Every Street Level Hero In The MCU

Summary

  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is home to a wide range of heroes, from cosmic beings like Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy to street-level heroes like Daredevil and Jessica Jones. In this context, street-level heroes are those who operate primarily within their local communities, often fighting crime and protecting their neighborhoods from smaller-scale threats. Here are some of the most notable street-level heroes in the MCU:
  • Daredevil
  • Jessica Jones

The Marvel Cinematic Universe may be better known for its multiverse-spanning adventures, but the series is slowly but surely adding more street-level characters for lower-stakes storytelling. Street level characters can be defined as heroes who pursue largely the same type of crime that the police would go after, leaving the more esoteric, world-ending threats of the MCU to higher-budget teams like the Avengers while protecting their own local communities. Street level heroes are typically lower in power, but not always.

It’s worth noting that some characters like Black Widow and Hawkeye have essentially “street level” capabilities, with no real powers of their own, but nevertheless operate in larger efforts against international dangers or world-threatening supervillains. When determining if a given hero is street level or not, it’s more their M.O., levels of influence, and funding that truly determines if they qualify. That being said, most of the strongest heroes in the MCU are far above street level.

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13 Spider-Man

Reset to square one

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Spider-Man’s journey through the MCU has been an interesting one. Starting off as a homegrown hero with a strange jury-rigged suit with camera lens eyes, Peter Parker was eventually recruited by Tony Stark to join the Avengers, if only temporarily, in Captain America: Civil War. Spider-Man’s general strength and powerset puts him at a decidedly higher than street level status, particularly when paired with the tech and influence of Stark.

That being said, following the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker’s factory reset life sees him once again acting as more of a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Gone are the days of traveling to space and wielding Stark tech courtesy of his Avengers influence. Now, Spider-Man is once again swinging around New York City in a homemade suit, with no backup from the higher-level heroes to speak of.

Spider-Man: Homecoming PG-13 ScreenRant logo

Cast Michael Keaton , Martin Starr , Angourie Rice , Robert Downey Jr. , Marisa Tomei , Bokeem Woodbine , Logan Marshall-Green , Garcelle Beauvais , Michael Mando , Zendaya , Tom Holland , Jon Favreau , Donald Glover , Hannibal Buress Release Date July 7, 2017 Writers Christopher Ford , John Francis Daley , Jon Watts , Erik Sommers , Jonathan Goldstein , Chris McKenna Director Jon Watts Studio(s) Marvel , Sony Runtime 133 minutes Budget $175 Million Expand

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12 Kate Bishop

Trained under Hawkeye to become the next great heroic archer

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Hawkeye makes another interesting fringe case when it comes to the categorization of Marvel heroes. Being by far the weakest original Avenger, the experienced marskman has nevertheless held his own against world-ending threats like Loki’s Chitauri army, Ultron’s drones, and more. That being said, during the Blip, he definitively operated at a street level as Ronin, mercilessly cutting down criminals on his own in Japan.

Now, Kate Bishop serves as the next street-level iteration of Hawkeye. Contending with Russian gangsters and even the great Kingpin, Kate Bishop may have an affluent mother, but isn’t quite on the same level as the original Hawkeye when it comes to heroics. Operating out of her modest apartment, Kate Bishop takes on street level crime with her bow and arrows, though her recruitment to the Young Avengers by Ms.Marvel could see her take on bigger foes.

Hawkeye (2021) PG-13

Cast Zahn McClarnon , Fra Fee , Brian D’Arcy James , Hailee Steinfield , Alaqua Cox , Vera Farmiga , Jeremy Renner , Tony Dalton Release Date November 24, 2021 Seasons 1 Writers Don Heck , Jonathan Igla

11 Ms. Marvel

Is back on the ground after a brief space adventure

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Like Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel is a decidedly street level hero who has had some close encounters with world-ending extraterrestrials, only to be plopped back on Earth. Only teaming up with Captain Marvel and Monica Rambeau due to their shared quantum entanglement, Ms. Marvel spent the majority of her own eponymous series taking on vigilante groups and agents from the Department of Damage Control. After returning to Earth, it can be assumed that she resumes her activities as a local guardian.

Following the ending of The Marvels, it seems as though Kamala is inspired by her experiences teaming up with other heroes to form a new, younger version of the Avengers. It remains to be seen if this new group will be able to take on threats beyond the scope of street level, however. For now, Ms. Marvel falls firmly in the street level category in terms of her own powers and resources.

