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10 Best Superhero Movie Characters Introduced In 2023

Summary

  • 2023 introduced memorable new superhero characters that range from familiar concepts, such as Blue Beetle, to outlandish yet endearing characters like Spider-Punk and Lylla the Otter.
  • Kang the Conqueror made his big-screen debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, delivering a solid performance despite the movie’s divisive reception.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 successfully portrays The High Evolutionary as a completely irredeemable villain, showcasing the personal impact of his actions for a more compelling story.


The MCU, DCU, and Sony Pictures Animation all released superhero movies in 2023, delivering a number of memorable characters who made their debut for the first time. Though 2023 was an uneven year for superhero movies overall at the box office and with critics, that certainly isn’t a knock on the bevy of wonderful characters and performances those projects contain. From great to disappointing overall, several superhero movies delivered characters to remember.

More impressive yet is the raw diversity of 2023’s best new superhero movie characters. Heroes like Blue Beetle‘s Jaime Reyes offer a well-done take on familiar concepts, while outlandish characters like Spider-Punk and Lylla the Otter show how solid writing and voice work can make even unbelievable characters endearing. Some of these characters are sure to appear on the big screen again, while others will likely remain wonderful one-off appearances.

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10 Kang The Conqueror Is An Iconic Marvel Villain Brought To Life

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania

Marvel Studios took a gamble announcing so early that the MCU Phases 4-6 would focus on Kang, and the villain made his big-screen debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. The movie overall proved to be divisive with critics and general audiences, but Majors delivers a solid performance and the multiversal conqueror. Now, Kang’s future is in flux after Jonathan Majors’ legal trouble, so it’s unclear if Kang the Conqueror will be back following his vague ending at the hands of Ant-Man and the Wasp.

9 Dar-Benn Is A Straightforward Villain With An Interesting Backstory

The Marvels

Dar-Benn with her Kree soldiers on Aladna in The Marvels

Dar-Benn isn’t given enough screen time in The Marvels, but her backstory makes her an interesting villain. The Marvels focuses partially on the weight of Captain Marvel dealing with the repercussions of her actions, and, to a large degree, Dar-Benn embodies that idea. The Kree woman was on her homeworld of Hala when Carol swooped in and destroyed their Supreme Intelligence, the machine mind that runs much of their society, leaving the planet in chaos that led to a destructive civil war. Like most villains, there are flaws in the logic of why she hates the hero, but she provides just cause for Carol to self-reflect on her actions.

8 Jaime Reyes Is An Instantly Likable New DC Hero

Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle doesn’t tread much new ground in the superhero genre, taking clear inspiration from other projects like Iron Man and Venom. However, Jaime Reyes is still an instantly likable hero that anchors the whole project. Many superhero movies put their emotional center on the protagonist’s relationship with his or her family, but the whole cast does a wonderful job selling the relationship and the attached emotional stakes. Jaime is an engaging mix of heroic, affable, and self-depreciating, and he’ll fortunately be back as one of a few characters continuing from the DCEU to the rebooted DCU.

According to James Gunn, the Blue Beetle movie isn’t the first DCU project, but Jaime Reyes is the first DCU hero.

7 Spider-Punk Makes Anarchy Seem Cool

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

Spider-Punk in Spider-Man Across the Spiderverse image

There are several new Spider-Man variants introduced in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but Hobie Brown, aka, Spider-Punk, is among the most compelling. The hero is an anarchist, and it’s difficult not to appreciate his complete dedication to the cause as he refuses to fall in line with Miguel’s Spider-Society. Daniel Kaluuya’s fantastic voice work imbues Hubie with undeniable charisma and charm, and his janky and ever-changing animation style is an impressive feat of artistry in and of itself.

6 The Spot Goes From A Joke To Absolutely Terrifying

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

Spot becomes visually distorted as he gains power in Spider-Man Across the Spider-Verse

Though The Spot doesn’t get much screen time in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the writers and animators collectively did an outstanding job developing him from an unimpressive side villain to a believable multiverse-level threat. While his story of traveling the multiverse to build power is fine, it’s the way his voice and visual design evolved over the movie’s run-time that really sells his growing threat. Presumably, The Spot will play an even bigger role in Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, which can’t come soon enough.

5 Spider-Man 2099 Is An Antagonist, Not A Villain

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

There’s no doubt that Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099, is the central antagonist of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, but whether or not he’s a villain is a bit more up for debate. The Spider-Person is adamant that canon events need to happen to every Spider-Man, which includes the death of loved ones. Miles is determined to prove him wrong, but given Miguel thinks breaking these events will cause whole realities to die, it’s understandable that Spider-Man 2099 is willing to sacrifice individuals for the greater good.

4 Victor Timely Defied Expectations As A Kang Variant

Loki Season 2

Victor Timely in Loki season 2's finale TVA room

With Kang being the big bad of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, it’s understandable that many expected something sinister behind VIctor Timely’s pleasant visage. The Kang variant is introduced as a clever inventor looking to help the world, and despite a few teases to the contrary, he ends the season firmly on the side of good. Timely is a fascinating character that adds questions to Kang’s variants across the multiverse, making it clear that they don’t all inherently turn bad.

3 Ouroboros Is A Delightful Addition To The TVA

Loki Season 2

Ouroboros reading the new TVA guidebook in Loki season 2

The TVA is well fleshed out in Loki season 1, but one of the few new faces introduced in Loki season 2 is Ke Huy Quan’s Oroboros, aka OB. The character, as written, is fairly interesting – a largely ignored engineer behind most of the TVA’s machinery and tech. However, OB is elevated wonderfully by Ke Huy Quan’s instantly likable acting. It’s unclear if OB will ever make another appearance in the MCU, but if not, it as great to see him finally get the recognition he deserves from his peers in the Loki season 2 finale.

2 Lylla The Otter Is The Center Of Rocket’s Backstory

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

Lylla falls over after being shot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Rocket has been an important and beloved member of the Guardians of the Galaxy since their debut movie, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 puts his story front and center for the first time. Rocket’s history with the High Evolutionary is wildly heartbreaking, in large part due to the tragic fate of Lylla the Otter, Teefs the Walrus, and Floor the Rabbit. Though Rocket clearly loves all three animals, who have undergone similar experiments to him, he’s closest with Lylla. The scene in which he is briefly reunited with her in a sort of afterlife is truly touching due to a mix of fantastic writing, voice work, and animation.

1 The High Evolutionary Is A Villain Who’s Easy To Hate

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3

High Evolutionary introspecting and looking downwards in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3

Many of the best villains in the MCU remain memorable for their complex motivations and sympathetic backstories, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 benefits from making The High Evolutionary a completely irredeemable force of evil. At no point does The High Evolutionary show even a shred of remorse for the pain he’s caused helpless animals – including a young Rocker- and it makes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s ending feel all the sweeter.

Equally importantly, writer and director James Gunn keeps the movies focused on the small-scale effects of The High Evolutionary’s actions. While the villain literally detonates an entire planet, it’s not that that makes him the best new superhero movie character across the MCU and DCEU in 2023. What does it is that those The High Evolutionary hurts, and how he does it, are kept explicitly personal – a lesson more superhero movies could learn from.

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