Skip to main content

Samuel L. Jackson first mentioned “the Avengers initiative” in 2008’s Iron Man. Now, after Avengers: Endgame, the future of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes remains unknown. And for the first time since its inception, the Marvel Cinematic Universe finds itself without its flagship franchise.

So, until the Avengers’ inevitable reunion, fans are looking back on their big-screen exploits to date. Most commonly, they debate whether Iron Man or Captain America is the MCU’s best hero. But a new study has determined a surprising pick for the most valuable Avenger.

Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner
Kevin Feige, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, and Jeremy Renner | Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has dozens of beloved superheroes

Marvel Studios released more than 20 films during its first decade. And throughout the course of the MCU, audiences met literally dozens of heroes. Remarkably, characters such as Rocket Raccoon have become some of its biggest breakouts. The MCU even made Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel into billion-dollar franchises.

But no series in the MCU gets as much attention or earns as much at the box office as the Avengers movies. By Avengers: Endgame, the six-person squad has expanded to literal armies led by Captain America. Yet, not all of the Avengers are created equal. According to the numbers, one MCU hero is clearly more valuable than his peers.

But a new study finds one surprising hero is the most valuable Avenger

Film Franchise Showdown recently evaluated the entire MCU to identify which Marvel hero carries the greatest value. This new study assessed all 23 MCU entries by critics’ ratings, box office receipts, and other metrics. Then the movies were ranked by their return on investment.

Black Panther and The Incredible Hulk marked the highest and lowest rated movies in the series. But the site dug deeper to settle on which MCU character carries the best ROI. And shockingly, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye topped the list, beating out runners-up Star-Lord and Black Widow.

Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor fell at four through six, respectively. Meanwhile, Nick Fury, Hulk, Black Panther, and Doctor Strange round out the top ten most valuable MCU heroes. Since Renner appeared in Thor as well as the Avengers movies, he has a notable edge over some other heroes.


‘Avengers: Endgame’ Writers Finally Confirm Why the OG Avengers Survived the Snap in ‘Infinity War’

What’s the future hold for Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye?

While other Avengers have exited the MCU, fans haven’t seen the last of Hawkeye. The most valuable Avenger is due to headline his own Disney+ series, with Renner in the lead. So those viewers who may have underestimated his success rate have a chance to make up for it.

The show doesn’t currently have a release date. But Hawkeye will reportedly feature the comics’ Kate Bishop. The character goes on to take over the Hawkeye name and joins the Young Avengers. Hailee Steinfeld is attached to the role, though no casting is official just yet.