10 Most Brutal Deaths In All 16 Years Of The MCU

  • Despite PG-13 ratings, MCU features brutal deaths hinting at R-Rated future.
  • Netflix series being canonized makes for a bloodier MCU.
  • Horror-themed movies push gore levels to new extremes.
Despite consisting of mostly PG-13 movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gotten away with some truly grotesque character deaths over the years. The upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine will be the series' first true R-Rated film, but that doesn't mean the MCU hasn't featured a few brutal death scenes over the years that have truly pushed the limits of their usual mass appeal ratings. On top of that, the canonization of the Netflix shows has made the MCU a much bloodier place.
Before being bought by Disney, Marvel Studios were much more apt to feature a few eyebrow-raising villain deaths before largely being sanitized by Disney's corporate leadership. However, in recent years, the advent of Disney+ projects like Moon Knight and Werewolf By Night have gradually pushed the envelope with the levels of gore the MCU is willing to show. With the official addition of the Netflix Defenders universe into the series, a lot of brutal kills have been retroactively added into the MCU, as well.
10 Black Bolts Takes The Recoil Of His Own Scream Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Directed by horror icon Sam Raimi, it's no wonder that Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness features one of the most grotesque sequences of any MCU film. As Wanda infiltrates the esteemed alternate-reality superhero team The Illuminati, she dispatches them one by one with her terrifying powers, turning Mr. Fantastic into ribbons, cutting Captain Carter in half with her own shield, and mentally annihilating Professor X. By far the most shocking kill, however, was none other than Black Bolt.
Appearing for the first time in the MCU outside the ill-fated Inhumans series, Black Bolt is an extremely powerful hero with a devastating voice. Scarlet Witch was able to turn this strength against him by using her reality-overwriting magic to remove his mouth, causing Black Bolt to scream in panic and destroy his own brain from the inside out after screaming in panic. Not only is this a tremendously gory death, but the body horror of having no mouth and needing to scream adds another disturbing layer to the brutality.
9 Thanos Chokes The Life Out Of Loki Avengers: Infinity War Within the first 10 minutes of its runtime, Avengers: Infinity War makes it abundantly clear that no one is safe, as Thanos impales Heimdall, embarrasses Hulk in hand-to-hand combat, and chokes the life out of Loki. Ever the trickster to the bitter end, Loki tries to get the drop on Thanos, getting close enough to stab him with one of his trademark daggers. Unfortunately, the Mad Titan finds this wound about as threatening as a mosquito bite, and pays Loki in kind by asphyxiating him and snapping his neck.
Loki is a character that has "died" and come back multiple times in the MCU, faking out audiences with his apparent demise in both Thor and Thor: The Dark World. However, as Loki's bloated face drifts through the vacuum of space, the slow realization that the God of Mischief has finally met his end was an emotional twist of the knife on an already brutal death. Even if a Loki variant would eventually continue the character's legacy in the franchise with his own series, the original Loki's death is one of the hardest to watch of any major character.
8 A Hydra Agent Dies Via Propeller Captain America: The First Avenger Clearly taking their inspiration from pulpy adventure stories, the Captain America trilogy has never been afraid to show off some nasty demises for its background characters. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bucky watches as a hapless soldier gets sucked into a turpoprop. Strangely, this wouldn't be the first time a goon has died via propeller in the series, with one of the most brutal kills in the trilogy taking place in the previous film.
As Captain America wrestles for control of the experimental bomber with various HYDRA agents, one of them meets a particularly bloody end. After being kicked off the side of the plane by Steve Rogers, one unnamed HYDRA agent gets sucked into one of the craft's propellers mid-flight, turning him into a bloody stream of mist. This jarringly gruesome death shows off the film's pulp roots in films like the Indiana Jones series, in which a Nazi mechanic dies similarly.
7 Frank Gets Shrunk Into A Puddle Of Goo Ant-Man The shrinking technology enabled by Pym Particles results in some of the most fun action setpieces in the MCU, giving the Ant-Man movies much of their charm. That being said, the first film wasn't afraid to take a look at the more gnarly applications of the experimental technology, thanks to Darren Cross, a.k.a. Yellowjacket. Before donning a size-changing suit himself, Darren uses a shrink ray to dispatch Pym Technologies senior executive, Frank.
After Frank questions the Yellowjacket suit's ability to stand up to international law, Darren Cross corners him in a restroom and shoots him with a gun charged with unstable Pym Particles. The sudden unrefined shrinking turns Frank into a tiny puddle of inert organic slime, casually wiped up and flushed down the toilet by Darren without a second thought. The horrifying callousness with which Darren performs this murder is supplanted only by the disgust of Frank's throbbing new form.
6 Fear Burns At The Touch Of Man-Thing Werewolf By Night A unique format among the Marvel Cinematic Universe's offerings, Werewolf by Night sits in a curious middle ground between series episode and short film, operating under the Marvel Studios Special Presentations banner alongside The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special. Being black and white allowed Werewolf by Night to get away with some surprising levels of gore, with blood splattering on the camera as Elsa Bloodstone and the titular lycanthrope tear through their enemies.