Ms. Marvel

Cast Matt Lintz , Laith Naki , Rish Shah , Nimra Bucha , Iman Vellani , Yasmeen Fletcher , Saagar Shaikh , Travina Springer , Zenobia Shroff , Mohan Kapur , Aramis Knight , Azher Usman Release Date June 8, 2022 Seasons 1 Writers Bisha K. Ali , Adrian Alphona Showrunner Bisha K. Ali Directors Adil El Arbi Expand

10 Moon Knight

The lethal defender of the MCU’s streets

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The multifaceted vigilante Moon Knight is not only one of the most complex Marvel heroes, but also one of the most isolated. Existing in a very self-contained story that has yet to see any major overlap with another MCU project, Moon Knight is the avatar of the Egyptian deity Khonshu. While it could be assumed this goldy status would put him on the same level of deities like Thor, Moon Knight ends up being a very street level character.

That being said, Moon Knight is a brutal figure whose unforgiving methods of punishment don’t exactly gel with most other street level characters, who are typically sworn to avoid killing at all costs. Khonshu’s lingering influence may see Marc Spector and Steven Grant continue to be pulled into all sorts of metaphysical representations of the ancient Egyptian pantheon. Until then, Moon Knight remains a street level protector, his impressive powers balanced out by his lack of influence.

Moon Knight latest TV Poster Moon Knight

Cast May Calamawy , F. Murray Abraham , Lucy Thackeray , Ethan Hawke , Oscar Isaac , Gaspard Ulliel Release Date March 30, 2022 Seasons 1 Writers Danielle Iman , Jeremy Slater Showrunner Jeremy Slater Directors Steven Grant Expand

9 Daredevil

The protector of Hell’s Kitchen

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Perhaps the premiere street level hero of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Daredevil is the perfect textbook example of what it means to be a local crimefighter. First appearing in his own self-titled Netflix series, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil was added to the MCU retroactively, alongside a number of other street-level characters, when the Netflix Defenders continuities were made canon. Since then, Daredevil has appeared multiple times in other heroes’ journeys as a representative of Marvel’s street level universe.

Enjoying enhanced perceptions, giving him some level of superpowers, physically, Matt Murdock is just a normal human being, though he is an exceptional martial artist. This means that there is a hard limit to the types of enemies he can face, going up against groups like The Hand or Kingpin’s criminal empire in New York City. Still using a secret identity and operative with no real backup from governments or larger organizations, Daredevil is an iconic street level character.

Daredevil Season 2 Poster Daredevil

Cast Charlie Cox , Rosario Dawson , Elden Henson , Vincent D’Onofrio , Deborah Ann Woll , Jon Bernthal Release Date April 10, 2015 Seasons 3 Writers Drew Goddard Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight Directors Phil Abraham , Stephen Surjik , Peter Hoar Expand

Related 10 Most Rewatchable Daredevil Episodes, Ranked

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7 Jessica Jones

A superpowered private eye with personal issues

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Alongside Daredevil, it can be assumed that a litany of other characters appearing in the Defenders universe can now call the MCU home. Among them, one of the most blatantly superpowered is Jessica Jones. Blessed with super strength, speed, and a limited form of flight she calls “guided falling“, Jones has some impressive powers, but is not quite on par with the level of the Avengers.

Formerly operating as a superhero, Jones returned to work as a private eye following her traumatic capture by Kilgrave. In this capacity, she’s not only a street level character, but technically not even a vigilante, running a civilian private investigation practice that does seem to get her into trouble more often than not. Jessica Jones is one of the best vehicles for the MCU to tell firmly street level stories, though she’s been woefully underused, along with the other non-Daredevil Netflix characters.

Jessica_Jones_Netflix_Poster Marvel’s Jessica Jones

Cast Krysten Ritter , David Tennant , Mike Colter , Rachael Taylor , wil traval , Erin Moriarty , Eka Darville , Carrie-Anne Moss , J.R. Ramirez , Terry Chen , Leah Gibson , Janet McTeer , Benjamin Walker , Sarita Choudhury , Jeremy Bobb Release Date November 20, 2015 Seasons 3 Writers Melissa Rosenberg Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg Directors Stephen Surjik Expand

6 Iron Fist

One of the MCU’s best martial artists

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While Iron Fist moves among the more magical side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he remains a firmly street level character. Yet another of the many vigilantes protecting the MCU’s New York City, Danny Rand is a wealthy heir to Rand Enterprises who becomes the immortal Iron Fist during his time in the mystical city of K’un-Lun. One of the most adept martial artists in the entire MCU, Iron Fist’s expertise is supplemented by his magical powers, including a devastating punch.

