12 MCU Characters Who We Thought Dead But Actually Aren’t

Looking more closely, we see that the MCU couldn’t resist the urge to kill off some of its most popular characters in an effort to tear our tears away. Whether an on-screen death is intended to deceive the film’s other protagonists, the audience, or both, one thing for sure is that the MCU is filled with “dead” characters who have come back disconcertingly many scenes or productions later. Some of these supposed deaths were intended to advance the plot of a film/series, and the public was therefore not surprised to see the hero reappear on the screen. However, there is also characters from the Marvel universe who were considered permanently dead and who came back to everyone’s surprise. Here’s a look at every MCU character who was thought to be dead, but actually wasn’t.

#1 Loki

Loki is undoubtedly the hardest character to kill in the MCU and the one who accumulates the most scenes where he should have actually died. This tendency to succeed in cheating death dates back to the first films of the MCU, with Thor (2011), where Loki made the choice to sacrifice himself and let go of his stepbrother’s hand only to be stranded in a wormhole created by the energy of the Bifrost. In the post-credits scene of the film, we discover that the character is finally alive, and that he is secretly preparing his return.

Towards the end of Thor: The Dark World (2013), the God of Lightning thought once again having lost his brother, seeing him being impaled by Kurse. But Loki survived once again and returned as Odin in the sequel. Thor: Ragnarok (2017).

Thanos will take care of settling his account a third time, in Avengers: Infinity War (2018). The Mad Titan will break his neck by saying that this time there would be “no resurrection” possible.

But Thanos was seriously mistaken… In Endgame (2019), the Avengers will return to the past and the Loki of this timeline will take advantage of the general confusion to grab the Tesseract and flee. This will mark the beginning for him of his run against the TVA, as well as the beginning of the series Loki. After his encounter with Sylvie, one of his female variants, the god of Malice will leave for new adventures. Once more, Marvel will then try to pass him off as dead. During a fight against Ravonna Renslayer, Loki will be scrambled by a TVA truncheon. Everyone will then think they are rid of the character, until we see him alive again a little later and transported to another dimension, during the post-credits scene of the episode.

#2 Groot

One of the most moving (fake) deaths the MCU has given us is undoubtedly that of Groot. Plant alien perishes when Ronan the Accuser’s ship crashes, in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Before impact, Groot will use his branches to envelop his comrades and sacrifice himself. This will not mark the end of the team mascot, however. In effect, Groot’s body will grow back from a twig found by Rocket Raccoon, in an even cuter, younger form of himself, during the film’s post-credits scene.

#3 Bucky Barnes

If there’s one character that fans who haven’t read the comics wouldn’t expect to see in a Marvel movie, it was clearly Bucky Barnes. Steve Rogers’ old friend lost his life in Captain America: First Avenger (2011), after falling into the void during a mission undertaken by the two men, during WWII. But Bucky ultimately survived thanks to HYDRA’s covert intervention. The organization saved him replacing his arm with a cybernetic limb, then took care of brainwashing him into a true assassin. This is also how Bucky Barnes changed into a Winter Soldier. After briefly siding with the villains in the MCU films, the character will join the Avengers side in preparation for their biggest battle yet.

#4 Black Panther

If you don’t remember T’Challa’s death in Black Panther (2018), it may be because the character brushed against it without passing through it. In the film, Killmonger confronts Prince T’Challa hoping to steal his throne. The fight is then expeditious and results in a victory for the challenger. As a triumphant warrior, Killmonger launches our hero from the top of a waterfall. At this time, Marvel Studios tries to install a doubt on the state of health of the character and the serious injuries which could have led to his death. When he is finally found, T’Challa appears to be in extremely bad shape. According to M’Baku, he is “between life and death”. Fortunately, the warrior prince will regain his strength thanks to the herb-heart. After which, he will seek to recover his kingdom.

#5 Pepper Potts

During the movies Iron Man, Pepper Potts has made a place for herself in the life of Tony Stark. In the first film of the franchise, as well as in its sequel, Tony Stark always appeared in time to save his beloved from what could have happened to her. However, in Iron Man 3 (2013), it’s another story… During the final fight against Aldrich Killian, Pepper takes a fall that should have cost him his life. Although Tony thinks he’s lost her forever, it actually turns out that Pepper survived thanks to the dose of Extremis injected into him by Aldrich Killian. She will therefore get up from her fall, a little later, and will face the villain with his temporary superhuman powers.


