[Note: This article discusses plot details of Avengers: Infinity War.]
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has always had a pretty loose approach to the traditional “no killing” superhero ethos; after all, the real world is messy, and movie budgets are a little too tight for recurring villains to keep popping up, film after film. And so, MCU bad guys tend to fall prey to a series of film-ending CGI explosions, often after racking up a respectable kill-count of their own in the process. But how many bodies have hit the floor in the MCU? Who killed them? And how often was it Pepper Potts?
Luckily, the industrious nerds of the Marvel Studios subreddit are here to help us answer those questions, tallying up a scorecard of who’s been killing who in the MCU. On the hero side of the equation, we were slightly surprised to learn that only The Wasp and Spider-Man—at least, out of heroes with their names in the titles of their movies—don’t have any blood, direct or otherwise, on their hands. (Although we watched Homecoming pretty closely, and Pete causes a lot of potentially dangerous collateral damage trying to bring the Vulture down right there at the end.) On the villain side, meanwhile, the big winner is obviously Thanos, who’d already wiped out billions, if not trillions, of people, even before he’d gotten his hands on (or in) his big fancy snappin’ gloves. (Also, the chart that’s currently being passed around from the subreddit seems to be mostly concerned with on-screen kills of major characters, so no “various Asgardians murdered by Dark Elves”; it’s also missing the TV shows, so all the folks taken out by Kilgrave, TV-Hydra, or The Hand apparently don’t make the grade here, either.)
The secret MVK (most valuable killer) of the MCU turns out to be Gwyneth Paltrow, though, who manages to have dropped two dead bodies on Pepper Potts’ fashionably maintained hands—both big bads of their respective Iron Man films. Admittedly, that number might be a little low in the grand scheme of things, but you have to remind yourself that she doesn’t have any powers of her own, but is nevertheless tied for on-screen kills with a guy whose name is literally “Killmonger.” Moral of the story: Don’t mess with Goop.