Most of Iron Fist’s actions are against the same villainous ninja group that Daredevil fights, The Hand. However, he has on occasion expanded his scope of threats to protect innocent people from, including Bushmaster of Luke Cage fame. Despite his corporate influence, Danny Rand is mostly a solo act scouring the streets of New York for a very specific type of criminal influence related to his own roots in K’un-Lun.

Iron Fist TV Show Poster Iron Fist

Part of the original Netflix line-up of Marvel shows, Iron Fist follows billionaire heir Danny Rand on his journey to become the legendary Iron Fist. Returning to America after going missing for fifteen years, Danny returns to reclaim his family fortune and use it to help others in need. However, a call to action pulls Danny away from his family duties as a new threat emerges, calling upon the powers of the Iron Fist to protect his friends and family – and New York City.

Cast Ludovic Coutaud , Donté Grey , Alberto Bonilla , Craig Geraghty , Finn Jones , Murray Bartlett , José Báez , Jessica Henwick , Paugh Shadow , Lewis Tan , Myles Humphus Release Date March 17, 2017 Seasons 2 Writers Jessica Henwick Showrunner Scott Buck Directors Scott Buck Expand

5 Luke Cage

The man with indestructible skin

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The hero of Harlem, Luke Cage is an incredibly valuable member of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s cast of New York City heroes. After surviving some harrowing experiments, Luke Cage was blessed with super strength, durability, and particularly resilient skin, allowing him to wade through gunfire like nothing. Once lashing out against organized crime in the area, Cage has since began to occupy something of an interesting spot in the lineup of street level Marvel characters.

At the end of season 2 of Luke Cage, Cage actually becomes Harlem’s crime boss, aiming to use this status to protect its people from the worst of street level crime by controlling it himself. This does somewhat put his hero status into question, however noble his intentions might be. In any case, Luke Cage isn’t leaving his territory any time soon, and despite his newfound resources, he’s still a very local MCU character in the grand scheme of things.

Luke Cage Poster Luke Cage TV-MA

Cast Frank Whaley , Theo Rossi , Mahershala Ali , Justin Swain , simone missick , Frankie Faison , Jaiden Kaine , Alfre Woodard , Darius Kaleb , Mike Colter , Kellen C Wingate , erik laray harvey Release Date September 30, 2016 Seasons 2 Writers Cheo Hodari Coker Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker

4 Punisher

The vengeance-fueled gunman of the MCU

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Jon Bernthal’s Punisher performance is by far one of the best things to come out of the Daredevil Netflix series, and now can boast an official spot in the MCU. Once a normal soldier, the deaths of Frank Castle’s family caused him to take up the infamous skull symbol in order to wage a one-man-war on organized crime, mercilessly killing anyone he deemed necessary to remove from the streets. While Punisher has no powers of his own, his experitse in ubran warfare and staggering arsenal of guns makes him more than a threat.

The Punisher’s harsh methods typically put him at odds with other street level heroes, opening up many interesting avenues for interaction the MCU has yet to explore. Though he’s gotten his personal revenge, Frank Castle has clearly decided to dedicate the rest of his life to his grisly work. His very personal stake in vigilante activities and limited capabilities as a normal gunman, albeit a well-armed and well-trained one, keep him firmly in the street tier of MCU characters.

The Punisher Season 2 Poster The Punisher

Cast Deborah Ann Woll , Jon Bernthal Release Date November 17, 2017 Seasons 2 Writers Gerry Conway Showrunner John Romita Sr. Directors Mark Goldblatt , Lexi Alexander Expand

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2 Echo

Kingpin’s former protege

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The most recent street level hero to get their own series, Echo is one of the more obscure direct additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the comics. First showing up as a minor villain in Hawkeye, Echo is an MCU original character, but does owe her existence to the Netflix villain Kingpin. Once Wilson Fisk’s protégé, Echo embarks on a journey of spiritual self-discovery in her eponymous series, leading to the development of her powers as a descendant of Chafa, the first Choctaw.

