Tips For Making Avengers
(And Other MCU/Marvel Earth-199999) OCs

General Tips

  • Realistically, most of the main canon characters (especially the Avengers) have enough problems, obligations, and responsibilities on their plates already that becoming somebody's full-time babysitters or nannies, surrogate family, trainers, or personal emotional support squad is not a thing that would happen - even if that person did have some kind of special powers or other strangeness going on. There's nothing wrong with your OC being on friendly or good terms with the canon characters, but don't make them put their lives and duties on hold for your character.
  • Let's talk serums. Especially Abraham Erskine's serum and its variants. First, Dr. Erskine's serum works one way and one way alone: it makes people bigger, stronger, and more durable while enhancing their senses and pre-existing personality traits. It was also destroyed, and nobody has been able to perfectly replicate it. Most of the related serums do basically the same thing - the serum that Johann Schmidt took apparently enhanced his strength and endurance (though it didn't make him apparently much bigger) and enhanced his outstanding personality traits (which weren't particularly good ones) and may or may not have damaged his face. The serum Bucky was given seems to have worked in much the same manner as Schmidt's, minus potential face damage. If you're going to have serum involved in your character's origin story, please avoid having a known serum throw out some kind of oddball powers (eg, an elemental power) out of nowhere.
  • Avoid making a character with a build (IE, skills/abilities) that makes this character functionally and tactically interchangeable with another member of the group this character supposed to work with. Try to fill a niche that doesn't already have someone in it - EG, if the group has Clint Barton, it doesn't need another archer/sniper. If it has Natasha Romanoff, it doesn't need another spy/interrogator. And so on and so forth.
  • Adding more powers or skills to another character's build does not count as creating a unique build, because you've essentially got a character who can do what someone else already does - plus even more cool stuff.
  • If your OC is supposed to have some sort of connection to a canon character, please take that character's age into account when working out your character's story! As of The Avengers, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, and Bruce Banner were all in their early-to-mid forties. Phil Coulson's very likely in his early fifties, and Nick Fury's most likely in his early-to-mid sixties.
  • Because of licensing issues, Marvel Film Studios is not permitted to use the term "mutant" in any of their works, and so, mutants do not as such exist in the Earth-199999 continuity. As two characters who are mutants in the comic books (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch) have been given new origins in the MCU, it's probably unlikely they will anytime soon. So unless you are deliberately creating a character for an MCU/X-Men crossover universe, don't make your character an X-Men-style mutant and avoid referring to your character as a mutant.
  • Your character does not have to come from New York City, let alone the United States. Feel free to make a character from anywhere in the world!

SHIELD, Avengers, & Would-Be Avengers

  • Simply having powers does not mean that a character is going to be scouted out and stuck on somebody's team, or enrolled in some kind of superhero training program. There are lots of people in the MCU with powers who are not on any team (EG, Jessica Jones and various superpowered people in Agents of SHIELD), nor does anyone want to put them on some team. Let it be repeated: simply having superpowers is not a guarantee that someone will be recruited for a superhero team or put into a superhero training program.
  • Conversely, a lack of powers doesn't mean a character can't be on a team. Powers can be a nice bonus, but in the end, it's all about whether or not someone can be useful somehow. And lots of non-powered people (Hawkeye, Black Widow, Falcon, etc.) are plenty useful without superpowers.
  • If you intend your character to be scouted out to become an Avenger, stop and ask yourself what your character has already done to prove that xe could be an asset on a task force assembled to handle a global crisis. When initially putting together the Avengers Initiative, SHIELD aimed to pick people who would be ready to go at a moment's notice, not people who needed a ton of therapy and/or training before they could act like reasonably responsible and functional adults in the lab or field. The same holds true even when SHIELD is no longer managing the Avengers team: the new Avengers seen at the end of Age of Ultron are all people whose tactical and teamwork abilities were established in the field.
  • SHIELD also took personality into account when picking potential Avengers. Tony Stark was initially disqualified from the Avengers Initiative because he was deemed too self-centered and difficult to work with. If your character has a difficult or disagreeable personality, they shouldn't have been trying to get your character to work with them unless there was no other alternative.
  • Can your character actually get the job done without leaving behind needless legal fallout to deal with, putting whole missions in jeopardy on a regular basis (especially for personal reasons), or getting into fights with xir teammates? Or would your character's maverick style frequently result in risking security, causing unnecessary harm to people and property, or frequently getting into fights? If it's the latter, your character would not likely stay with SHIELD and/or the Avengers for long unless your character made some drastic improvement in a big hurry.
  • There is no way SHIELD would put any of the Avengers or its best field agents up to the long-term care of a minor. It would be a total misuse of Natasha or Steve - let's be honest, more people are capable of looking after a mysterious orphan than are capable of infiltrating an enemy base or fighting terrorists. Tony has a busy schedule and is not precisely the most responsible person in the world, Bruce could potentially Hulk out, Thor is busy keeping the peace in the realms. Possibly they might give a child to the Bartons to look after, but even then it would more likely be done with the intention of Laura looking after the child than Clint, as Clint is a pretty important field asset. And while we're talking about acquiring children, pretty much every adoption agency ever would deny all of these characters adoption based on the fact that they have unstable lives and/or personalities - and it wouldn't matter how much money Tony threw at them.
  • If your character is supposed to be an Avenger, remember that your character is supposed to be on a team, which means that the characters should work in concert to solve whatever crisis is going on. If your character ends up dominating or carrying the entire team, you're doing it wrong. Even Scarlet Witch and Vision, who were both very powerful, didn't come anywhere close to stopping Ultron on their own.
  • Allowing minors to become active Avengers would be tantamount to using child soldiers, which is widely considered a despicable practice, and almost certainly wouldn't be done by a group that has it in its best interest to maintain relatively good PR. The only time a minor fought with the Avengers canonically (Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War), only Tony Stark knew his actual age. He didn't tell anyone else, and he feigned ignorance himself.
  • If your character was considered to be suitable for Tony Stark's Avengers program post Age of Ultron, keep in mind that this doesn't mean your character would have met any of the Avengers, let alone be buddies with them. Scott Lang was accepted as a potential Avenger at the end of Ant-Man, yet by Captain America: The Winter Soldier, still hadn't met Steve Rogers.


