We’re on a mission to find the MCU‘s hidden gems — and we’re not talking about Infinity Stones. We’re referring to underrated, overshadowed, and “slept-on” Marvel productions that didn’t get as much love as some of the more mainstream entries in the franchise, but still hold their own as worthwhile spectacles.
Reddit has defined a “hidden gem” as a “thing that’s really good, but few people have seen and is generally under-appreciated.” There aren’t many Marvel productions that can cry poverty as far as box office revenue, but not every feature-length movie, television series, or short garners a dedicated following. Generally, hidden gems are unpopular, but deserve to be in much higher demand. Right away, Reddit identified Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among others, as so-called hidden gems.
Considering it brought home $677.8 million at the box office, you wouldn’t immediately think of Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange as a hidden gem, but — in recent years — it’s actually been overshadowed by the likes of Black Panther and the Spider-Man trilogy.
Likewise, Ant-Man is another superhero that just isn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind over the likes of Captain America and co. Although Paul Rudd brought a lot of charm and charisma to the role, it wasn’t enough to cement him in the minds of the mainstream Marvel audience.
Quite a few Marvel nuts seem to agree, but Netflix’s Jessica Jones — starring Krysten Ritter as the titular super-powered heroine — deserves much more love than it’s gotten since debuting in 2015. It has three seasons overall, but nothing could ever top Ritter’s Jones and David Tennant’s mind-controlling baddie in Kilgrave. There’s some inexplicable chemistry between the two that just makes their dynamic so amusing and intriguing.
And then we have Eternals, which — to be frank — flew entirely under the radar during its theatrical run. It had barely any promotional material, hardly any advertising and honestly, it was much better than the lack of hype suggested. Starring big names like Games of Thrones‘ Kit Harrington, Bodyguard‘s Richard Madden, Maleficent‘s Angelina Jolie and former 1D boy Harry Styles, there were high hopes for Eternals to perform, and for what it’s worth — it did. Perhaps one of its biggest downfalls was that it relied too heavily on an ensemble cast and not enough on an enriching storyline. But isn’t that every Marvel flick?
There are so many more that could have made the cut. Iron Man 3 and The Incredible Hulk were both named a handful of times, too. We won’t weigh in on the Ruffalo-Norton debate, though, since we’re not looking to stir the pot when the dust cleared years ago (Ruffalo), but we’ll confidently say that there are countless hidden gems to be unearthed in the MCU if one digs deep enough.