Although it is only a simple artificial intelligence, JARVIS has not been spared death in the MCU. In Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Tony Stark’s virtual companion has been hacked and destroyed by the big bad. Fortunately, JARVIS will survive by breaking up and will come to the aid of the Avengers in the continuation of their battle against Ultron. After what, artificial intelligence will be implanted in the synthetic envelope that will serve as the body of Vision.

#7 Janet Van Dyne

In Ant Man (2015), Hank Pym recounts the tragic events that led to his losing his wife, Janet Van Dyne, within the Quantum Realm. Over the course of the film, the viewer is therefore led to believe that the character is permanently lost and will never appear again in a Marvel film. However, a large part ofAnt-Man and the Wasp (2018) will precisely revolve around its rescue. Janet Van Dyne is now back and preparing for her next appearance in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).

#8 Captain America

Even a hero of the stature of Captain America is not immune to “near death.” Although that of Steve Rogers has probably never managed to fool anyone, the Marvel writers really tried to make us believe in his death, for a moment. At the end of Captain America: First Avenger (2011), Steve Rogers heroically sacrifices himself by dispatching a HYDRA plane, filled with explosives, crashing into the icy arctic waters. Captain America will survive the collision by finding himself frozen under a layer of ice. With the beginning of the film showing the discovery of the remains of the ship in the ocean, the public will know that this incident will not sign the end of the hero. This fake death of Captain America is therefore not intended to deceive the viewer, but rather to advance the plot.

#9 Steven Grant

In the fifth episode of Moon Knight (2022), as Marc and Steven attempt to balance their scales, souls will emerge from the sand and attack them. To help Mark, Steven will try to fight them and will end up falling from Taouret’s boat. When he lands on the ground, Steven’s body will turn to ice, while the ship will continue its course in the Douat. In the next episode, Mark will sacrifice his place in the Field of Reeds to save Steven. Upon contact, the Avatar of Khonshu will come back to life.

#10 Nick Fury

In Captain America: Civil War (2016), Nick Fury did everything to make it look like he was dead. After an assassination attempt, the Winter Soldier sends him to the hospital by shooting him several times in the body. Some time later, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is pronounced dead and his body is authenticated at the morgue by Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanoff. In reality, it was all a decoy on his part. Nick Fury faked his own death in an effort to trap HYDRA agents infiltrating his organization.

#11 Red Skull

Johann Schmidt, aka Red Skull, is part of of the rare MCU villains to successfully cheat death. In Captain America: First Avenger (2011), the antagonist disappears by getting his hands on the Tesseract. After this scene, we will have to wait Avengers: Infinity War (2018) before seeing the character again. While everyone thought Captain America’s enemy was consumed by the Tesseract, it turned out, in reality, that Red Skull had been teleported to Vormir. There, he acted as guardian for the Soul Stone.

#12 Steve Rogers (aka Hydra Stomper)

The animated series What If…? (2021) was busy exploring different realities than what the MCU had shown us up to that point. In episode 1, titled “What if…Captain Carter had become the first Avenger?”Peggy Carter was injected with the Super-Soldier serum and Steve Rogers became, meanwhile, “the Crusher of HYDRA”, thanks to an armor designed by Howard Stark. However, these small variations in the history of Captain America: First Avenger (2011) will have unthinkable consequences on the sequence of events, as well as on the famous mission of the train, which is illustrated in the film. During this, it will not be Bucky Barnes who will lose his life, but Steve Rogers. The alternate version of our hero will disappear in the explosion of the train and the collapse of the mountain where the scene takes place. As was the case with the Winter Soldier in the main continuity, Steve Rogers won’t actually die and will be found alive in Castle Krake, held captive by HYDRA.

In the midst of all these “almost dead”, there are also sometimes characters who really and definitively leave us during movies/series. As sad as it may seem, that of Thor should arrive sooner than we think if we are to believe the words of actor Chris Hemsworth.

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