  • If you want something similar to mutants that's MCU-friendly, you can make your character an Inhuman. Inhumans are the descendants of humans genetically modified by the Kree, giving them a gene that would cause them to undergo a process called Terrigenesis when exposed to a chemical compound known as Terrigen. During Terrigenesis, a hard shell forms over their bodies while they change, then falls off a short while later once the changes are complete. (The process, shown in the Agents of SHIELD episode What They Become can be seen here.)
  • Terrigen was introduced to Earth in crystalline form by the Kree, contained in six Diviners. Five Diviners ended up in the hands of the Inhumans, who melted down one and grew new crystals with it, and used these crystals to allow others to undergo Terrigenesis if they were deemed worthy - however, these crystals were tainted with the metal used to create the Diviners, which would cause any non-Inhuman to essentially turn to stone if they came into contact with it. As of the end of season two of Agents of SHIELD, these crystals fell into the ocean and ended up getting into fish used to create fish oil supplements, and potentially fish that people might eat. However, as the Diviner metal fell to the ocean floor, the fish and fish oil are not dangerous to non-Inhumans.
  • Someone who underwent Terrigenesis between seasons two and three of Agents of SHIELD might not have an easy time of it - not with the US government's very own Advanced Threat Containment Unit assigned to neutralize Inhumans by any means necessary (under the guise of stopping "alien threats" - the government isn't yet admitting that Inhumans are people affected by an alien compound) and the Inhuman Lash trying to kill many of them! Then again... with so many new Inhumans to contend with, it's not hard to imagine that a few, particularly those with less-obvious powers, might slip under the radar!

Next-Gen Characters

  • Being the child of an active superhero or field agent would not be dissimilar from being the child of a police officer or someone in the armed forces. There would potentially be long nights, or even days or weeks of not knowing when your parent would be coming home - or whether your parent was coming home at all. There might be times when the parent was in the hospital in surgery after taking serious injury in a fight and not knowing whether the parent would pull through. Superhero work might end up taking precedence over personal time with family, meaning that the parent might be absent for long periods of time, including holidays and birthdays - and not because the parent selfishly and thoughtlessly puts superhero work above family, but because unless xe goes out to fight, there will be no family to come home to, period. This is not a life of romance and glamor, and few people would know it better than the child of an active superhero.
  • Being a superhero/Avenger/SHIELD agent is not a hereditary position any more than being a firefighter, a detective, or a DNA analyst is a hereditary position. Being the child of one or more superheroes/Avengers/SHIELD agents does not mean that the character is automatically obligated to be trained up as a next-gen superhero/Avenger/SHIELD agent from childhood. (Also, training someone up as a soldier from childhood is ethically sketchy.) If your character does become a superhero/Avenger/SHIELD agent, there should be an actual personal motivation for doing so.
  • If you want to make your character related to a canon character, don't overlook the possibility of making your character the child of someone who wasn't involved in The Avengers: EG, Sam Wilson, James Rhodes, Happy Hogan, Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis, Heimdall, Sif, the Warriors Three, Betty Ross, etc.
  • Not all next-gen characters need be children of canon heroes, either. This is the Marvel universe, for crying out loud - potential superheroes and agents of SHIELD can pop up anywhere and from all walks of life.
  • If your character is the child of a canon character, check out Tips To Create Better OC Relatives of Canon Characters.

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Tips For Writing Fanfiction With An OC Protagonist

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