It's hard to explain to our younger readers, but it is a miracle that the MCU got its start building the Avengers. Earth's mightiest heroes were decidedly B-list before Robert Downey, Jr. and Chris Evans's handsome faces were, uh, made the faces of the franchise. Here's Cracked in 2012 feeling sorry for Ant-Man because he's forgotten. By the end of the decade, Ant-Man was unlocking the quantum realm for a time heist. That's why you read the comics, we guess.
Yes, over the course of the Obama administration, we went from “an Iron Man movie? Two of them? Okay…” to “what does it mean for Spider-Man to join the Avengers?” Comic book readers might have already accustomed to the intricacies of this team, the rest of us are still combing MCU Phase 1 for Easter eggs about the future. But not to worry. Moviegoers eventually figured out who The Avengers' real MVP is.