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One of the MCU’s most important heroes has barely an hour of screen time across the franchise

He's been in the franchise from the very start.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is absolutely overstuffed with heroes.

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Over the course of nearly 15 years and 30 films, the franchise has introduced viewers to a range of superheroes plucked directly from the pages of our favorite comic books. Many of these characters were introduced via solo flicks — or, more recently, dedicated Disney Plus series — before being incorporated into the team via a team-up flick or two.

Some of the most popular MCU characters have made appearances in a staggering number of films, but one vital character has shockingly little screen time, according to a handy graph provided by Redditor Hot_Form9587. The helpful denizen of the web shared a graph breaking down the total screen time for a range of MCU heroes, starting with 2008’s Iron Man and ending with 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder. The results left their fellow fans reeling from a surprising revelation.

Nick Fury, a former CIA agent, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., and founder of the Avengers, is graced with less screen time than Ms. Marvel‘s Bruno. A side character from one of Disney Plus’ most recent shows has more screen time than Nick Fury, who technically debuted in Iron Man, the very first film in the official MCU.

This realization is sending shockwaves through anyone with enough time to peruse the entire graph. The names at the very top are reasonably predictable — with characters like Tony Stark and Thor vastly outpacing more recent additions like Shang-Chi and Carol Danvers — but a few additions showcase thoroughly unexpected results.

In total, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark has appeared in 356 minutes worth of MCU content, according to the graph. He’s followed by Thor, at 290 minutes across four solo flicks and several crossovers, and Spider-Man, who’s appeared in 245 minutes, just three minutes more than Captain America. From there, it trickles down in a largely sensical way, with surprise additions like Wanda getting a boost thanks to their Disney Plus spin-offs. Only five spaces up from the very bottom of the list, however, nestled in between Pepper Potts and Black Widow‘s Yelena Belova, is one Nick Fury. One of the original — and most vital — characters in the entire franchise.

It makes some degree of sense when you consider that Fury has never had a solo film and often appears for short stints across the MCU, but still. It seems insane to think that’s he’s appeared in only 66 minutes of Marvel content – the same amount as Yelena and only 9 minutes more than Morbius, the lowest-ranking character on the list.

The disparity between a character’s time in the MCU and their actual breakdown of minutes on screen worked splendidly to highlight the gap between film and television shows. Characters like Kamala Khan, who only entered the cinematic universe this year, already have enviable positions on the list, purely due to the far lengthier allowances made by television. Moon Knight had the exact same screen time as Black Widow, for god’s sake, despite her debut all the way back in 2010.

The graph is fascinating, and revealing, and seems to be enticing quite a few people to return to the wealth of MCU films to witness proof for themselves. There’s plenty to enjoy across the dozens of releases in the cinematic universe, but don’t expect to see much of Nick Fury.


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Nahila Bonfiglio
Nahila carefully obsesses over all things geekdom and gaming, bringing her embarrassingly expansive expertise to the team at We Got This Covered. She is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor with a focus on comics, video games, and most importantly 'Lord of the Rings,' putting her Bachelors from the University of Texas at Austin to good use. Her work has been featured alongside the greats at NPR, the Daily Dot, and Nautilus Magazine.