IRON MAN/IRON MAN 2/THOR/THE AVENGERS – THE MARVEL MOVIES (2008-2012)
Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)
Arguably the glue which held together Marvel’s Phase 1 movies and helped hint at a larger world we finally glimpsed in The Avengers, Agent Coulson was our cinematic gateway to S.H.I.E.L.D. and beyond. Although he would eventually headline his own show (after being killed, natch), Coulson also provided the first olive branch to Asgard in Thor and seemed the only man capable of being two-steps ahead of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). As he told Tony in Iron Man 2, “If you attempt to leave or play any games, I will tase you and watch ‘Supernanny’ while you drool into the carpet. Kay?”
SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD (2010)
Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin)
Culkin doesn’t just have some of the best lines in this cult classic, he also acts as a kind of gay Greek chorus, constantly pointing out things that Scott (Michael Cera) is far too dense to realize. During the hero’s battles against the seven deadly exes of girlfriend Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Culkin’s Wallace is sardonic without falling into too many gay best friend clichés, although he does (justifiably) say he wants to have Chris Evans’ adopted babies.
Head to page 5 for characters that really broke out this past year…