original characters to succeed in the MCU. The Multiverse Saga introduced new original characters like Sylvie and Scarlet Scarab. The success of original characters like Sylvie and Scarlet Scarab shows the potential for the MCU to continue building its own legacy and helping change the comics for the better.

For the past 15 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has adapted countless superheroes and villains from the pages of comic books to the live-action world. Many of these characters were relatively unknown before their cinematic introductions. However, the MCU has given newfound popularity to these characters.

While most of the characters in the MCU have been a huge part of Marvel Comics, Marvel Studios hasn’t shied away from creating original characters. Over the years, creators have exercised their creative liberties to introduce entirely new Marvel characters, and many of them have made a lasting impact. At first, the trend of original creations didn’t catch on in the MCU. But that changed with the advent of Phase Four, which saw a sudden influx of fresh, original characters.

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Phil Coulson Is the Blueprint for Marvel Original Characters

Many would look at Phil Coulson from Phase One of the MCU and believe him to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative adapted from Marvel Comics. However, that’s not the case, as he was one of the first original characters to debut in the MCU. Alongside Nick Fury, Coulson was vital to the creation of the Avengers Initiative. Coulson started off as a sidekick to Fury. However, he soon gained prominence in 2012’s The Avengers, as he became the catalyst for the heroes to work together as a team against the Chitauri after he was killed by Loki.

Coulson essentially provided the blueprint for original characters to succeed in the MCU. He loved the heroes adapted from the comics (as seen by his Captain America card collection), and his sense of humor perfectly fit the comedy that the MCU popularized. In the end, the character should have started an era of original characters to grace the franchise. However, Phases Two and Three of the MCU barely had characters of such stature.

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Sylvie and Scarlet Scarab Began the Original Character Renaissance in the MCU

Following Coulson’s death in The Avengers, the MCU didn’t capitalize by creating many new original characters during the Infinity Saga. From time to time, a character like Luis from the Ant-Man franchise would arrive to provide comic relief in a film. However, outside of that, the MCU didn’t have an original character that could help the plot in various ways.

That changed with the start of the Multiverse Saga. In WandaVision, Darcy made her return, alongside Ralph Bohner, to drive the plot forward with their humor. However, the biggest new addition came in Loki, which saw the debut of Sylvie Laufeydottir, played by Sophia Di Martino. In the premiere season, she formed an alliance with MCU Loki to take down the TVA and the Time-Keepers. As one of the Loki variants, the character had a unique backstory, and it fueled her rage to take down the TVA and eventually He Who Remains, thus allowing Kang the Conqueror to return.

Then there’s Layla El-Faouly, aka the Scarlet Scarab, played by May Calamawy in Moon Knight. For the most part, the Disney+ series focused on Marc Spector and his alternate identities. However, a new hero was created for the show in Scarlet Scarab, with El-Faouly becoming Taweret’s avatar. In the show, she was a vital companion to Spector in the battle against the villainous Arthur Harrow. Instead of the character becoming another forgettable original character, the show creators provided her with an interesting backstory of being Spector’s wife. Moreover, she also played a major role in the plot as a hero, making her a character to look out for in the MCU’s future.

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Original characters like Sylvie and Scarlet Scarab allow creatives not to be bound by any rules established in Marvel Comics. Such rules have caused problems in the past for creators, as fans have complained about MCU versions of characters straying from the source material. That’s not the case with original characters, as they provide new avenues to explore in terms of storytelling, lore-building and more.

And if an original character becomes a hit among fans, they could become a major addition to the legacy of the characters associated with them. In the future, after making their debut in the MCU, their popularity could allow them to make their way into the comic book universe as well. Such has been the case for Scarlet Scarab, who made her Marvel Comics debut with 2023’s Moon Knight: City of the Dead. And by introducing them in comics, the stories of these characters can be further enhanced.

At the end of the day, Marvel Studios can’t expect to have every original character be as successful as Sylvie and Scarlet Scarab. However, the potential of having original characters in the MCU can’t be overlooked, especially after finding success already. So, creatives need to take risks and add new characters that have a massive impact on the MCU.

 The MCU should continue the trend of adding new original characters after finding success with Sylvie, Scarlet Scarab and more.  Read More