However, one of the most terrifying kills in the short film just might be Verussa Bloodstone's death at the hands of Man-Thing, also known by his real name, Ted. As the creature grasps his former captor, she erupts into flames, screaming as she slowly burns to death in one of the single most painful MCU deaths ever. This moment proves Man-Thing's comic slogan -- "Whoever knows fear burns at the touch of the Man-Thing!"
5 John Walker Stains Captain America’s Shield The Falcon and the Winter Soldier The Falcon and the Winter Soldier re-introduced the title of Captain America back into the MCU following Steve Rogers' retirement, introducing a new government- version of the hero, John Walker, while Falcon struggled with accepting the shield. After his partner, Battlestar, is killed by a member of the Flag-Smashers terrorist group, Walker goes on a revenge-fueled rampage. His actions ultimately result in one of the most brutal kills of the entire MCU catalog.
Cornering a member of the Flag Smashers, John Walker unleashes his rage with Captain America's shield, viciously decapitating the unarmed man in a very public display of violence that gets him stripped of his title. Captain America was never opposed to killing when necessary, fighting as a soldier in World War II. However, both the cruelty of killing a clearly-surrendered enemy and the brutality with which the murder was carried out sully the name of the hero enough for John Walker to earn himself a dishonorable discharge.
4 Loki’s Eyeball-Gouging Machine The Avengers These days, Loki is best known for being a lovable, charming anti-hero in his own eponymous series. It's easy to forget that this same Loki was once capable of some truly horrific acts, including acting out one of the most wince-inducing murders of the MCU's history. In The Avengers, Loki aims to break into a facility full of valuable Iridium, sealed behind advanced security requiring a retinal scan from an entrusted staff member. To circumvent this, Loki crashes a party with one Heinrich Schafer, extracting his eyeball with a horrific machine.
Not only does the device Loki uses to complete this task look incredibly painful, but it callously turns Schafer's eye into a mere key used by the mind-controlled Hawkeye. Because of how well Loki redeems himself by the end of his own series, it's easy to forget that he committed this gruesome murder not to long before the first episode of Loki. The death should remain a reminder of Loki's villainous origins.
3 Kingpin’s Car Door Kill Daredevil The addition of Daredevil and other shows from the Netflix realm of Marvel content has significantly darkened the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rated TV-MA for brutal violence, disturbing content, and unsavory language, Daredevil didn't pull its punches when it came to showcasing the more unsavory side of Marvel characters. No moment in the original series better encapsulates this than Kingpin's shocking car door murder in season 1, episode 4.
After being "embarrassed" by Anatoly Ranskahov at a romantic dinner with Vanessa, Wilson Fisk takes his unbridled rage out on the hapless Russian mobster, slamming his head into a car door. He repeats the vicious act over and over again until Anatoly's head is completely gone, panting with exertion from the release of his simmering anger. This moment was the first real time Kingpin proved how dangerous he truly was in the series, both physically and mentally.
2 Adam Warlock Incinerates Fitz-Gibbonok Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 By far the darkest of the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy, James Gunn's MCU magnum opus was one of the darkest films ever made in the franchise. From Rocket Raccoon's haunting past to Star-Lord dropping the franchise's first official F-bomb, the third entry of the Guardians' beloved spacefaring high jinks wasn't so upbeat. One particular kill courtesy of Adam Warlock proved this definitively, showcasing the being's powers with brutal efficiency.
After being captured by the Sovereign, the Ravager raider Fitz-Gibbonok finds himself at the mercy of the newly-born Adam Warlock and his race's leader, Ayesha. When he refuses to give up Gamora's location, Ayesha orders Warlock to show their prisoner they mean business, only for the superhuman being to take things too far and incinerate the alien with one of his energy beams. Much to Ayesha's dismay, Fitz-Gibbonok dies a horrifically painful death, burned to cinders by Adam Warlock.
1 The Punisher Kills Rawlins The Punisher As gory as Daredevil could get, the adventures of Hell's Kitchen's non-lethal protector can't hold a candle to the vile acts committed by The Punisher in his own eponymous Netflix series. As the man who gave the order to massacre Frank Castle's family, William Rawlins may have been the gun-toting anti-hero's single biggest target for revenge. When Rawlins erroneously believes he has the upper hand on Castle, his makes the mistake of taking his time in killing him, leading to one of the most gory deaths in any Marvel adaptation.
Seeing a vision of his late wife asking him to give up his vengeful rampage and be with her, Frank Castle refuses, clinging to life. Breaking free from his restraints, The Punisher tackles Rawlines, using his own knife against him and rapid-fire stabbing him in the neck before literally twisting the knife. Finally, he ends it by gouging his eyes out with his bare hands, making for one of if not the single most painful-looking death ever attributed to the MCU.
Upcoming Marvel Movies Release Date Deadpool & Wolverine July 26, 2024 Captain America: Brave New World February 14, 2025 Thunderbolts* May 2, 2025 The Fantastic Four July 25, 2025 Blade November 7, 2025 Avengers: The Kang Dynasty May 1, 2026 Avengers: Secret Wars May 7, 2027


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