Though Echo still has a long way to go in terms of redemption, the morally gray character could technically be considered a new hero by the time her series ends. Her powers to heal trauma and recall deep-seated memories are impressive, but don’t seem to expand in scope beyond the territory she once patrolled as Kingpin’s lackey. Of all the MCU’s street level characters, Echo’s fate is among the most uncertain.

Echo TV Show Poster Marvel’s Echo ScreenRant logo

Cast Chaske Spencer , Zahn McClarnon , Graham Greene , Alaqua Cox , Cody Lightning , Charlie Cox , Tantoo Cardinal , Devery Jacobs , Vincent D’Onofrio Release Date January 9, 2024 Seasons 1 Writers Amy Rardin , Marion Dayre Directors Sydney Freeland

1 She-Hulk

The MCU’s other attorney slash superhero

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Sharing a name with one of the strongest members of the original six Avengers, it could be easy to mistake She-Hulk for a higher caliber of hero. From Jen’s impressive powers to her heightened media presence, it seems as though calling She-Hulk street level might be a grave mistake. However, the scope of her exploits while using her powers is surprisingly limited, leaving her at around the same caliber of hero as her boyfriend, Matt Murdock.

She-Hulk might be related to an Avenger, but her exploits aren’t leaving Earth any time soon. Interested in maintaining her legal practice above all else, when She-Hulk does engage in superpowered fights, they tend to be limited in scope and area, tussling with minor villains like the Wrecking Crew. It’s possible that She-Hulk easily has the potential to rank higher than most other street level heroes, but for now, her smaller scale of conflicts keeps her on the MCU’s more grounded side.

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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law ComedyActionAdventure

Cast Ginger Gonzaga , Jon Bass , Josh Segarra , Tatiana Maslany , Tim Roth , Renee Elise Goldsberry , Anais Almonte , Mark Ruffalo , Benedict Wong , Jameela Jamil Release Date August 17, 2022 Seasons 1 Writers Jessica Gao , Dana Schwartz , Cody Ziglar , John Buscema , Kara Brown , Francesca Gailes , Jacqueline Gailes , Melissa Hunter , Zeb Wells Showrunner Jessica Gao Directors Kat Coiro Expand

Upcoming Marvel Movies Release Date
Deadpool & Wolverine July 26, 2024
Captain America: Brave New World February 14, 2025
Thunderbolts* May 2, 2025
The Fantastic Four July 25, 2025
Blade November 7, 2025
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty May 1, 2026
Avengers: Secret Wars May 7, 2027

MCU Franchise Poster Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a multimedia superhero franchise that began in 2008 with Paramount’s Iron Man starring Robert Downey Jr. The franchise quickly grew in popularity, with Disney eventually buying out Marvel Entertainment in 2009. The MCU consists of dozens of movies and TV shows, most notably Avengers: Endgame, WandaVision, and Loki.

Created by Kevin Feige First Film Iron Man Upcoming Films Deadpool & Wolverine , Captain America: Brave New World , Thunderbolts (2025) , Blade (2025) , The Fantastic Four (2025) , Avengers: The Kang Dynasty , Avengers: Secret Wars First TV Show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Upcoming TV Shows Agatha: Coven of Chaos , Ironheart , Daredevil: Born Again , Wakanda , Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man , Marvel Zombies , Wonder Man , Vision Quest Cast Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Scarlett Johansson , Samuel L. Jackson , Jeremy Renner , Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Edward Norton , Paul Rudd , Tom Holland , Tom Hiddleston , Anthony Mackie , Cobie Smulders , Brie Larson , Chadwick Boseman , Sebastian Stan , Chris Pratt , Dave Bautista , Zoe Saldana , Bradley Cooper , Vin Diesel , Pom Klementieff , Josh Brolin , Karen Gillan , Clark Gregg , Paul Bettany , Don Cheadle , Benedict Cumberbatch , Evangeline Lilly , Simu Liu , Aaron Taylor-Johnson , Angelina Jolie , Kit Harington , Salma Hayek , Richard Madden , Barry Keoghan , Gemma Chan , Ma Dong-seok , Brian Tyree Henry , Kumail Nanjiani , Lauren Ridloff , Lia McHugh , Jonathan Majors TV Show(s) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. , Agent Carter , Inhumans , WandaVision , The Falcon and the Winter Soldier , Loki , What If…? , Hawkeye (2021) , Moon Knight , Ms. Marvel , She-Hulk: Attorney at Law , Secret Invasion , Marvel’s Echo Expand

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